The winter holidays are almost here! Especially with supply chain issues this year, it’s important for us to really think about what the runner in our life would love as a gift. There are plenty of “outside the box” gift ideas in this guide, and also lots of personalized and thoughtful suggestions that can be special presents without having to purchase from the big box stores.
While yes, some of the Running For Real sponsors are in here, we genuinely believe in each and every one of these as a gift, and I say “we” because it is not just me (Tina) who loves these items; most, if not all of the team have tried and loved our sponsor’s products and give them the thumbs up. This year our gift guide for runners also contains suggestions from the rest of the Running For Real team, and those items are indicated.
This guide is broken down into the following sections:
- General gift ideas for runners
- Thoughtful experience ideas
- Places to donate (because at the end of the day, many of us have everything we need!)
So let’s get to it!
For female runners who keep their phone on them: Koala clip ($29)
In Tina’s words: I use this almost every day, one of my favorite runner items of all time and another gift I purchase for friends and family. When I leave for a trip, there are a few things I always bring with me, and one of them is my Koala Clip to be able to put my phone, hotel card, and bank card on me for runs. It clips onto the back of your sports bra (or shorts) and stays nice and secure while you explore.
In their words: Koala Clip is an innovative running and fitness phone holder for women. Whether running, biking or strength training, put phone and cards into the sweat-resistant pouch, slip it inside the back of your sports bra and secure with the magnetic clip.
For runners you love: Athletic Greens ($79 monthly)
In Tina’s words: If last year taught us anything, it is that above all else, our health is most important. We all want to be healthy and strong, ready to tackle whatever sickness comes our way. I have been taking Athletic Greens for around two years, but not only that, this past year, as gifts, I got it for my sister, my parents, my close friends, as I felt that was the best gift I could possibly give to them. I know it sounds weird suggesting this as a gift idea, but I love gifting people some AG1.
In their words: ONE tasty scoop of AG1 contains 75 vitamins, minerals and whole food-sourced ingredients, including a multivitamin, multi-mineral, probiotic, greens superfood blend and more in one convenient daily serving. The special blend of high-quality, bioavailable ingredients in a scoop of AG1 work together to fill the nutritional gaps in your diet, support energy and focus, aid with gut health and digestion, and support a healthy immune system – effectively replacing multiple products or pills with one healthy, delicious drink.
AG CODE WORKS FOR US, EUROPE, and CANADA!
For runners who train year round : Tracksmith Brighton Base Long Sleeve ($88)
In Tina’s words: I wore this when I was heavily pregnant. I wore it postpartum. I wore it on slightly chilly days on its own, and wore it underneath other running clothes on extra cold days. The Brighton Base is one of my favorites, and I love that it is tight on my arms to keep them warm, and a little looser on the body to allow heat to escape as I warm up. Basically, i love it.
In their words: A seamless, light-as-air Merino wool top that’s perfect right now on its own with shorts and layers comfortably under jackets as the temperature falls.
Get free shipping and feel good about your order knowing 5% of your order is being donated to Runners for Public Lands when you use code TINA15 here. The Brighton Base is available in mens and women’s.
For runners who run in the dark : Petzl Actik Core Headlamp ($70)
In Tina’s words: As someone who runs in the dark many, many mornings, a good headlamp is a must. I recently switched to this one, as it is rechargeable and switching out batteries regularly was not ideal. This has lots of settings, but just one button, which means it is not too confusing. Comfortable, light, simple.
For runners who like to read: Books (try to purchase from your local bookstore)
Rise and Run by Elyse Kopecky and Shalane Flanagan
I loved their previous cookbooks, and they have become food-smudged and well-worn through using them so much, but this one is quickly turning into my favorite. Breakfast is something I have struggled with in recent years as I just get bored of what there is. No more! There are so many amazing ideas that when I started to turn over the corners of ones to make, I had to stop as I was literally marking every page! For the runner in your life, this is a must!
From Kat: Elyse Kopecky just released Rise and Run this fall and it’s somehow even better than the last ones! It’s essentially written as an homage to mornings, with everything you need to start your day off well from new takes on their classic Superhero muffin, to revitalizing routines, to a 14-week marathon training plan designed by Shalane. It’s so beautifully designed that I actually have it sitting on my main bookcase so I can flip through it often, rather than tucking it away in a cupboard with the rest of my cookbooks.
The Practice of Groundedness by Brad Stulberg
I am not sure I have ever read a book that spoke to me as directly as this book of Brad’s. I felt like he had been reading through my journal and knew everything I was thinking, even the things I wouldn’t even admit to myself. This book is the book I will now be purchasing for others. It was fantastic.
How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith
This was hard hitting, but well worth a read to understand a lot of the racial injustice that happened in the past and is still happening today. After reading this book, it would be hard to dispute what happened here in the US in terms of how Black people have and are being treated. I have a lot of friends in line to read this book next. One of the best reads of the year.
Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown
I have not read this one, but it is on my wishlist. Anyone who knows me, knows I love Brene, and this book is set to be her best one yet. I can’t wait!
I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
This insight from Austin is really helpful for those of us wanting to do better and understand what it is really like to be Black in America. It is real, raw, vulnerable, and hard hitting.
FOR runners who wear sunglasses: Goodr Sunglasses ($25)
In Tina’s words: As I mention often on the podcast, there is rarely a moment in time I am outside my house without a pair of Goodr on my head. Winter or summer, sun or rain, I always have them nearby, and they are comfortable and look good…. without costing a ton. If you want simple, you can do that, but you can also express your personality with one of their many fun pairs. I have a mix of both, depending on my mood. Goodr is also a carbon neutral company, which I LOVE!
In their words: Fun, Fashionable, Functional, and Affordable. No Slip. No Bounce. ALL Polarized. All Fun.
For the Runner who wants Eco-Friendly kids’ items: Repurpose Dinner Sets ($30)
We are huge fans of these dinnerware sets. They are made from plants, not plastic. I love them so much I reached out to them to ask if they could support my community with a code (thinking they would shrug me off with 10%); they gave a 25% coupon for you! They also have disposable items, so stock up for any parties or events you have.
Use code TINAMUIR for 25% off
FOR runners who love accessories: Erica Sara Jewelry ($15+)
In Tina’s words: Erica has done a beautiful job of giving the running community something that is meaningful and personal for a few years now, and her pieces are gorgeous too. If you are looking for something special, this is a great way to support a small business mama and do just that.
In her words:Celebrate your love for running with a made-to-order necklace or ring. Select your metal, chain, and font to customize your one-of-a-kind piece.
FOR runners who Get sore: CEP Compression Socks ($42)
From Kelsey: These are on the pricey side, but I truly think they have the EXTRA tightness that my sore joints need. Plus they come in fun neon colors to really give you that extra pep in your step if you decide to run with them!
FOR runners who struggle to recover: Roll Recovery R8 ($128)
From Sally: I have an entire arsenal of recovery tools, but the Roll Recovery R8 is my favorite. I also love my Rumble Roller, but sometimes I just don’t feel like rolling on the floor. The Roll Recovery is extremely effective, but best of all, I can use it while I’m sitting on the couch in the evening, watching TV.
Note from Tina: My husband and I also use our R8 a lot. When I was running as an elite, this was a critical part of my daily routine. There is a reason there are SO many positive reviews; it works!
FOR runners who would love something personalized: We Run on Art ($50)
In Tina’s words: I am fortunate enough to have one of these from when I was pregnant with Chloe and “doing a run” (of about 100m) with Bailey. It is one of my favorite things I have been given as a runner, as it is so personal and meaningful. Jess does amazing work, and it is something unique to give the runner in your life.
In Jess’s words: We Run On Art pieces bring joy and happiness to runners of all abilities and experience levels. They often are ordered to commemorate a special race, relationship or achievement and serve as joyful reminders of one’s strength in the pursuit of their best self and life through the sport of running!
For the Runner who wants to take charge of their health: Inside Tracker (price varies)
In Tina’s words: Keeping on top of our health is more improtant than ever, but it is something usually left to weights and BMI’s, which I can’t stand. I love that inside tracker gives you a snapshot of what is going on on the inside (the only real way to know, bloodwork). And from there they give recommendations for how to address your areas that need work, including what foods to consume and liftestyle changes to make. You can easily chat with a registered dietitian to ask their advice, and it is just a really improtant tool to have in your toolbox to stay on top of your health. They are offering their biggest deal of the year, $200 off ultimate if you order before 11/29.
For the Runner Who Makes Food at Home: Beeswax Wrap ($5)
In Tina’s words: I have been recommending these for years; they are great instead of using cling film/Saran Wrap, and they last for about a year (then are compostable).
For runners who really care about ethical purchases: Tentree Lorax Collection (price varies)
From Kat: They strive to make their apparel with the smallest possible ecological footprint by using eco-friendly materials like TENCEL, recycled polyester, organic cotton, and hemp, and reducing wastewater and carbon emissions; they also put peoples’ needs ahead of lower production costs through ethical manufacturing. And, as a happy bonus, Tentree plants 10 trees (hence the name!) for every item you purchase (which you can register and track)! They have several different collections, but the Lorax collection is my favorite.
Note from Tina: I have some of these clothes on my list too!
For runners who often forget to charge their watch: Coros Watch ($299)
In Tina’s words: Have to include a running watch; it’s the one item other than shoes that we really need. I have been wearing Coros Apex for about three years and I am very happy with it. My favorite part is that the battery life is impressive, around three weeks of battery, and can handle the longest race if you are an ultra athlete. There is a reason many elites rave about this. It is great! I also love that it looks good enough to wear in life as well as around other runners.
In their words: COROS is a performance sports technology company that helps athletes train to be their best.
For runners who like to travel: Agave 2 in 1 backpack ($60)
From Maria: A 3-in-one backpack for active humans! It’s a super light backpack that converts into a hip-pack and sling bag. It’s perfect for traveling because it’s very compact and practical. It’s special to me because my friend Jeff is the founder and he has poured his heart into the production of this bag. It makes an excellent gift for others (and yourself!)
For runners who care about their carbon footprint: Allbirds tree Dasher shoes ($125)
In Tina’s words: I hadn’t even heard of Allbirds until the Running Realized episode we did about sustainable footwear in running. Since then, I have been obsessed. I wear my Tree Dashers all day, every day (not kidding!). Not only are they comfortable for daily use, but they are a simple running shoe. If you are traveling and limited on space, taking a pair of these means you can run and hang out in them, knowing you are supporting sustainable businesses.
In their words: At Allbirds, we make better things in a better way using natural materials.
For runners who do long runs: Ultimate direction Marathon vest V2 ($90)
In Tina’s words: I have never included a hydration pack in this gift guide before, but now that I’ve ventured into the trail world, I see it is a must. Not only that, but I now wear my hydration pack for marathon long runs, or even any run over 12 miles. This Ultimate Direction marathon vest is incredibly comfortable and is perfect for runners whose training is self- supported.
FOR a fun runner gift: Dumb runner products ($5+)
From Sally: Mark Remy publishes most of his satirical essays on his “Dumb Runner” website and Facebook page, but a collection of them would be a fun gift. Every runner will find pieces that they’ll relate to and that will make them laugh.
For runners who like to wear athleisure during the day: Lululemon wunder under tights ($98)
In Tina’s words: Three of the four seasons of the year, five out of seven days a week, I am likely wearing a pair of these. They are my favorite pants of all time for just day-to-day. I wore them in pregnancy; I wore them when I was a professional runner (and a different size); I wear them now. They are just the best. Expensive, yes, but well worth it.
For runners who hate pins: Bibboards Bib Snaps ($15)
From Jeremy: You never have to worry about permanently damaging a beloved shirt with safety pin holes. And there are a variety of fun options to truly express yourself. Get a bunch and mix and match for extra raceday mojo.
For runners who love cereal: ucan energy mix($20 for two packs)
From Tina: This is so addicting. I love that it is a way to start off my day with cereal, while also getting tons of nutrient dense ingreidnets and superstarch to fuel me through my morning. For a runner who loves breakfast, but sometimes can get too busy to prep something, this is ideal, and also amazing on its own.
For Someone who loves everything running : Gone for a run Medal Display (price varies
From Jeremy: This site has really cool and fun stuff for gift ideas: I got the BibFOLIO bib and medal display with the dry erase cover to record all my PRs. It’s great for an inspirational boost of dopamine and serotonin when I see it.
From Tina: I have this on my christmas list this year 🙂
For runners who want to be more sustainable in daily life: Leaf Shave Razor ($84)
From Stacey: I really like my Leaf Shave Razor! Replaces disposables and even the cartridge replacements. It is made out of solid, sturdy metal and you just replace the metal blades, which it actually really easy! Their customer service is really awesome, too. I had my first one for several years when it broke. They asked for some photos and had a new one out to me, free of charge, so fast! Product and packaging is plastic free. Works as well, if not better, to the standard drugstore razors.
Note from Tina: I also have one of these and love it!
For Runners who love changing phone cases: Pela Compostable Phone Cases ($55)
From Stacey: Pela is my go-to phone case! They are made out of sustainable materials that are completely compostable. I drop my phone a lot, and their cases have held up and protected my phone for years. They have so many great designs and styles for all types of phones. They also have iPad cases, smart watch bands, and other tech protection accessories!
For runners who want nourishing snacks and breakfasts: picky club Membership (price varies)
In Tina’s words: We pay for Picky Club each month, and look forward to our delivery with the goodies we selected. You can break up the box in whatever way you like, and make a bigger or smaller box depending on what you need. There is rarely a day that goes by where I am not enjoying some Picky Bars product. Besides, the coupon code we have will get you a big discount on top of the discount the Picky Club gives you!
In their words: Regular deliveries of real food fuel, exclusive perks, fun surprises, and screaming savings to satisfy your financial taste buds. Afraid of commitment? Don’t fret – you can switch up your mix anytime.
For runners who want to keep growing as humans: Journals
In Tina’s words: I was doing so well with meditating every day until I totally fell off the wagon a few months ago, but I have kept on top of my journaling, and I am so thankful for that daily practice to work on myself and continue to grow. It does not have to be a specific journal; I am a big fan of finding one that works for your life, but I absolutely love these Dingbats ones.
For those who love nature: house plants (and the plantin app for those who have lots of house plants)
In Tina’s words: This has definitely been my 2021 obsession. Only one of my eight houseplants has died, and I still hold out hope it will revive itself, but it has been really enjoyable learning how to take care of them and also just have them in the home. It does feel comforting to have them around. I have enjoyed the spider plant, Brazil philodendron, and Swiss cheese plant, and those are all low maintenance. Just be careful not to overwater (I use the PlantIn app, which is another recommendation for a house plant lover!)
Sustainably friendly gifts:
For the Runner Who has everything they need: an experience (price varies)
In Tina’s words: I am a huge fan of giving experiences over items, and it is usually my first choice with almost everyone… except yes, Covid 19 has made that a little more tricky. Now that things are starting to resume, there are plenty of ideas for ways to celebrate the loved one in your life, and these create longer-lasting memories than items. You can have those memories together for a lifetime, and especially after the year we have been through, we all could use something unique and enjoyable.
Here are some ideas we came up with:
- Voucher for a massage
- An afternoon tea (if that is available to you)
- Virtual or in-person skydiving
- Virtual or in-person cooking class
- Virtual or in-person wine tasting
- Canyoning/sailing/scuba diving/snorkeling experience
- Hotel/B & B/Air BnB stay voucher for somewhere nice
- Gift card to a restaurant (even if it’s takeout)
- Tickets to a theme park
- A manicure or pedicure
For the eco-friendly Runner: donate to a environmental action charity or NGO
Here are some organizations we love that are doing amazing work but could use the support:
Science Club For Girls– provides free STEM education for girls from communities underrepresented in STEM
Oh, and one reminder, if you are shopping from Amazon (although we encourage you to shop local or directly from businesses whenever possible), rather than going to amazon.com, if you type smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to the charity/organization of your choice. You can set up which organization when you visit that link; it will say “supporting….” and you can choose which organization to use.
What would you add?