I just read a New York Times wirecutter article of gifts for runners. Got a runner in your life? Here’s my list. It’s better than NYT’s in my, of course, completely unbiased opinion. (No, I’m not fishing for gifts, I promise.)
1.) Lululemon Fast and Free 28″ – the best running tights out there. Yes, at $140, they’re obscenely pricey. (I linked to some that are on sale for $59 – 99.) But if you run a lot, you’ll get your money’s worth. I figure I run in tights about 100 times per year, and I will wear my favorite tights for probably 2/3 of those runs. I will probably splurge on the fleece-lined version if they ever go on sale.
2.) Flyout Wool Half Zip by Oiselle – the best running shirt out there. In terms of running shirts, if your giftee runs in temps from the high 30s to the low 40s, you should look for a long-sleeve true half zip shirt. Not a quarter zip! Never a quarter zip – it must go AT LEAST halfway to the wearers waist. Thumbholes and watch window are nice perks. The Brooks Dash Half Zip is also a good option.
3.) 26 Marathons by Meb Keflizighi and Scott Douglas. I read A LOT of running books. I pretty much read any one my library purchases, and then a few more on top of that. 26 Marathons is a cut above. It’s a great book for a runner about someone who is easy to admire. We can all learn a lot by channeling Meb in our careers and passions. The audiobook is also excellent. Note that non-runners may not enjoy this book.
4.) OK, NYT got this one right. I do love my spiky massage ball. Runner or no, if you have sore feet, you may want to try one of these. I keep one at my desk and use it at work and another in the bathroom to use while brushing my teeth.
5.) GU Roctane Energy Gel variety pack. You may want to ask your runner what type of gels they prefer, or if you use gels, but these are high end and tasty and variety is the spice of life. Your runner may also enjoy a Honey Stinger “training kit” variety pack.
6.) I think Balega makes the best running socks in the business. My personal favorites are Balega Ultralight Performance Noshow Socks.
7.) If your runner doesn’t already have a copy, any of Shalane’s three running cook books are a good option. Her most recent book is Rise and Run – breakfast recipes for runners. (I own all three.)
8.) For safety, it’s most important to be visible. Far more runners are killed by getting hit by cars than by getting attacked by psychos. I wear this reflective vest if I run in low light. If I ran in the dark often, I would upgrade to this light-up vest.
9.) Really want to spoil your runner? Independently wealthy? I love my running watch, the Garmin 255S. (You can buy it with or without the music feature.)