The greatest thing about running is that you don’t need any equipment. You can just put your trainers, socks, shorts, and a t-shirt, and go for a run. The thing is, once runners start to get serious about the sports, they will want to improve the experience in every way they can.
The right gear can make all the difference when it comes to distance, speed, and personal bests. Recovery is also really important. Sure, you can stretch off after a run, but there are loads of products that can make recovery more efficient and more effective. In this list, we’ve found 20 best gifts for runners, whether that’s for Christmas, a birthday, or just because you love them!
Gifts For Runners
Runners love stats. Whether they’re measuring their step count, time, distance, speed, or heart rate, the idea of constant improvement is central to the joy of running. That desire to beat the personal best, run for longer, or see their body improve with every run, makes it worth putting the trainers on and getting out there.
There are loads of different gadgets out there to measure these things, so you need to know what you are looking for. Some gadgets- like the Fitbit – measure everything, but if you are looking for something more specialized, then the Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor is the perfect gift.
Enhanced battery life
Fits chests – 22-34 inches
Compatible with Android & IOS
Great running is all about rhythm. Once you fall into a rhythm with your steps and breathing, you can run for hours. Music is one of the best ways to get into that rhythm, which is why you see so many runners with their running earphones dangling out their ears and into a device. But having headphones wires bouncing around while you are running can be pretty distracting and even make you lose that all-important rhythm.
The answer: wireless headphones. A solid pair of wireless headphones is one of the best gift ideas for runners because it gets all of that distraction out of the way. The Bose Soundsport Wireless Headphones are a step above most wireless headphone sets. They’ve been designed with sports in mind. They have sweat and weather resistant earbuds that are designed to fit perfectly, so they can be put in and forgotten.
Sweat/weather resistant earbuds
Comes in 3 sizes
5 hours of play time
Additional charging case
3 color options available
- Weight0.64 ounces
If you are looking for an affordable gift for a runner, look no further than the Tribe Cell Phone Armband. At less than $10, you’re not going to find a better-value present in this list. The great thing is, smartphones can track all sorts of data that will improve your running experience. There are apps to monitor your heart-rate, step count, distance, time, you name it! You can also listen to music or podcasts and answer calls, all without having to stop.
The Tribe Cell Phone Armband straps around the upper arm and fits any iPhone from the 5 to the 8 and the Samsung Galaxy S9, S8, S7, and S6. It protects the phone from rain and sweat and keeps full touchscreen functionality. It even has a tiny secret pocket to put your house key in, so you don’t have to hide it under a plant pot. The materials are really high-quality for the price and it’s one of those presents that is actually going to get used.
Fits iPhone 5-8 & Galaxy S6-S9
Hidden key pocket
- Weight1.44 ounces
Running in the dark has all sorts of benefits. There’s no need to worry about other people seeing you. Running routes aren’t going to be busy. You can pretend you’re running away from the cops. The only slight disadvantage is the fact that you can’t see. That’s why the PetzlReactik+ Headlamp is a great gift for joggers that love to run at night.
It’s pretty powerful at 300 lumens (about 24 candles if that helps) and has a really attractive headband that will go with any running attire. The light automatically adjusts to the light, meaning that you get the most out of the battery life. Unlike other headbands, the battery is rechargeable, so there’s no need to carry around loads of AAA batteries in your pockets. The headband can be removed and washed and can be adjusted to fit any sized head! But remember to turn it off if you actually are running away from the cops – could be a bit of a giveaway. Be sure to also check out our list of the best hunting headlamps for more great items like this.
Automatically adjustable light
- ModelE95 HMI
- Weight4 ounces
The Garmin Forerunner 35 Watch is a great all-rounder when it comes to measuring your running stats. Its sleek design makes it looks just like any normal smartwatch, but, in fact, this watch is designed purely for runners. Its built-in GPS system uses satellites to track the distance, speed, and route of a run, making it an amazing running companion. It can even track the route under tree cover and there’s no need to connect it to a smartphone as the watch’s screen can be used to view all the stats (it can still be connected to a smartphone for extra information).
On top of that, it has a state-of-the-art heart rate, step counter, and other activity tracking functions. The high-res screen is designed for optimum viewing inside and out and can even be viewed in direct sunlight. It can still be used as a smartwatch with all the normal functions: smart notifications, music controls, etc. This is one of the best running gadgets on the market and will make any runner want to get out there even more. Our handy guide to the best Garmin watches features more great products like this.
24/7 heart-rate monitoring
- Weight1.6 ounces
This one’s a real favorite amongst personal trainers. If you want to inflict pain on your beloved running partner or friend, the NextRoller Foam Roller is a sure-fire hit. Everyone knows the importance of warming down after a long run, but this product takes it to the next level. It’s trusted by athletes around the world and has been featured on CBS, FOX, and NBC. It acts as a personal massage therapist, without requiring any outside assistance. Get this foam roller as a gift and you’ll never be asked to rub down those sweaty calves again!
It has a cutting-edge 3-speed vibration that gives the option of a low, medium, or high-intensity massage to give the user complete versatility. It’s portable and chargeable so it can be taken wherever it’s needed.
2 hours of charge
Portable & chargeable
- Weight3 pounds
Running and nutrition go hand-in-hand. Once runners get serious about their results, they start looking to get the most out of every bite. The right nutrition can make a dramatic impact on running performance. That’s why Run Fast: Eat Slow is a really cool gift for runners. This isn’t just any cook book, it’s written by marathon runner and 4-time Olympian Shalane Flanagan and chef Elyse Kopecky. They’ve created this amazing list of recipes that prove that food can be great-tasting and still provide the nutrition needed to get results.
This New York Times Bestseller isn’t full of salads and protein bars. They show that fat is an essential part of athletic nutrition and stay away from obsessing about proteins and counting calories. All the recipes are designed for different parts of the running process. Some will provide slow-release energy for long runs, whereas some are great for post-run recovery.
Over 100 recipes
Written by Olympian and chef
New York Times Bestseller
Recipes designed for specific uses
If you’re struggling to think of a running gift for him or her, why not buy a foam ball? I know it doesn’t sound like much, but the Triggerpoint Foam Massage Ball is an awesome running companion. It provides a deep-tissue massage using body weight to apply the pressure. It’s perfect for use straight after a run to get the blood pumping around the body and to relieve the tension.
The morning after a long run can be absolute agony without a proper stretch off. This 5-inch ball provides that relief and will prepare the runner to go again the next day. It’s designed to cover the large areas and also get into those hard-to-reach muscles. At around $22.50, it’s not too expensive, so it could make a great Christmas gift for runners.
- BrandTrigger Point Performance
- Weight5.6 ounces
If the runner you are buying a gift for likes to go on all-day marathon runs, they’re going to need some more sustenance. Having one small bottle of water isn’t going to cut it for a long run. The Zojirushi SM-KHE48AG (catchy-title, we know) is a stainless steel flask that can keep liquid hot or cold for hours, perfect for those all day hill-climbs. The company (pronounced zoh-jee-ROO-shee) started in 1918, making hand-blown glass vacuum bottles, so they know what they’re doing.
The great thing about this flask is that it has a specially-designed lid that allows the runner to drink straight from the flask. That means they can get their sustenance without having to stop and lose rhythm. It’s quite chunky but could fit in any normal sized running backpack. Plus, it looks fantastic, with a sleek design available in 7 different colors – so it can match their other running gear.
7 color options
Drink straight from the flask
- Weight9 ounces
As we said with the number 7 in this list, nutrition is really important for runners. As they get more into the hobby, they will start to take food really seriously. That’s where the Nutri Ninja Bowl Duo comes in. Before we get into the details, this isn’t just any normal blender. It’s an intelligent blender that has a ton of auto settings – so after the ingredients are added, the blender does all of the work. The blender can blend, pause, and pulse without any interference, leaving the perfectly blended drink afterward.
It also comes with Nutri Ninja’s Pro Extractor Blade system that can easily blend its way through ice, seeds, skin, and stems, so that all those hard to reach nutrients can be accessed. Plus, it has multiple plastic tops for storing all that blended goodness. This product provides an excellent way to bring more nutrients into the diet and improve running performance.
Pro extractor blades
Multiple plastic tops
- Weight6.14 pounds
Blisters are one of the most common complaints from runners, especially when they’re doing long distances. No matter how many plasters they stick on their feet, they will still end up with painful blisters that put them out of action. Fortunately, the Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister Running Socks are designed to put a stop to it. Made in Europe, these socks are made from organic merino wool that has natural anti-odor properties and prevents blisters, rubbing, and foot odor.
$16 might seem like a lot of money for a pair of running socks, but they are guaranteed for life, so you know they will last. They’ve been tested for maximum durability to make sure they are suitable for long-distance running and obstacle courses. They could make an awesome present for a marathon runner.
Made from organic merino wool
Guaranteed for life
Tight & snug fit
These days, there are so many accessories for running, it’s really a matter of personal opinion. Some runners like to take everything they could possibly need, whereas some like to run with as little as possible. If the runner you are buying a gift for falls into the second category, then the SPIbelt Running Belt could be the perfect gift. It’s a tiny utility belt that fits around the waist and stores only the essential items on a run.
It’s designed so that it doesn’t bounce around on a run, letting the runner maintain the perfect rhythm without any distractions. They do this by using stretchable spandex and soft elastic. The pocket is expandable and will fit even large smartphones, including the larger iPhones. Plus, it comes in a huge variety of colors, so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best weightlifting belts.
No bounce design
Fits large phones
Large color choice
- Weight4 ounces
This is a similar idea number 6 and 8 in this list. It’s yet another way of relieving those tired muscles after a long and grueling run. It is super important to stretch off and massage the muscles that hurt the most, or that pain will get worse as they heal and make it impossible to run again. Proper recovery is essential to improved performance. The difference with the Elite Muscle Roller Stick is that it is a stick that you hold in your hand. That means you can use your body weight in a different way to massage the muscles.
It’s also super compact which makes it great to take on long runs, or for use after a long gym session. The company says that they are so confident about the product that you can have your money back if it doesn’t become your new best friend.
Long stick shape
Compact & portable
- BrandElite Sportz Equipment
- Weight8 ounces
At number 13 we featured the SPIbelt Running Belt, which is a great option if you are looking for the minimum amount of storage and weight. If you think that the runner in your life will need a little more space, why not check out the Nathan Trail Belt. It features a slightly larger (although not as stretchy) pouch as well as two small, lightweight drinks bottles to keep them hydrated on the trail. It’s the perfect middle ground between taking nothing and having a larger running backpack – excellent for use in hot climates where a backpack could get sticky.
It features similar no-bounce technology to the SPIbelt and can fit up to an iPhone 6. The water bottles are designed to be taken off and put back with one hand, so there’s no need to stop for refreshments. It’s a great gift for runners that like to get out there in the heat and keep their equipment to a minimum. Don’t forget to also check our guide to top hydration packs for more great products like this.
No bounce design
Two small drinks bottles
Speed fit pockets
Fits up to iPhone 6
- Weight8 ounces
If the runner in your life is a bit more serious about what equipment they take running, they will probably want a running backpack. The Salomon Agile 2 Set is one of the best around. Unlike a normal backpack, it doesn’t have a large pocket on the back that would cause it to bounce around. Instead, it hugs around your chest like a waistcoat and you store your items in the pockets on the front. Admittedly, that only really leaves space for two large water bottles and a few other valuables.
It’s made from nylon mesh to make it super breathable in hot climates, but it will still be stickier than the waistbands featured above. Perfect for long-distance runners and mountain/hill climb runners that need extra water.
Nylon mesh design
No bounce design
- Weight11.4 ounces
Now, we had to feature a pair of running shoes somewhere in this list. It’s an obvious present for a serious runner because it can make such a huge difference to their performance. The Adidas Men’s Rockadia Trail Running Shoes are one of the best. They feature an air mesh fabric on the top of the shoe which gives the runner breathability, as well as rugged traction to help them in off-road situations. They are really designed for off-road running but will work just fine on any surface.
Adidas has been perfecting the running shoe for years and it really shows. This fantastic shoe will make the runner feel like they’re gliding through clouds. This is the perfect running gift for men. Another great option are Gore-Tex running shoes so make sure you check them out as well.
Air mesh fabric
- Weight12 ounces
Running fashion isn’t always the most forgiving, and that’s certainly true of the CW-X Stabilyx High-Performance Tights. But what is given up in style, is more than made up for in performance. These tights are made from 100% spandex and will allow them to run like they’re wearing… nothing at all (one for the Ned Flanders fans).
The spandex supports the lower abdominals, hips, and channel the power through the core. That means that the runner is getting the most out of every movement. The support given by these tights is unmatched. You may also like to check our guide to compression socks, for more great items like this.
Supports the leg muscles
Supports the knees
- Weight2 pounds
What do you get the runner that has all the gear? They have all the clothing, running jacket, a top-of-the-range smartwatch, and the perfect running backpack. But what they probably don’t have is the Born To Run book. In this national bestseller, award-winning journalist Christopher Mcdougall explores the secrets of the Tarahumara Indians, who can run for hundreds of miles without rest or injury.
The riveting narrative makes this book an easy read as it follows Mcdougalls journey from injured runner to a climactic race in the Copper Canyons of Mexico. It will inspire any reader to get out there and do what they were born to do…. Run.
Available in paperback and hardback
Running isn’t just for the summer. Most serious runners will want to get out there whatever the weather, so it’s important that they have the right gear to keep them warm. The Zensah Smart Running Gloves will keep those fingers warm on those long winter runs.
They are designed so that smart devices can still be operated without taking the gloves off, which is perfect for when they need to change a track or answer a call. Plus, they have reflective strips on them for increased visibility. The gloves are made out of innovative silicon which grips on the palm of each glove. They’ve even added a microsuede thumb for nose-wiping!
Made from silicon
- Weight1 pounds