Gifts For Every Runner You Know, From $5 to $300
Running can seem like a simple-enough sport (just lace up your shoes and head out the door!), but there's plenty of gear out there to make it safer, more comfortable, more stylish, and more fun. Whether you're looking for a gift to give yourself after finishing your first 5K, a birthday gift for your ultramarathoner friend, or an early holiday gift for your treadmill-junkie dad, we've got ideas in every price range for every runner in your life!
Massaging Foam Roller
Any runner worth their electrolytes knows how valuable foam rolling can be to keep fascia and soft tissues soft and pliable, aiding in mobility, recovery, and injury prevention. The brand-new Grid Vibe ($100) combines foam rolling plus vibration to provide an even faster, more effective recovery. Designed with a pattern and a smaller diameter, the Grid Vibe targets more layers of muscle tissue while channeling blood and oxygen to repair muscles as you roll, while the vibration relaxes the muscle and minimizes pain. It's perfect for any runner who needs a nudge to be as fierce with their recovery as they are with their mileage.
Fleece. Lined. Leggings.
Ridiculously soft and cozy on the inside, yet still streamlined and highly technical, Graced by Grit's Baby It's Cold Outside Leggings ($96) are perfect for runners who refuse to let Winter temps keep them inside. Your friend who calls the treadmill the dreadmill? Yeah, these are for her.
Power For Those Protein Shakes
Runners like speed, and a lot of them bring that into the kitchen as well as the track. Who has time to eat all the food groups separately? For your smoothie-obsessed friend whose fridge is perpetually stocked with almond milk and frozen bananas, the Magic Bullet blender ($40) gets breakfast from the fridge into her belly faster than she can tie her shoes.
A Running Watch That Does Literally Everything
The only thing the brand-new Fitbit Iconic watch ($300) can't do is make your post-workout protein shake. It's got the features you expect in a running watch like GPS and heart rate monitoring, but it combines music, apps, sleep tracking, and dynamic personal coaching into the mix as well. Also: multiday battery. Is watch envy a thing? Because I've had it since I heard about this bad boy.
A Pep Talk on Your Wrist
Sometimes the right words can miraculously breathe new life into tired legs, giving you the boost you need to remember why it is you're out there running in the first place. With a Motivate Wrap ($20), you can choose from a variety of inspirational messages (our favorite include "never the less, she persisted," "just breathe," and "beat yesterday") or have your own running motto custom engraved. For your BRF (best running friend) — the one who knows what you need to hear during the uphill miles.
A Training Log With Heart
You can track your miles in just about any boring old notebook, but the Believe Training Journal ($19) lets you track the miles and the milestones. This year-long workbook, training log, and how-to manual by professional runners Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas helps reveal what's working, keeps you honest when no one's looking, and proves when you've done the work. For the runner who likes big goals and cannot lie.
You Can Never Go Wrong With Massage
Obviously. For the runner who truly has everything or that friend who will never treat herself, a Gift Card from Massage Envy (amounts vary) is always the right answer.
Wicked Good Slippers
Runners' feet take a pounding logging all those miles, and they deserve something as luxurious as LL Bean's Wicked Good Slippers ($79) for their days off. The durable rubber sole means these will for sure get worn to the grocery store, but sometimes even runners and their running shoes need to see other people.
Look Ma, No Wires!
Now that Fitbit is in the music game with its newest watch, it only makes sense that it'd introduce the Wireless Flyer Fitness Headphones ($130), which pack premium sound into a comfortable, sweatproof, and secure design. Fitbit understands that runners are likely using a running watch and carrying their phone, so these headphones allow you to simultaneously connect wirelessly to two devices at once. And we are not mad about that sexy design; just sayin'.
Fuel to Feel Better
The prerun carbo load meal has been the star of the running diet forever, but savvy runners know that what they eat after a challenging workout is just as important. Paleo Pro's sweet potato Recovery Powder ($40 for a 1 lb. package) utilizes sweet potatoes — the perfect carbohydrate source for post-workout and glycogen recovery — as well as egg white protein to get your Paleo runner friends back on the trail day after day (after day after day).
Finding the perfect running sunglasses can be tricky. You want the right technical features — polarized lenses, no-slip nose pads, and a comfortable fit — but you also know they're likely to take a beating. Goodr Running Sunglasses ($25) check all the technical boxes at a price point that takes the pressure off a wayward scratch or the need to get shoved into a backpack every now and then.
A Running Tour Through Paris, NBD
If you've got a runner in your life who's lucky enough to be traveling to Europe anytime soon, surprise her with a Go! Running Tour through Paris ($130) (or one of the many other Go! Running Tours cities) so she can put all those croissant calories to good use. Not leaving the country anytime soon? City Running Tours offers docent-led runs in cities from Boston to Denver to San Diego, and tons in between.
Because Real Runners Run in the Rain
There's something especially badass about running in the rain, and with Patagonia's Houdini Jacket ($99), you can experience that badassery without having to get completely soaked. The ridiculously lightweight shell has a full zip for easy midrun put-on or take-off, and it packs into its own tiny pocket so you can stash it in most running belts "just in case" without adding much bulk.
Bath Salts For Sore Muscles
An epsom salt bath can restore magnesium and sulfate in the muscles, helping reduce soreness and promote healing. Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt Soaking Solution ($5) combines magnesium sulfate with essential oils to give all your senses a trip to relaxation island without ever leaving your bathtub. Pro tip: Pandora's "Musical Spa Radio" station. No need to tip the masseuse.
A Mix-and-Match Tech Kit
For the runner who doesn't want to wear what everyone else is wearing, a customizable Tech Kit from Outdoor Voices ($100) lets her mix and match a top and bottom, choosing from four core fabrics and a tonal palette that's neither boring nor overly trendy. Available for men as well, the OV Kits feel like something new and different no matter how many sports bras and leggings you already own.
Makeup That Goes On Quicker Than Your Mile Time
For the runner who's getting her miles in on her lunch break, TrèStiQue Cosmetics' Athleisure Set ($85) promises to take you from "sweaty to ready" in five minutes with four products: a mattifying duo, concealer crayon, tinted face stick, and brow pencil — all in stick form and packaged into a compact, gym-bag-friendly case. You know that saying "Never let them see you sweat"? This might be the secret weapon to achieve that.
Just Run Together
This is a real picture of three of my friends and me crossing the finish line at the Big Sur Marathon in April 2017, and it's one of the happiest moments of my running career. Sure, we relied on a lot of gear and fuel and advice to get us ready to run this race and ultimately cross the finish line, but there was no greater gift than sharing the experience together.
Sign up for a race with your runner friend. Find a charity you both care about it and see if they sponsor any races. Choose a race in a cool destination. Whatever. Just run together. It's a gift that keeps on giving!