Best Gifts for Runners
Who doesn’t love a gift? Who doesn’t know a die-hard runner? Who doesn’t know a runner that doesn’t love a gift? There is the typical running get up, a breathable shirt, shorts, socks, and running shoes, however, the accessories are really what makes a normal run more enjoyable. There are a few items that some runners admire but may not think are necessary- this is what makes a great gift. Something that someone would enjoy and use but doesn’t want to invest in themselves. The good news is that many of these gifts for runners are practical and affordable! So, go ahead and spoil your favorite runner! We are here to help you.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
Help with circulation
- Rockay Blaze Compression Sleeves
- Buff UV Headband
- ROCKAY Accelerate Running Socks
- Run Fast. Eat Slow: Nourishing Recipes for Athletes
- TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
- Jaybird Vista True Sport Earbuds
- Tuff Mutt Hands Free Dog Leash
- Level Terrain FlipBelt
- Urban Active Sports Medal Display
- Icy Feet Ice Packs
Top Ten Gifts for Runners
1. Rockay Blaze Compression Sleeves
Help with circulation
Not too many design options
Even though the main reason for getting compression leg sleeves is reducing cramping, it sure feels good when they come with additional features.Read more
Although the materials of this product are not mentioned in the description, they are made in Europe and they have passed the Swisslastic test which is the only verification you need when it comes to quality. You can see for yourself since the package comes with the test packed inside.
When it comes to compression sleeves, the anti-odor feature is a must. Rockay uses Polygiene technology for keeping your calves free from bacteria. And the best thing is that you don’t need to clean them after each use, simply dry them and they are ready for another run. The Polygene technology is not only anti-odor, but it also ensures your legs breathe which makes them more comfortable. The ventilation is ensured through different zones which are carefully designed for allowing the athlete to stay dry and cool.
Considering the fact that these are worn on your body, they are very portable! Even if you were going on a destination run and had to pack them away, they take up hardly any space and weigh next to nothing.
Reviewers agree that these compression sleeves are impressively durable. Considering the fact that you don’t need to wash them after each use, they will live a longer life. When it does come time to wash them, just be sure that you follow the directions.
2. Buff UV Headband
Comes in many colors
Size runs small
The Buff UV Headband is a versatile product that can be used to keep one’s hair out of their face, to protect one’s neck from the sun, and to wick sweat as one runs. Coming in many colors, this headband can also be catered to fit anyone’s style.Read more
This headband is made from breathable, microfiber polyester that offers UV protection. It is stretchy and seamless. It can be tight if on individuals with a larger head or neck.
This headband is available is a large variety of different patterns, including monotone and multi-colored ones. Be aware that many customers report that the actual products are colored differently from how they appear online.
This is a multiuse product. It is quite long, and can, therefore, be worn in multiple ways and serve many different purposes. One can wear it in their hair to keep stray strands out of their face, around their neck for sun protection, or as a balaclava for warmth. Each product comes with handy pictures that demonstrate some of the most common ways this headband can be worn. If you aren’t wearing it, you can pack it away very easily. It takes up minimal space and weight.
An attractive and versatile headband, the Buff UV Headband is also durable. It is also easily washed and worn again. It makes a great gift for runners who need a way to keep their hair out of their faces or extra protection from the sun. Be aware though, this headband does run small.
3. ROCKAY Accelerate Running Socks
Organic Merino Wool
Focused compressive arch support
Snug/Comfortable overall compression
As a solid good gift, no cons, which is why we put it as the first choice
Gifts are special and meaningful and for a runner these socks are perfect. These have been designed for runners every need in a sock in order to support and enhance running performance. The research and work have been done for us. This is a gift which will give a superb performance, exceptional durability and tons of consistent comfort, these are comfortable and protective at first wear and they stay that way. Read on for the full low-down and see why this is the best gift to give a runner.Read more
These socks are made from the best quality wool. It is free from mulesing and sourced from South America. This material is widely popular because of its natural anti-odor capabilities and exceptional protective comfort. Made in Europe these Organic Merino socks are the best choice if you have a blister or stinky feet problem or want to stave off either of those problems happening. Prevention is always the best choice.
Selecting a good pair of running shoes is important, using the best choice of a sock to work with the shoe is often missed and is equally important. Whatever time of the year, these socks made from pure Organic Merino wool ensure optimal temperature control, in winter you have warm comfort and in summer you get cool comfort.
Tested by 30+ runners when first launched and now tried, tested and approved by many, this sock is popular and you can say goodbye to distracting chaffing and painful blisters. There is also focused arch compression supported by a snug overall foot compression and elasticated tops to ensure dirt and grit don't get in. For added comfort, there are strategic ventilation zones are designed into the sock to work together with the natural ability of Merino wool to wick away unwanted sweat/moisture. The toe and heel areas are the point of contact where the socks experience pressure and wear, these socks have comfortable durable padding designed into both areas.
Can socks get any more portable? You either wear them or pack them. This may be obvious, but when packed, these socks take up next to no room in your backpack, pocket, or suitcase.
High-quality Organic Merino wool is as durable as it gets for a pair of running socks, the wool has high durability while also retaining comfort, ongoing high performance, and very good protection. Durability is taken much higher through designing in comfortable thickened/cushioned padding in any areas which are subject to a higher level of wear and tear.
4. Run Fast. Eat Slow: Nourishing Recipes for Athletes
Healthy recipes for any diet
Available as a hardcover or Kindle e-book
Recipes take a long time and require very specific ingredients
A proper diet is one is integral to ensuring peak physical performance. “Run Fast. Eat Slow” is a New York Times bestseller cookbook that is specifically geared toward endurance runners.Read more
This book is filled with many, high sugar, high carb recipes that provide runners with the energy they need for peak performance. With options for vegans and people who eat gluten-free, this cookbook is a great addition to any runner’s kitchen.
The authors of this book are a 4-time Olympian runner and professional chef. Together, they tell their own stories of food and athleticism, making this a cookbook one will actually want to read. This book features many great photos and over 100 recipes. This book is available as a hardcover or as a Kindle e-book.
The dimensions of this book are 8.3” x 0.9” x 10.3”. It has 256 pages and weighs about two pounds. The hardcover version isn’t exceptionally portable, but if you order the Kindle version, you can take it almost anywhere with you.
“Run Fast. Eat Slow” is the perfect gift for the health-conscious runner in your life. Although some of the recipes are a bit difficult to make, they are delicious across the board and have been vetted to provide exactly the nutrition that an endurance athlete needs. If you take care of this book, it will take care of you.
5. TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
Easy to use
Some find the material too tough
After a long run, nothing makes one’s legs feel better quite like foam rolling. The TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller is a high-quality option that will stand up to frequent use. It has a textured surface that maximizes its utility and comes highly recommended by professionals.Read more
With a length of just over one foot and a hollow core, this foam roller is lightweight and easy to travel with. It is made of tough, durable material that holds up to the test of time but can be a bit hard for some people.
The textured surface of this foam roller is meant to mimic the feeling of a massage and is more effective at increasing blood flow. This makes this foam roller an especially great choice for decreasing recovery time, and healing and preventing injuries. Additionally, this foam roller is available in five different colors.
The TriggerPoint GRiD Foam Roller makes an awesome gift for the runner who is looking to improve their workout recovery. Furthermore, it is easy to travel with, so it can be brought along to destination races. It measures 13” x 5.5” and weighs 23-ounces.
Reviewers agree that this foam roller is strong and durable. It has a weight limit of 500-pounds.
6. Jaybird Vista True Sport Earbuds
Customizable button controls
Comes with 3 sizes of ear gels
Quickly and easily charged
You still need to rely on your phone or mp3 for some options
Let there be music! These earbuds from Jaybird are exceptional. They are made with IPX7 construction, making them both sweat and waterproof. What is even more impressive is their overall comfort, adjustability, and charging capabilities.Read more
The exact materials of these earbuds are not listed. However, we can tell you that they are more impressive than we could have imagined. They are equipped with IPX7 construction, making them both sweat and waterproof. You don’t need to worry about your workout nor the weather when using these. They come with three different sizes of ear gels, allowing you to choose the one that fits and is the most comfortable for you.
As far as charging the buds go, you charge the case and the case charges the earbuds. The case is only able to be charged by a USB cord, it is not adaptable for wireless charging… yet. There is a JayBird app that allows you to fine-tune the audio equalizer. Additionally, with this app, if you ever lose your earbuds, you can track them down. As a runner, the fact that these earbuds are noise isolating may be a good or a bad thing. It is important to stay aware of your surroundings, but it is also nice to not be distracted or bothered.
Whether you are using these in your years or not, they are portable either way. When in your ears, they are comfortable and weightless. In their charging case, you can easily slip them into your pocket or purse without noticing them. All in all, these are very portable.
On a full charge, you can expect about six hours of audio. With the case fully charged, you can count on ten more hours on the go. If you choose to use only one bud at a time, you can enjoy it for up to 32 hours! One of the most impressive charging features of these buds is the quick charge option that takes only five minutes and gives you one hour of usability. A full charge for both buds takes only two hours. There are three ion lithium batteries included keeping you going on the go.
7. Tuff Mutt Hands Free Dog Leash
Versatility and comfort while running
Adjustable waist belt
Control over dog
Dogs can chew through the material
The Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Dog Leash is the perfect gift for someone who is a runner and a dog lover. This leash easily attaches to one’s waist, has swivel technology so it won’t get wrapped up in one’s legs, and features a bungee section that allows the pup more movement.Read more
Made with a bungee that quickly retracts when one’s dog is by their side, two handles so that the pup can easily be placed under control, and a swivel belt so no one gets tied up in the leash, this product is a great choice for the active dog owner.
This leash gives a hands-free option for being one’s dog on runs. It is made to allow both the runner and the dog enough space to stay comfortable and move at their own pace. This leash only comes in one size, but the waist belt is adjustable so it can be made to fit almost anyone. It is available in five different colors.
The Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Dog Leash is a game-changer for anyone who regularly runs with their dog. It allows one full control over their pet, while also provide comfort and free of movement to the runner. Considering the fact that you don’t even need to use your hands to carry it, it is very portable! If you plan to travel with the leash, it weighs less than one pound.
The leash is not made of the toughest material and may fall apart quickly if used for a dog who is a chewer. Luckily, the leash comes with a lifetime guarantee.
8. Level Terrain FlipBelt
Four pockets that fit everything needed on a run
Available in many colors
Comes in many sizes
The Level Terrain FlipBelt offers runners a hand free option for carrying essential items on the go. The belt has four pockets of varying sizes that can fit one’s cards, keys, phone, or iPod.Read more
The Flipbelt is made from 92% micro-poly polyester and 8% lycra. It is both machine wash and dry-able. The logo provides a bit of reflectiveness, making it a great accessory for morning or night time running.
This belt gives runners the ability to carry small, essential items without using their hands. Although the belt has no zippers, small opening that can be flipped to rest against one’s body help to stop anything from falling out. Coming in sizes from XX-small to XX-large, this belt is designed to fit many different sized individuals. When sized correctly, it will not move while one runs, however, if too large it is known to slide up one’s waist. This belt is available in nine different colors that are sure to fit anyone’s personality.
This belt has four pockets that can fit a variety of items. The pockets vary in size and one has a hook, which keys can be attached to for extra security. The belt is meant to be worn around one’s waist, and although the size cannot be adjusted, the stretchy material keeps it firmly in place. As for traveling with the Flipbelt, it weighs only three ounces.
There have been no concerns about the durability of this running belt. There are no zippers to get caught on the fabric and it seems to hold its elasticity well.
9. Urban Active Sports Medal Display
Holds medals and bibs
Has added bonuses
Some found it heavy to mount
Finding somewhere to display the medals one receives after completing a run is important to many runners. The Urban Active Sports Medal Hanger provides a fantastic space for runners to display their medals with pride.Read more
This hanger is a new and improved design that holds 60 medals and has 23 vinyl flip pouches for a runner's bibs. It is also made of pure metal so that it can last over time and proudly display your medals for years to come.
This comes in one option but has some bonuses. The bonuses are 23 bib vinyl sheets, locking laces, and a multi-purpose scarf.
The hanger is meant to be mounted to the wall and works as a space to display both race medals and bibs. Therefore, this not a very portable item.
Overall, this medal hanger is built to last and offers you a large amount of storage space for all of your medals. They also donate some profits to the Red Cross and UNICEF. Not to mention, it also comes with a lifetime guarantee. If all of these options sound good to you for a medal hanger as a gift for your avid runner, this is the way to go.
10. Icy Feet Ice Packs
Fits shape of the foot
Has two straps
Comes in a set of two
Can’t walk with these on
Foot pain from issues like plantar fasciitis and strained muscles are common for runners. The Icy Feet Ice Packs are specifically designed to help relieve this pain. Coming in a set of two, these ice packs strap to one’s feet, giving full relief to the foot without restraining movement.Read more
This ice pack comes in a set of two. The sizing is one size fits all, although individuals with bigger feet do find them to be small. People who wear size 12/13 or larger toes tend to come over the edge of this ice pack.
These ice packs are specifically made to relieve pain from a variety of problems. They should be placed in the freezer when not being used so that they are ready to go at a moment’s notice. When using them, make sure to wear a thin pair of socks.
Shaped to fit the contours of one’s foot, these ice packs were designed with relieving foot pain as their primary objective. They have two straps that can be secured around the top of the foot, allowing one movement while they ice their feet. Allow the design makes it easy to move without the ice pack falling off, this product is not made to be walked in. If you need to travel with these ice packs, it would be quite simple. However, if you are flying with them, they will need to go in your checked luggage.
The Ice Feet Ice Packs make a great addition to any runner’s rest day habits, especially if they experience regular foot pain. With a design that fits the shape of a foot and handy straps to keep the ice pack in place, this product makes icing one’s feet easier than ever. They are designed to last a lifetime. Just follow the directions and be sure to not walk around with them and keep them away from sharp objects.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
For some of these products, more than others, the materials used are an important feature to look at. For example, a pair of socks, compression sleeves, or a headband should be comfortable. Knowing the softness and flexibility of each of these items is important. For other products, such as a dog leash, you’ll want to make sure that the materials used to make the leash are strong and dependable. However, since you are already running, chasing after your dog wouldn’t be the worst thing. Nonetheless, a weak dog leash is not ideal. For other products, the materials used are less important, but still good to know.
No one wants to receive the same gift year after year. Nor do you want to be that person who never seems able to think of something new to give. Unique gifts are an important part of the gift-giving process and show that you have really thought about who you are giving this gift to. All the gifts on this list are tailored to be great fits for the runner in your life.
Although they all have this in common, each also offers something new and different. Before choosing one though, think about the person who you are giving it to and if they may already have something that is especially similar. However, for some types of gifts repetition can be good. Runners who are also foodies may already own 20 cookbooks specifically catered to this sport, but as long as one of those books isn’t Run Fast. Eat Slow this cookbook will make a great gift that helps to complete their collection.
Another way to ensure uniqueness in a gift is lots of options in terms of styling, color, and design. For example, everyone, especially athletes, needs socks. This stereotypical gift can be made special by giving socks that are your runners favorite color or ones that come in funky designs. Choosing a high-quality option, such as the Rockay Accelerate Running Socks that are profiled above, also make a superior and more thoughtful gift. Choosing something that you know they love, but giving it in a new way shows that you pay attention and makes a wonderful, unique gift.
Finally, giving someone a product they already have can be not just acceptable but wonderful and unique if you know that the old product no longer works or that they simply don’t like it and are looking for something new. Replacing an item that was loved but has been used to capacity shows you are paying attention to the recipient of your gift. Likewise, replacing something that doesn’t work as well as they want it to with something that does has the same effect. The moral here is that the best gifts are the ones that demonstrate how well you know the receiver – showing them that you have put thought into your gift is almost (but not quite!) more important than the gift itself.
This factor is not important when buying a gift for every runner, but it applies to enough people that is it worth mentioning. Truly dedicated runners want to be able to get a workout everywhere they go, so try to think of a gift that they can easily bring with them. Even better for the traveling runner is a gift that makes fitting a run in while on vacation easier. Items such as the Level Terrain Flip Belt and the TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller can be packed in a suitcase without hassle, and make it possible to get a full workout in even if there is no gym where one is staying. Travel-ready gifts are especially integral to competitive runners, who may travel the world to compete in races. Even if your runner won’t be upset with a bulky item that is hard to pack, the ability to bring their gift with them wherever they go will sweeten the experience.
Making sure that whatever you give is well designed and functions the way it is supposed to, is important when giving a gift. Nothing sucks more than watching the recipient open your present only to find that it is broken or doesn’t work well. To ensure that your gift is well designed, do your research. After deciding what type of product you want to give, spend some time comparing the different items that are available. Read reviews, both from customers and professionals, study the specs of each item, and evaluate the price points. Although you may want to spend less, remember that price is a reflection of quality and effort. When gift-giving, spending a little more will guarantee that you are giving something that is truly worthwhile.
After you have purchased a present, it’s a good idea to have it sent to your home so that you can double-check the quality. Although many companies offer gift wrapping around the holidays, being able to look the present over and double-check that it really is what you want to give, can make a big difference to the quality of your present. This does mean that you will have to wrap the gifts yourself, but isn’t that half the fun?
Expert Interviews & Opinions
When going running make sure that your gear will match to the terrain and weather that you will be running in. If you are running in hotter climates, make sure you have clothing and gear that will wick away sweat and keep you dry and also will be breathable. If you are running in colder climates, make sure you are wearing breathable material but also gear that will allow you to stay warm and enjoy your run.
Think about your friend/runner when deciding on a present. Not everyone has the same running style, general style, or interests. While a pair of Rockay socks may be perfect for one person, they may end up sitting unused in a drawer for another. Getting to know a little bit more about the recipient will help you narrow it down to see what will benefit them the most.
Other Factors to Consider
The comfort of an item is a very important thing to keep in mind when looking for running gear, especially if it is a gift for a loved one. You want the gear that you get to not only help with your loved ones passion of running but also that it does not interfere with their run and feels comfortable. The best way to make sure that the gift you are getting your loved one is comfortable is by trying it on yourself or checking the reviews to see how other buyers faired with the piece of gear.
When buying a gift you want to be sure that it is not just useful in its design, but that it will also be specifically useful to who you’re giving it to. Some gifts will be great for anyone who runs, while others are only good for specific types of runners. Examples of presents that work for any runner are socks, water bottles, and handy gadgets that let you carry your necessities hands-free.
If the runner who you are buying a gift for likes to run in races than something like the Urban Active Sports Medal Hanger is a great gift, however, this gift is useless if they never compete. Likewise, the Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Dog Leash is only useful if the runner you are buying for has a dog who they like to run with. Even if they have a dog, this gift may not be appropriate if they never take it on their runs. Another example of a very specific gift for a runner is the Icy Feet Ice Packs. These make a wonderful gift for someone who suffers from issues such as plantar fasciitis, bone spurs, or general foot pain, but would be strange to give to someone who doesn’t have any of these problems.
Basically, the moral here is that you want to be sure that whatever gift you buy will be something that the recipient actually wants to use. Think specifically about the person, and go beyond the fact that they are a runner. Although a runner-specific gift will certainly be a hit, the more aspects of their personality you can incorporate into the gift, the better it will be.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What factors contribute to a runner’s overall health?
Gifts that help a runner increase and maintain their health can be very thoughtful as well as utilitarian. The most important aspects that contribute to athletic health are a consistent workout routine, including cooldowns with lots of stretching, and a healthy diet and sleep schedule. The goal of all of this is to make gains in fitness and health over time, so gifts that help a runner increase their healthfulness make can be great choices.
Being able to track how much one is working out, including factors such as mileage, speed, and heart rate, are super important when a runner is attempting to make gains. A good post-workout cool-down includes lots of stretching and foam rolling. If the health-conscious runner you are buying a gift for doesn’t already have a foam roller buy them one.
Eating and sleeping right also have massive impacts on running performance and overall health. Healthy cookbooks, such as Run Fast. Eat Slow, are a no-brainer choice for the runner who thinks about their food. In terms of sleep, tracking how many hours one gets eat night, how many times they wake up, and other health factors such as heart rate, are important to gaining an understanding of how much sleep one needs and if they need to make changes to improve their sleep.
q: What are the most important features of running socks?
Comfortable socks can make a big difference in running performance. Hot feet can be distracting, and slow a runner down. High quality running socks are breathable, usually with mesh on the top that allows heat to escape one’s sock and then their shoe. They also tend to be short, topping out right above the top of one’s sneaker. This allows one’s shins to stay cool as well. Good socks should also be tight, allowing avoid anything that feels restrictive.
Loose-fitting socks that move around or slide into one’s shoe are a nuisance that may require a runner to stop repeatedly throughout their run. A tab on the back of a running sock also helps to prevent them from falling into one’s shoe as they move. Finally, running socks should be comfortable, with extra padding along the ankle and heel that cushions one’s foot as it makes an impact with the ground.
q: What types of gifts make running easier?
If you are stumped on what gift to give the runner in your life, think about things that will make their life easier. For example, anything that lets their hand be free while running makes the entire experience more pleasant. Utility belts that can safely hold the items they need to bring with them as they run, such as the Level Terrain Flip Belt, are wonderful gifts that accomplish this goal.
Listening to music while running is also pleasurable, therefore a great set of headphones is a great gift. Other items that help make the actual process of going for a run easier and more pleasant are they keep one’s hair securely out of their face. Items like the Buff UV Headband, therefore, make an excellent gift for runners who have unruly hair.
q: What are some other items that a runner may appreciate?
Although the list above covers many of the items that make great gifts for runners, there many other items that the runner in your life will also appreciate. High quality running clothes are also a hit for most. New athletic clothes will be especially appreciated since these types of clothing see more wear and tear than casual, work, or dress clothing does.
T-shirts, shorts, tights, and sweatshirts are all great choices, as can be underwear, although do practice discretion with who you choose to give underwear to. Books and movies about running can also make great presents, especially for runners who are interested in the history of the sport. Finally, for the cheeseballs in your life, there are tons of products that have funny runner centric phrases on them. Magnets, mugs, coasters, t-shirts – these products run the gambit and make wonderful light-hearted gifts.
q: Is it a good idea to buy a runner new shoes as a gift?
A runner’s sneakers are the most important piece of gear they have. Although you may be tempted to get the runner in your life a new pair of shoes as a gift, this isn’t always a great idea. Runners are very particular about what shoes they wear, so unless you know exactly what your runner is looking for and what their size is, don’t buy shoes as a gift. If you really want to get them a new pair of shoes, one great way to go about it is by buying them a gift card to their favorite brand.
q: What are some good stocking stuffers for runners?
Picking out stocking stuffers can almost be more fun than buying big gifts. When looking for stocking stuffers for runners think about the small items that they might need to bring with them as they clock mileage. Energy bars, chews, and gels are always a hit, especially for distance runners who often need this kind of pick-me-up. Lip balm and cough drops are also super handy to have while running, particularly during the winter months. If you want to have a little more fun, pick out small items that have silly things to say about running. Coasters, sticky-notes, and magnets are some examples of items that fit in stockings and are often available with goofy pictures and sayings.
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