17 Great Gifts for the Runner in Your Life

You know those mornings when your loved one rolls out of bed, treads across the very cold floor to suit up for a six-mile run in the freezing pre-dawn air? They’re nuts, and by no means should you get out of bed and join them. Instead, just buy them some gifts that will help them continue to put one foot in front of the other.

Speaking of feet, you’ll notice we didn’t pick any shoes. Footwear is a very personal choice, and serious athletes engage in a lot of trial-and-error testing to pick their shoes. Chances are your runner already has a pair (or three) that they love anyway, so just get this stuff instead.

01

Mizuno Women’s Breath Thermo Jacket

It’s getting chilly and dampout there. If your loved one is going to keep their conditioning up all winter long, they’ll need a protective outer layer to beat the weather. This lightweight women’s jacket from Mizuno($150) is made for those icyconditions. Woven into the fabric is a technical yarn that keepsheat on the inside. Hercore will stay cozy as she cuts through the wind like a rocket.

Credit: Mizuno

It’s getting chilly and dampout there. If your loved one is going to keep their conditioning up all winter long, they’ll need a protective outer layer to beat the weather. This lightweight women’s jacket from Mizuno($150) is made for those icyconditions. Woven into the fabric is a technical yarn that keepsheat on the inside. Hercore will stay cozy as she cuts through the wind like a rocket.

02

Aqua Quest Kona Pouch

This little pouch clips around thewaist. Much hipper than a fanny pack, and far more useful. It holds aphone, shades, keys, energy gel, sunscreen, a wad of cash, vape, whatever. And it’s resistant to water, sweat, rain, and sports drinks. Your runner will use it year-round. $23

Credit: Amazon

This little pouch clips around thewaist. Much hipper than a fanny pack, and far more useful. It holds aphone, shades, keys, energy gel, sunscreen, a wad of cash, vape, whatever. And it’s resistant to water, sweat, rain, and sports drinks. Your runner will use it year-round. $23

03

District Vision Keiichi

Eyewearcompany District Vision was founded by runners, and that’s pretty much the only demographic the company serves. They know how to make some killer running shades. The frame on theKeiichi($199) ismade mostly of rubber, butthere’s titanium added tothe places where it matters most: the temple tips, hinges, and nose pads. The purple lens is designed to offerbetter visibility invarying light, like when the long afternoon shadows get all chiaroscuro on the sidewalk.

Credit: District Vision

Eyewearcompany District Vision was founded by runners, and that’s pretty much the only demographic the company serves. They know how to make some killer running shades. The frame on theKeiichi($199) ismade mostly of rubber, butthere’s titanium added tothe places where it matters most: the temple tips, hinges, and nose pads. The purple lens is designed to offerbetter visibility invarying light, like when the long afternoon shadows get all chiaroscuro on the sidewalk.

04

Chums

Maybe your loved onealready has a pair of sunglasses they always run in. Well, then get them some Chums. These low-tech tethers will keep those sunnies where they belong. They’re especially handy after the first mile, when it’s just a non-stop, slippery sweatfest the whole rest of the run. These things are cheap (under $10 online) so get a few. And they come in some wild colors, even a tie-dye motif for Deadhead Dad.

Credit: Chums

Maybe your loved onealready has a pair of sunglasses they always run in. Well, then get them some Chums. These low-tech tethers will keep those sunnies where they belong. They’re especially handy after the first mile, when it’s just a non-stop, slippery sweatfest the whole rest of the run. These things are cheap (under $10 online) so get a few. And they come in some wild colors, even a tie-dye motif for Deadhead Dad.

05

Icebreaker Anatomica Short Sleeve Shirt

Cotton sucks forrunning in the cold. You sweat,it sticks to you, and you freeze. The natural thermoregulation of sweat-wicking wool is vastly better. Icebreaker’s 150-weight wool-blend shirtmerges Merino sheep-fuzz with performance synthetics. It makes a perfect base layer in the winter, and it’s all your loved one will need up top in the warmer months. $70.

Credit: Icebreaker

Cotton sucks forrunning in the cold. You sweat,it sticks to you, and you freeze. The natural thermoregulation of sweat-wicking wool is vastly better. Icebreaker’s 150-weight wool-blend shirtmerges Merino sheep-fuzz with performance synthetics. It makes a perfect base layer in the winter, and it’s all your loved one will need up top in the warmer months. $70.

06

Jaybird Freedom Wireless

If you’re looking for a slam-dunk gift, get these. Jaybird’s wireless earbuds are smaller than most, so they’re able to fit a wider range of ear sizes. They’re also sleek and gender-neutral, not bulky and overly masculine. More importantly, they sound truly excellent. These are WIRED’s top sportsearphones for 2016. $180

Credit: Jaybird

If you’re looking for a slam-dunk gift, get these. Jaybird’s wireless earbuds are smaller than most, so they’re able to fit a wider range of ear sizes. They’re also sleek and gender-neutral, not bulky and overly masculine. More importantly, they sound truly excellent. These are WIRED’s top sportsearphones for 2016. $180

07

Beats Powerbeats3

Does your loved one have the newiPhone 7?This headset is the best match. Apple-owned Beats has updated its running headset with Cupertino’s newest wireless chipit offers seamless pairing with iOS handsets, and it gives the Powerbeats a phenomenal 12 hours of battery life. $200

Credit: Apple

Does your loved one have the newiPhone 7?This headset is the best match. Apple-owned Beats has updated its running headset with Cupertino’s newest wireless chipit offers seamless pairing with iOS handsets, and it gives the Powerbeats a phenomenal 12 hours of battery life. $200

08

V-Moda Forza

Jimmy’s fast on the course, but he’s slow to join the wireless revolution. This is a great set of wired earphones for running. V-Moda’s Forza comes in a few different varieties, but this base model ($100) is the one to get. The audio quality is stellar, and they’re sweat-proof. Removable ear-fins and hooks keep them in place. Choose a color, and pick the version with in-line remote buttons for iOS or Android.

Credit: V Moda

Jimmy’s fast on the course, but he’s slow to join the wireless revolution. This is a great set of wired earphones for running. V-Moda’s Forza comes in a few different varieties, but this base model ($100) is the one to get. The audio quality is stellar, and they’re sweat-proof. Removable ear-fins and hooks keep them in place. Choose a color, and pick the version with in-line remote buttons for iOS or Android.

09

Garmin Forerunner 235

One of the best GPSrunning watches, Garmin’s $330 Forerunner 235 measures a runner’space, tracks theirheart rate, and maps eachrun on apaired smartphone. Everything is customizable tooset thepreferred heart rate zones, create a training regimen, and even redesignthe watch face. It only needs to be charged about once a week.

Credit: Garmin

One of the best GPSrunning watches, Garmin’s $330 Forerunner 235 measures a runner’space, tracks theirheart rate, and maps eachrun on apaired smartphone. Everything is customizable tooset thepreferred heart rate zones, create a training regimen, and even redesignthe watch face. It only needs to be charged about once a week.

10

Apple Watch Nike+

Cupertino’s wearable got an upgrade this year, and it’s now one of the most capable fitness trackers on the market. It has GPS and a heart-rate monitor built in, and it runs hundreds of apps whiledisplayingnotifications coming in from the iPhone. This special edition ($369 and up) has been hyped by Nike. It has a uniqueband, a special custom watch face, and it connects to Nike’s online running community. The perfect thing for the runner who’s all-in on the Nikeverse.

Credit: Apple

Cupertino’s wearable got an upgrade this year, and it’s now one of the most capable fitness trackers on the market. It has GPS and a heart-rate monitor built in, and it runs hundreds of apps whiledisplayingnotifications coming in from the iPhone. This special edition ($369 and up) has been hyped by Nike. It has a uniqueband, a special custom watch face, and it connects to Nike’s online running community. The perfect thing for the runner who’s all-in on the Nikeverse.

11

Ultimate Direction Drop Bag

These drop bags are used in racesyou fill it with your personal items and extra clothes, write your name and bib number on it, then drop it with the race organizers for safe keeping. They also work great for travel, or just for carrying shoes and shorts to and from work. They’re cheap ($8 each) so get a few.

Credit: Ultimate Direction

These drop bags are used in racesyou fill it with your personal items and extra clothes, write your name and bib number on it, then drop it with the race organizers for safe keeping. They also work great for travel, or just for carrying shoes and shorts to and from work. They’re cheap ($8 each) so get a few.

12

Petzl Tikka Headlamp

Does he really prefer running in the dead of night? OK, sure. Just get him this 100-lumen headlamp ($30) so the traffic and pedestrians see him comingand vice versa.

Credit: Amazon

Does he really prefer running in the dead of night? OK, sure. Just get him this 100-lumen headlamp ($30) so the traffic and pedestrians see him comingand vice versa.

13

Smartwool PhD Run Light Elite Mini Socks

Wool yarn really is a miracle for runners. Smartwoolblends Merino wool with nylon and other synthetics to make a stretchy, slightly cushioned, and supremely comfy running sock. $18

Credit: Smartwool

Wool yarn really is a miracle for runners. Smartwoolblends Merino wool with nylon and other synthetics to make a stretchy, slightly cushioned, and supremely comfy running sock. $18

14

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is best known for his surreal fictional narratives, but this memoir about his experienceas an amateurlong-distance runner is more personal and more inspiring. He traces his running obsession back to when he wasn’t yet a novelist, just a semi-depressed owner of a jazz club. Together, running and writing broke him out of a funk. Now, he runs ultramarathons and competes in triathlons (and his bestsellers win book awards). Every runner should read thisespecially if they’re already fans of Murakami’s self-deprecating wit.

Credit: Penguin Random House

Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is best known for his surreal fictional narratives, but this memoir about his experienceas an amateurlong-distance runner is more personal and more inspiring. He traces his running obsession back to when he wasn’t yet a novelist, just a semi-depressed owner of a jazz club. Together, running and writing broke him out of a funk. Now, he runs ultramarathons and competes in triathlons (and his bestsellers win book awards). Every runner should read thisespecially if they’re already fans of Murakami’s self-deprecating wit.

15

TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller

Most people consider thesethings torture devices, but a good roller isessential to keeping a runner’s leg and core muscles supple. Use them for recovery and to keep everything activated onoff-days. $36 gets you a roller and access to TriggerPoint’s instructional videos. Work that IT band!

Credit: Amazon

Most people consider thesethings torture devices, but a good roller isessential to keeping a runner’s leg and core muscles supple. Use them for recovery and to keep everything activated onoff-days. $36 gets you a roller and access to TriggerPoint’s instructional videos. Work that IT band!

16

Natural Fitness Hemp Yoga Strap

Yoga people use a strap to help them hold difficult positions. Runners use them to stretch their legs, either while standing or while laying on their back. This one is hemp! $18.

Credit: Amazon

Yoga people use a strap to help them hold difficult positions. Runners use them to stretch their legs, either while standing or while laying on their back. This one is hemp! $18.

17

Massage Ball

There’s a disordercalledplantar fasciitis that affects the tendons along the bottom ofthe foot and around the heel. It painful, and most runners will have issues withit at some point.There’s no cure, but two things help: lots of stretching, and working the bottoms of the feet with one of these balls. The hard plastic nubs dig into the foot and providean eye-watering trigger-point massage. Your runner needs two of theseone for home and one for the office. They’re $9 each on Amazon.

Credit: Amazon

There’s a disordercalledplantar fasciitis that affects the tendons along the bottom ofthe foot and around the heel. It painful, and most runners will have issues withit at some point.There’s no cure, but two things help: lots of stretching, and working the bottoms of the feet with one of these balls. The hard plastic nubs dig into the foot and providean eye-watering trigger-point massage. Your runner needs two of theseone for home and one for the office. They’re $9 each on Amazon.

Read more: https://www.wired.com/2016/12/17-gifts-runner-life/