The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide For Runners
Whether you're eyeing apparel, running gear, recovery tools, health and wellness gifts, or great last-minute stocking stuffers, we've got you covered.
Presenting our favorite products perfect for everyone from newbie runners to experienced racers and active lifestyle aficionados. Whether you’re eyeing apparel, running gear, recovery tools, health and wellness gifts, or great last-minute stocking stuffers, we’ve got you covered.
A Life On The Go
(1) Reebok Classics Duffel International – $50
For the gym rat in your household, this Reebok duffel bag can double as a daily workout bag or as a carry-on when traveling for a race. With a double-zipper closure and multiple straps, it’s a nice lightweight carrier for those always on-the-go (it even fits a foam roller inside). Use after use, we’re big fans of this simple-yet-effective duffel.
(2) Patagonia Arbor Daypack 20L – $89
Patagonia’s Arbor 20-liter Daypack comes in five colors and is made with recycled polyester fabric as well as a durable, water-repellent finish. The backpack features a front loading compartment, zippered front pocket and a raised, padded 15” laptop sleeve inside. It does take some time to get the fit just right, so it needs to be worn a few times to get that custom feel. After that, it’ll be a go-to for every trip. Dimensions: 19″ x 12″ x 4″
(3) Adidas Squad 3 Duffel Bag – $45
If you’re in search of a smaller duffel with more of a feminine look, Adidas’ Squad 3 bag may be what you’re looking for. Made with odor protection materials, the bag has plenty of compartments to store everything from keys, gels and headphones to larger items like shoes and clothing—all in separate places. On the outside, a ventilated exterior section keeps wet or muddy clothes separate within the aptly titled “sweaty stuff” pocket. Dimensions: 21″ x 11″ x 12″
(4) Adidas Amplifier Duffel Bag – $65
Sleek and unassuming, this Adidas Amplifier Duffel gets major style points thanks to its charcoal grey exterior and jet black straps and zippers. Although great for the gym, this bag is roomy enough to be a weekend getaway duffel. It even includes a removable bag for dirty shoes and laundry. Its exterior features a front pocket while inside includes three additional storage options and a mesh zip pocket. Dimensions: 22″ x 11.5″ x 11″
Photo Credit: Oliver Baker
Can We Cop Your Style?
(1) Lululemon Winter Warrior Parka – $448; (2) About Face Bomber – $198
Keep your favorite couple warm this winter with a women’s parka for her and bomber jacket for him. Lululemon’s stylish outerwear is designed to hold up under the coldest of conditions with DWR-treated materials for water-repellency and wind protection. The men’s About-Face Bomber is made with 700-fill-power goose down while the women’s Winter Warrior Parka is warm enough to handle temps as low as 32. The latter also features a cinchable waist, dual hood cinches and straps inside to allow you to wear the jacket like a backpack if you start to overheat.
(3) Lululemon Zoned In Tight – $148
It’s hard to go wrong with a good pair of running tights, and these Lululemon run tights are designed with zoned compression that allows joints to move freely while also supporting the muscles. An added zip pocket in the back easily fits a phone and reflective features around the thighs and ankles ensure nighttime visibility.
(4) Brooks Formation Compression Tights – $85
We’ve worn these Brooks Formation Compression tights on various runs and they top our list of great cold-weather pants to run in, keeping legs warm while using compression to help facilitate blood flow while moving. Their two waistband pockets are large enough to hold your phone in one and keys or gels in the other, plus the sweat-wicking material in the pockets helps to keep them dry.
(5) Reebok Classics Vector Unisex Anorak – $150
Reebok has classic style down. This unisex half-zip offers cool, ’90s-throwback vibes and cold-weather protection thanks to its interior fleece lining. With four pockets (three in front and one in back), runners can easily head out on a cold day and store all their belongings inside. The jacket runs a little big so go at least one size down (or two if they’re petite) when purchasing.
(6) Patagonia Peak Mission Jacket – $199
This men’s water-resistant jacket from Patagonia is made for crisp trail days. Lightweight and breathable, the soft shell jacket includes strategically-placed microfleece for added warmth and taped seams to prevent chafing. Inside, the front chest pocket is also an internal phone sleeve with hole for a headphone cord to keep cords from getting tangled outside the jacket.
(7) Daehlie Winter Tights – Around USD $130
Made with Merino wool, Daehlie’s winter racing tights are ideal for snowy runs and winter excursions. The front of the pants includes a separate thin layer of wind- and water-resistant material that stretches down to the knees, acting as an additional shell. On the sides, mesh panels give added breathability while the front and back sides include reflective features for visibility. Comfy enough to become a regular wardrobe staple, running or not.
(8) Kari Traa Tove Jacket – Around USD $180
European sportswear company Kari Traa creates athletic wear specifically for women. The brand’s Tove jacket is a slim-fitting top that features water- and wind-resistant panels on the shoulders, upper sleeve and hood. Perfect for chilly runs, the jacket’s insulation and thick reflective strips on the cuffs and back will make them easier to spot on evening runs.
(9) Running Shoes – Prices Vary
Asking us to choose a few pairs of shoes to feature is like asking us to name our favorite child (sidenote: how cute are those Brooks ugly sweater Levitates?). Check out our complete guide instead: Competitor’s Best Road & Trail Shoes. Here you’ll find the latest styles and our thoughts after months and months of testing to find the best shoes for your needs.
(10) Oiselle Homerun Half Zip – $78
Oiselle’s half zip is an easy, go-to pullover that features a semi-fitted look and made with a polyester/spandex blend that is super soft and cozy. In front, an asymmetrical zipper adds a little playfulness to the sweatshirt, and in the back a horizontal storage pocket that is large enough to carry both keys and gels on a run. With thumbholes to keep it in place, the sweatshirt moves well and is a go-to for sunny, yet chilly days.
(11) Illumio Nova Running Jacket – $129
We all have those people in our lives who wait until the sun goes down before even considering heading out on a run. Illumio’s Nova jacket is for them. The self-illuminating shell lights up in in three modes: high, low and flashing via a wireless battery pack. It also features a hideaway hoodie with adjustable toggle, side zip pockets, sleeve thumbholes and water-resistant material.
Ahhh, That Feels Better
(1) Hyperice Hypervolt – $350
Used in physical therapy and chiropractic offices, Hyperice’s Hypervolt is a cordless massager that relaxes sore and stiff muscles with quick, punching vibrations to improve mobility. Best utilized after a run, the Hypervolt is easy to use and claims to promote circulation to accelerate recovery efforts. It’s a tool we’ve added to our weekly recovery efforts and have been impressed by muscle relief in our most troublesome areas.
(2) Pro-Tec Athletics RM Extreme Contoured Roller Massager – $35
Help your favorite runner speed up their recovery process after a run with this deep tissue massager that targets IT bands, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves and more. The contoured surface effectively wraps around select body parts and the non-flexible design lets them find their perfect compression level. Sponsored
(3) Shock Doctor Ice Recovery Compression Knee Wrap – $60
The nice thing about Shock Doctor’s knee wrap is that you can go about your day while icing or heating your knee, thanks to its adjustable straps that keep it in place. Ideal for knee strains, bruises, sprains and tendonitis, the compression wrap comes with multiple gel ice packs that can be heated up in the microwave or thrown in the freezer for a cooling effect. It also covers 360 degrees of the knee to help to reduce swelling post run.
(4) Zyllion Vibrating Foam Roller – $75
If your runner is like most athletes these days, they’re probably already familiar with foam rolling. Not only is it beneficial for massaging stressed muscles after a workout, but it helps to speed up the healing process after injury. Zyllion’s Vibrating Foam Roller goes one step further with by adding vibrations to its massaging benefits. Studies show that adding vibration to a massage can assist with flexibility, strength and power. With this foam roller, athletes can choose from four levels of intensity to begin treating muscle knots and soreness pre- or post-run.
Music To Your Ears
(1) Jaybird X4 Wireless headphones – $130
The fully-weatherproof X4 wireless headphones from Jaybird offer rugged versatility for outdoor athletes. Using Jaybird’s app, users can customize their EQ levels to fine-tune their listening experience. Included with the headphones are interchangeable ear fins and tips, a shirt clip, speed cinch and travel case.
(2) UA Sport Wireless React – $130
These Under Armour Bluetooth headphones are made with aluminum and waterproof materials. Included with each pair are three sport flex fit ear tips, and with UA Stormproof’s battery life, runners can stay on the roads for up to nine hours without interruption. As far as sound goes, JBL (creators of speakers and headphones) incorporated two technologies—Talk-Thru & Ambient Aware—that allow for easier conversations with running partners. The former works to drop music down when you’re speaking and the latter is a volume function that minimizes the surrounding sounds without completely blocking out noise.
(3) Plantronics BackBeat FIT 3100 – $150
If your runner would rather not deal with cords that can get tangled on runs, Platronic’s BackBeat FIT 3100 earbuds may be the way to go. Their ultra-stable, sweat- and waterproof designs are ideal for both training and race days. We’ve used these Bluetooth headphones during half marathons and longer runs and have been impressed with their high level of performance as well as their comfort. They stayed in place well during extra-sweaty sessions and offered clear, crisp sound that helped keep us in the zone while on 2+ hour adventures.
(4) Ultimate Ears Boom 3 Wireless Speaker – $150
Small enough to toss in your gym or travel bag, but efficient enough to offer high-performance sound, Ultimate Ears’ Boom 3 Bluetooth speaker is a great gift for music lovers. With balanced 360-degree sound, one-touch control and deep bass, the speaker has become a staple in our homes. Bonus: it’s waterproof.
(5) AfterShokz Trek Air – $150
Created with bone conduction technology, AfterShokz’ Bluetooth headphones deliver music through the cheekbones instead of sending vibrations through the eardrums. For those who are constantly dealing with earbud sizing issues, the Trek Airs do away with the problem all together and provide a more comfortable, universal fit. On runs, they stay in place without bouncing around, and let you stay connected to your surroundings.
Let’s Go For A Run
(1) Roka Phantom Sunglasses – $260
Built to sustain long runs and rugged conditions, Roka’s Phantom TI sunglasses (made with titanium) are durable and lightweight, coming in at only 20 grams (a.k.a. less than one AA battery). With the glacial mirror lenses, runners can wear them in any conditions including during bright and sunny days for neutral color vision. Plus, no matter how sweaty they are, the Phantoms will stay in place so they don’t have to worry about them falling off while bouncing or shaking. Roka also lets buyers try four pairs on at home to choose the right fit for them before fulling committing to a purchase.
(2) Suunto 9 Baro – $600
The Suunto 9 Baro is a technical sports watch for performance runners. Durable and precise, this watch can last up to 120 hours with GPS and features activity tracking, training data such as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption and peak training effect modes, and is water-resistant up to 100 meters. Along with support for over 80 sports modes, it also tracks calories burned, sleep performance and running routes.
(3) Nathan VaporHowe 4L Race Vest – $150
Nathan’s VaporHowe hydration vest is great for both ultra runners and those who like to have everything at arm’s reach. Created with help from ultrarunner Stephanie Howe, this lightweight vest was made for the female form and offers a slim-fitting and breathable design with front hydration bottle pockets. It comes with two 12 oz. ExoShot soft flasks and room in the back main pocket for a 1.5-liter internal bladder.
(4) Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta 4.0 – $135
One of our favorite hydration vests on the market, Ultimate Direction’s Ultra Vesta 4.0 is a good all-around vest with enough bells and whistles to impress serious runners but simple enough for novice runners to use. Made with four-way stretch woven material and mono filament, the vest is ultra-lightweight and breathable. On its front, two 500ml bottles are included as well array of clips, pockets and bungee holsters.
(5) Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Sapphire– $850
The largest of the Garmin Fenix 5 series, the 47mm Plus multi-sport GPS watch is one of the brand’s best sports watches. The sapphire edition is rugged and features wrist-based heart rate tracking, eight hours of battery life in GPS mode, storage for 500 songs and Garmin Pay which lets you make payments via your watch. The Fenix also comes in smaller sizes with the 5s being the smallest and 5, the mid-sized option.
(6) Oakley Split Time Sunglasses – $173
Oakley Split Time sunglasses are great for combating backside glare and don’t bounce around when running. We love the matte black with Prizm or Prizm Polarized lenses that enhance visibility in bright, sunny conditions or increases contrasts in medium light. Their Plutonite lenses also filter out 100 percent of all UVA, UVB, UVC and harmful blue light up to 400nm. Best part is, they don’t bounce around on the face when running and wearers will most likely forget they’re on.
Eat Well, Travel Often
(1) Patagonia Provisions Gift Box – $160
Patagonia’s Provisions gift boxes are tasty, easy-to-prepare meals and snacks to take alongside on your next outdoor adventure. The Shareable Feast Box feeds two or more people and includes items such as wild Sockeyed salmon, red bean chili, savory grains, grass-fed buffalo jerky and fruit and almond bars.
(2) Sky Runner; Emelie Forsberg – $19
Ultrarunner, Swede and wife to Kilian Jornet, Emelie Forsberg brings her story to the masses via this intimate look at her experiences and thoughts as a professional skyrunner (someone who runs technical trails at high elevations) while sharing her own workouts along the way. Sky Runner is a great read for anyone looking to better understand how to thrive in this demanding sport.
(3) Run Fast. Eat Slow; Shalane Flanagan & Elyse Kopecky
In the follow-up to their popular Run Fast. Eat Slow. cookbook, four-time Olympian Shalane Flanagan and nutrition coach Elyse Kopecky dive deeper into making cooking and eating healthy more enjoyable. Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. builds on the idea that food should be indulgent, nourishing and not time-consuming to prepare.
(4) Summits of My Life; Kilian Jornet – $25
One of ultrarunning’s best athletes, Kilian Jornet is giving reader a glimpse into his feats via his new book Summits of My Life. His book is a look into the life of the 29 year-old Spaniard who challenged records for the world’s most important mountains including Mont Blanc, Mt. Elbrus, Denali, Aconcagua, Mount Everest and the Matterhorn.
(5) NutriBullet Balance – $150
Around the office, we’ve enjoyed using NutriBullet’s Balance blender for our midday protein shakes and post-run hydration smoothies. The nine-piece set comes with two 32 oz. cups, two flip-top to-go lids, two comfort lip rings and a stainless steel extractor blade. Using Bluetooth smart technology, the blender can also give users real-time nutrition via a virtual nutritionist. Using its app, users can find out data such as calories per smoothie, create shopping lists or discover recipes including soups, dips and dressings based on dietary preferences and intolerances.
(6) Nathan Hammerhead 24oz Water Bottle – $35
A good water bottle is a must for any active family member in your life. Nathan’s Hammerhead 24 oz. option is meant to withstand rugged conditions while offering triple-insulated stainless steel to keep liquids ice cold for 35 hours or hot for 15 hours. Plus, every benefits the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Initiative which helps to cleanup our oceans.
Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers
(1) Thistle Meal Service Subscription – $20
Gift the gift of food with a Thistle meal delivery service subscription. Each week, Thistle chefs create gluten and dairy-free meal options using superfoods, organic produce and natural ingredients, delivered to your door (if you live in California or parts of Nevada). Gift cards start at $20, and can be delivered to an email address with a personal note.
(2) McDavid Compression Elite Leg Sleeves – $25; (3) Socks – $50
Available in black or white, the these compression leg sleeves and socks help keep muscles warm and comfortable with compression technology while also protecting skin from abrasions. Created with moisture-wicking technology, they’ll also help keep legs and feet cool and dry.
(4) Believe I Am Runners Journal – $22
Created by elite runners Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas, the Believe journal is a perfect gift for athletes who want to track their workouts the old-fashioned way: by hand. Track progress over weeks and months of training and stay inspired with insightful essays and information on topics such as goal setting, nutrition, body image, competition mindset, recovery, set-backs and training.
(5) Stance Run Socks – $14-$18
Socks for trendsetters! Stance’s line of run socks come in various lengths (tab, ankle, crew and over the calf), and offer integrated arch support, breathable mesh material and sweat-wicking technology. They also come in fun designs and colors as well as varying thickness so they work for any season.
Racemate Bags – $70
The ultimate bag for any active person. Organizes, stores and protects all your gear. Hang it, roll it, lay it flat or carry over the shoulder. It includes 10 roomy, labeled, zippered pockets and is great for travel, races, gym or home storage and organization. Replace your cluttered duffel bag with this versatile and sturdy option. Thanks to its unmatched design, quality and function, it makes for the perfect holiday gift for the runners in your life.
cbdMD Tinture Oils – $90
Give the gift of natural wellness this year. Avoid the belt-busting hors d’oeuvres and skip the sugar-soaked sweets, our orange-flavored, 1500mg CBD Tincture oil is the only thing you’ll need to relieve the stress and anxiety of a jam-packed holiday season.
Noonlight Taser Pulse+ – $450
The future of self-defense is here. The Taser Pulse+ is an advanced, less-lethal defense tool that can immobilize attackers for 30 seconds from a distance of 15 ft. Thanks to an integration with Noonlight, a personal emergency platform and mobile app, when the Taser Pulse+ is triggered an alert is immediately sent to law enforcement informing them of your GPS location and personal profile. Weighing in at just eight ounces, this high-tech, intuitively-designed device is revolutionizing the self-defense market.