Runners can be a very difficult bunch to buy presents for, especially if the person doing the buying doesn't run themselves. The perfect gift for someone training for a marathon may be completely different from what a person just starting Couch to 5k might want.
But whatever the type of runner you may be buying presents for, you want to get them something that they'll actually use. The kind of gift they'll want to grab before heading out of the door every time because it not only looks good, but makes their running more enjoyable.
So, to make life a bit easier, we've trawled the internet for the products out there that will tick the boxes for most runners come Christmas morning, from top-end tech gifts to thoughtful race mementoes.
The best tech gifts
Jaybird Vista 2
The Jaybird Vista 2 are one of the leading pairs of true wireless earbuds for a reason. The smart bud design fits neatly into the ear and features a mini wingtip to make sure they stay in when you're pounding the pavements. They'll also give you 8 hours of battery life, which is bumped up to 24 hours if you take the case out with you ‚Äď easily done due to its tiny size.
- Read more: The best running headphones
As well as being able to take calls, the Vista 2s have an intuitive control system that easily lets you skip tracks or change the volume, you can customise the sound based on individual preference using the app and they feature ANC and SurroundSense technologies to modify the experience depending on your location.
Bone conduction headphones are where it's at these days for runners. Firstly because they offer one of the safest ways to listen to music while running and secondly because they're the only earphones that are approved for use in road races under the UK Athletics Rules of Competition.
If you've never used them before, let us settle any worries you might have. As well as being extremely light and comfortable to wear, the sound quality you get from the Shokz Aeropex is surprisingly clear and can be heard perfectly during busy races. Not only that, but you also get an IP67 waterproof rating, so they'll keep going even if you drop them in a puddle.
Coros Pace 2 Eliud Kipchoge Edition
The Pace 2 is a standout running watch for those people looking for advanced features at a very reasonable price. As well as covering everything you could need when it comes to tracking your training, from heart rate and GPS to sleep monitoring, it's packed to the rafters with incredibly detailed analytics features. That includes recovery guidance, running power, and even gives you access to the impressive Evolab suite of training tools.
That's enough to make the Pace 2 a great gift on its own, but if you want to treat the runner in your life to something even more special, the Eliud Kipchoge version is a limited edition design that comes with both silicone and nylon wrist bands, as well as the Coros Pod, which gives even more running data.
The best running kit
Iffley Road Putney Running Cap
Every runner needs a good cap in their armoury. Not only will it keep your head safe from UV rays during the summer months but it also makes heading out in the rain significantly more bearable. Doesn't help if it looks nice either.
The Iffley Road Putney Cap is the pick of the bunch for us. As well as looking nicer than any of our non-running caps, it's our top choice when it comes to comfortable design. The lightweight material is dotted with perforated holes on either side to ensure it's breathable, and there's a soft internal sweatband to keep moisture out of your eyes when things heat up.
Soar Lightweight Gloves
Every runner needs a good pair of gloves in their kit cupboard for when the temperatures drop, and they don't come much better than this offering from Soar.
Yes, they may be a bit on the pricey side, but when you're running friend is in the middle of a half marathon and the windchill is pushing zero degrees, you'll be one popular gifter. As well as featuring a soft fleecy inner to keep the hands snug, they're also breathable, which is important because having warms hands is all well and good, but not if they're sweaty.
The nicest feature of the Soar Lightweight Gloves is by far the silicon print detailing on the palms which offers an incredible level of grip. There's also a touchscreen-compatible fingertip design that allows phone operation without having to pull the gloves off.
Tracksmith Sessions Jacket
If ever there's a brand suited to gifts, it's Boston-born running company Tracksmith. Its range of kit is some of the nicest looking you'll find across fitness and fashion-wear alike, with a selection of products that any runner would be proud to show off.
- Read more: The best running jackets
The Sessions Jacket is a perfect of example of the brand's ability to make kit that doesn't only look nicer than most people's normal clothes, but incorporates a host of technical features as well. Lightweight, insulating, mesh panels for ventilation and high stretch fabric for mobility all go to make it a perfect gift for any runner.
On Merino Beanie
You can't go wrong with a good warm beanie but if you aim to pick one up for a runner you need to make sure it has the technical features to make it useful.
This little number from On is made from Merino wool, which not only makes it lovely and warm but also helps to regulate temperate and prevents overheating. It's also odor resistant, two words that are very popular with runners, and those that spend any time with them.
Stance Running Socks
There was a time long ago where the mention of getting socks as a present suggested laziness on the part of the gifter. Companies like Stance have long since destroyed that notion though, pushing socks from the depth of any runner's wish list right to the top.
- Read more: The best socks for running
As well as coming in a wide range of tantalizing designs, most of Stance's running socks feature the brand's Feel 360 technology, a material that adapts and reacts to the foot for a fresh and dry experience. They're pretty much the Godiva chocolate of the sock gifting world.
Sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Lightweight Glove
Sometimes lightweight running gloves just won't cut it, especially if you're taking part in a race and you have to wait it out at the start area. This little number from Sealskinz manages to offer significantly more protection from the elements than a traditional running glove, but is still lightweight enough to take out when the temperature dips.
Sealskinz Fusion Control technology means that they're not only 100% waterproof and windproof, but have a hydrophilic membrane to release perspiration and warm air from inside the glove ‚Äď which makes a big difference when you put the effort in and things start to get a bit sweatier.
Unlike many gloves that offer this much protection, it also fits snug against the fingers resulting in a good level of dexterity for when you need to press buttons on your watch.
Also good for hiking, biking and a bit of gardening ‚Äď it's the gift that keeps on giving.
Oofos Ooahh Slide
The idea that a pair of flip flops would help alleviate the aches and pains of a marathon may seem like nonsense but Oofos has managed to make a range of shoes that do just that.
These sliders combine impact absorption, arch support and natural motion as well as moisture and bacteria resistance. Basically, once you step into them your feet feel instantly cushioned and supported, which is what every runner needs after pounding the streets. Get these for the runner in your life and you're going to be very popular indeed.
Fitletic Bolt Running Belt
Running belts may not be to everyone's preference, but even when a runner doesn't like to use them all the time, they can really come in handy for occasions when you absolutely have to take some essentials with you, whether that's a phone or a tube of suncream.
The Fitletic Bolt Running Belt is a great lightweight option that offers a versatile way to carry a few bits and pieces. The large compartment can hold a large phone along with a few other items, while the second smaller pocket is perfect for things like keys or credit cards that you may need to access quickly when you're out and about.
The best running gifts
Marathon Finisher Personalized Print
If you're you're trying to find the perfect gift for that special someone who ran a marathon over the past year, look no further. This simple medal and map combo means that not only will they have somewhere to put their favorite piece of race bling, but they'll also have an excuse to remind guests of their achievement every time one of them walks past it.
Body Glide Anti Chafe Pocket Cream
Anti-chafe cream may not be the sort of thing that springs to mind when you think about heartfelt presents but when your runner friend is 20 miles into an ultra marathon, their groin as oiled as a Christmas turkey, they'll be thinking of you.
To a runner, this Body Glide Anti Chafe Cream is the equivalent of being given a bottle of Channel. Considerably cheaper as well.
Running Medal Hanger
Us runners tend to acquire a lot of medals these days and finding a place to put them is a source of constant dilemma. This clever medal hanger not only means you've cleared a load of space out from a drawer but, like the personalized marathon print, it offers the perfect opportunity for your runner friend to show off their achievements, whether you asked about them or not.
Personalized Race Bib Coaster
What better way to be reminded of your favorite racing achievement than by looking at it every time you take a sip from your cup of tea/pint of lager? Not only is it a beautiful reminder as you relax of an evening but it's also the perfect conversation starter guests are over.
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
Okay, so this book from literary master, Haruki Murakami is far from new. However, as books about running go there aren't many as beautifully written. If you have a friend or relative who's into running or someone who is hoping to get into it in the new year, there's no better place to find some motivation. It's also not that long, so there won't be any groans of displeasure from any fair-weather readers.
Usually, a functional band for storing a barcode wouldn't be an ideal choice for a gift but when it comes to parkrunners there's no present more thoughtful.
This simple yet unbelievably useful gift means that your runner friend no longer has to carry around a loose barcode in their wallet as they head down to the local park. The inside of this band has a laser printed copy of thier parkrun ID, name, ICE (emergency) contact and medical details, as well as a rather fetching parkrun designed logo on the front.