Whether you want to add to your wishlist or need help crossing some runners off your list, this holiday gift guide for runners can help you hit the shops and sites with confidence. Use these gift ideas to make your list, check it twice, and find the perfect presents for the runners in your life.
Since runners are advised to kick their kicks every 300 to 500 miles, a new pair of running shoes can go a long way (literally) and might be just what your runner needs. Running styles and fits will vary, so it's important to know what to look for. Some runners will need a more supportive shoe while others may want to go more minimalist. Saucony's ProGrid Guide 5 ($100) and the Adidas adiPURE Trainers ($90) are just a couple of the newest lightweight shoes on the market.
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Our pick was all about comfort. It never hurts to check your local running store to test run the shoes, see the colors, and make sure you've found the perfect fit.
Editor's Pick: Nike Lunar Glide+3, $100
BooksThey say a book is a gift you can open again and again--and it's true. Not only that, but running books can be valuable resources for improving form and staying injury-free. Add to your collection or beef up a friend's with Lore of Running by Timothy Noakes, Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance by Matt Fitzgerald or one of our picks below.
Editor's Pick: Any selection from the Active Running Book Club, $10-$25
NutritionImagine fueling with fresh, organic whole foods. Isn't that how it should be? Dietary needs may vary, but many runners can agree that they want to know what they're eating. Processed foods and high-preservative bars won't cut it for runners who need quick, easy-to-digest snacks. Our pick is certified organic, vegan, gluten-free, and kosher to satisfy most nutritional requirements.
Editor's Pick: Navitas Power Snacks, $8.99 per bag
Heart Rate Monitor or GPS Training DeviceHelp your runner hit a PR in 2012 by updating their training devices. By tracking pace, distance and even heart rate, runners can boost their speed, increase their endurance, and reach new levels next racing season.
Editor's Pick: Ironman? Run Trainer? with GPS Technology, $225
Race RegistrationIt can take a lot to fund a runner's racing budget. From flights and hotel rooms to transportation and meals on the road, races—especially destination ones—can add up. Sign your runner up for his or her next event. It's an investment in their health and fitness—what could be better than that? Find a race the whole family can enjoy or pick something close to home.
Editor's Pick: 2012 Disney Royal Family 5K, $50-$55
Recovery ToolsAfter hitting the pavement for hours each week, a runner's body can endure some serious abuse. Help your runner work out the kinks and recharge with a great recovery gift. Used as a training tool by U.S. Olympic athletes, The Stick is dubbed "the tootbrush for muscles." It's a great at-home device that can help runners prevent injury and recover faster. If you've got a bigger budget, Compex Muscle Stimulators are top-of-the-line recovery tools for more competitive runners. There's also nothing like a good old fashioned massage.
Editor's Pick: SpaFinder Gift Certificate, Amount of your choice
Sign up for your next race.