The 2019 Holiday Gift Guide is back again, which means it’s that time of year again. But really, that’s all year for runners– a time to ask for/buy a bunch of crap you don’t really need. To make you more annoying to your significant other, we’ve assembled a list of some of our favorite gifts for runners that aren’t shoe/apparel related. That list will be coming in the next week or so.
Anyway, throw some of this stuff on your list, and just make sure to buy a really, really nice toaster for your spouse. Everyone loves slightly-burned bread.
Congratulations, you’re halfway towards a Dopp kit.Shop Tracksmith
Price: $90Oh, you already think this list is boring. Well GET OVER IT. Heart rate monitors are the new Fitbit.
Anyway. Polar has been in the heart rate game since its inception in the late 1970’s. In fact, the company is founded on heart rate technology. Robbe has been using this heart rate monitor for the last few months on almost every run and has experienced consistent accuracy. The soft textile strap is comfortable to wear, and the battery life is solid (and rechargeable). Connects to any watch with ANT+ capabilities. For anyone who wants accurate heart rate readings, a chest strap is a must, and this won’t disappoint.Shop Polar H10
Heart rate monitor, now a flashlight for your head!? Things are really heating up!
But seriously, it’s winter, it’s dark, and you need a headlamp. We’ve reviewed a bunch of Petzl products over the last year (four different headlamps to be exact), and this is the overall best of the bunch for the average runner. It has everything you need— rechargeable but can switch out to standard AAA batteries in a pinch, runs at 100 lumens for 12 hours (and maxes out at 450 lumens), and weighs only 2.6 oz. You can read our full review here, or pick it up on sale at a crazy low price using the shop link below (through Dec. 3).Shop Petzl
I don’t get why power meters are suddenly all the rage, but whatever. If you’re into more in-depth metrics, you should check out the all-new COROS Pod. It’s a small sensor that clips to the back of your shorts and gives you all kinds of metrics, from run efficiency to L/R balance, stride length, ground time, etc. It weighs only 19g and has a 1-year battery life if used 2 hrs./day. I didn’t notice it on the run, and it indeed provides a pretty detailed look at advanced metrics. You can pick it up now for $70, COROS watch owners can get it for $50.Shop COROS
Winter is coming or may already be here if you live in Colorado like Taylor, our Rocky Mountain shoe/gear reviewer. This is one of his must-have pieces of gear for snow and ice-laden runs/walks/hikes. The 12 stainless steel spikes grip like hell and the TPE band remains stretchy down to -30 deg F. It’s won various awards from Backpacker Magazine, but the fact that Taylor loves it is good enough for us.Shop Kahtoola
Part running belt, part hydration belt, part hydration pack— this thing does it all. Thomas has been using it on some runs and was surprised at how secure it felt while carrying a ton of stuff, like six Maurten gels and an iPhone 11 Pro (humblebrag). It comes with a 17 oz. soft-flask bottle that can easily fold up when empty, as well as an integrated trekking pole carrying system for those more intensive adventures.Shop CamelBak
One of my favorite things about Janji is their willingness to experiment with making crazy shit. Sometimes it fails miserably (diagonally-oriented back pocket zippers on shorts), while other times it hits big. Like this sling bag.
If you’ve been in any moderately cool metropolis lately, you’ve probably seen that sling bags are the acceptable fanny packs. While other running companies with an inside track on this trend never did anything (i.e. SPIbelt), Janji went for it. And it’s pretty dope.
It can be worn as a fanny pack, across the chest, or on the back, and holds 2L of stuff, which is pretty insane. In the consistently ho-hum world of running, the pattern is refreshing (it also comes in straight black). It’s also made of a durable-but-light ripstop polyester.
While it won’t hold a laptop (that would be weird), it makes for a great commuter bag, or just getting around town bag. With a Black Friday sale going on right now, so you can actually get it for like $36, so jump on that.Shop Janji
Who said dudes can’t dress up like sexy Santa? For a limited time, pick up the rabbit Welcome To The Gun Show Holiday singlet, and be the envy of all your holiday races. Let’s not forget this is one of the best quality singlets out there no matter what pattern adorns it. It’s buttery soft with flatlock seams, so be like my house’s Christmas decorations and keep it going year-round. Giddy-up, Dasher.Shop rabbit
Thomas and Meaghan’s go-to nutrition for race day, Maurten Gel is the Rolls Royce of race gels, if that’s even a thing. Top marathoners like Eliud Kipchoge and Des Linden use the stuff, which breaks down quickly to give you the energy you need and is made of only 6 simple and natural ingredients. Also, Christmas is the perfect time to ask for this stuff, cause you’d feel ridiculous paying $4 per gel if you bought these for yourself. Spend a few dollars more and get the caffeinated version.Shop Maurten
Outdoor Research continually makes quality gear, and while their running segment is small, what they do have never disappoints. I’ve been taking these out on my runs in 40-degree weather and, for a midweight glove, was surprised at how my hands stayed warm without overheating. Their cutting-edge “smart fleece” apparently is a thermo-regulating technology that adjusts to your body’s temperature to keep you cool, dry and comfortable during high-exertion activities. There’s a bunch of other smaller details as well, and it’s all wrapped up in a nice price point for quality gloves.Shop Outdoor Research
There’s a whole series of books like these from Lonely Planet, based on car rides, bike rides, hikes, and now running.
A collection of runs and routes around the world, the book aggregates knowledge from a slew of traveling runners out there—from running journalists to weirdo-ultrarunner Mike Wardian (I mean that in the nicest way possible). If you’re a serious runner, you’ve probably heard about a bunch of these runs, varying from long-distance ultras to short city runs. But there’s a lot you probably don’t know about either.
With 50 routes in 28 countries, the descriptions and accompanying photos will give you severe wanderlust, especially if you already have cabin fever.Shop Epic Runs of the World
Okay, full disclosure— I used to have a Road ID, but I literally lose everything that’s smaller than a jet engine, so guess what? It gone. Since then, I haven’t died, so I have some sort of false security going on.
Don’t be me.
A Road ID will keep your family from wondering where you are if you get smacked by a side mirror and end up in the ICU for a couple days. Plus, you can put medical info on it so the paramedics don’t accidentally inject you with bee stings or peanut butter. There’s a whole ton of designs and styles, and they’re all on sale right now for Black Friday.Shop Road ID
After being severely disappointed by my last pair of Goodr sunglasses (they didn’t even make it a whole summer before the lenses went to hell and began severely peeling), I went for the Tifosi Svago. I like the different style, mainly cause I’m a little bored with Goodr knockoff-Wayfarer look.
While these aren’t polarized, they do have a Glare Guard reflective coating, and the frame is light but sturdy. They also have rubber nose piece grips, something you won’t find in other similarly-priced sunglasses. You can rock these on the run or off, and they won’t break the bank.Shop Tifosi
I think this is Injinji’s attempt at making a sock that isn’t a toe sock, but still keeping it a toe sock. Whatever, wear them however you want, you get two socks for one. Perfect for winter. So the liner is the grey toe sock (sticking out in the photo), while the runner is the colored normal sock that goes over the top of it. Both are medium-cushion, made of CoolMax fibers, nylon, and Lycra, which provides maximum wicking and climate control. I mean, I’m not gonna lie, it’s a comfortable duo, and I will keep wearing these all throughout the winter.Shop Injinji
You’re putting in those hard Turkey Trot miles, so you totally deserve to soak yourself in these bourgie bath salts. With fast-absorbing magnesium flakes, mineral-rich sea salts, and pure essential oils, this still will literally get over (under?) your skin to help ease those sore muscles. I’m gonna be totally honest—I haven’t tried this product, we aren’t sponsored by them, or anything. It just seems like it’d be an amazing post-race soaking experience, so I’m willing to risk a $25 Christmas present on them.Shop Coach Soak
This is kind of a fun gift to display your race medals or bug collection or whatever, in a different way. The coasters are really nice quality, with six different color inserts that you can use as a background for whatever you’re trying to display. Our only caveat— the dimensions are 3.75” x 0.5”, so make sure your medal will fit. With a lot of weird/oversized medal designs these days, you might be disappointed and indeed end up using it for a bug collection.Shop Kudos
Just beer.Shop Beer
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