Finding the best gifts for runners can be tricky. Do they run half marathons or full marathons? Do they wear Nike or New Balance? Do they use a running watch or just a phone? Fortunately, this article will help you with the common running gift categories and top running gifts for that special runner in your life.
Quicklook: Best Gifts For Runners
- Best For Any Type of Runner: Feetures High Performance Running Socks
- Best For Long Distance Runners: TheraGun Prime
- Best For Cold Weather Runners: Nike Therma FIT ADV Repel
- Best For Data-Driven Runners: The Coros Pace 2
- Best For Runners Who Want To Tune Out Noise: JBL Reflect Aero TWS
- Best For Cross-Country Runners: Flipbelt
- Best For Stylish Runners: Tracksmith Harrier
- Best For Runners With Sensitive Skin: Squirrel’s Nut Butter Anti-Chafe Salve
8 Best Gifts For Runners Options
Now, let’s take a look at each item on the list of the best running gifts.
Best For Any Type of Runner: Feetures High Performance Running Socks
If you know a runner, they have feet. If they have feet, they need socks.
There are two main factors to look for in a pair of running socks: compression and control. In running any longer distances a runner’s feet will begin to swell. A well-fit running shoe may apply pressure to the sides of their shoes making it a really uncomfortable running experience. Secondly, control is about temperature and fit. Thick socks will overheat the foot causing perspiration (sweaty feet).
A well-structured sock made from materials like Lycra will help keep a runner’s foot dry and comfortable into the latest miles of a training run or race.
Pricing: $13.50 – $15.00 per pair
Best For Long Distance Runner: TheraGun Prime
When training for a half marathon there are two components to a training regiment: running and not running. Running is pretty straightforward – one foot in front of the other, gradual mileage increase, and running at a conversational pace. Not running is less intuitive than it may seem. Not running is a combination of stretching, cross-training, strength training, and recovery. One of the most exciting new at-home devices in recovery has been TheraGun – a handheld percussive therapy massage gun.
Percussive therapy helps distribute thickened fascia fluid to relieve pressure and tightness and aid in recovery.
If you know a runner who has been foam rolling for years, it’s time to introduce them to a TheraGun.
Best For Cold Weather Runners: Nike Therma FIT ADV Repel
Cold weather is a pain. Running in cold weather usually involves some combination of two pairs of tights, a long sleeve merino wool shirt, a hoodie, a jacket, two pairs of gloves, a balaclava, and a winter hat. For years, we’ve been looking to find a jacket that has allowed us to slim up the volume of clothing we could wear for something lightweight but reliably warm. The Nike Therma FIT ADV Repel is just that jacket. The jackets that are the warmest are traditionally not adapted for wet or snowy conditions but the Nike Therma FIT seems to handle it all.
There are a lot of zippers, it’s lightweight but down. It’s an investment but well worth your running friend or partner getting to do what they love even if it’s single digit degrees outside.
Best For Data-Driven Runners: Coros Pace 2
A lot of these running watches do the same things. The very basics you’re looking for is does it sync to your running app (Strava, Nike Run Club, etc.) and does it do the very simple task of measuring your speed and your distance. You can get any Apple Watch or Garmin to track those metrics.
The Coros Pace 2 is more sophisticated and for the runner that wants to follow a strict training regimen. The Coros will allow you to upload workouts before a run, will provide you race predictions based on your past run performance, and can also tell you how fatigued your body currently is based on a handful of biological markers. This watch is used by a lot of elite runners and is worth the investment.
Best For Runners Who Want To Tune Out Noise: JBL Reflect Aero TWS
The top rated noise-canceling headphones by the New York Times says a lot about the JBL Reflect Aero TWS. Popular belief would tell you to just throw in a pair of Apple AirPods and call it a day, but we’ve found the AirPods lackluster when it comes to running. In the best pair of running headphones, you’re looking for the following qualities: water and sweat resistance, long battery life, and stabilizing wings to hold the buds in your ear. The JBL is world class in all these categories plus the microphone can reduce wind noise if you want to make a few calls during your Sunday trot.
Best for Cross-Country Runners: The Flipbelt
Have you ever been running and you’re carrying your phone, your wallet, your keys, a water bottle, or a running gel, and thought – “There has to be a better way!” Well, now there is.
We’ve been wearing the Flipbelt for years. On one side, there are openings in the belt where a runner can insert their belongings, on the other side all the openings are flipped against your body so none of the belongings inside can slip out. It’s the lowest impact running carrier we can find on the market. It also comes with a water bottle curved specifically to fit against a runner within the belt.
Best for Stylist Runners: Tracksmith Harrier (Men’s & Women’s)
Tracksmith isn’t the big name in running that a retailer like Nike or Adidas is, but they’ve had a sizable impact on the apparel seen worn by many runners out of the northeast (Tracksmith was founded in Boston). The Harrier Long Sleeve for men and women is made from merino blend wool and comes in a variety of colors stylishly named like “Sea Pine” or “Tamarind Heather.” It’s become a staple in our closet for chillier runs and perfect for the runner that is stepping up their fashion game
Best For Runners With Sensitive Skin: Squirrel’s Nut Butter Anti-Chafe Salve
We were torn here with what product to recommend. If a runner has sensitive skin, they might appreciate a vial of sunscreen but that’s not the most exciting gift to receive. If you’re not a runner, Squirrel’s Nut Butter Anti-Chafe Salve is a staple within the industry, especially are you start running longer distances like ultramarathons. The Salve is made from all natural ingredients (coconut oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, and vitamin E) and is meant to reduce friction and skin irritation that comes from the movement involved in running. This is especially valuable in the summer when sweat causes more friction against the skin, which is why you might see runners bleed during a summer marathon.
What to Consider with Gifts For Runners
With so many great options to choose from, it might be hard to decide on the best gift for runners. Here are some key considerations when choosing a running gift.
Cost plays a key role in choosing the best gifts for runners. You must consider more cost-effective choices if you’re on a tight budget.
Nevertheless, shopping around can help you score great deals on some of the pricier items. Special shopping days, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, can help you get great deals on items that usually retail at a higher price point. Amazon Prime deals can also help you score great prices on gifts for runners.
You know your favorite runner better than anyone else. Since finding the perfect running gift requires you to consider their personal preferences, think about them in particular as you search for a gift. For instance, minimalist runners prefer running with no equipment.
Alternatively, some runners prefer to run with support gear, such as a waist belt or phone case. Other personal preferences, such as colors and styles, play an important role in choosing the best gift for your favorite runner as well.
Don’t forget about key preferences, such as time of day, location and running style, whether that’s sprinting, long-distance, track or field.
Considering your favorite runner’s needs can help you decide which running gift to get for them. For instance, if your runner needs a new pair of earbuds, you can start looking there.
But what about the runner who already has everything? Perhaps they have items that are well past their prime. As such, it might be time to renew some older items or upgrade outdated ones.
Customization is crucial when choosing the ideal running gift, seeing as customizable items allow your favorite runner to express their individual tastes. For instance, items that come in different colors, adjust to particular sizes or mix and match are all great options.
You can also consider personalized running gifts. Companies like Rocket Science Sports create fully customized gear, ranging from masks, shirts, shorts, wetsuits and tri suits, which can help to ensure that your favorite runner’s individual preferences are met.
An important consideration for running gifts is the person’s running style. For example, long-distance runners have different needs than the needs of track runners. Triathletes and endurance runners also need specialized gear.
Certain items, such as waist belts, come in quite handy for long-distance runners. In contrast, comfortable socks can make a huge difference for track runners.
Finding the Perfect Running Gift
Finding the perfect running gifts involves several factors, such as cost, preferences, needs and style. Knowing your favorite runner’s individual needs and preferences will help you narrow down your choices for the best running gift.
Please remember that there are many great options to choose from, even if you’re on a tight budget. There’s always something cool and useful out there to gift to a runner in your life, even for the runners who already have everything.
A gift to commemorate finishing a race, such as a personalized medal holder, is a great idea. Other gifts, like flowers or a set of running clothes, can make a very nice surprise after a race as well.
Items to help boost recovery, such as a foam massage roller or pillow-soft sandals, are great gifts for track runners.
Shoes and apparel make great gifts for runners. High-tech gifts, like earphones and fitness trackers, are excellent ideas as well. Practical gifts, like waistbands and water bottles, are also wonderful for people who run.
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