‘Tis the season for holiday gift guides and shopping. I don’t want to waste your time, so let’s get right to it. Here are 14 holiday gifts runners in your life will truly appreciate. These gifts will be used right away, and your time and money will be well spent. You may even want to get a little something for yourself…
ASICS 1/2 Zip Lite-Show Jacket
This ASICS jacket is one of my favorite pieces for cooler running weather. It’s comfortable, lightweight, and highly reflective to keep runners safe in low-light conditions. I actually had someone come up to me at my son’s soccer game to complain about the fact that I chose a different jacket one day. She said, “You know I fly up and down that road in my car. You should really wear that bright yellow jacket when you run at dusk. I’m just saying…” Point taken.
Saucony Run Mitt
The Saucony Run Mitt is what I wear when the temperatures drop below 20° F here in New England. The mitten keeps my fingers warm and the extended cuff fits nicely under my jacket to keep my skin from exposure to the frigid air. As gross as it sounds, I also appreciate the soft fleece nose wipe on the top of the mitten.
Nike Thermal Running Tights
I run in many tights, and these are still my favorite for cold weather running. They’re comfortable, warm, and they don’t bunch up behind my knees like other brands. The thicker material will keep you warm, even on the coldest days of February.
Swiftwick Merino Wool Socks
Cold toes and blisters can make running a very unpleasant experience. These Swiftwick socks made from soft Merino wool will keep your toes warm and your feet happy during cold weather training runs. Always make sure your socks and shoes are completely dry before you head outside. I usually leave mine by the wood stove for a few hours.
It’s no surprise that this watch is the best-selling fitness GPS watch of 2015. With an easy-to-use interface, a clear display, and a free Fitbit app for smartphones, this is a quality product. Fitbit works hard to better their product with software updates geared towards user demands. For those who want a better picture of their total fitness activity, the Fitbit Surge is a great holiday gift.
High Density Foam Roller
No bells and whistles here, just your basic “18 foam roller. This is all you need to work out the kinks and keep your muscles healthy and free of abrasions. A perfect gift for the runner in your life who’s both knotty and nice.
Yaktrax Winter Running Cleats
Winter roads and trails are slippery and dangerous. Yaktrax keep runners on their feet with anatomically designed grips that are worn over running shoes. The steel carbide tips bite into the slippery surface and prevent accidental injury. Slippery roads are no excuse for missing a run.
Brooks Launch 2
The Brooks Launch 2 is my favorite running shoe of 2015. A blend of cushioning and pop makes it the perfect road running shoe. Comfortable enough for distance, responsive enough for speed work, and full of swagger on race day, the Brooks Launch 2 is a top performer.
Crescent Moon Gold 12 Racing Snowshoes
On the snowiest of days, runners can enjoy snowshoeing. Snowshoe racing is growing in popularity here in the Northeastern United States, and it offers runners a spectacular form of cross-training. A winter spent running in snowshoes translates to a spring racing season full of fast times. These shoes are made from aircraft grade aluminum and weigh in at just 4.9 pounds per pair.
The Runner’s Bookshelf
Meb for Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat Like a Champion Marathoner, by Meb Keflezighi
How Bad Do You Want It? Mastering the Psychology of Mind Over Muscle, by Matt Fitzgerald
The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances, by Matthew Inman
Marathon Running: A Complete Guide for Beginners, by Jason Saltmarsh