It’s that time of year when you go out and get your loved ones presents. It’s equal parts shopping and equal parts guessing game as you aim to buy gifts they would actually appreciate. If you have a runner in your life and you’re thinking about the perfect holiday present, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few gift ideas that runners will actually find useful.
New Running Shoes
Runners can always use new running shoes. If you notice that their favourite running shoe needs an update, you can get the same brand and model. Play secret agent by getting the size info from the tongue of the shoe on the sly.
Or, you could buy them an alternative shoe. Runners are always looking for “the shoe” and will try out numerous brands to get one that they really like. This is a little trickier to pull off because you will need the exact foot type to get a shoe that fits perfectly. You can go to their regular shoe store and check if they have a record of gait analysis or you can take note of the make/model of their current shoes. Get assistance from staff to determine which foot type you’re after, and base your choice on that.
If you’re having a hard time picking out a pair, you can’t go wrong with these:
GPS Running Watch
Many runners use their smartphones to help them track their runs via GPS or to listen to music. This is quite cumbersome, especially if you own a phone bigger than 5.5 inches. A GPS watch built for running is a gift that runners will be thrilled to own and use.
At its core functionality, even the most affordable GPS running watch can help a runner keep track of their pace, GPS distance, calories burned and steps taken. The Garmin 235 is a great gift for intermediate to advanced runners because it has a built-in optical heart rate sensor that tracks BPM through the wrist (no chest strap) plus added sensors for tracking V02 Max.
For running veterans, the Garmin Forerunner 630 is an excellent choice because it can measure stride length, cadence, vertical ratio, V02 Max, lactate threshold and it provides rest recommendations to help runners avoid over training. Heart rate monitoring is possible by attaching a chest strap and extra sensors help with vertical oscillation.
Other notable GPS watches worth taking a look at are:
I say running headphones for a reason – regular headphones are guaranteed to pop out of your ears. If the runner in your life loves to listen to music or podcasts during a run, get them some headphones that will stay in place when running.
Don’t worry about bass and orchestra-grade sound quality here. Trust me, runners care more about hearing whatever is coming out of the headphones than professional sound quality. What’s important is that the headphones stay in place and withstand sweat. You have two options for this: old school (wired) or Bluetooth.
Compression gear is somewhat controversial – a lot of people swear by it and a lot of people think it’s a waste of money. Many athletes wear compression gear during competition to reduce swelling or improve athletic performance and say it’s effective. Plus, it looks cool.
Research from Lincoln University in New Zealand reports that wearing compression gear has little effect during exercise, but has positive effects such as reduced DOMS and fatigue if worn for 24 hours after exercise. If your runner always stays home after a long run, this could be an awesome gift. Don’t forget to mention the report so they can use it for active recovery.
Check these brands out:
Runners can always use more socks! Not your ordinary socks, or the ones you hang over the fireplace. Runners need padded socks made out of synthetic materials that wick away sweat. If you would like to give a runner the gift of socks, you can’t go wrong with these brands:
During my first ever run, I didn’t have a running belt to hold my ID, money and phone, so against my better judgment, these went into my pocket. Have you ever tried running with a pocket full of stuff? It’s a nightmare! I had to physically hold down my pocket so the contents wouldn’t spill out. I learned my lesson and got a running belt.
Runners need a safe and comfortable place to store essentials. I believe that having a phone is really important, especially during runs off the grid where anything can happen and a phone call can save a life.
There are many types of running belts available. Some are small but flexible enough to fit a smartphone. Others are large and can hold a water bottle and a few gel packs. Choose a belt that fits your runner. If they do a lot of trail running, a belt that can hold water is a good choice. For street runners, the more unobtrusive, the better.
Show that you care by giving a runner an ID Bracelet. Some runners just can’t be bothered with taking identification with them. If that’s the case, then this makes the perfect gift. Vital information is written and safely displayed on the ID for an added layer of safety, especially for those long runs.
Any of these can give you and the runner in your life peace of mind:
Running is one of those sports where you don’t need too much gear to perform well. A pair of good running shoes and a safe and comfortable way to run are more than enough to make any runner happy. We hope these gift ideas put a smile on your favourite runner’s face.
Have fun, and good luck shopping!