When you’re wondering what to get the runner in your life (or what other goodies you need to add to your wish list), look no further than this guide filled with gifts every runner needs.
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It’s the holiday season (the holiday season). And that means…. time for gift guides! After being introduced to so many awesome brands at The Running Event Influencer Day with BibRave, I’m compiling two gift guides for runners filled with brands and products every runner should know about. First up: Gifts Every Runner Needs: Performance Edition!
1. A good sports bra
Lady runners need a good sports bra to keep those ladies happy and healthy. I’ve had the Handful Y-Back Bra ($56) for about two weeks now and love it. It’s comfortable. It’s cute. It’s flattering, and it’s been rated in Runner’s World as a top running bra for D+ (I’m not a D+ but I trust the opinion of those bustier than I when it comes to bras)! It has a wider band that sits below the bra line for added comfort, has removable pads, performance wicking lining and just feels so soft. I honestly couldn’t stop touching their stuff when we were at their booth at The Running Event (TRE).
2. At least two pairs of shoes
You read that correctly. Every runner needs at least two pairs of quality running sneakers. I have about 8 pairs that I rotate through (I might have a problem…). Multiple shoes helps prevent your body from getting used to running the same exact way all the time, potentially eliminating muscle imbalances. It may also help to have different types of shoes for different types of runs (i.e. lighter shoes for short, fast runs and more cushioned shoes for long runs). Multiple shoes also means each pair lasts longer. I received two pairs of shoes at TRE, and I’m slightly obsessed with both of them.
The first is the Brooks Ghost 11s ($120). I have a lot of friends that run in Brooks, but I have actually never owned a pair. Now I see why my BRFs love them so much and why they won the Runner’s World Editor’s Choice award. They have just the right amount of cushioning without feeling heavy. I also learned from the Brooks booth at TRE that they have a Segmented Crash Pad, which is a system of shock absorbers that cushion every step no matter how your foot lands. I only have a few miles on them so far, but they look great and most importantly, they feel great.
The second is the Altra Escalante 1.5 ($130). For some reason I though Altra only made trail shoes, but oh how wrong I was. They have so many awesome road shoes, including the Escalante. My favorite thing about this shoe is the Footshape™ Toe Box, which allows your toes to relax and spread out naturally for more comfort and stability. They also design their women’s shoes specially for the female foot and have Zero Drop™, meaning your heel and forefoot are the same distance from the ground to encourage proper form. I’ve only put a few miles on these babies so far, but I can already tell these are going to be one of my go-to pairs. Any runner would be thrilled to unwrap a pair of these.
3. Quality running socks
You could just wear any old pair of socks while running, but you’d be doing yourself and your feet a major disservice. I received a few amazing running sock options from two sock brands at TRE: Incrediwear and CEP.
Incrediwear Sport Thin Socks come in different sock heights from no-show to knee-high ($14-$18). They are designed to help relieve aches and fatigue during activities. They’re lightweight and thin (perfect for running in Austin summers), and secure fitting without being the least bit tight.
Incrediwear also makes an Active Sock ($13.55). They’re made to provide comfort for days spent on your feet, making them great everyday socks and long-run socks. Whether you pack one pair into a stocking stuffer or put together a whole package as a gift, your running friend will be pumped.
CEP Merino Socks ($60) are another awesome option. CEP designs compression wear for hospitals, so their really on top of their science game. These super comfy socks offer progressive 20-30mmHg graduated and consistent compression to help increase circulation, help prevent shin splints and delayed onset muscle soreness. I usually struggle to get compression socks on since their so tight, but these go on so easily. The merino wool also helps regulate temperature while you run and can actually help keep you cooler that going bare-legged in the warmer months.
Both brands also makes some great products for recovery. Be sure to come back next week to learn more!
4. Hydration and vitamins
I’ve written a number of posts on the importance of hydration and vitamins for runners, and Nuun offers the best of both worlds. Nuun is another brand I heard a lot about, but never really tried. A lot of runners swear by it, and to be honest, I don’t know why I never really gave it a shot before. After talking to them at TRE and sampling all their different products, I’m officially a Nuun convert and think every runner should add some Nuun to his/her wish list (they’d make a great stocking stuffer!). Nuun containers ($7) house 10-12 tablets that dissolve in water to help up your hydration game. They come in three different varieties and loads of flavors, all of which are made with clean ingredients. Nuun Electrolytes is the perfect way to get some electrolytes in while you run, Nuun Vitamins add 11 vitamins and minerals to your water and Nuun immunity has 8 antioxidants and 2 anti-inflammatories to help keep you healthy.
5. Layering Options
It’s hard to figure out what to wear this type of year, especially in Austin. Some mornings it’s warm(ish), some mornings it’s cold, and some mornings I think it’s going to be freezing but once I start my run I realize I’ve overdressed. A quality, lightweight layering jacket, such as the Brooks LSD Jacket ($85), is perfect for when you’re not quite sure what the weather is going to do on your run. It’s incredibly light, fully windproof and packs down into a tiny elastic armband! On top of that, it’s REALLY reflective, helping you stay safe on those dark winter mornings and evenings. It’s seriously the coolest jacket of all time and might win you the best gift-giver of the year award.
6. Bottoms that stay put
One of the hardest things for me to find as a runner is good bottoms. I can’t tell you how many pairs of capris and leggings I own that I have to yank up constantly during my run or how many pairs of shorts that I have to constantly pull down. Fortunately, I received two great bottoms at TRE. The first is the Handful Squeeze Play Capri (usually $70 but on sale NOW for $40) . I wore them on our morning run through Austin and didn’t have to pull them up once! They’re power-hugging, moisture wicking, lightweight and high-waisted (my favorite). They have cute sheer striped panels and a flattering ruching detail in the back. Also, the hidden pocket in the waistband is massive! It even fits my phone.
The second is the Vuori Omni Performance Short ($58). This company also wowed me at TRE. I want pretty much everything they make, so I was pumped to receive a pair of these shorts. They have a bikini liner that helps prevent them from riding up. They’re anti-odor, have UPF 50 and have a handy back zip pocket for your essentials. And of course, they’re super cute.
Get any of these gifts for the runner in you’re life and he or she is sure to have a very happy holiday.
Have any fitness gift guides, holiday workouts or healthy living posts to share? Join today’s Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up!
Come back next week for Gifts Every Runner Needs: Recovery Edition.
What’s on your running wish list?