We couch potatoes may not always understand the enthusiasm our loved-ones have for running. Their love for jogging at dawn or dusk—sometimes for over an hour, sometimes for half a day—makes no sense to us. Regardless, you love them, and the time has come to celebrate them.
If you’re wondering what gift to get them for their birthday, for Mother’s Day, for an anniversary, or a recent accomplishment, you’ve come to the right place. We have some ideas that will narrow down your search.
Without further delay, here are our top 25 best gifts for runners:
What better place to start this list than running shoes? Your running friend has probably worn the soles off their favorite sneakers by now and neglected to replace them. Available in men and women’s sizes, the Gel-Venture 7’s are excellent for serious runners who need breathable mesh, built-in comfortable insoles, and maximum shock absorption features.
Runners will always need insoles, and Dr. Scholl’s is the standard for most people’s orthopedic needs. Even just casual walking is more enjoyable with proper arch and heel support. The last thing a runner wants to do is stop mid-mile in pain because the soles of the new running shoes you got them don’t have enough cushion for their needs. Your loved one will appreciate your concern and forethought if you gift them insoles.
Socks may seem like an obvious gift, but you’d be surprised how often runners wear them out. Not just any kind of sock will do either, as regular socks lose their luster after just two or three washes. The popular running shoe brand Saucony has socks that are ideal for arch support and sweat management. No-shows are also just super stylish with running shoes.
These are the perfect, high waisted leggings for long-distance running. No need to pull these back up every time you turn a corner. No need to adjust your wardrobe for a lack of pockets. Additionally, they are comfortable to lounge in on recovery days. Your friend will get a lot of use out of these leggings.
A form-fitting tank top that stays put through any workout and wicks the sweat away is an awesome gift for runners. Get them in a variety of colors. Your loved one will be grateful for the cute and functional options to add to her workout wardrobe.
The women in your life who are active will always need extra support. Help her avoid the pain and discomfort that the wrong activewear undergarments can cause. Glamorise sports bras are excellent at keeping the bust in place on a jog or during high-impact cardio workouts. They run in a wide range of bust sizes, so you should have no trouble finding the right one them.
Summer will give way to fall before you know it, and your running family member will start searching for a lightweight, waterproof jacket. They will need something thin and sweat repelling for long treks in the rain. Think ahead and get them a durable windbreaker.
Long-distance runners and backpackers alike could always use a skin backpack. They have the same function as traditional backpacks, but skin backpacks are more evenly distributed and compact. The pockets and compartments give the hiker easy access to immediate supplies, without having to dig around like you would a traditional backpack. This is a great gift for runners.
A prepared runner always brings water, but maybe your jogging family member is environmentally conscious and prefers a reusable bottle. Transparent bottles with measurements on the side are ideal for the active person who wants to keep track of their daily water intake. A reusable bottle is a wonderful, practical present for your running fanatic.
A runner is often careful about what they eat and drink, and water quality is often a sticking point. A faucet water filter would be a considerate gift that has longevity. Be sure to look for replacements for the filtration system to make the gift stretch. They will be incredibly grateful for it.
For the active person in your life, a Fitbit is a must-have for every workout. Whether as a pedometer or a heart-rate tracker, the Fitbit has stood above other fitness watch brands out there. The Fitbit is several gifts in one. This watch has built-in GPS and heart-rate tracking, an extended battery life, and water-resistant construction. Your gift will incentivize your loved-ones on their morning or evening runs.
A seasoned runner will tell you that recovery is just as important as the running itself. If anything, they need to recover from running more now than ever to keep their muscles and joints in shape and prevent future injuries. A foam roller is wonderful for massaging aching muscles after a run on flat or bumpy terrain. They will be so happy that you gifted them something to ease those aching calves.
Does your running family member already have a foam roller? Consider a rolling stick instead, since it delivers an even better self-massage after intense workouts. A wonderful pain reliever for those tired hamstrings, calves, quads, and necks, this muscle rolling stick will be their best friend. It prevents delayed muscle pain with regular use, too. This is one of the best gifts for runners you can give, and your runner will tell you the same.
Not only do high-intensity exercisers need time to recover, they also need to condition to boost endurance. A runner can’t keep running without doing some strength training. Get them the tools they need. Resistance bands are a wonderful way for joggers to tone up those legs, from calves to glutes. Some glute exercises even strengthen the lower back, a common area that gives out with time and not enough care. Do your running fanatic a favor, and gift them some resistance bands.
A staple for anyone who is active is a proper yoga mat. Runners specifically need a mat large enough to stretch out and give those hamstrings all the love they need to survive. Whether it’s after a brisk morning jog or after a 10-mile marathon, they will love using this mat. It’s cushioned well, and it won’t slip and slide across the floor as you move—perfect for runners looking to combine conditioning and recovery with yoga.
Don’t be shocked if you ask your running friend what they want for their birthday, and they say a fanny pack. The latest pouch belts and fanny packs out there are stylish, sleek, and come in handy for joggers trying to remain purse or backpack free. They are just the right size for valuables and electronics, and their proximity to the user keeps them out of sight under the right T-shirt. Not that these need to be hidden, because again, they look great.
Energy drinks have a reputation for having way too much sugar and caffeine in them to be worth a sip. A runner is careful about what goes into their bodies, so probably assume all they ever want to drink is water. On the contrary, runners do love V8’s energy drinks! They are low calorie, low in carbohydrates and have no added sugars. Not to mention, the flavors available are all delicious. Get this for your active friend as a healthy alternative to water or the occasional coffee.
Another awesome gift for your healthy-eating, marathoning friend is a good blender. They may already be on the market for one, because meal prepping can only take them so far. Sometimes a smoothie is faster than anything else in the breakfast portion of their meal plan. The NutriBullet’s reputation as a powerful blender for delicious smoothies proceeds itself. There are other recipe applications for a cooking runner will enjoy, so you can’t go wrong with this NutriBullet.
When in doubt, get your runner a lot of snacks. For the active and health-conscious, they may prefer snacks that are more in line with their lifestyle. Since they only have so many cheat days, get them something natural, delicious, and easy to stick in their running pouch before they leap out the door. Kind bars are gluten-free, low in sugar, and high in sought-after nutrients. Kind bars are perfect natural energy boosters. Buy in bulk to really make your loved-one’s day.
The baseline for most smoothies is protein powder. The jogger in your life needs the energy to get through the workout and for their muscles to adequately recover. If they are picky about the kind of protein powders they use, consider this organic, plant-based option. Even if they aren’t necessarily vegan, they will appreciate knowing exactly where their energy is coming from and enjoy every green sip.
Imagine running down a busy street, a woodsy park, a beach, a riverfront, anywhere, and think of the number of times you would have to adjust your earphones. It’s a normal, reflexive part of the runner’s experience, but a preventable one with the right earphones. Get them some wireless earphones like these Powerbeats Pros. They have incredible sound quality, and they don’t budge on the road. Not to mention, they are without that pesky tangling cord, which your running friend will love.
This is a great gift for runners who like to exercise at night. This can be fun, exhilarating, but unfortunately, quite dangerous without the right gear. When running at night or in low light conditions, runners need to light themselves up, and the best way to do it is through these armbands. They are the perfect, glow-in-the-dark warning to drivers and pedestrians that a runner is coming through.
We’ve mentioned calves a couple of times here for a reason. That is a major sore spot for regular joggers, and it’s not too hard to understand why. Between the tightness in the calf and the shin splints, we are sure you’ve heard your friend complain more than once. Gift them some much-needed compression sleeves to alleviate and prevent the strain. The only thing a jogger should have to focus on is the road ahead.
This will seem like an odd recommendation to some, but you’ll be surprised how often chafing happens to regular runners. Long-distance marathoners must especially be wary of the areas of skin that repeatedly rub together, as well as against clothes, on their journey. This chamois cream will soothe those irritated areas of the skin for hours at a time, without staining clothes.
Our last gift idea is often underappreciated, but it won’t be by the person who receives these: Headbands. Runners sweat a lot, so get them something that will keep the sweat from running like a river over their faces. Go for sweatbands with moisture-wicking fabric, and get multiples in your loved-one’s favorite colors.