10 Best Gifts for Runners Fully Reviewed
To make things easier for you, we’ve taken the time to research and review the best running gifts, so you can pick from a more concise list of items. So, whether you are stumped for gift ideas or just have no clue where to start, we are here to help!
When it comes to the best running gifts on our list, we are confident there is something out there for everyone! Take a look at each of our choices, and don’t forget to check out our criteria section to learn more about how we narrowed down our product list.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
Several colors available
- Rockay Accelerate
- NUUN Energy
- Run Fast, Eat Slow
- The Complete Runner's Day-By-Day Log
- Rockay Blaze
- Original Buff Headwear
- 26 Marathons
- Bose SoundSport Free
- Garmin Forerunner 230
- SPIBelt Running Belt
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Expert Interviews & Opinions
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Gifts for Runners
1. Rockay Accelerate
Several colors available
Minimal cushioning and padding
A top performing sock with multiple features all designed to ensure this sock works in partnership with your shoe and you. To find a sock with this much to offer runners and other sportspeople has been a challenge. Just check out what these guys had to say about them. Read on and check the impressive choice of performance features this sock will give.Read more
Different weave styles and thickness place strategic ventilation zones into the sock to ensure breathability and prevent the build-up of unwanted moisture. This helps prevent wetness, chaffing and blistering. The sock also gives a gentle balanced foot compression. The top of the sock has sewn-in elastic to keep out small stones, dirt, and dust. Merino wool acts as a very good anti-odor prevention and these are offered in a nice choice of eye-friendly colors.
The sock has a thickened wool weave which channels supportive compression to the foot arch, the toe, and the heel area feature thick cushion style protection which also reduces the potential for wear and tear.
Constructed from Organic Merino Wool and a combination of very techy designs/systems, this sock offers features which sit at the top for quality, performance, protection, and comfort.
These running socks offer some reflective features for additional safety.
The top of the sock has sewn-in elastic to keep out small stones, dirt, and dust. Merino wool acts as a very good anti-odor prevention and these are offered in a nice choice of eye-friendly colors. Sold at a price which will please all sports people.
2. NUUN Energy
Clean ingredients and great electrolyte balance
Great reviews for a number of different sports
Not too sweet
Contain (small amount of) caffeine
Some people did not like the flavor(s)
Not all runners like Gu/Gels or other edible running products, but most will appreciate the gift of a hydration product. NUUN Energy Tablets dissolve in water to provide electrolytes pre or mid-workout.Read more
These tablets contain 40mg caffeine (about 1/3 cup of coffee) and come in 4 flavor options: Fresh Lime, Wild Berry, Cherry Limeade, and Mango Orange. NUUN boasts a product that utilizes plant-based sweeteners and is free of gluten, soy, and animal based-ingredients. NUUN energy tablets are generally less sweet than other hydration beverages and the container is nice and portable – simply throw them in the car or gym bag and go!
The fizzy blend of Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, and Niacin boosts athletes and energy levels and may assist in preventing muscle cramping and dehydration. NUUN Energy contains the same essentials as NUUN Active, plus a boost of Vitamin B and caffeine.
Great for everyone and there are options without caffeine as well.
Compact in size and easy to toss in your gym bag--but still easy to find thanks to their bright packaging.
When priced out, these little tablets provide a better value per serving than purchasing Gatorade and other pre-mixed hydration products (and less plastic bottle waste!) They are a particularly good deal when purchased in packages of 4.
3. Run Fast, Eat Slow
Great, modifiable recipe ideas with beautiful photos
Info may also help with energy, inflammation, gut issues
Each recipe has a “story” and an explanation of the purpose
A great resource for athletes and non-athletes alike
Some felt recipe ingredients were hard to find
Shalane Flanagan (4-time Olympian) and Elyse Kopecky (chef and runner) teamed up to release this book in August of 2016, and it’s already made the New York Times Bestseller List! The book combines nutritional information, personal stories, and over 100 recipes specific for runners and endurance athletes.Read more
Unlike other running-specific recipe content, this book focuses on the importance of healthy fat in a runners’ diet and strays away from over-emphasis on calorie counting and protein-heavy meals.
The book organizes recipes in a functional way, providing ideas for delicious treats, satisfying snacks, healthy meals, and thirst-quenching drinks that family and friends will love.
Fan favorites include: High-Altitude Bison Meatballs, Can’t Beet Me Smoothie, Kale Raddiccio, Recovery Quinoa Salad, Marathon Lasagna and Superhero Muffins. If you’re still uncertain, check out Runner’s World for a great podcast interview of both authors.
This book is really easy to read and the print options available are perfect for any type of reader.
The book is a hardcover format that most reviewers found affordable given the value and usefulness of the content.
4. The Complete Runner's Day-By-Day Log
Easy to use
Perfect for all types of runners
2019 version is out
A lot of runners like to log in their miles, and some like to stick to good old pen and paper when they do so. This log is really easy to use and will help runners all over meet their goals—take a look if you are buying for a serial tracker or planner.Read more
This runner’s log is really easy to use. It will help you log everything and offers more than just running log options—so you can record notes, store pictures, and so much more. The spirals make it pretty durable and easy to flip through as well.
This is perfect for planners everywhere. It is sleek and concise so you can access all of your data when you need to.
This log is perfect for runners everywhere! It is easy to use and will work for short and distance runners alike. Currently, the 2019 version is out, but the 2020 version will be available soon so it will be a perfect holiday gift this year as well.
Each of the pages in this log is really easy to read and work through. You can easily go back and see where your hard work has taken you,
Really affordable and totally worth every penny
5. Rockay Blaze
Passed Swisslastic’s compression test
Increased ventilation zones
No more odors
Can be considered expensive.
Color options are limited and mundane
Whether you are looking for a birthday or Christmas gift, there is one product that any runner would appreciate: the Rockay Blaze Graduated Compression Leg Sleeves. If you are wondering why this product is a great choice, it not only can help prevent and heal a wealth of injuries, it can also reduce fatigue and improve recovery times after a long run. If that’s not enough, check out these features.Read more
In comparison to many other competitive brands, this company intentionally designed this product from the absolute best possible materials. Runners will find that this is made from a blend of multifilament polyamide, polyamide, and elastane. Through combining these materials, this product provides runners with impressive durability, great stability, and arguably the strongest compression out there.
These look great and provide you with additional compression so you can prevent and treat any pesky symptoms will speeding up your recovery.
With anti-odor technology, moisture-wicking properties, and the ability to hang-dry, rather than constantly wash it, consumers are gaining more over the long run.
Offers reflective features to make you more visible while you are out on the road.
When it comes to price, this product may be considered a bit pricier than a few other brands out there. The higher price tag can be directly attributed to the added value and features that the manufacturer included. While this brand may be new to some runners, they are working effortlessly to secure new consumers. To do so, each purchase comes with a standard lifetime guarantee. So, if you have any problems or concerns with your product, you can contact the customer service team and they will take care of you.
6. Original Buff Headwear
Lightweight, versatile, simple
Tons of color and pattern options
Some complain about the prominent logo
May not perform as well in extended use once it’s wet
Buffs are a popular accessory for runners year-round, as they can be used for neck and face protection in the winter and folded into a headband for hotter climates. The product is made from 100% microfiber, is seamless, quick-drying and moisture-wicking.Read more
Unisex, one size fits all and most agree that the product does well with its intended uses.
Available in lots of colors and patterns to choose from.
Versatile product that can also be used for mild wind/cold protect, sweat-wicking in the heat, as an armband or even an eye mask for sleeping/travel!
Pretty visible if you get certain patterns.
Some find this product on the pricey side considering it’s a small amount of fabric (neck sleeve). Fair price compared to reputable competitors.
On the New York Times Bestsellers
Available as an audiobook as well
Written by a marathoner but tailored for all runners
Not everyone likes to read
If you are buying for someone that you know loves to read, then this is another great book to consider. It is a New York Times bestseller and written by Meb Keflezighi—a 4 time Olympian career marathoner who has participated in 26 marathons.Read more
This is the perfect book for runners and marathoners alike. It is inspirational, beautifully written, and chronicles the life of a career marathoner and highlights all of the ups and downs experienced throughout his journey.
Perfect for runners looking for the inspirational push to help them keep moving. If you want to support the runner in your life, this is the perfect motivational book to have them read.
While this book is written by a career marathoner, this book is perfect for all runners. It will teach runners to use the same lessons he used to get to where he is today, so it really is a book for everyone. If you want GRIT, this book will help you!
When it comes to visibility, we looked at the print options offered for this text. It is available in normal and large print—and if you don’t want the actual book, you can get it on your eReader as well. If you want an audiobook, then this is an option as well!
This book is worth every penny and its value far exceeds its cost. Runners everywhere love this book and have used its lessons to start working to their own running goals.
8. Bose SoundSport Free
Comes in different sizes
Comes with a charging pack
5-10 hours of listening time
While this is a pricey item, it is something the runner in your life is sure to love. These wireless headphones are a favorite among runners and will be a favorite gift among all of them.Read more
These headphones are wireless and sweatproof. They have a 5 hour playing time and come with a charging pack that can give you up to ten more hours of listening time. You can track them if they ever go missing,
They come in 3 different sizes--to ensure they fit all types of ears.
These wireless earbuds are a perfect option for all athletes and should fit most ear sizes.
These don't really require additional visibility features so other people can see you. However, they do come in very visible colors so you can easily find them.
This is a high-cost item--however, given all the features and benefits it provides these headphones are beyond worth their price. If you want to find a splurge-worthy gift, these are definitely it!
9. Garmin Forerunner 230
Lightweight (1.44 oz.) and comfortable
Great battery life
Waterproof and durable
GPS is fast and reliable
Does not track elevation gain until connected to internet/app
No virtual pacer feature
Some find the screen is too dim
The “best” Garmin in 2016 is subject to much speculation, so our recommendation is based on the best reviewed middle-budget Garmin options in a wide consensus at the end of 2016. The Garmin 230 doubles as a watch and activity tracker, keeping track of steps and sleep data, in addition to boasting excellent performance for logging running data.Read more
The Forerunner 230 also has a useful “Find My Phone” feature and is compatible with Android and IOS, with the ability to deliver Bluetooth smartphone notifications.
Available in three color options: Purple Strike, Force Yellow, and Black & White.
It does not feature a wrist-based heart rate tracker but does have the option to purchase a chest strap for monitoring your heart rate.
This watch features a 44% larger screen than the popular Garmin 220. It’s been tested and approved by females with smaller wrists and it is one of the lightest GPS watches in its class. The battery life is excellent (5 weeks of battery life in watch mode and 16 hours in training mode).
Given all of the features of this product, most agree it’s a great deal for a reliable middle-level GPS watch. Several more expensive watches (like the Garmin Forerunner 735XT and Garmin Forerunner 235) and more budget choices (Garmin Vivoactive HR and Garmin VivoFit) are also worth looking into, based on your price considerations.
10. SPIBelt Running Belt
Lots of storage space
Lots of different color options
May run small for plus sizes
The SPIbelt Running Belt is a great, affordable gift for the runner in your life. It's small, sleek, and comes in several different colors--allowing you to be stylish, comfortable, and able to carry everything you need easily.Read more
This running belt is perfect for runners who are tired of holding their stuff in their hands or using armbands. It will comfortably stash your stuff without the bulkiness of a larger pack.
This running belt is lightweight and sleek. It is able to hold all of your essentials and was able to hold even the largest phones. You can also get creative with all of the color options available.
This is perfect for runners who just need to stash some stuff. If you want a hydration belt, this one won't work.
When it comes to visibility, this belt does have some additional reflective features to make you a little more visible to other people on the road.
Affordable, and the runner in your life will definitely love and utilize this gift.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When buying anyone a gift, you want to make sure that they will actually use it--after all, you don't want to waste your money or leave your loved one with something they will never use and have to pretend to like. To help you avoid these issues, we made sure to go over the use of each of the products on our list. Some may be more straightforward than others--but it's still important to keep this in mind.
Before you make your final decision while looking through our list, think about what you want to get the runner in your life. If they love to read, we have some running book options that have been on the New York Times bestsellers list and will give runners some inspiration to shoot for you. If you know your runner loves to compete in marathons or races, we also have some options geared to storing their bibs and medals.
Regardless of the type of runner, you are buying for, just remember to keep in mind what their interests are. It is important that they are able to get use out of the gift that you get them. Take a look at each of our product reviews because we go over the use of each of the products we chose so you know exactly what to expect.
If you decide to get your loved one who loves to run a gift that they can wear or sport for style, then you definitely want to make sure you remember to consider there style. Just because you like a certain fit, certain colors, or specific styles doesn't mean everyone does. When looking for clothing, make sure to really think about what who you are buying for likes.
What material is it made of
Some of us may have sensory issues, so if you know the person you are buying for favors or stays away from certain materials, then you will want to make sure to keep that in mind.
Will they like the fit?
Not everyone likes the same fit. Some runners like looser fitting clothing while others like a tighter fit. If you don't already know their preference, then you may want to slyly figure that out before going out and buying something.
Do they have a sense of humor?
A lot of running tank tops and shirts have funny sayings or different patterns and expressions. We didn't include too many of those on our product list, but it's definitely a great thing to remember when looking for clothing.
Compatibility is one of the most important factors to consider when looking for one of the best running gifts out there. This is where you will look at whether or not the gift you are looking for is something your runner needs, wants and will be able to use. When we took a look at the compatibility of each of the products on our list we rated based on how compatible they are for most runners.
That being said, not everything is a great fit for everyone, so just because they are rated as highly compatible in our reviews doesn't mean they are perfect for all runners. All runners have different needs and don't run the same distances or compete in the same races. So, just like when choosing the best running shoes, you need to make sure to keep their specific needs in mind before choosing a gift.
Do you know a runner that runs during low lighting conditions, but stubbornly doesn’t buy any lighted accessories for their outings? Maybe you know a runner that has been using the same light for the past ten years that’s about as bright as a single birthday candle? Our buying guide features a top-rated running headlamp that is sure to light up their expression when you gift it to them.
Sporting different settings and illuminating up to two hundred lumens, this headlamp will give your runner a better view of where they’re going. They will also be a lot more visible to distracted drivers that typically are not looking out for runners or cyclists. This is one gift that can save a life, so if you know a runner that runs in low light, this a gift for them.
One of the best things about our best gift guide is the wide range of price points. A great gift doesn’t need to break the bank; in fact, most of the gifts on our list are less expensive than the average birthday or Christmas gift. If you were looking for something a little smaller, the running buff is a great choice. It can be a headband, cap, or neckband and is moisture wicking and quick drying.
This is another example of a gift that will be well received even though most runners wouldn’t think about buying it for themselves. They are sure to get most out of a product that is so versatile.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Not everyone has the same taste--and this holds true for runners as well. Make sure you keep the preference of the person you are buying for in mind.
If you can, try and double check to see if the person already has what you are purchasing, especially if you are buying a pricey techy gadget.
Other Factors to Consider
Ease of Use
Ease of use is another important factor to take into consideration--especially if you are looking for a techy gift. While some options on our list don't really pertain to ease of you because they are pretty straight forward, we do have running watches, headphones, and more that you will need to make sure runner knows how to use or won't mind learning how to use.
This is especially important because you need to remember that not everyone wants something that offers a ton of features or that takes forever to get used to using. That being said, some do. Just make sure you take the needs and preferences of the person you are buying for into consideration and make them a top priority before making your purchase.
Anyone who’s has a close relative or friend that is passionate about running will tell you that a sport-related present is always very much appreciated more than any gift card or fruit basket. It seems that there are a few things that some runners would not buy for themselves. Maybe it’s a little extra gear for their runs or something that they’ve never considered before.
We know that it can be hard to select something for the person that already has the standard running gear they need. So we have provided thoughtful gifts that all runners could enjoy without having to worry about their favorite color or personal preferences. When searching for the perfect gift for the runner in your life consider the following before making your final decision:
Do they have other hobbies as well?
Believe it or not, there are plenty of running-related media products—from books and movies to documentaries and much more. If your loved one likes to read or watch tv, these are a great option to consider! Our list currently has a New York Times Bestseller on it so make sure to take a look!
Where do they typically like to run?
Different terrains often call for different gear—whether its shoes, waterproofing features and so much more. Items that will work for trail runners may not be a great option for road runners and vice versa. Take this into consideration when looking for gifts because it’s important!
Are they techy?
Nowadays there are tons of high-tech items out there for runners. From running and GPS watches to wireless headphones, if you can think of it then it probably exists. If you know the person you are buying for is tech savvy, these options always make a great gift!
Do they compete?
Chances are if runner loves to race and compete, they have at least a few medals under there belt. One thing to consider is whether or not they have a way to display their accomplishments or if they have anything that reminds them of how far they have come!
Could they use a pick me up?
Running is intense and you can never go wrong with an energy and hydration supplements—all runners need these items. If you aren’t too sure about what to get your runner then this is a great route to take because runners always need these things!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Where did you get the inspiration for the gifts on this list?
We at Runnerclick pride ourselves in knowing the wants and needs of runners. We spend a lot of our time reading through the critiques of runners, what they want to see more of, and the common problems they run into. We used all this knowledge to put together what we think is not only a great list of gifts but also ideas to work off of.
Like the idea of a running-related book but don’t think your runner will enjoy our pick? There are plenty of others. Think another running watch will suit there needs better? Go for it. This goal of this list is meant to not only give you great options but also to invigorate the thinking process.
q: What are the best choices of a gift for the outdoor runner?
Trail runners have specific needs that can quite different from a runner who favors streets. Hydration bladders are good for runners who need consistent hydration but don’t have a clean drinking source nearby. Trail stoves are great for long-term trail runners who might want to prepare a drink or a meal on the trail.
You might want to look into a jacket or breathable top that will wick sweat and protect the runner from the strong sun. Runners who run on the rough or slippery trail might also appreciate some running cleats or studs. Anything that will make the difficulty of the trail a little less and that will let your runner go a little farther is a smart choice.
q: Is a running gift a good idea?
No matter which gift you select for the runner in your life, we are sure that they will be more than thrilled to get a thoughtful item that helps them to keep enjoying the sport that they are so passionate about. We know that runners could be picky, but these options are sure to please even the most discerning runner.
q: How do I choose the best gift for my runner?
Here is a little piece of advice that can save you a lot of heartaches when it comes to gift giving both runner-centric and otherwise: Ask them what they want. I know a lot of people are inclined to keep gifts a surprise. But if you don’t know what to give then its always better to ask. That way you ensure you are getting something that they will like.
There are other hidden benefits, too. You won’t have to worry about sizing if you ask them first hand, for one. Another big plus, you won’t accidentally get them something they already have. We know surprises are fun but we generally recommend asking if you want to give them the best running gift for their needs.