Believe it or not, in the five years that I’ve been blogging (and running!) I’ve never put together a holiday guide of the best gifts for runners . But there’s a first time for everything, right? And this year I decided that it’s time to finally share some of my favorite gear items with y’all — aka, the best gifts for runners of all types!
Whether you’re a non-runner shopping for the running fanatic in your life or you’re a runner yourself on the hunt for the best gear and accessories (for yourself, or a friend or family member!), I promise that each of these items will spark excitement because I’ve tested each one and use them all on a regular basis (and by regular basis I mean, most of these things I’ve been using for years).
In other words, none of these things just recently landed in my inbox as holiday gift suggestions to promote. They are all running accessories that I truly love and find extremely useful.
I think that the runner in your life (or you!) will too!
For an extra convenience factor, I’ve organized them in price order (least expensive to most) below.
Gifts For Runners: 2016 Holiday Gift Guide
BlenderBottle — $7.45 on Amazon
I like to mix up protein or electrolyte drinks after my tougher workouts and my shaker bottle makes it so easy to do. Runners anf fitness fanatics alike will appreciate this simple but thoughtful gift.
Koss Fitclips — $12.99 on Amazon
If you’re not too obsessed with sound quality, don’t need the latest and greatest in earbud tech, and are simply looking for an affordable pair of headphones that work for working out, these are what you’re looking for.
They have standard sound quality (nothing mind-blowing but also not terrible), clips that wrap around the ear so there’s no chance of them falling out, and they durable — I have two pairs that have lasted through a few years of running.
Sparkly Soul Headbands — $15 on Amazon
Some headbands just don’t stay put on your head, especially when you’re bouncing around working out. This has never been a problem for me with my Sparkly Soul headbands, though.
They NEVER budge and as a pretty sweet bonus they come in lots of different fun styles. Yes, they are a bit pricey for headbands, but I’ve found them to be worth it because they work better than any others I’ve tried and they last.
Rocket Pure Natural Anti-Chafe Balm — $15.99 on Amazon
You can’t embark on a long run without chafe protection, and this stick from Rocket Pure has become my favorite. I love it not only because it’s all-natural but also because it’s easy to apply, mess-free. This might seem like a weird gift, but trust me, any long-distance runner would be pyshced to recieve it.
Momentum ‘Motivate’ Wraps — $18.99 at Momentum Jewelry
OK, these are not functional at all, but I still love them because they offer a simple but sweet motivational message anytime you look down at your wrist. Something any dedicated runner can appreciate!
Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Powder — $19.49 for 20 on Amazon
The electrolyte drinks I mentioned that I like to mix up earlier? These are them. This is a staple for me post-long run and every flavor that Ultima offers has proven to be absolutely delectable.
Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Flask — $19.70 on Amazon
This size quick draw from Nathan is new to my arsenal but I wish I had upgraded to the larger bottle from the smaller version a long time ago. It’s no harder to carry but it fits more liquid and the front pocket is bigger too, which means more room for gels (or any other small items you need to carry).
A must-have for any runner training for a long-distance race.
SPI Belt — $23.99 on Amazon
I’ve tried several different running belts over the years, but for me nothing has ever compared to my SPI belt. It’s simple yes, but it works and it’s never failed me.
Perfect for runners of all levels whether they want to carry their phone, keys, energy gels or any other small personal items!
Gu Energy Gels — $26.99 for 24 on Amazon
Another essential for any runner training for a long-distance race. They come in so many different flavors so you can have fun picking which you think your runner will like best!
My personal favorites: salted caramel, salted watermelon and jet blackberry.
Pro Compression Full-Length ‘Marathon’ Socks — $42-$50 on Amazon
The research on the actual effect of compression socks isn’t definitive. But in my own experience, I’ve found that they totally help with aiding recovery. Plus, they come in cute designs and colors, so even if it’s a placebo effect, at least they’re still fun!
Pro Tip: Pro Compression is always sending out coupons, so subscribe to their newsletter to get the best deals!
Only Atoms Gravity Shorts — $65 on at Only Atoms
These shorts are fairly new to my arsenal but I’m oh so glad they’re now a part of it because they’re easily the best-designed, most comfortable running shorts I’ve ever owned. They have a rear zip pocket, built-in liners and small stash pockets in the waist. Super comfy and super practical —doesn’t get much better than that when it comes to running shorts.
Smith Optics Lowdown Sunglasses — $71.20 on Amazon
These sunglasses I got as a gift while working at The Active Times and they are everything I never knew I always wanted because they work perfectly for both running and everyday wear because they’re classic looking, but also durable and stable enough for sport!
Skirt Sports Redemption Capri — $22-$75 on Amazon
If I showed you how many pairs of running capris I actually own you would probably judge me, maybe question my sanity. But despite my vast collection the redemption capri remains my favorite throughout the years (I have several pairs). Perfect cut and perfect fit. No further explanation needed.
Finisher Gear — Price Varies
OK, this isn’t exactly a specific piece of apparel I can vouch for personally. But what I can vouch for is that if you buy your runner finisher gear from a race they recently completed (like say, the NYC Marathon or the Philadelphia Marathon, for example), they will love you (and their new gear) for ever and ever. Guaranteed.
Aftetshokz Trekz Titanium Open Ear Headphones — $129.95 on Amazon
These are a bit more high-tech than the Koss fit clips. They’re wireless, but they also have a special safety element. Instead of placement in your ear, these headphones rest just next to it and use bone conductivity to allow you to hear your workout tunes. This means you can hear your music clearly (and I vouch that the sound quality is good) while also staying alert to everything going on around you.
Garmin Forerunner 235 — $249.99 on Amazon
This is another new tool in my gear box, but even though I’ve only used it for a few weeks now, I’m in love with every aspect of it. Beyond the fact that it tracks the distance, duration and pace of my running workouts, my favorite features are the wrist-based heart rate monitor, the daily step tracker and the little buzzer that tells you to move when you’ve been sitting too long.
A few gifts for runners that keep on giving!
- Runner’s World subscription – $19.99 for 1 Year on Amazon
- Stride Box subscription – 1 month for $20, 3 months for $45, or 6 months for $90
- Spotify Premium subscription – $10 a month
What’s on your wish list this year? Let me know in the comments!