Garmin Forerunner 210 vs 610 – Which is Better for Runners?

Every runner knows that without maps, a lot of measuring tape, a calculator, and careful notes, it’s almost impossible to track how far you have run, your heart rate, and how many calories you burned.

Garmin has solved this problem by releasing a line of fitness watches which can track this information for the user.

Below we compare and contrast two of the most popular options with an in depth analysis of what makes each one worthwhile . - Garmin Forerunner 210 vs 610.

Garmin Forerunner 210 Review

Forerunner 210

The Garmin Forerunner 210 has many of the standard features a runner could want from a watch used for exercise.

The fitness trackers records a number of features, including calories burned, heart rate, and how fast you moved during your workout.

By having a device which tracks your calories burned and heart rate, you will know how much you need to refuel and whether or not you’re working your heart too much on that new trail.

Forerunner 210 In Teal With Heart

One of the main draws of this product is its IPX7 water rating.

For people who are unfamiliar with the terminology, the IP system is the Ingress Protection system. This tool is used to keep tabs on manufacturers and figure out how waterproof or dust-proof a product is.

With a rating of IPX7, the Garmin Forerunner 210 can be immersed in water up to 1m deep for however long the creator specifies.

However, the watch might still be susceptible to damage if sprayed by some sort of jet or splashing water. The IP system rating chart specifies that just because a product has a certain rating, it does not mean it is also waterproof for the events attached to lower numbers.

Some of the other specs of the 210 include a 25mm by 25mm display size and 52 by 30 pixel resolution.

Both aspects make it easy for you to read the numbers while on the go, so you don’t have to stop your workout to track your progress.

Finally, the Garmin Forerunner 210 has an extremely long battery life for the user. When in one of its training modes, such as interval training or auto lap, the watch will work for eight total hours. During its regular mode, it will last for three weeks.

The utility of the device, combined with the low price, makes the 210 an excellent choice for individuals who would like just a little extra support when it comes to tracking their athletic progress.


  • Inexpensive compared to other brands on the market
  • Relatively waterproof
  • Tracks the basic necessities of what runners want
  • Includes a GPS to track your location
  • Easy to use buttons
  • Simple, streamlined design


  • Only two running modes
  • Not very many additional features

If you are looking for a Garmin that has a few more bells and whistles but like the 210 style, view the 225, 230 or 235

Garmin Forerunner 610 Review

Garmin Forerunner 610 without HR Monitor-Black

Like the previous device, the Garmin Forerunner 610 is a handy tool for runners which will track their calories burned, heart rate, and overall speed during a workout.

The screen is slightly larger, operating with a 25.4mm by 25.4 mm display. It also has the same IPX7 water rating, assuring safety when falling in water.

Unlike the 210, the Garmin Forerunner 610 includes numerous analysis features, two additional training modes, and a touchscreen to help you monitor your progress.

For example, you could turn on the Virtual Pacer, which will tell you how you need to change your run to match the pace you desire. Other modes include:

  • Interval training
  • The Auto Lap
  • Virtual Partner
  • Aerobic Training Effect
Garmin Forerunner 610 without HR Monitor-Black
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Garmin Forerunner 610 without HR Monitor-Black
  • Resistive touchscreen works in all types of weather

People who use this watch can also upload their information into an online community to share their workout progress with others.

Garmin Forerunner 610 without HR Monitor-Black

The Garmin Forerunner 610 will additionally remember your favorite running trails and records the history of your last 1,000 laps. Runners can also enter up to 100 waypoints to its memory banks.

This device is also more technologically advanced than some of its counterparts. For one thing, it uses a GPS system to monitor where your location and is Foot Pod compatible. 

The Foot Pod is a separate device from Garmin which can track your running progress when out of GPS range.

Finally, it lasts up eight hours in training mode and four weeks in regular wearing mode. This means you have to charge the watch infrequently while still enjoying the benefits of its use.


  • Comes with a GPS
  • Has half a dozen activity modes for runners
  • Calculates extra information like a person’s body fat percentage
  • Relatively waterproof
  • Foot pod capable
  • Streamlined design that is easy to use


  • The waterproof rating doesn’t mention how well the product will survive around water
  • Touchscreen can be difficult for runners

Perhaps the biggest downsides of a watch with this many features are the cost and the inability of someone to use them all.

Unless you’re a technologically savvy runner, you’re unlikely to activate many of the additional modes on the regular, and you definitely wouldn’t want to invest in extra equipment like the Foot Pod.

The Forerunner 935 is the top of the line when it comes to features. I you would like to have something with a little less, try the Vivofit or Vivoactive

Garmin Forerunner 210 vs 610 - Which is Better for Runners

Conclusion - Which One Should I Buy?

Many athletes know that technology is gradually becoming more integrated into physical activity as people develop new ways to monitor their exercise routines.  

However, not everyone needs complicated technology.

It comes down to a choice between function and expense for a regular person.

More casual runners would appreciate the Garmin Forerunner 210 because of its lower price, streamlined features, and overall practicality.

If you’re a more active and dedicated runner willing to spend a little extra money, than the Garmin Forerunner 610 would be the choice for you.

Its extra modes and emphasis on exercise analysis will help you take your daily workout to new heights.

Why Buy A GPS Running Watch?

Many people become runners to remain healthy or lose a little weight. But in order to track your progress on the road to health, you need to know basic scientific information. What is your heart rate? How many calories did you just burn? Can you really keep up the pace you’re at?

As mentioned before, most people can’t answer these questions without a lot of formulas and mathematical precision. Here is where both of the Garmin Forerunners come in handy.

According to nutritionists with the Mayo Clinic, 3500 kilocalories is roughly one pound. A human needs to burn that amount to lose one pound of fat from their body. The Calorie Lab calculated that running at 5mph for an entire hour will cause the average person to burn 476 calories.

1 Hour = 467 calories

Unfortunately, even with numbers like these, it’s still difficult to track your progress.

  • How can you tell your exact speed? 
  • What if you stopped to take a breath?

This is where products like the Garmin Forerunner 210 and 610 can help.

A specialized device like a fitness tracker or watch can record your exact speed and help you determine how much you burn while exercising. The two options below are some of the most popular in the industry and favored choices for runners of all levels.

Last update on 2023-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API