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The 13 best gifts for runners

You either look forward to going for a morning run every single day or you absolutely dread it. If you find yourself leaning towards the latter, what are you supposed to get someone who loves hitting the pavement? You might be racking your brain to find the best gift for the runner in your life, especially if your idea of fun is binge-watching Netflix shows all day long. Fret not, we’ve sifted through the latest gadgets, coolest gear, and sleekest apparel in the running world to give you a hand with your holiday shopping woes. From a high-performing running watch to one of the best running headphones in the market, you’ll find something they’ll definitely love to receive right here.

Echelon Stride

Echelon Stride

If your runner craves consistent training, the new Echelon Stride treadmill is ready for the hardest endorphin-infused workouts with on-demand classes and instructors. Only 10-inches deep when folded, the portable Stride doesn’t dominate the room. When they’re ready to run, they can wheel the lightweight treadmill in place, position the handlebars and console, press a lever, and Stride’s Auto-Fold tech opens the machine ready to run. A frame-balanced elastomer deck suspension absorbs impact on an ample 55-inch-x-20-inch running surface at speeds from 0.5-to-12-miles-per-hour and up to a 10-degree incline, powered by an energy-efficient 1.75-horsepower motor. Running was never before this accessible year-round.

G-Run Hydration Running Belt

If you’re looking for an affordable gift that will still be highly appreciated, the G-Run hydration running belt is an ideal choice. This belt is suitable for anyone who is constantly taking on various outdoor activities, including running. It comes with two bottles that don’t bounce around when running. Aside from the bottles that will keep them hydrated, it also has different compartments. They can put their phone, spare cash, card, car keys, and even a snack in this belt. Talk about a functional item perfect for every type of runner.

Night Trek Shoe Lights

If the person you’re shopping for likes to run at night, these Night Tech Gear Shoe Lights will help keep them visible while also allowing them to avoid rocks, ruts, and sidewalk cracks. The water-resistant contraptions blast 150 lumens up to 30 or more feet ahead of the runner, offering light to illuminate whatever surface they’re jogging on. Rear-facing red tail lights also let drivers know where they’re at, and the whole unit offers 270 degrees of visibility. The devices clip on securely, delivering three to five hours of light in one stretch of battery life.

Arc’teryx Norvan SL Jacket

This lightweight trail running jacket is constructed with ShakeDry, a type of Gore-Tex technology that doesn’t have face fabric, allowing it to weigh less than similar Gore-Tex shells. The breathable, packable jacket clocks in at just 4.2 ounces and can be compressed into a tiny ball. Lastly, the waterproof hood of the Arc’teryx Norvan SL Jacket rolls back and snaps together so it doesn’t flap around when not in use.

Balega Silver Ion Socks

You’ll never experience softer, more securely fitting training socks than Balega’s Silver Ion line. Unlike many runner’s socks, which tend to slide down and bunch up around the heel, the Balega Silver Ion Socks offer compressive arch support bands that keep them fitting snugly — there’s even a high heel tab that hugs the inside of shoes and an extra deep heel pocket to prevent sliding. The design encourages a more natural foot movement and improved circulation. This line of Balega socks uses technology that encapsulates the sock fibers in silver ions for enhanced antibacterial properties, which, paired with the fabric’s Drynamix moisture management, keeps a runner’s feet dry and odor-free.

Katadyn BeFree Collapsible Flask

This lightweight, award-winning water flask has a built-in filter, allowing runners to “be free” of the hunt for hydration, filling up their bottles virtually anywhere and letting the flask’s EZ-Clean Membrane clean it up for them. The Katadyn BeFree Collapsible Flask features a gentle-squeeze top and a removable filter that easily pops out for a quick rinse. The collapsible design even allows it to fit into small backpacks and some pockets.

SCARPA Spin Running Shoes

The Spin is a sleek trail running shoe that offers high-level performance without the cumbersome bells and whistles. The SCARPA Spin Running Shoes perform fabulously on technical terrain, allowing runners to tackle hills faster and enjoy precise foot control. It features a Vibram outsole with Megagrip technology, a high-density rock plate, and a mesh upper with a welded PU overlay. All told, it’s a great running shoe that offers superior stability in a simple, minimalist package.

AfterShokz Aeropex Open-Ear Headphones

If you want to splurge on your runner friend’s gift, you might as well check this out. The AfterShokz Aeropex is among the best headphones for runners. These wireless on-ear headphones give them superb sound quality while keeping their ears open to any ambient noise. Listening to tunes while running is fun and all, but you still want safety to be a priority. These waterproof headphones can also last up to 8 hours on a single charge. On top of that, the Aeropex is lightweight and comfortable, which makes it perfect to wear for a long period of time.

Garmin Forerunner 645

Garmin’s Forerunner 645 is one of the best watches available for runners, particularly those who love to listen to music when hitting the pavement (and who doesn’t?). Once downloaded to your watch, you can easily listen to your favorite tracks sans your smartphone, while simultaneously tracking your heart rate, calories burned, personal records, steps, and a host of other fitness metrics. In addition to the aforementioned fitness features, the Garmin Forerunner 645 provides text notifications, calendar access, sleep tracking, and weather info. Your friend will be floored by all of the features, not to mention the seven-day battery life.

SPY Hunt Sunglasses

Happy runners are fast, effective runners. This cool pair of shades from SPY boasts Happy Lens technology that filters out bad short-wave blue light, allowing more long-wave blue light to penetrate the lens. The idea is that more of this type of ray — which has been connected to improvements in the mood — will theoretically boost happiness and make for a more enjoyable run or outdoor activity. The SPY Hunt Sunglasses’ lens technology also offers stellar visual clarity, enhancing colors and contrast to make training safer and more effective. These “trail to tavern” sunglasses even have a stylish, casual frame with sturdy Grilamid material, letting them look as good as they function.

AmazonBasics Foam Roller

After a good run, nothing is better for your body than stretching. Luckily, Amazon’s High-Density Foam Roller is ideal for just about everything, from strengthening to rehab exercises. The lightweight roller is easy to clean and transport, too, and relatively inexpensive given its part of Amazon’s proprietary product line. You can even re-position the roller to target specific muscles and to assist from one routine to the next. Your friend — and their muscles — will thank you for the relief.

Belkin Fitness Armband

Music is essential for any run, and a reliable armband is just as important. The Belkin Fitness Armband is the perfect fit for your friend’s iPhone X. The custom-fit armband features an ultra-thin fabric strap that threads through a durable metal loop, securing at the perfect length to hug their arm closely. The reflective accents on the armband provide increased visibility as well, keeping your friend safe as they run. The fact that the band is both sweat-proof and hand-washable is just a plus.

Garmin Vivosmart HR+

The Garmin Vivosmart HR+ is our pick for the best fitness tracker for a dedicated runner. And your friend is dedicated, right? It’s basically like running alongside a computer that monitors your heartbeat, tells you how many calories you have burned, and tracks your GPS and pace, all while mapping out your run or walk. It can also receive emails, calls, text, and social media alerts. If your friend is the type that loves to run on a treadmill, the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ can track any activity indoor and out. It also comes in a variety of colors, so your dedicated runner will have lots to choose from.

Editors' Recommendations

Kailla Coomes
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kailla is a staff writer from Portland, Ore. She studied Journalism at the University of Oregon and graduated in 2014. In her…
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