Every year I try to be on top of the Christmas gift situation early, and most years I disappoint myself. This year I have already managed to come up with a few key ideas (and not just ideas in the shower that I lose minutes later, ideas I’ve written down!) and am hoping that the rest fall into place soon so that I can take care of the shopping. The other thing I’m trying to get together is a wish list for myself, because people are starting to ask!
This year lots of the things I’ve thought of for myself and some of the things I’ve thought of for other people are running-related. No surprise there. I thought perhaps I would put together a list of gift ideas for runners. Some of these are things I already own and love, and some are on my own wish list. (I haven’t received any freebies or been compensated in any way by any of these companies. These are my own thoughts.)
For an established runner with a favourite brand and model of shoe, it’s hard to go wrong. Even if their current pair is still fairly new, this could be used as a second pair, or it could get tucked in the closet for later. If your runner would prefer to shop for their own shoes, a gift card to their favourite running store earmarked for a new pair of shoes works too.
Most runners have no shortage of running clothes, but most runners are also constantly doing laundry. Prolong the laundry pain and buy ‘em some new clothes! I would suggest staying away from t-shirts – if your runner races, they’ve already got more t-shirts (and maybe also long sleeve shirts) than they know what to do with. How about a great pair of pants or capris to get them through to shorts season? A zip-up layer in a bright colour for running on these dark winter evenings? Or, a cozy hoodie or pair of sweatpants to put on post-run.
Take the guesswork out of it by asking if there’s any particular piece they’ve been admiring, or anything they currently have that they would love to own more of. (I just bought my third Swiftly Tech long sleeve from Lululemon because I found that I was trying to wear it on every run.)
If you love your runner, help keep them safe by making them visible at night with any number of reflective or light-up accessories. Lights for shoes, lights for hats, headlamps and reflective armbands are all great choices, and would be good as stocking stuffers or gifts from the kids. Another idea is something like the RoadID. You can get bracelets, anklets or shoe tags with your runner’s name, key medical info and emergency contacts. They’re affordable and very customizable.
Nikki kept talking about hers, so I bought myself a couple back in the summer. MAN are they handy. They’re excellent for wiping away sweat in the summer and for wiping runny noses in the winter. They come in lots of colours for the fashion-conscious runner. I’d suggest ordering two because they’re super useful and I hate discovering that mine are in the laundry!
Gloves and earwarmers
My wonderful youngest sister gave me a pair of Lululemon running gloves (with screen-friendly fingertips) and a headband last year for my birthday and I love them dearly. The Lululemon ones are wonderful, but many other brands make great (cheaper) ones too.
These are more fall or spring appropriate, but I love my arm warmers for running. I am a really warm person, and I hate feeling overheated. There’s a fantastic difference between running in a long sleeve shirt and running in a tank top with arm warmers. (You can always take off the arm warmers mid-run.) They would also provide more layering options in the winter.
If your runner regularly runs distances longer than 10 km, they should be carrying water with them. (And lots of runners carry water for even shorter distances.) Water bottle belts, handheld bottles or hydration packs would be great gifts for lots of runners. If they already have a hydration system they love, do they need new bottles, lids, bladders, extra pouches?
Every runner has favourite socks, and they’re kind of expensive. Treat them to a new pair or two!
I have fallen in love with my compression socks for recovery. (I’m wearing mine RIGHT NOW.) They come in all sorts of colours and styles – everything from plain black or white, to neon colours, to crazy prints. I own both ProCompression socks and CEP sleeves and love them both!
- Handy or crafty? Come up with a cool way to display your runner’s medals and/or race bibs.
- Is your runner a race junkie? Offer to pay for their next race entry!
- Massage! (Get yourself a massage too and go together! Warning: you may have your ear talked off about running.)
- Pedicure! (You could also tag along for this one, but runners have terrible feet, you may not want to look.)
- Gels, chews, tubes of Nuun and many other weird runner snacks are just the right size for stocking stuffers.
- Body Glide is also stocking-size.
- When runners aren’t running, they like to read about running. How about a magazine subscription to Runner’s World or Canadian Running?
There are plenty of other gift guides out there too. A quick google of “runner gift guide” will give you way more ideas than I came up with!