It’s gift-giving season again, and that means people around the world are about to be on the receiving end of lots of socks, ties and coffee mugs 😉. But if you’ve got friends and family members who love to run, then you might want to get a little more creative this year and get them something that makes their runs a little easier (and a lot more fun).
Runners are much more likely to appreciate a roller stick to massage their muscles, or a running belt for securing their belongings while they jog. Plus, you’ll be giving a thoughtful present and earning respect for your gifting creativity!
The best gifts for runners have practical appeal for everyone who likes to run, whether they’re training for a marathon or just jogging to burn off the calories from the occasional slice of birthday cake at the office (guilty!). From clothing accessories to cool electronic gadgets, here are six of the best gifts for runners this holiday season.
The best gift for storage
True fact: runners have to deal with the constant dilemma of where to put their stuff when they run. Armbands work fine, but running belts tend to be less obtrusive, more spacious, and more easily washable.
Running belts can easily store a phone, keys, and ID, plus, they’re also remarkably affordable. If you plan on buying a running belt, browse through reviews and choose a highly-rated belt, such as Flip Belt, that will keep their belongings from bouncing around while they’re jogging.
The best gift for keeping fresh
Many people never think twice about what’s in their deodorant. That’s why our new, limited edition holiday gift set is such a “fresh” gift idea. In addition to giving your running friends aluminum-free deodorant to protect them on their run, you’ll likely be introducing them to safer, healthier personal care products that don’t contain questionable chemicals. That’s a total win-win!
The set includes five deodorant wipes, which are perfect for a quick refresher while on the run, plus a full-size and travel-size deodorant, all inside a travel carryall case. You might want to grab an extra set for yourself since it’s the perfect size for all your holiday travel.
The best gift for staying dry
Clothing can sometimes be a tricky gift, but you can’t go wrong with a moisture-wicking long sleeve athletic shirt. These shirts are perfect for running in cold weather or windy days on the trail. They’re breathable, and unlike cotton, they don’t stick to your skin when you sweat.
Just about any brand will do, but to go the extra mile, seek out a shirt with UV protection and anti-microbial technology to further combat odor. It’s a super-easy gift that any runner will welcome. Bonus points if you know their favorite color!
The best gift for entertainment
Don’t buy just any pair of headphones as a gift. Runners need earbuds that won’t pop out of place when they’re pounding the pavement. And those who run in the city need the ability to hear nearby cars, bicyclists, and other runners on the trail - that’s so much more important than thumping bass or perfect audio quality.
Skip the cheap generic headphones and go for a brand designed specifically for athletes. The Bose SoundSport Free, AfterShokz Trekz Air, and Under Armour True are three popular earbud brands that check all of these boxes.
The best gift for tracking progress
Since Fitbits revolutionized the fitness world several years back, fitness trackers have become must-have gadgets for runners. Can you really be serious about running if you’re not tracking your distance, speed, calories burned, and heart rate?
Those features are just the tip of the iceberg these days. Many trackers and smartwatches now have GPS, play music, store and track data over time and cook you dinner (ok maybe not that last one). The Garmin Forerunner 235 is regarded as one of the best smartwatches on the market right now, but you can also get an excellent tracker from Fitbit and Apple.
The best gift for after a run
Here’s a good gift idea if your budget is on the smaller side. Muscle roller sticks are super helpful for tackling muscle soreness and knots, and you don’t have to spend more than $15-20 to find a good one.
While foam rollers may serve the same purpose, massage sticks are preferable for most runners since they’re more lightweight and portable. Any runner will appreciate the gift of a sturdy massage roller stick. Come to think of it, even non-runners can use a good muscle roller.
Depending on your running companion’s interests, you may also want to consider running gloves, fitness magazine subscriptions, or a spa gift card. Any of these gifts will make a runner's life easier, and the personal thought behind them will make you seem like the best friend ever.
Looking for a creative gift for the runner in your life? Check out our limited edition travel set.
Written by Scott Shetler