Gifts for runners
April 1, 2024 11:01 AM   Subscribe

What are some nice gifts for runners?

What would be a thoughtful gift for someone into running or who's training for a marathon?
Anything under $200. They already have the shoes.
posted by winterportage to Shopping (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Massage gift certificate. Even if you have one, you probably aren't sad to have another. Most other things I can think of are really polarizing. Some people need music to run with, some hate it. Some folks love the Spi Belt running fanny pack. Some would rather anything else...
posted by advicepig at 11:15 AM on April 1 [9 favorites]

If they run outside, open ear headphones like these. I LOVE mine from an ease of use standpoint, a safety standpoint, a battery life standpoint, a waterproof standpoint.
posted by whitetigereyes at 11:19 AM on April 1 [4 favorites]

They may have some or all of these, but these are the bits of equipment that have made the most difference for me:

1. A smartwatch that can do heart rate monitoring, for heart rate zone training
2. A comfortable, quality set of wireless earbuds. Some runners favor an open rather than in-ear style for maximum transparency. This is especially useful if they do a lot of running on roads or busy trails.
3. A comfortable hat and sunglasses, assuming you’re in the Northern Hemisphere this will be increasingly useful.
4. A sunscreen you don’t hate to use and that doesn’t sting your eyes if you sweat. This is going to vary a lot, but if they don’t have one they like, a sampler might be appreciated.
5. A foam roller, for post workout self massage.

I run short to middle distances, so portable hydration isn’t as applicable for me, but at marathon distances some kind of water carrier is pretty important. Some people like the style you grip, some people like a backpack, some people like belts with little bottles on them.

Clothing (running shirts, shorts, sports bras if applicable, socks, etc) is a whole ‘nother thing. I like the Tracksmith brand, if I’m feeling fancy.
posted by jedicus at 11:20 AM on April 1

Hard to go wrong with a good pair of socks!
posted by Wild_Eep at 12:14 PM on April 1 [7 favorites]

A subscription to smashrun, Strava, or another metrics service. An action camera. A subscription to runner's world. A gift certificate to their local running shop.
posted by dbx at 12:21 PM on April 1

As on (occasional) marathon runner I endorse all of jedicus suggestions.

But, as a total fusspot, I would most appreciate a gift certificate to my nearest local running shop. Anything you have on your body for 42.2km has to be "just right" or it will drive you mad — so I like researching and trying things on myself.
posted by Klipspringer at 12:25 PM on April 1 [19 favorites]

Used more for trail running in my experience, but Salomon (among many others) make some really nice running vests for carrying hydration, nutrition and layers on longer runs. The Salomon Adv Skin 5 Set (yes their naming is stupid) is a good one to start with.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 12:26 PM on April 1

Oh, it depends.....

Gift cards to a local running store are the most flexible and my go-to.

If they are just starting out then a gift basket of different types of socks or gels for them to try out to see what they like would be nice. Lightweight running gloves / hats (if they ever have to run when it is chilly out) are also good.

Running vests are nice but can be pricey (My Salomon Adv Skin 12 cost $$$). Previously the domain of trail runners, they are becoming more popular for road races as events switch to cupless to reduce the huge quantity of waste produced at each aid station.

They may already have shoes, but do they have extra shoes? I would often burn through 4 or 5 pairs a season as they are good for about 250-300 miles and that is an easy mark to reach when you are training for a marathon.

If they are a seasoned runner then they will be very picky about what they have, so it is safe to just stick with the gift cards.
posted by SegFaultCoreDump at 12:36 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]

I agree with advicepig, runners' preferences for gear is not universal (though good socks are hard to go wrong with, assuming you know their foot size), so I'd either do massage or sauna (if you have a local option) but otherwise a gift card or something totally different - like paying for their house/apartment to be professionally deep cleaned a couple weeks before the race or a meal delivery kit - something to save them time as they practice.
posted by coffeecat at 12:39 PM on April 1

Echoing above: preferences are personal, so a gift card is great. But one way to personalize it a bit more is to get something from your local running store with a gift receipt, or ask them if there's something they've had their eye on and buy it for them. If you're looking for running clothes targeted at men, check out PATH.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 12:52 PM on April 1

I have appreciated books relatives have bought me. Not training plan books, they are again very individual, but general "inspo". Like this, adjusting for your area:
- Running Adventures Scotland: 25 inspirational runs in Scotland's wild places
- Lonely Planet Epic Runs of the World: explore the world's most thrilling running routes and trails
posted by Klipspringer at 12:58 PM on April 1 [3 favorites]

One or more of these virtual race medals? They could run around a European city, or follow the route to Mordor or what have you.
posted by Iteki at 1:53 PM on April 1

Echoing so many of the "preferences are super personal" comments, and especially with tech stuff which the runner is likely to already have.

One thing I have done in the past is buy a nice bottle of champagne (if giving after the event) or restaurant gift card (before or after). Those can be more broadly useful but they recognize the achievement. An italian restaurant might be a nice touch for carbo-loading purposes.
posted by AgentRocket at 2:03 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]

A pair of goodrs! Can never have too many.
posted by cakebatter at 3:56 PM on April 1

Theragun is a GREAT Idea.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 7:29 PM on April 1

If they're a parent of little(s), see if they need/want a jogging stroller and if there's one available in your price point.

My husband loved popping our daughter in a stroller and getting his exercise in.
posted by champers at 4:41 AM on April 2

I really like the idea of books! What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is utterly charming.
posted by BibiRose at 5:52 AM on April 2 [2 favorites]

Someone gave me a set of brand PR Soles slippers with ‘acupoint’ soles, and I’ve been wearing them for five years. They’re super comfortable. Great for sore feet.
posted by bq at 8:44 AM on April 2

Pedicure gift certificate or just go together!
Convertable gloves like these.
A Buff neck gaiter, like they wear on Survivor.

Depending on how medical you want to get:
The book Fixing Your Feet.
Salt tablets such as S Caps or Saltstick Caps
posted by eelgrassman at 1:52 PM on April 2

« Older Underwater camera advice?   |   Label the skeleton Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments