Do you have marathon runners or triathletes in the family? Or perhaps you have friends who stay fit through daily runs or jogs. It’s great to cheer them on with items that they can use while training or exercising. If you’re short on ideas, this selection of gifts for runners might help.
1. Running Socks
Running is a high-impact activity that can give the feet and heels a lot of stress. Without proper protection, a running routine can easily result in sore feet and painful blisters. Good pairs of stance socks will then be great gifts for runners to keep their feet happy.
Ideally, choose high-performing ones like a pair or two of these low-cut Merino Wool Socks. Aside from their moisture-wicking fabric (perfect gifts for running in humid and wet weather conditions), they also come with anti-blister features. Thanks to their cushioned feet and heel and seamless toe stitching, every step on the hard pavement is comfy.
Step up your runner gifts with a pair of trainers to match these socks! Check out this list of the best running shoes for ideas.
2. Compression Socks or Sleeves
Leg soreness after running is a common complaint among professional and recreational runners. A pair of compression calf sleeves can help minimise this problem. With these on their calves and stretched up to their knees, they can avoid injury, swelling and cramps. These prevent extended post-run recovery, too.
If you plan to buy them as gifts for runners, the McDavid Hex Knee Compression Sleeves are worth considering. These protective sleeves are durable for everyday use, ensure a snug fit and come in various colours. But what I like about these are its patented kneecap padding. The added protection makes the sleeves functional even for your friends into high-impact sports, like basketball.
Keep your post-run recovery pain-free with these helpful tips.
3. Anti-Chafe Balm
Aside from sore muscles, trail runners need protection from chafing as well. Avid runners experience chafing due to skin-on-skin rubbing or friction from clothing. Anti-chafe balm can keep friction-prone areas, like the armpits and inner thighs, smooth and moisturised.
The Ultimate Performance Skin Shield is a silicone-based roll-on with vitamin E and aloe vera. It’s an excellent alternative to blister plasters for the heels or balls of the foot. However, you can also apply it anywhere on the body except on broken skin. Anti-chafe balms may be unconventional or cheap gift ideas. But these can protect your running mates from terrible post-run shower stories!
4. Neck Warmer or Gaiter
A neck gaiter keeps the runner warm during winter or cold weather conditions. But, in Australia, where summers can be unforgiving, this tube of fabric is just as vital. With one on, your nose and mouth stay protected from harmful UV rays. They are lightweight and comfy to wear all day long, too.
What makes runner gifts like this item superb is you can use them any time. The multipurpose UHEREBUY Fleece Thermal Neck Warmer, for example, can be worn as a beanie, face mask, scarf, bandana and more. Plus, it’s perfect even off the track field. Friends into cycling, mountain climbing, hiking, motorcycling or fishing will appreciate getting this wool neck cover. Alternatively, running caps are perfect gifts to give, too.
5. Energy Gel
Running is not all about gear and tools. Nutrition is equally essential, especially those training for a race, short and long-distance ones alike. Your route should be well-planned and include stops for refuelling. Race participants used to get by with chocolate bars and water. Nowadays, there are several options for sports sustenance.
One of which is energy gels that I especially like. What makes them ideal as gifts for runners is that they are nutrient-packed but lightweight and compact. The SiS Go Isotonic Energy Gels, for instance, contain 22g of carbs each. Runners only need to consume up to three sachets for a 60-minute exercise. These are readily available, affordable and vegan-friendly. The variety pack is best to try its wide range of flavours.
Good nutrition and a healthy diet are crucial for runners. So, for family or friends who need recipe ideas, why not add a cookbook to their arsenal? Who knows, maybe giving it as a gift will turn marathon champs in your life into kitchen pros, too.
If you’re looking for suggestions, The Runner’s Cookbook by Anita Bean is a good starting point. The book, available in paperback and Kindle, has over 100 recipes to fuel short and long-running sessions, from breakfast to dessert. There are also nifty sections on hydration, supplements and muscle recovery. Each recipe has nutrition facts per serving to keep diets on track, too. You’ll be gifting your mates a chef, consultant and nutritionist with this one!
7. Foldable Water Bottle
No one can excel in any sport or physical activity without proper hydration. Good thing there are several water bottles available in varying types and designs. But if you’re giving them as gifts for runners, I recommend those that are light, compact and easy to use on the go.
And for me, the 700ml or 1000ml Vapur Element 2-Pack Foldable Water Bottle fits the bill. Unlike hard plastic or stainless-steel ones, this collapsible bottle can fit in pockets or packs of any size. Once empty, it’s easy to stash away, too. When giving gifts, I prefer options with multiple features. And that makes this BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, freezer-friendly, reusable bottle even better!
8. Dog-Walking Belt
Runners need a bag or pouch to keep their food, water and other running essentials in order. The running belt or backpack are excellent choices. But if your runner friends prefer taking their four-legged fur babies on the track, then they’ll surely be delighted to get a dog-walking belt as a gift.
The BENOAU Dog-Walking Belt is unlike any hands-free leash, though. This one comes with a pouch with multiple compartments for items like water bottle, mobile phone, keys and poop bags. It suits both medium and large dogs of up to 100kg. Its luminous stitching comes in handy for night-time runs, too. And with its generous back support, your waist stays pain-free even when your pet suddenly decides to pick up the pace!
9. Foam Roller
While massage guns are the ideal choice for post-run relief, more affordable foams rollers work wonders, too. They’re great for cooldown sessions as well as for warm-ups. With foam rolling in their running routine, they can keep their muscles limber for demanding long runs then improve blood flow afterwards.
If you’re buying them as gifts for runners, the ATIVAFIT Exercise Foam Roller has different sizes to match individual requirements. The smallest one can be a handy roller when travelling. Its durable, high-density EPP foam ensures the roller can withstand tension while providing deep tissue massages. You can also use this stretching tool to address poor posture and slouching. Runner friends into yoga or Pilates and other high-impact exercises will like this item, too.
A vibrating foam roller is a great gift idea as well. Our buying guide has reviews of some of the best vibrating foam rollers in Australia!