The Ultimate Gift Guide for Runners

This post has recently had a spike in popularity for Christmas, and I’m glad to see that!  For a more up to date list CLICK HERE to see what’s hot for runners in 2014!

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If you have found yourself on this page because the runner in your life “accidentally” left it open on your computer or was more transparent and publicly shared it on your Facebook wall, it’s okay.  It is the runner’s cry for help.  The desperate plea to, this Christmas, be spared yet another neck tie and instead get a foam roller, perhaps foreign to you but the best friend of many a runner.  The begging to forgo those beautiful earrings as a birthday gift and instead buy your runner a sparkly new GPS watch.  They speak their own language, and the gifts runners want often seem bizarre or extremely specific, but they just want what the rest of us want: the shiny new thing they keep intending to buy themselves but hope to get as a present instead.

If you’re a runner, you may largely thank my friends on the subreddit “Runnit” where I did a non-scientific poll, asking, “What do you want for Christmas?”  Don’t be shy to Tweet, Pin it or Share This Link on Facebook so you don’t have to pretend to like the gift card or album someone thoughtfully gave you because they just didn’t know you would prefer a good pair of compression socks.  This list is broken down into subcategories: Stocking StuffersTech Gear, AccessoriesClothesShoesSafety Gear, and Big Ticket.



Stocking Stuffers are small inexpensive gifts for runners of all talent levels. 


A unique little product for under $5, a temporary tattoo that helps long distance runners keep their pace in check with 20 different pace options.  Perfect gift for runners looking to Boston Qualify. pacetat gifts for runners running guide ideas

PaceTat $2.95


Gels and Energy Products

Energy gels, shots, candies, bars etc. are a fun, affordable option to stuff a stocking for the runner in your life.  Well suited for mid to long distance runners.  Pay attention to their favorite, or if they have never tried them pick up a variety.  Here are a few options:

Energy Gels by GU, (also now available in Salted Caramel) $1.25

Jelly Belly Sport Beans $1.25

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PowerBar Performance Energy Blasts $15.99


For runners with long hair, a good headband is a necessity.  Especially useful in cold climates if they cover the ears.

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Trailheads Goodbye Girl Ponytail Headband $20

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Moving Comfort Mix It Up Headband 2013, $13.95


BodyGlide is one of those things only a distance athlete would ask for.  Don’t ask why.  Just trust them.

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Body Glide, 1.5 oz, $10.95

Distance Car Magnet

Let your runner show off with a decal or magnet bragging about their best or favorite distance.

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26.2 Marathon Car Magnet, $4.98


Some runners, like myself, love to track data, speed, cadence, body fat, etc.  If you are looking for a gift for a runner with this obsession, tech gear for runners is a great option. 

Foot Pod

If your runner has a GPS with no foot pod, they likely wish they had one to measure cadence.

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Garmin Foot Pod, $54.99


Some runners don’t like earbuds, in which case the Aerial7 beanie is a great option.  There are a lot of great earbud options for those who prefer them (like me,) and Yurbuds by IronMan are among the most durable.

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Aerial7 SoundDisk Sports Beanie, $45

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Yurbuds Ironman Inspire Duo, $49.99


Dataphiles like me LOVE wearable tech, particularly in training mode when getting enough sleep is just as important as running enough miles.  FitBit has released the Flex, which is a gorgeous option.

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FitBit Flex, $99

Body Fat Scale

Keeping track of body fat and weight is important to runners who want to lean up before a long race.  This Smart Body Analyzer can sync with your iPhone or Android device.  Plus it looks pretty.

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Withings Smart Body Analyzer, $149


Some are free, some come with membership options and add-ons, some cost a few bucks.  If your runner has a smart phone, these apps are great options.

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STRAVA RUN, Free with option for $60 membership (which is really worth it)

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ROAD ID, personalized lock screen with emergency contact info. Free (but invaluable)

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OMEGAWAVE, helps athletes track their cardiac and metabolic systems, $99


Really, this section could be infinite. 

Race/Hydration Belt

Great for runners who prefer to keep a bottle of water at their hips or like to preserve their running clothes by having a belt with race bib clips.

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Fuel Belt Excursion Bottle Carrier, $36.95

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SPIbelt Black with Turquoise Zipper Personal Item Belt, $19.95


A good pair of sunglasses that won’t slip over a long run.  Glasses should also be shatter proof and durable.

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Tifosi Wisp Sunglasses 2014, $53.96

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Native Eyewear Dash XP, $109

Water Bottle

If your runner prefers the treadmill, a quality water bottle makes a great gift.  Consider a palm holder for use on outdoor runs.

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O’Neill 365 Water Bottle $10

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Nathan Quickdraw Plus, $19

Recovery Goodies

If the runner in your life doesn’t yet own a foam roller, this is a MUST buy.  If your runner does IronMan distances, a cold roller would be even better.  Moji foot massagers work well for runners with plantar faciitis issues.

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Everything Yoga Foam Roller – 12 Inches, $13.99

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Trigger Point Cold Roller, $109.99

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Moji 360 Foot Massager, $39


This item was suggested for runners who participate in adventure races or long trail runs and need a good quality pack.

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FitMark Formula-1 Velocity Backpack, $125


FAMBox is an exciting subscription service for testing new athletic apparel and energy items without breaking the bank.  Runner’s World magazine is a fun gift at only $1 an issue.

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FAM Box, $30 (supplies can run out so do it soon!)

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Runner’s World, $1 an issue

Framed Bib

Does your runner have an accomplishment of which they are especially proud?  Consider framing bibs or medals as a special keepsake.  (Your best bet will be to contact a local custom framer, but pre-made and custom options are available online.)

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Framed Race Bib, Prices vary


Clothes are a great gift choice for runners of all skill levels.  Running clothing is also a good option for regular fitness walkers. Plus clothing comes in a huge ranges of prices and styles!  

Running Jacket

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Women’s Asics Thermopolis LT 1/2 Zip Top, $75

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Men’s Pearl Izumi Fly Evo Pullover, $123

Running Tights

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Women’s Adidas Supernova Three-Quarter Tights Night Shade, $60

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Men’s 2XU Thermal Tights 2013, $99.95

Running Socks

Different socks are appropriate for different climates and different running lengths, so find out what your runner prefers.

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DryMax Maximum Protection Running Socks, $24.95

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Feetures Elite No Show Tab, $14.99

Zensah Compression Socks, $49.99


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Shock Absorber Running Bra, $80

If you are a female runner and haven’t heard of Dear Kate running briefs, do yourself a major favor and check them out.

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“I Am Strong” set of 2 running bikini briefs by Dear Kate, $58

For men who run in cold weather, I need not explain how this can be helpful.

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Thermajock, $14.99


Different hat requirements for different weather!

Crew Room Air Head Visor- High Visibility, $25

Trailheads Snowflake Ponytail Hat, $28

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Craft Running Cap, $25


I don’t need these here in Houston, but cold climate runners love a good pair of gloves.

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Pearl Izumi Men’s Thermalite Gloves, $15

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Moving Comfort Just Right Glove 2013 – Women’s, $29.95


In this section I don’t want to link specific products because I honestly don’t think it is a good idea to go buy a pair of running shoes for the runner in your life unless they have been properly fitted and you know exactly which shoe to buy.  However, shoes for cross-training, walking, and weight-lifting are not quite as specific, so if you don’t know the preferred shoes for running, shoes for other life activities are still a fun option.  If your runner is new to the sport and has never been fitted for shoes, schedule a time for him or her to go to the closest sporting store that offers gait analysis (for me it’s Luke’s Locker here in Texas, where I had a great experience,) and change their life with shoes that fit their style of running.

Custom Shoes

If your runner rocks New Balance, a custom version of their kicks would be a unique gift.

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New Balance Custom 574 Women’s, $139.95

Adidas also offers costumizing on many different shoes, including their Falcon Elite.

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Men’s Adidas Mi Falcon Elite 2, $90


Safety is (or should be) the top priority when running outdoors.  These safety running gift ideas will help keep your runner protected, especially when the winter days limit hours of running in the sun. 

Reflective Vest

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Nathan Reflective Vest – Streak, $22.95

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Nathan Safety Strobe, $6.99

One of the most mentioned items in my survey of what runners want was the Road ID bracelet.  Customize it however fits your needs, especially if your runner has an allergy or needs a certain medication.

Note: This is not to do with running, but my four year old has Autism and is non-verbal.  His school recommends Road ID’s or similar products for traveling with non-verbal children.

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Road ID Sport, $19.99

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Road ID Reflective Wrist Bands, $9.99


A few fun ideas if you have a good chunk of cash to spend on a running gift. 


Even if they prefer to run outside, everyone who enjoys to run could use a good, quality treadmill close by for those days when it’s too hot, too cold, or too late.

treadmill running gift ideas guide simplyfitandclean proform half marathon training

Proform Power 995, $999

GPS Watch 

If they haven’t already chatted your ear off about it then they probably don’t know that Garmin is releasing their highly anticipated new GPS watches, the Garmin Forerunner 220 and 620.  They are probably the most exciting GPS watches to come out this year.  I am linking these through Clever Training, which offers pre-order of these devices which will ship in early December.  Plenty of time to get them under the tree.

garmin forerunner 220 running gift ideas guide simplyfitandclean half marathon training gps watch

Garmin Forerunner 220, $249.99

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Garmin Forerunner 620, $399.99

Sports Massage/Spa Day

Whatever the level of skill or dedication, a good quality massage is  always a good idea.  You might consider a gift certificate from SpaFinder or look for a local sports massage therapist or physical therapist in your area.  Prices vary.

Destination Race

A race entry is a fantastic gift idea, and something like a 5k fun run can be very affordable.  But if you really want to see the runner in your life jump for joy, consider a race that involves travel and a little vacation.  One idea I thought of was the Hawaii Spartan Sprint at Aloha Stadium March 23, 2014!  A race entry and a trip to Hawaii?  Sign me up.

Any must-have gifts you hoped to see on the list?  Let me know in the comments or by email at so I can help you drop a heavy-handed hint this Christmas.  If you want some good running gear this Christmas,  TweetPin it or Share This Link on Facebook.

Many of these links are through my affiliates but not all.  No one has paid to have their product featured on this gift guide.  Always feel free to comparison shop!

Be sure to subscribe to Simply Fit & Clean and follow me on Twitter and Pinterest!

Note: These are just suggestions, so if your runner is very particular about their gear, take that as a hint.  Example: If you can through the list and think, “Oh, my runner wears tights like that!” but you know they always wear the same kind, find out the brand and size and get them the same style or pick up a gift card so they can pick out their own.
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About Sarah McMullin

Mother of two, Bachelor's and JD, married to a crazy high school teacher.
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18 Responses to The Ultimate Gift Guide for Runners

  1. Amber says:

    Love this list!!! Pinning it now. Thanks!

  2. Salt says:

    This is SO bookmarked. What a fantastic list! And I can attest to the greatness of some of this stuff, too. 🙂

  3. If I stepped onto a body fat scale, I’m pretty sure it would say “Taco Bell” instead of an actual number. I definitely want a foam roller though, and that bib frame is awesome – I saved my first half marathon bib and it’s been sitting in a desk drawer since June letting all my junk mail know how awesome I am.

  4. chwilowki says:

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  5. Thanks for the nice blog. It was very useful for me. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here! Thanks for sharing the such information with us

  6. Great info. Lucky me I recently found your site by chance (stumbleupon).

    I have bookmarked it for later!

  7. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it,
    you can be a great author. I will make certain to bookmark your blog and may come back at
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  9. Paige says:

    I just bought my husband a golf ball muscle roller, got pretty good deal on it, hes been wanting one for awhile and i finally found one! 🙂

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