A Runner’s Gift Guide for the Early Shopper

When creating a list of Holiday Gifts for Runners, it’s easy to go a little crazy. There are a lot of ideas out there, some pretty standard, and some a bit more obscure. It might be a quick idea list of “things” to get: gear, apparel, and accessories for the actual sport  and act of running. Even more complex, though, would be those “out of the shoebox” ideas that I love. 

So here are my top ideas for all you folks looking for Holiday Gifts, the Gift-er, the Gift-ee, and the occasion.

From one runner to another: Best Running Friend

The gift of a local race registration or volunteer opportunity. You run together enough to call each other BRF’s, so it seems only fitting to share your friendship by signing up for a themed fun run. Another option is to volunteer at a race together. You cheer each other on, why not combine voices to cheer others on as well?

From a veteran runner to a novice runner:

The Friendly Mentor 

New runners can often be overwhelmed by all that they don’t yet know about the sport. It can get confusing very quickly, and might even be discouraging. So Veteran runners can offer up motivational gifts like the 365-day running calendar or some motivational wall art from Gone for a Run. Inspirational books like Kara Goucher’s Strong, or Deena Kastor’s Let your Mind run, or Meb Keflezghi’s 26 Marathons will help them see that even the big names have a unique journey.

From the non-runner to veteran runner:

partner, significant other, spouse

If you are in a close relationship with a runner, you know that they put in a lot of time, energy, and miles for the sport. Your support for them means more than you may ever know. There is a lot of work and “upkeep” for runners to keep doing what they do, and sometimes they need a little relaxing break for self-care. Scented Epsom Salts for the bath like lavender or eucalyptus are the perfect “Anytime” treat. Or consider a Gift Card for their favorite Spa Massage or Pedicure.

From the non-runner to the Novice runner

You are totally on board with supporting your friend, partner, significant other through this new journey, but both of you have no idea where to start. The best place is a gift card from or a visit to your local running store. There you will find the experts that will help you find the right gift to help you support your new runner. You might start with Road Runner Sports, Fit 2 Run, or Fleet Feet, all of which have online stores and Brick and Mortar locations.

From Mom runner to New Mom Runner:

The “you can do this” Mom.

Caring for newborns is hard enough, and we often can’t imagine being away from the munchkins. In all honesty, though, running is a way for Mom to take care of herself before she takes care of anyone else. If you are close by, then offer to babysit for an hour while your new mom friend gets away to clear her head. Or, if you aren’t local to your new mom friend, I recommend Run Like a Mother, by Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell. This book will speak for itself when any caregiver needs to know they are not alone.

From long-distance running friend to “collector” running friend.

I got this idea from Micki in our podcast facebook group. She asks out-of-state friends to go to their local running stores to find a location specific shirt. Collecting tech shirts from different states is a fun way to have a full closet of running shirts, and show off all the great places to run. 

For the race addict: the “One-more-race” runner

We all know them. That runner who has to have multiple races on a calendar. Whether they do it for the motivation, the roar of the crowd, or the bling, it is easy to accumulate the accoutrements that come along with all the races. So for these runners, a Medal Rack from Allied Hangers, or a Bib Folio from Gone for a run would probably be welcome. 

For the person who’s not sure where to shop:

The “I don’t even know where to start” Giver

Gone for a Run online shop has so many items for runners of all types. For the Abbott Bagger, World Major inspired items. For Motivational needs, wall art and drinkware. For the quirky and funny runner who loves spreading smiles, shirts with great sayings. This shop has everything to inspire fun gift giving for runners by runners.

For the person who doesn’t need/want anything:

The Charitable Gift

As with many operations, not-for-profit charities have struggled in the last 2 years. During this holiday season, giving back to the running community is helping these charities raise desperately needed funds for research, development, and support. Many of my friends can be found here, and I can be found here. However, giving back doesn’t have to be about financial support. You might volunteer at a race, or a local soup kitchen. You might ask your loved ones to donate in lieu of a physical gift. Giving looks different to everyone…so does receiving.

Shop Small, Shop Local

This blog post contains no affiliate or ambassador links. In 2021, I would encourage you to shop local, shop small. I personally will be shopping this way, with an emphasis on women-owned and supported businesses. In addition to the links above, here are the businesses I will be supporting this Holiday season:

Sparkle Athletic — Sparkly running skirts and accessories

Momentum Jewelry — Motivational Wraps and bracelets

Bolder Athletic Wear — Fun prints for Women of all sizes and shapes 

BOCOGear — Gloves, hats, and other accessories for getting outside

What is on your Giving List this Holiday season? For more ideas check out the 2021 Holiday Finds, and please subscribe to our podcast for more to come!