I don’t know about you but I always find it easier to shop for people with well-defined hobbies. Friends and family who are into art get art supplies. Those who enjoy spending time in the kitchen get cooking gadgets. Shopping for people without hobbies are my most challenging Christmas hunts! However, I also have trouble if the hobby is unfamiliar to me. I have no clue what to get someone who is interested in fishing for instance. Other than a gift card and while I love gift cards – sometimes you want something more personal. If you have a runner in your inner circle then hopefully this Gifts for Runners Guide will give you a bit of inspiration!
Gifts for Runners, Make them Smile this Christmas!
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Gifts for Runners – The Basics
There are, of course, the obvious items that any runner will need! Runner’s tend to go through these items on a frequent basis and most won’t complain if they receive these for Christmas. You might have to do a bit of research though. Especially if the runner in your family is a fan of a particular brand.
While it might seem like a no-brainer – it’s probably best to stay away from running shoes. Unless you do a great deal of detective work. You must know for a fact exactly what type of shoes and sizing your runner needs. Runner’s are kind of fanatical about their shoes! Still, we do need them quite often so this IS an option if you do our homework. If you’re clueless about the shoes then here are some other basic options
You can never have too many running outfits! There are outfits made for hot weather, cold weather, rain, running in the dark. You name it and there is likely an outfit made for it. Since many runners train outside we need clothing suitable for a variety of weather conditions.
Like any highly used item, our running clothes tend to start wearing thin after we log a lot of miles in them. Replacements are always welcome. Some runners love to wear brightly patterned items, while others prefer more neutral colors. Sneakily observe your runner at a race or during training if at all possible to discover their preferred style.
I know what your thinking! Socks? Really?!? But hear me out! Runners love their socks. Socks that hold up for miles on end without giving you blisters or having an irritating seam in all the wrong places are worth their weight in gold!
You can’t just go out and grab any pair of athletic socks on the market though! Running socks are a breed all their own. In general, you want to stay away from cotton. Merino wool is always a good choice! I bought my husband a pair of these Darn Tough running socks last Christmas and a year later they are still his favorite go-to pair for long distances.
Compression socks are also popular with some runners. While dealing with my tendon issue earlier this summer I found them to be quite helpful. We have recently been using the low-cut compression socks by Crucial Compression with good results.
As with shoes – just make sure you order the right size!
Gifts for Runners – Accessories
Maybe you want to stay away from clothing. I get it, shopping for sizes can be a bit of a pain! There are plenty of other gifts for runners that are sure to make them smile though. While running is a hobby that you can start with minimal equipment, like most hobbies what you ‘want’ vs what you ‘need’ tends to grow quickly!
Christmas is a great time of year to spoil the runner in your life. Maybe you can splurge on an item they have been looking at with wistful eyes but haven’t quite been able to justify it yet.
Bone Conduction Headphones
It’s no secret that I love my Trekz Air. Up until recently my husband and I were sharing a pair. Deciding who got to wear them for what race was an interesting game. Thankfully we will soon be getting a second pair and now we will only have to fight over who gets to wear which color! As far as gifts for runners go these headsets tick off several of my favorite categories -they are fun, safe and useful!
A lot of runner’s love to listen to music while they run – but earbuds or noise-canceling headphones can be dangerous when your hobby has you sharing the road with cars and stray dogs. Bone conduction headphones like our Trekz Air mean that your runner will be able to hear their music as well as everything going on around them with no problem!
I love my Trekz so much that I did a review on them a while back if you’re interested in more details!
Hydration Vests, Belts or Water Bottles
When the distance starts to pile up then it becomes necessary to carry water and other supplies with you while you run. Some runners prefer to use handheld water bottles such as this one which not only has an easy to grip handle and thermal lining to keep water cool but also offers a small pouch for supplies and a reflective surface for visibility.
Flip belts are also popular among runners as they allow ample space for money, ID, car keys and phones to be comfortably carried while running. If your runner tends to go for very long run however you might consider a belt with water bottles.
Although I have yet to reach distances where running without water is too much of an issue my husband does and he tends to prefer his Soloman Running vest over most belts.
These things can be expensive but if your lucky and can find a good sale or just really want to spoil the runner in your life then a fitness tracker could be an option! There are many brands out there but most runners seem to agree that Garmin’s are some of the best.
I have had pretty good luck with a Fitbit in the past too and certainly, there are options out there for smaller budgets that would work just as nicely. Not everyone needs all the bells and whistles if they just want to track the basics.
Gifts for Runners – Something A Bit More Unique
Maybe the runner in your life has it all, or perhaps you just want to do something a bit different and unique. It can be fun sometimes to surprise someone with something completely unexpected! It can even be fun to try and come up with a gift that no one else would think of. In fact, that’s a game we play at our house at Christmas. One crazy gift is chosen and hints are given each day – if you guess the gift you get to open it early! These would be some excellent choices for such a game!
A Custom Achievement Plaque
Maybe your runner achieved something spectacular this year. Perhaps they ran their first half or full marathon or maybe they just racked up a lot of miles. A lot of runners love to keep track of their personal best times from year to year as well! All of these would make for a really beautiful addition to your runner’s medal collection.
This might seem like a hard object to get your hands on but there are places such as East Point Foundry that will work with you to create a handcrafted high-quality cast bronze or aluminum plaque. These plaques can be made in any shape or size and are made completely in-house from start to finish. You can even choose to have a custom sculpture created if that’s more your style!
If you are looking for something truly unique and one of a kind then this is a gift for runners that will last forever. When it comes to commemorating an important event in a runner’s career there is nothing that tops a custom plaque or sculpture.
Ideas for a Plaque
- Running Firsts – First marathon, first half marathon, the first race in general! These are all dates and times to be proud of!
- Total Miles for the Year – If your runner uses an app to keep track of their runs then you might be able to get a count of exactly how many miles they have managed to rack up for the year. Most runners are pretty proud of this number so it makes an excellent idea to commemorate.
- Personal Bests – A lot of runners keep track of their personal best times, getting a plaque to commemorate these numbers will give them something they can look back on as the years go by. Sure they might beat it next year but hey, that’s part of the fun! And it’s nice to look back and see tangible evidence of your improvement.
Long Run Recovery Basket
If you have seen your runner hobbling around after a long run then this might the sort of tongue in cheek gift that you are looking for! This would be a great DIY project and could probably be done for a fairly low budget if you picked up a few of the supplies from the Dollar Store. I know our local Dollar Tree has a good selection of baskets near Christmas and you really can’t beat them when it comes to ribbons, bows and cellophane wrapping or tissue paper either.
Some Ideas for your Gift Basket
- Epsom Salts – You can either buy the typical bag or if your feeling extra DIY use it to make some scented homemade bath salts.
- KT Tape – KT Tape is great for long runs, it might not be perfect for recovery but it will likely come in useful at some point! It comes in a variety of fun colors and I have found its best to spring for the more expensive professional grade tape. The lower priced ones tend to come off to easy.
- Blister Protection – Blisters are no fun for anyone but they do happen from time to time! Having some protective pads on hand to deal with them can make training a whole lot less painful!
- Favorite Snacks, or Drink Mix – there’s nothing like a long run to use as an excuse to splurge on your favorite snack or drink. fill your basket with a variety of your runner’s favorite treat!
- Lip Balm – Running into the wind or when the weather is cooler is a recipe for cracked and dry lips. A Christmasy scented lip balm would be most welcome!
- Massage/Foam Roller – I got mine from my FabFitFun Spring Box and since hurting my foot earlier this year it’s become a staple in my running routine. I use mine before and after every run and there is a noticeable difference. It’s a real lifesaver when it comes to recovery and they can be found in most sporting good sections!
Gifts for Runners – A Wealth of Ideas
Trying to find gifts for runners in your life can be a challenge if you don’t know the sport but thankfully it’s a hobby with a lot of possibilities! If none of these idea’s suit your fancy and your a crafty person you might consider making a homemade Medal Display or a personalized racing shirt.
As long as you keep your runner in mind while picking out your gift they are sure to love it! Gifts given from the heart and picked out with care are the ones we remember the most!
Do you have a hard person to shop for in your life?
This is such a detailed and helpful post Kristin! I love how you have thought of every single possibility from lip balm and bath salts to really unique ideas like a custom made plaque. I would never know what to buy for a runner, so this is such a great post for Christmas present inspiration. Thanks for sharing your ideas! <3 xx
Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com
Thanks! I really like to try and come up with a variety of ideas both for budgets and because some people are just really hard to buy for and you need to be a bit creative to find something they don’t already have haha! So glad you found the post inspirational!
I love this idea. My sister is an avid runner so I’ve made a few notes. Some brilliant ideas here. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂 Rach
Glad you found it helpful! Good luck with your shopping!
What great ideas! My neighbor is a runner but she’s still getting a wine purse and a bottle of wine because I’ve already gotten those for her :/
I am sure she will appreciate those too! I know plenty of runners who feel like a nice glass of wine is also the perfect recovery method after a hard run haha!
Great post Kristin! This is such a useful list of items and whilst I have most of the things I need, I absolutely understand the importance of those running socks and could always do with a new pair. Have also recently been considering a belt to house my keys etc as only one of my running leggings has a little zip pocket I can use.
Also out on a run this morning I noticed how windy it was and thought about how my skin and lips might suffer. One other thing I am finding useful at the moment is finger less gloves. I often find that my hands become numb whilst out and about but this style, rather than a full glove, means that my hands don’t get too hot whilst taking the edge off of the cold.
Running pants with a decent pocket in them are like gold! I wish more athletic companies understood this! The flip belts work pretty well, you just have to make sure you get the right size or they tend to shift annoyingly as you run. I used fingerless gloves last year, I especially like the ones with the optional flip over top so on really cold days my whole hand can be covered, nothing, like turning a corner and running into the wind with bitterly cold fingers to make your winter runs less than happy.