Every runner is different but in general, they tend to be very particular about their gear. Over their years spent pounding the pavement, they can become partial to a particular
sock that doesn't cause blisters, or a certain sneaker model, or a favorite (actually supportive) sports bra, or the only fuel that won’t make their stomach upset during their half-marathon training.
So, trying to buy a gift for a runner who knows exactly what they need can feel like you're being set up for failure. But you shouldn’t let their hyper-specific needs dissuade you from gifting them something really great this year — because the truth is they probably want
new running stuff, anyways.
If you're stumped, ahead are some gift ideas that will help you get
inside the head of a runner. From sneakers to clothing, there's bound to be something that they love. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but if you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. 1 of 35 Leggings
aren't the only cold-weather running gear available, you know. These pants will keep your friend's legs warm, and come with tons of clever features: there are stirrups to ensure their ankles stay protected (and, let's face it, they look kind of cool), zips up the back of the legs to let your friend take off the pants without removing their sneakers (sometimes a quick change is necessary!), and a side-seam pocket that fits a phone.
Tracksmith Bislett Pants, $168.00
Buy 2 of 35
If you've ever heard your friend complain about how their
slip out of their ears once they starts to sweat, consider gifting them these alternatives. They're designed specifically to stay put in smaller ears — plus they hold a charge for six hours (18 if you count the charging case), have touch control, and come with a year-long MapMyRun Premium Membership. They're sure to secure you the rep of being the most thoughtful friend ever.
Under Armour UA True Wireless Stre... , $149.95
Buy 3 of 35 Running with a mask
can be annoying, but it's also crucial and potentially life-saving. This mask will change your runner's life. It's designed with a polyurethane open-cell foam that'll let air in while still protecting others from your huffing and puffing. Plus, it stays fresh all run, no matter how hard you sweat.
UA SPORTSMASK, $30.00
Buy 4 of 35
These cushioned sneaks will take your giftee from training runs to
virtual half marathons
. They have a wide midsole designed for performance, and are crafted to help reduce injuries such as twisted ankles.
Women's Running Shoe Nike React In... , $160.00
Buy 5 of 35
Another clutch mask option that will have your runner friend saying, "Oh — that's
so cool." Why? Each three-pack comes with a handy little strap that you can use to pull the elastics off your ears if you tend to suffer from behind-the-ear soreness (a uniquely 2020 affliction). Athleta
Made to Move Mask 3-Pack, $25.00
Buy 6 of 35
This shirt is magic. It's made with Merino wool, and as a result
the top never gets stinky.
It just... never smells. Go for your long run, and you can grab a cup of coffee, even a quick breakfast, without worrying about grossing out the people standing next to you. Plus it's the perfect weight for a fall run, or a base layer in the winter, and the neutral shades and shape work for any style of runner.
Tracksmith Harrier Long Sleeve, $82.00
Buy 7 of 35
Designed for runners, these cropped leggings feel weightless and don't have an inner thigh seam, so your runner friend won't have to
worry about chafing
(a godsend). Plus, they'll love the side pocket for keys or mid-run snacks.
Fast and Free High Rise Crop 21" Elite, $99.00
Buy 8 of 35
Speaking of snacks, these delicious bars are packed with 10g of protein, the perfect pre-, post-, or even mid-run fuel.
JUSTIN’S® Dark Chocolate Chip Almo... , $5.00
Buy 9 of 35
One-of-a-kind coasters printed with an old race bib serve as a casual cocktail party
. "Yeah, I ran a marathon, NBD."
Runner Gift / Marathon Coasters, $30.00
Buy 10 of 35
The hood on this wind-resistant running jacket covers the ears, neck, and chin, so the runner in your life won't need to wear a hat when they decide to take a jog on a cool, or maybe rainy, day.
Patagonia Women's Peak Mission Jacket, $124.50
Buy 11 of 35
As a runner, the number one thing I've been worried about
heading into winter amid a pandemic
is what I'll do when it's too cold to run outdoors. The
gym feels risky
, but it's also hard to justify the amount of floor space a treadmill takes up. Echelon has a sleek solution: a cardio machine with an auto-fold function. When it's folded up, it's takes up just 10 inches of floor space.
Echelon Stride, $1338.99
Buy 12 of 35
This polka-dotted running skort has a built-in shorts liner to
, and is cute enough to wear to post-run social distancing beers.
LightSpeed Skort, $68.00
Buy 13 of 35
These socks offer
that adds an extra layer of protection for any road runner you know who's suffered with foot injuries. They also "lock" the foot in place to help prevent blisters and other painful issues. They're anti-odor, too.
Vectr Cushion No Show Socks, $14.95
Buy 14 of 35
Pro long-distance runner and Olympian Deena Kastor's memoir is full of inspiration whether you're a seasoned marathoner or you
just started running
Let Your Mind Run, $17.58
Buy 15 of 35
that won’t bounce like crazy during outdoor runs.
SPIbelt: Adult Large Pocket- No-Bo... , $19.90
Buy 17 of 35
This sporty Garmin watch provides a GPS,
, continuous heart rate monitoring, and smartphone notifications right from your wrist.
Garmin Forerunner 45S, 39mm Easy-t... ,
$199.99 $179.93 Buy 18 of 35
A breathable top from a fashion brand that aims to bring functional options rooted in Kenyan spirit.
AMINA Mesh Tank, $28.99
Buy 19 of 35
Put their race bibs and medals on display — and out of that storage box in your closet — with this handy organizer.
Gone For A Run
Gone For a Run BibFOLIO Plus Race ... , $34.99
Buy 20 of 35
These elastic laces turn any sneaker into a slip-on shoe, which is clutch if you're training for a
or just too lazy to tie your shoes.
Yankz (Round Elastic Shoe Laces fo... , $6.99
Buy 21 of 35
Super stretchy and sweat-wicking, these leggings have stellar reviews, and are ultra chic.
All Day 7/8 Gym Leggings, $78.00
Buy 22 of 35
Light-weight and perfect for runners who are
focused on speedwork
. (Or just need a comfy shoe to walk around in when your legs are sore post-long run.)
Brooks Levitate 4, $150.00
Buy 23 of 35
You can give these toe socks to your friend who swears by their five-fingered shoes. Or any runner, since they prevent
gnarly in-between-the-toes blisters
. (Yes, they look weird, but trust me — they feel kinda great.)
Run Lightweight No-Show, $13.00
Buy 24 of 35
A word of caution: Many experienced runners will want to
buy their own sports bra
. However, newbies might not know where to start, and this one is great for high-impact activities and versatile enough to work for most chests. It has adjustable straps, ventilation, and won't let larger boobs bounce around.
Catalyst Sports Bra, $89.00
Buy 25 of 35
Hardcore runners love this app. Gift them a
year-long Strava subscription
that'll help them track their stats, do challenges, and mix up their training with routes from what's known as the "world's largest trail network."
Strava Subscription, $59.99
Buy 26 of 35
up before the sun
most days, so get them this clip-on strobe light for their shoe.
Nathan Strobe Light, $9.49
Buy 27 of 35
Keep their ears toasty and hair secure with this slim beanie.
Tough Headwear Helmet Liner Skull ... , $8.95
Buy 28 of 35
has four legs and fur, they need this hands-free leash.
The Buddy System
Adjustable Hands Free Dog Leash, H... , $24.99
Buy 29 of 35
Typically, people either
love or hate foam rolling
, but it's a smart thing to do to warm up and cool down, especially when they're training hard. Help your pal out with this classic TriggerPoint roller, which is foamy enough to feel gentle on their muscles, but firm enough to do the job right.
Trigger Point Performance
TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller with... , $34.99
Buy 30 of 35
We all know that person who runs in shorts all year round. These
, sustainable track shorts have a reflective strip that's key for early bird runners (or night owls, for that matter).
PXW Women’s Electric Track Shorts,
$35.00 $28.00 Buy 31 of 35
A friend doesn't let a friend go outside
without applying SPF
, all year long. This one is water (and sweat) resistant and easy to apply.
100% Mineral Sunscreen Stick, $24.00
Buy 32 of 35
Runners who really
will appreciate this hydration vest, which allows you to carry two liters of water right on your back, and has zippered pockets for holding valuables (like snacks).
VaporAiress 2.0 7 Liter Women's Hy... , $149.99
Buy 33 of 35
A favorite among runners, this sports bra is supportive and comes in a wide-range of sizes.
Run Times Bra, $68.00
Buy 34 of 35
So many of my runner friends swear by these truly delicious honey stroopwafels. I'll probably be handing out the chocolate version this season. Great for fuel during a long run, or for an anytime snack.
Honey Stinger Organic Waffle, $17.79
Buy 35 of 35
No, deodorant is not the sexiest gift. But it sure is useful. And this aluminum-free spray version is unique and smells incredible.
Curie Deodorant Spray - 6oz, $16.00