Every year we go through this. Every year we wonder what to get that runner in our lives, especially if said runner seems to have everything they need to be awesome at running. However, we go through gear…a lot of gear, and keeping everything in good running shape takes a lot of upkeep.
Holiday Gift Ideas don’t have to be limited to t-shirts and water bottles though. That runner on your list would appreciate a little thought, and you don’t have to go far to get a little creative. Here is a comprehensive gift list for your favorite runner, I give you the Awesome Gift Guide!
From Boutiques to Big Box Stores, finding clothing for your runner can actually be quite simple. Specialized shops like Athleta and Lululemon offer high end “Athletic
Fashion” that will take you from the gym to the coffee shop. Other stores like UnderArmour, REI, and Patagonia will offer Men’s and Women’s Apparel for all kinds of weather.
Other online shops specialize in unique fabrics, patterns, and designs. Ink’nBurn offers beautiful patterns and colors for both men and women. For ladies, Skirt Sports offers a wide variety of running skirts and skorts for all body types. Sparkle Skirts features well-designed skirts with big pockets hidden in the shorts, and you can even add glittery embellishments if you are looking for extra style.
Running “Costume” gifts
Many runners will “dress up” for some races, whether it’s the local Halloween or Turkey Trot, of Full Princess at RunDisney. Running Costumes can be as complex or as simple as you like, but the best running costumes still function well as a running kit. Sparkle Athletic has great deals on sparkly skirts, arm and calf sleeves, visors, and other great items like shoe wings, fairy wings, and even capes! There are also several Etsy shops who specialize in tech fabric costumes for both men and women. From the simple silk screened tech tee, to a full custom-built-for-you running costume, you can find great ideas at these shops:
Accessories for training or race day
Cold weather means more gear, from extra layers to winter accessories. Fleece or knit hats, fleece gloves, and neck warmers or balaclavas (those ski mask type things that cover your whole head) are great for the runner who lives in colder climates. If that cold-weather runner is also dealing with icy conditions, consider a pair of YakTrax or studs for their shoes. These usually just strap onto a regular running shoe to provide extra traction. Find all of these at your local running store, or my favorite, RoadRunner Sports.
Water bottles are great, because somehow plastic bottles continually get stinky, or even worse, lost (sometimes it’s just the bottle cap, which is really aggravating). Hand held bottles with a strap handle, a waist pack that has a carrier for the bottle, or even a hydration pack for the distance runner helps keep the runner hydrated for those long miles.
Bib belts are nice for the athlete who doesn’t like to pin the bib to the shirt, and those might even carry a phone, gels, and/or hydration. If a bib belt isn’t quite right, you can find BibBoards that work well in place of safety pins. These are customizable and are great stocking stuffers.
Recovery and Fuel
Since no run is really over until we’ve foam rolled and/or stretched out, you might give a nice yoga mat, or post-run therapy tools. Triggerpoint Therapy is a one-stop shop for all the post-run therapy you might need, like the MB5 ball, The Grid, or the QuadBaller.
You might also do a little digging to find out your runner’s favorite fuel and hydration. Purchasing a variety of gels, gummies, waffles, bars, and drink mixes are greatly appreciated, since these are consumable items, and for a runner training for long distances, they go fast.
Every runner should know that running shoes are for running only, so a good recovery shoe is in order post-run. Oofos Recovery shoes are continually adding to their line, and in addition to their shoes, sandals, and clogs, they just introduced an insulated boot as well. This is a great option for those of us that live in colder climates!
Running in the winter also might mean running in the dark (check out this video), which makes safety even more important. The gift of safety is precious, so light up your runner with more lights than you do your Christmas Tree with a headlamp, knuckle lights, shoe lights, or my new favorite, the Noxgear light system. This color-changing, chase light movement is bright and colorful, helping your runner stand out in the dark.
If your athlete doesn’t already have one, a Road ID is the best investment you could make in their safety. These bracelets are engraved with your runner’s name, emergency contacts, and insurance or medical concerns. If, heaven forbid, something were to happen out on a run, a Road ID can speak for your runner when they can’t speak for themselves.
Commemorating the Accomplishment
Runners love to humble brag, but they also just like reflecting on all they have accomplished, especially with big goals and races. Help them commemorate those by gifting ways to celebrate.
Medal racks and hooks offer a place to hang finisher’s medals, and these can be found at SportHooks, Allied Medal Hangers, or at Gone for a Run. They come in a variety of styles shapes and colors, so you can find one to fit the personality of your runner.
If the race stands out as particularly special, though, you might consider a plaque from Lasting Commemoratives or Fond Memories Graphics. These companies will place a duplicate race medal in a lovely display box along with a replica of your bib, your time, and perhaps allow a place for your photo as well.
Runners also tend to collect bibs, and will even write their times on the back of them. Help them display those bibs with a bib folio — a binder outfitted with plastic sleeves that can be placed on a stand.
You might also go a bit more subtle with jewelry. Erica Sara has beautiful run-inspired necklaces and charms, Motivate wraps by Momentum Jewelry have inspirational phrases, and the Another Mother Runner store has cute mom-specific jewelry.
Subscription Boxes are a great way to inspire your runner with new products. Try the Runner’s World Box, 5k Crate, The Runner’s Box, or a new curated apparel line, the Mercury Mile. You might also take a variety of items I’ve listed already and create a gift basket or stuff the stocking with lots of little items. When in doubt, you can always go with a gift card from your athlete’s favorite run specialty store. I truly believe that runners appreciate the opportunity to replace worn out gear, or get that cute top they’ve been eyeing at the boutique shops. These shops have almost everything your runner could want or need, so check out these links:
While this is a pretty long list, I know there is more out there to find for your runner. Get creative and have fun! Happy shopping!