Buying gifts for runners can be quite challenging if you don’t lead the same lifestyle. Of course, every runner has other interests besides going the distance, but die-hard runners do appreciate running-related gifts a bit more.
So, we highly recommend you consider those if you want to claim the prestige of being the best gift-giver of all time.
We’ve rounded up some of the best gifts for runners to help you narrow down the list and surprise your friend or loved one with a thoughtful present. Let’s take a look.
Sunscreens for Runners
Sunscreens are a must for runners, even in the winter season. The sun’s harmful UV rays can easily filter through dark clouds, no matter the time of year.
They may be strongest in the summer, but they reflect off snow and ice during the winter months. So, they can cause sunburn and other kinds of skin irritation all-year-round, not to mention that prolonged exposure to UV rays can even increase the risk of skin cancer.
Sunscreens for runners have a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor), and most have excellent sweat resistance. They’re not waterproof (no sunscreen is), but they don’t sweat off easily.
Chemical sunscreens are a better choice for runners than their physical counterparts. The skin absorbs the former, while the latter creates a UV-filtering barrier on the skin, which doesn’t fare well with sweat.
Tights for Runners
Tights for runners can also protect them from the sun, as long as they fall under the protective clothing category. But even if you opt for regular tights for runners, you need to look for the right factors.
They need to allow the skin to breathe so that pores don’t clog and cause any skin problems. They need to be comfortable, made of stretch fabrics (and thermal materials for cold winter months), and help improve a runner’s performance.
How can running tights improve performance? Well, many come with compression features that support muscles, improve muscle memory, and accelerate recovery.
Every runner needs to enrich their body with proteins because this macronutrient is essential for muscle building and recovery.
Without enough protein, especially after running the distance, their strained muscles would be sore and require more time to heal. They also wouldn’t have enough energy to maintain a high performance.
So, help your runner out by finding a high-quality protein supplement to supercharge their nutrition and performance. Some of the best are whey, soy, rice, and plant-based protein supplements, but there are also specific protein supplements for fast recovery.
Personalized Vitamins for Runners
Personalized vitamins for runners are becoming quite popular these days. They’re different from regular vitamins in that they are made specifically for one individual, based on their nutrient gaps, needs, lifestyle, and other factors.
Now, you can’t walk into a store and get personalized vitamins off the shelf. You need to find a supplement company that makes them.
Some of them will only ask specific questions regarding the factors necessary for creating the right regimen for personalized nutrition. However, others will require a blood test because that’s the most effective way to make an uber-personalized vitamin.
If you opt for this gift, it won’t be a surprise, because you’ll have to coordinate with your gift recipient. Nonetheless, they’ll still appreciate your thoughtfulness.
This is quite an exciting gift for runners. When have you ever seen a runner without headphones or earbuds? Music is an excellent motivator, as it can positively impact mood and stimulate the production of “happy” hormones.
And did you know that listening to music while running improves performance? By increasing happiness and reducing stress, it helps runners get into the right mindset to tackle the run and achieve their goals.
So, get your friend or loved one some high-quality running headphones, preferably sweat-proof. When it comes to choosing between wired and wireless, make sure you find out what your gift recipient prefers when jamming to their favorite tunes while running.
A smartwatch is one of the best gifts for runners, whether they enjoy an occasional run, daily jogs with their dog, or regularly running marathons.
Why? Because they come with many useful fitness features. As you’re undoubtedly aware, you can connect a smartwatch to your smartphone and make calls, send messages, view notifications, and more – all from your wrist.
But fitness functionalities are incredibly useful to athletes, as they can monitor their heart rate, track the running pace and distance walked or run, calculate calories, and follow other fitness-related metrics.
Unless your runner already has a smartwatch (or sports an older model that’s long due for a replacement), complement their running outfit (and athletic performance) with this cool gadget.
Would you say there’s a better gift for running enthusiasts than running shoes? We wouldn’t either.
Running shoes are the best gifts for runners, without a doubt. They may be slightly more expensive than most of the gifts on this list, depending on the brand, but you can never go wrong with them.
When choosing quality running shoes, make sure they’re a good fit, obviously. Learn your runner giftee’s shoe size, as well as brand and model preference.
Take into account the shoes’ weight, responsiveness, drop and cushioning as well. They need to provide excellent shock absorption and motion control, and their outsole should give great traction and flexibility.
Stay away from waterproof shoes because they can cause sweating and overheating. Running shoes should be breathable and, most importantly, comfortable.
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No, this item isn’t here by mistake. Foam rollers aren’t only for gym-goers, as they can benefit anyone who engages in any kind of exercise.
A foam roller is fantastic for warming up before a workout, as it can improve blood circulation. It can send more blood to active muscles to prepare them for the training.
It’s even more beneficial after the fact, as it can help stretch out muscles to prevent strains and other running-related injuries. By reducing muscle fatigue and soreness and improving muscle flexibility, foam rolling can boost performance and recovery.
So, if your gift recipient doesn’t own a foam roller yet, you can hit the bullseye with this gift.
There are many different foam rollers out there, such as short, firm, bumpy, and low- and medium-density foam rollers. They come in different shapes and sizes and have varying functioning lifespans. Do your research before buying one to make sure it’s durable and provides top benefits for runners.
You may think that this isn’t such a thoughtful gift, but you would be surprised by how much every runner appreciates a good water bottle.
We’re talking about specific water bottles for runners here. They are compact, lightweight, ergonomic, and much easier to carry. They’re usually referred to as companion bottles, and they’re designed to clip onto a running belt so they don’t get in the way of enjoying a good run.
You can pair this gift with a no-bounce running belt designed to carry a water bottle, a phone, keys, an MP3 player, and any other small extras that your runner may need.
Just like tights for runners, compression socks can improve athletic performance and recovery. They’re not your regular socks, but instead go all the way up to the knee, which helps runners move faster and accelerate their recovery.
These socks can reduce muscle fatigue and soreness by improving blood flow, which is necessary for supplying worn-out muscles with more oxygen. They can also reduce swelling, and leg cramps, not to mention they add an extra layer of protection, especially in cold weather.
Running Bra for Women
Running bras are an absolute must for female runners. If you’re a woman, then you know what we’re talking about.
Wearing a regular bra while on a run can be quite painful because repetitive movements can cause soreness in Cooper’s ligaments. Running bras reduce those movements and provide a high level of support.
There’s no pain or discomfort with a sports bra, and there’s also less long-term sagging. Overall, it makes female runners feel more comfortable.
Many non-runners can’t comprehend why people wear gloves while running when it’s not cold outside. Even when it’s 80 °F outside, you can still see runners wearing gloves. Why is that?
Because their hands can get quite cold while running, all the blood goes to the extremities, making fingers lose heat quickly. So, the gloves are there to keep them warm.
The best running gloves come with sweat-wicking technology, so they keep hands warm even when they’re wet. Most running gloves are also touchscreen-friendly, so runners don’t have to remove them mid-run to use smartphones, smartwatches, or other gadgets.
Conclusion: The Best Runner Gifts For Every Budget In 2021
These are undoubtedly some of the best gifts for runners, but there’s a wealth of other running-related options to choose from. Whichever you opt for, we’re confident that your giftee will cherish it, as it will help them boost their running experience.