Top 12 Gifts for the runner in your life

Christmas is coming, and we all know a runner who would like a pair of the Nike Zoom Vaporfly. In an ideal world that would be the perfect gift. But in reality we know it isn’t going to happen. So we at Running Brother’s Company have put together a realistic Christmas list that any runner on Santa’s nice list would appreciate. And all these gifts are around $50 or less, so they won’t break the bank.

SmartWool Running socks

Maybe I’m too practical or maybe I’m just boring, but I will always appreciate a pair of good running socks. There are many different running socks on the market, but I have really enjoyed the SmartWool PhD Run socks for several years now. First off, they’re made well and last a long time. I have collected about a half dozen pairs over the past 5 years, and have yet to develop holes in any of them. I also have had very little issues with chafing and blisters when worn with proper fitting running shoes. I’ve done several marathons and ultras in these socks, and I can say I’ve experienced less than average chafing and blistering with them.

During these cold and wet winter training months you’re runner will be delighted to get these PhD Run Cold Weather Mid Crew Socks in their Christmas stocking!
Smartwool Men’s PhD Run Cold Weather Mid Crew Socks (Black) Large

Buff headwear

One of the runner’s biggest dilemmas is dressing properly for the weather, and being able to adjust mid run. What feels comfortable at the beginning of the run might not at the end. I love Buff headwear because it can adjust to help warm you up or cool you down. In the winter you wear it like a hat, covering your ears. Wear it around your neck, or around your face in extremely cold weather.In the summer wear it like a headband to wick away the sweat or soak it in icewater to cool you down.
Plus, check out all the awesome designs they come in!
BUFF Original Multifunctional Headwear, Graphite, One Size


Baby, it’s COLD outside! Nothing ruins a nice mid-winter run more than cold claws. Those digits need a little love too during the cold winter months, so a good pair of gloves or mittens that are warm, yet can allow ventilation as things heat up are paramount to having a fun, comfortable run.  A convertible style mitten is perfect for warming up when cold, cooling off when hot, and accessing electronics when needed.
Brooks Threshold Gloves

GU nutrition

Give the gift of GU this season. What is GU? It’s easy to digest food for runners during a long run. Most runners have their favorite brands or flavors so ask. However, one of the hot selling flavors this year is the GU Campfire S’mores.
GU Energy Labs Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel, Campfire S’mores, 24 Count

A Massage

No, not a back rub. A good 30-60 min sports massage by a professional. If your runner doesn’t have a favorite place, then check with the local running organization or store. They will often have a recommendation for the best local spot for runners to get a rub down. This will especially come in handy if there is an upcoming race.

Tracer360 reflective vest/light

One of the top things on a runner’s mind when training during the winter is going to be safety. As in-car distractions are on the rise, so must our efforts to be seen while running on the roads, especially at night. The Tracer360 reflective vest by Noxgear is a shining beacon in the night, with 360 degree LED fiber optic illumination and multiple light colors and modes.
Tracer360 Visibility Vest (XL)

Body glide

Friction is our friend when trying to stop, starting a fire, or keeping your hands warm. Friction is not our friend when bombing down a narly incline in the middle of a 50 miler. Putting jokes aside, this more personal running item is a necessity for many whose running goes into the double digits. Your shy friend might be a little embarrassed and taken aback by a gift of Body Glide, but any runner with a sense of humor will laugh, as well as thank you, for this thoughtful personal gift.
Body Glide Original Anti-Chafe Balm, (USA Sale Only)

Foam Roller

Your running friend really needs that professional massage after every hard or long run. But unless they start in the elite corral at Boston it’s unlikely they’ll get it. Us mere mortals use foam rollers instead to loosen up tight muscles after a run.  They come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, and colors. But an inexpensive basic foam roller will do the majority of the massaging. Not only is it budget friendly, it shows to your friend that you care.
AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller – 36-Inches


It’s just smart. Help keep your runner safe with this inexpensive, yet potentially lifesaving bracelet. You can even put a custom message on it so they’ll remember you every time they go for a run!
Road ID Bracelet – the Wrist ID Sport – Identification Bracelet, ID Wristband, Child ID, and Sport ID


With winter comes short days. And many runners will spend countless hours in the dark training for their spring race. Be a light for their dark nights, and get your runner friend a new headlamp. Not only will they be able to see better, but be safer. Look for something with rechargeable batteries, at least 200 lumens, and several light modes. The Petzl Actik Core affordably has all these options, and was Ultrarunner Magazine’s Top Pick in it’s November 2017 issue.
Petzl – ACTIK CORE Headlamp, 350 Lumens, Rechargeable, with CORE Battery, Black


T-shirts. Long sleeve, short sleeve, sleeveless. Cotton and technical fabrics. Fun and ugly. Runners usually have too many shirts. What they don’t have enough of are SHORTS.

The North Face Better Than Naked shorts consistently receives high ratings. I would agree, they are my favorite shorts. The fit is light and comfortable. They also come with a lot of pockets, hence the “better than” title. Price wise at $59 you get a lot for your money. Give your runner a pair of these shorts and he’ll hug you and give you a few t-shirts in return.
The North Face Better Than Naked Short – Men’s TNF Black X-Large x 5″

A Cheer Section at their next race!

The best gift is the one that doesn’t cost any money. Make up some posters and cheer them on at their next race! Here’s a few tips: Get a group to cheer, the louder the better. Plan to spend some time there, especially if it’s a marathon. Cheer everyone on, not just your runner. Find a good spot midway through the race to cheer at where the race director permits it. Extra credit: Host a aid station! Check with the race director to see how you can volunteer.
Funny race signs

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