Run Forrest Run

The Best Gifts for Road Runners


December 9, 2018 Buying Guides By Photo by Chandler Bondurant

Runners are a rare breed. We feed on the energy from so many stimuli: the streets, the competition, run crews, community, even races — whether that’s under the lights of the night or rising with the sun. No matter what drives you to get up in the morning and dash to the track, there’s something that keeps you going until you hit your goal time or PR. And then, it’s time again to pick a new goal. The beauty of running is that you don’t need much gear to get started, but once you dive in, it’s easy to add tools to your trade to see results and make running easier during the particularly brutal moments. These 14 gifts are sure to help your runner go longer, faster and harder whether they’re training for a mile or 26.2.

FITS Light Performance Trail Quarter

Socks that don’t stay put during your runs are the absolute worst. FITS performance socks are breathable and stable, plus the added cushioning under your heel, toe and arch are a welcome blessing during every run.

Stryd Powermeter

A vital tool in the databook for cyclists is knowing how much power goes into every stroke. For runners, that number is harder to come by — unless you have a Stryd. The device is no bigger than a guitar pick and slides right onto whatever pair of shoes you’re using that day, meaning you don’t have to worry about it only working for your speed day or long run day pair. It monitors your daily training thanks to compatibility with practically every tracker out there and provides you with tips to help you nail that next race.

Ciele Athletics GoCap Whitacker Edition

Ciele’s hats are part of our favorite running kits. The UPF +40 cap blocks out the sun, so you don’t have to deal with glare, meaning your field of vision is crisp. Seek out your competition during a 10k or 15K, catch up to them, and let the hat wick away any sweat from your brow. Best of all, it’s lightweight and super flexible, so you can stuff it into a gym bag or suitcase without worrying about its shape on the other side.

Suunto 9 Baro

This watch is one of the most exciting and high-quality trackers we tested all year. Beyond the GPS, altitude and waterproofing, the battery life on the Suunto 9 is impressive. If you’ve ever tried to track yourself during a half-Ironman, Ironman, Ultra or marathon, your watch might have died due to the sheer number of hours it needed to last. The 9 Baro comes with a battery saving mode so you can get up to 120 hours — and still track your coordinates.

Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless Sport Headphones

These sweat- and weather-resistant earbuds have zero wires and play music for up to five hours. That’s a lot of pounding the pavement time. The earbuds come in three colors, including bright blue and red, so they’re easy to spot in the bottom of your drawer or gym bag. And if you do lose one, you can pop open the app to ‘Find My Buds’ and locate the missing one.

Salomon Agile 2 Set Pack

One of the toughest parts about training for longer races is the amount of water you have to carry with you. While a waist belt works for some, a vest is an easy solution for those who prefer something more accessible and minimalist. Stick your water bottles in both pockets, then dump your keys, cards and phone in the exterior pockets as well. This hydration set is excellent for both trail and road runs, as well as hikes.

Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit

If you’re looking to run fast, these lightweight shoes deliver. The Flys feature the same carbon fiber plate as the VaporFly 4% (the race day shoe that elites keep crushing marathon records in this year). Built to propel you forward and provide a cushy platform, the plate paired with React technology and a Flyknit upper is a recipe for success.

Goodr OG Sunglasses

For just $25, you can get a pair of sunglasses that stays in place, doesn’t bounce, correctly blocks out the sun and looks good. Most running sunglasses are a little too alien-like for our taste, but these Goodrs are made to wear on the run and beyond. The polarized lenses and lightweight frames make the perfect combination of performance and style.

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Rhone Celliant Short Sleeve

Celliant technology supposedly increases your blood flow to up energy levels, endurance and performance — all of which are much needed during a run. This seamless shirt is all things a running tee should be: breathable, moisture-wicking, stretchy. And, the silver threads help prevent stink after too many wears and not enough washes.

The North Face Better Than Naked Shorts

These light-as-a-feather shorts practically disappear when running. There’s no inseam, which means no chafing, which every runner can appreciate. The shorts are coated with DWR meaning they’re water-resistant, and the logos are reflective for night running. Stash your Gu or Maurten in the back zip pockets, then hit the road.

Salomon Soft Flask

If you’re looking to carry just one water bottle, but know you’ll finish it along the way, this flexible soft flask is for you. The 250-milliliter blue bottle is BPA and PVC free, plus it rolls up when it’s empty, so you can throw it in your vest, back pocket or stuff it up your arm warmers.

Runaway Magazine

This beautiful magazine is a great way to get to know New York and London as cities before you visit as a runner. Throughout the pages, you’ll meet chefs, bartenders, store owners and more, all who love running. Be sure to check out the routes in the back, complete with stops and food suggestions for before, during or after.

Maurten Gel 100

If you’re looking for a way to stay fueled up while you run, but don’t want to have to deal with anything tasting funny, try the Maurten gel. It’s a viscous gel with a slightly sweet taste to it — a la simple syrup– but easy to down with or without water. Eliud Kipchoge and Mary Kietney, both recent marathon winners, fuel with Maurten.

Once a Runner

This classic tells the tale of John L. Parker Jr.’s lifelong goal to run a four-minute mile. The illusive time barrier escapes him during the Vietnam War due to suspension from the track team, stemming from an athletes’ protest. Parker shares his story in an unlikely place, a monastic retreat, but is likely what the intense runner needs to achieve his goals.

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