(Image courtesy of Noah Wetzel)
Do you have a hard to buy for runner on your shopping list? Here's what she really wants this year.
Honey Stinger Energy Chews
These are the best! They’re organic (sweetened with honey and tapioca syrup), dissolve quickly in your mouth, don’t stick to your teeth, taste amazing--and leave no unpleasant aftertaste.
honeystinger.com | Energy Chews $2
Brilliant Reflective Strips
Available in adhesive and iron-on versions, these strips let runners add reflectivity to their favorite jackets, shorts and shoes, making them much easier to spot in low-light conditions. Studies show that reflective patches that outline a human’s limbs trigger a faster response from motorists, which means you’ll be giving the runner in your life the gift of safety.
brilliantreflective.com | Reflective Strips $10
Smartwool PhD Run Light Elite Micro
Once runners try these ultralight merino wool socks, they never go back to lesser models. They dissipate sweat, stay stubbornly in place, and cushion feet without bulk. In other words, it’s the perfect running sock.
smartwool.com | PhD Run Light Socks $18
LED Lenser Neo Headlamp
This 90-lumen headlamp doesn’t just help runners see the road: The blinking red light on the back of the strap helps motorists spot them too.
ledlenser.com | Neo headlamp $25
Roll Recovery R3
Give the gift of self-care: Shaped to stretch the foot muscles surrounding the plantar fascia (a common source of soreness among runners), this self-massager is also handy for rolling out tight glutes and calves.
rollrecovery.com | R3 $27
Olympic Collision: The Story of Mary Decker and Zola Budd by Kyle Keiderling
Mary Decker stumbled and fell during the women’s 3,000-meter race during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, and blame fell hard on South African runner Zola Budd. This new (November 2016) nonfiction investigates one of the most controversial moments in Olympic history and reveals how it changed both athletes forever.
nebraskapress.unl.edu | Olympic Collision $28
LL Bean Pathfinder Lighted Beanie
Hats and headlamps are a fact of life while running in winter, when the days become short and chilly. This combo streamlines runners’ gear and keeps them safe and comfy. The unobtrusive, 48-lumen light is bright enough for road running when safety if a concern.
llbean.com | Lighted Beanie $30
Skratch Labs Endurance Recovery Mix
This company’s electrolyte drink has earned a cult-like following among endurance athletes, who rave about its clean taste and easy digestibility. Now, Skratch brings those same features to post-exercise nutrition as well. The new recovery formulas taste as delicious as a milkshake and help repair muscles after exhausting runs.
skratchlabs.com | Endurance Reovery Mix $32.50
Seirus Solarsphere Ace Gloves
As warm as a heavyweight mitt—but with a fraction of the bulk—this trim glove keeps hands warm by exploiting the sun’s infrared rays to create a 10°F temperature boost.
seirus.com | Ace Gloves $35
Liberate your loved one from excessive water weight. This collapsible, .6-liter flask features a fast-flow water filter in the drink valve that traps illness-causing organisms and lets runners refill from the streams and ponds they pass during their workouts.
katadyn.com | BeFree $40
Gore Mythos 2.0 Windstopper Headband
Narrow across the forehead but broader around the ears (which often suffer on cold, gusty runs) this lifesaver shelters extremities from cruel winter winds.
goreapparel.com | Windstopper Headband $40
Addaday Pro Massage Roller
Soft and medium-density roller balls ease tightness out of quads, calves, and IT bands (those stubborn ligaments along the outside of the thigh) while a smaller, red massager is perfect for soothing a cranky Achilles tendon.
addaday.com | Pro Massage Roller $47
Bronwen Callisto necklace
This pretty little pendant hangs from a smooth, waterproof cord instead of a metal chain or poky clasp, so it’s practical to wear while running.
bronwenjewlery.com | Callisto necklace $48
Ryu Everything Short
Some runners love basic gear, and these are basic shorts—perfected. No fancy pockets or patterns, just top-shelf synthetic fabric held together by welded hems and a simple (yet comfortable) elastic waistband. It’s proof that quality classics need no bells or whistles.
ryu.com | Everything Short $50 (men’s $55)
Tasc Performance Circuit LS T
Proving that feel-good fabrics can also offer moisture-wicking performance, this crew contains 52 percent organic cotton blended with viscose from bamboo—so it’s as cozy as your favorite tee, but still easily handles runners’ sweat.
tascperformance.com | Circuit LS T $56
OOFOS OOriginal Sport Sandal
They may look like ordinary flip-flops, but these cushioned, sole-soothing sandals feel blissful to tired, run-weary feet.
oofos.com | OOriginal Sport Sandal $60
Lululemon Out Run Short Sleeve
With a hidden loop on the collar that keeps earphone wires from bouncing around, this tee is perfect for guys who routinely run with music.
lululemon.com | Out Run Short Sleeve $68
LaSportiva Hero Longsleeve
Make your loved one less stinky with this quick-dry polyester crew, which uses a bacteria-thwarting Polygiene treatment that foils fabric odor.
sportiva.com | Hero Longsleeve $69
Westcomb Delta Crew
Perfect for steamy indoor treadmill workouts, this shirt is made with heat-battling Delta, a new fabric from Polartec that uses a honeycomb texture to speed sweat away (and let cooling breezes in).
westcomb.com | Delta Crew $70
Altra Performance Skirt
With welded seams and a proprietary ZeroLite polyester that feels virtually weightless, this skirt is technical enough for hard-core runners. Pin-sized cutouts in the overskirt improve ventilation, and look like rhinestones when the light passes through them—perfect for gals who want to be fast and fun.
altrarunning.com | Performance Skirt $80
Outdoor Voices ¾ Warmup Legging
The rich, heathered fabric looks smart, masks sweat, and transitions easily from running to yoga.
outdoorvoices.com | Warmup Legging $95
Lumo Run Smart Tracker
This pebble-sized sensor clips to a runner’s waistband and provides feedback on his or her form. Using a companion smartphone app, the device relays personalized advice on the wearer’s cadence, hip rotation, bounce, and other aspects of healthy form. Result? Better performance and a reduced risk of running-related injury.
lumobodytech.com | Lumo Run $99
Hoka One One Clifton 3
Max cushioning with minimal weight (7.3 oz), this road shoe offers a roomy toebox, an extra-soft, accommodating mesh upper, and an incomparably smooth ride.
hokaoneone.com | Clifton 3 $130
Decibullz Custom-Fit Bluetooth Earphones
These earbuds actually stay in place during running and strength workouts, because they’re custom-molded to suit the wearer’s own ears. Just heat them in a hot water bath, fit them into your ear canals, and enjoy a snug, comfortable connection to your favorite playlist.
decibullz.com | Bluetooth Earphones $149
The North Face Ultra MT Winter
For trail-runners who don’t hit treadmills come winter, these weatherized shoes feature a built-in, moisture-wicking ankle gaiter that seals out snow and a Vibram Icetrek sole that is extra-grippy on subfreezing surfaces.
thenorthface.com | Ultra MT Winter $170
Nike LunarEpic Flyknit Shield
Runners love the soft conformability of Nike’s Flyknit upper, and this fall, it debuts in a water-resistant Shield option too. Plus, the sole is formulated for traction on wet surfaces making it a good option for inclement weather.
nike.com | Flyknit Shield $200
Rudy Project Transition Bag
Any duffel can hold stuff, but this 46-liter organizer is optimized for triathletes and their prodigious pile of gear. Dedicated pockets secure sport foods, shoes, eyewear, swimwear, and a bike helmet. Plus, it easily converts from a shoulder bag to a backpack.
e-rudy.com | Transition Bag $250
Aspire Anonymous sunglasses
Most cool-kid shades aren’t light or grippy enough for running, but the Anonymous is versatile enough for both city and sport. The ultralight frame and polycarbonate lenses stay in place during workouts, but look spiffy enough for date night too.
cvoptical.com | Anonymous sunglasses $290
Arc’teryx Norvan SL Hoody
Running hard in heavy rain? This minimalist jacket keeps pace with superior breathability and ultralight minimalism. It also happens to be the lightest Gore-Tex product on the market.
arcteryx.com | Norvan SL Hoody $299
Suunto Spartan Ultra
Dazzlingly sophisticated—yet simple enough for technophobes—Suunto’s latest wrist-top computer offers extra-long battery life (up to 65 hours with GPS) and a touch-screen that automatically cranks up the contrast when you’re in bright sunlight so you can still read your mileage, pace, and caller ID from a paired smartphone.
suunto.com | Spartan Ultra $799
Other 2016 Holiday Gift Guides