12 best gifts for runners

Gift ideas for runners

Shopping for your favorite racer? Although running shoes make great gifts, they are a very personal purchase. So it’s often best to let the runners choose their own. Instead, consider other gifts that support their active lifestyle.

Casual and competitive runners appreciate gifts such as running gear, fitness equipment, sportswear, or devices. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the runner in your life, here are 12 he’ll really appreciate.

What to give a runner

Running clothing

If you know the size of the recipient and are comfortable buying them clothes, consider giving them sportswear. This includes the base, middle and outer layers.

  • Base layers include thermal tops and bottoms as well as compression garments. They’re often made of higher quality materials or have special features, so it’s common for base layers to cost more than other running gear.
  • Mid layers include running shorts, leggings, tops and tank tops. Many of these pieces are made with absorbent material that keeps wearers cool by wicking away sweat and moisture.
  • Outer layers include hoodies, sweatshirts, vests, and coats. Many of these garments have reflective details to increase rider visibility for drivers.


Running gear is an ideal gift if you’re unsure of the size of the recipient or don’t have the budget for expensive gifts such as equipment or fitness equipment.

  • Accessories such as sports scarves, beanies, gloves or hand warmers are appropriate gifts for runners in cold weather.
  • Running backpacksas seen in this BestReviews buying guide, are popular for longer running exercises, such as trail or mountain running.
  • Hydration vests and fanny packs remain popular gifts for runners who like to bring water with them, especially on hotter days.
  • Safety equipment, such as reflective running vests or shoe lightsis appreciated by those running in low light conditions.

fitness equipment

In addition to running, many runners engage in other types of training to increase their strength, flexibility, and endurance. If they exercise at home, the right fitness equipment can help them achieve their training goals.

Weightlifting equipment, such as free weights or kettlebells, are ideal for strength training. If the recipient is interested in resistance training, there are several varieties of resistance bands on the market. Those who wish to incorporate balance and core exercises into their training may appreciate yoga or Pilates themed freebies such as mats, rings or stretch bands.

fitness equipment

Fitness equipment has become something of an essential part of health and wellness over the past few years. Many people, including runners, now have smartwatches and fitness trackers to stay on top of their fitness goals.

If the runner you’re buying for doesn’t have one yet, give them their first fitness tracker. For those who already have fitness trackers, you can upgrade them to a newer model. When comparing these devices, check their accuracy in tracking running-related metrics such as pace, speed, and distance.

Thoughtful gifts for runners

If you’re open to unconventional gifts, consider some of the following:

Sponsor their next race. Participating in 5Ks and marathons costs between $10 and $300. For some races you can pay the entry fee and for fundraising races you can donate to the charity or cause.

Donate to their favorite charity. Some runners donate time or money to charity or community outreach projects. You can either get involved in an event or donate money.

Offer gift cards for personal care. Treat a runner to pampering with a spa or salon gift card. They can book appointments for massages, facials, or pedicures to unwind after tough running excursions.

12 best gifts for runners

Fitness Tracker

Fitbit Charge 4

A perennial favorite, the Fitbit Charge 4 has built-in GPS and tracks essential running metrics. Besides monitoring heart rate and sleep, the fitness tracker is waterproof up to 50 meters.

Sold by Amazon, Kohls and Dick Sporting Goods

Medal holder

Victory Hangers for runners medals

Victory Hangers for runners medals

Medals and bibs have sentimental value, which is why this display rack is ideal for the competitive runner. It can hold up to 40 standard medals and bibs.

Sold by Amazon

Cold weather running leggings

CALIA by Carrie Underwood Women's Cold Weather Compression Leggings

CALIA by Carrie Underwood Women’s Cold Weather Compression Leggings

These premium leggings are packed with running-friendly features, including breathable mesh panels, anti-wicking material, side media pocket and insulation.

Sold by Dick Sporting Goods

Wick Muscle Tank

Under Armor Men's HeatGear Sleeveless Compression T-Shirt

Under Armor Men’s HeatGear Sleeveless Compression T-Shirt

A best-selling style for comfort and durability, this Under Armor sleeveless t-shirt is made with temperature-regulating material. It is available in sizes up to 5X.

Sold by Amazon and Dick Sporting Goods

personal mixer

NutriBullet Nutrient Extractor

NutriBullet Nutrient Extractor

Personal blenders are ideal for those who lead active lifestyles. This NutriBullet comes with a to-go cup so riders can bring their favorite homemade beverages anywhere.

Sold by Amazon, Kohls and Bed bath and beyond

Anti-blister balm

BodyGlide Foot Blister Balm

BodyGlide Foot Blister Balm

This foot balm keeps blisters at bay in regular shoes so you don’t have to deal with them in running shoes. The vegan formula is infused with vitamins A and C to soften the skin.

Sold by Amazon

Hydration backpack

CamelBak Octane Dart Hydration Backpack

CamelBak Octane Dart Hydration Backpack

Made by a trusted outdoor brand, this new hydration backpack features an improved harness and better compression for a comfortable, breathable fit.

Sold by road runner sports

reflexology foot massager

TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager

TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager

Tough runs are tough on the feet, which is why this foot massager is an essential running accessory. The two-footed design allows runners to slide their feet back and forth to relax and break up cramps.

Sold by Amazon

Collar size

Ubertube Outdoor Research Echo Neck Gaiter

Ubertube Outdoor Research Echo Neck Gaiter

Neck warmers, like this one from Outdoor Research, are versatile running accessories that protect the neck from the elements and UV rays.

Sold by Amazon and Countryside

Autobiography of Meb Keflezighi

“26 Marathons” by Meb Keflezighi and Scott Douglas

“26 Marathons” by Meb Keflezighi and Scott Douglas

The four-time Olympian shares his perspective on his marathon career. It revisits lifestyle highs and lows, including legendary races and pivotal moments.

Sold by Amazon and Audible

massage gun

PlayMakar MVP Percussion Massager

PlayMakar MVP Percussion Massager

This massage gun relieves sore muscles with six attachments. It is equipped with six speeds so users can control the intensity and customize their massage experience.

Sold by PlayMakar

Novelty racing mug

Strava themed running mug

Strava themed running mug

Runners who love Strava will appreciate this 11-ounce mug. Part funny and part motivational, it’s a popular sentimental gift.

Sold by Etsy

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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