Our top picks this year include everything from fun gags to true things of beauty. Some are even things that runners really need (yes, indeed, we included body glide).
Clif Energy Blok$2.79 per Packet 1 of 18
If your favorite runner can't stand the consistency of gels, it's time to get them on-board with chews. These energy chews from Clif are easy to handle on the run and are packed in a slim, long profile that makes for easy storage in a small pocket or running belt. You'll find three chews in each packet, which come out to 100 calories total, with 50 milligrams each of caffeine and sodium; Energy Bloks were designed specifically for fueling during physical activity. Plus, you won't find any questionable flavors here. Clif kept it easy on your taste buds with fruity options like black cherry, citrus and mountain berry.
Wrist ID Stretch$25 2 of 18
If your favorite runner loves hitting the backroads or trails instead of your town's most popular running paths, gift them—and yourself—peace of mind. The Wrist ID Stretch from Road iD contains all their essential information in five lines of text should the unexpected occur. You can put name, emergency contact information, blood type and more. The Stretch is made from durable silicone and has no clasps or buckles, so they won't experience any irritation or snags. It's a simple gift, but probably one of the most valuable ones you could put in their stocking this season.
Trigger Point Performance Massage Ball$14.95 3 of 18
Sometimes runners need more than your average foam roller session, which is where this massage ball from TriggerPoint comes in. Made specifically for targeted, deep muscle massage, it's the perfect tool when your runner has a serious knot or deep-rooted tension they are struggling to address. The ball is constructed from nonslip fabric so the user can achieve a continuous roll and is well-suited for a variety of typically problematic areas for runners, including the foot, calf, glutes, hip flexors and upper back. The ball also can be easily cleaned with soap and water and works for either pre- or post-run use.
Million Mile Light v2$15 4 of 18
This tiny light is surprisingly powerful and will illuminate the way with minimal fuss for early-morning or evening runners. The Million Mile Light is most known for being battery-free; it's powered solely by motion, meaning the runner never has to worry about it dying on them. Even a slight jog will turn the light on with ease. Once on, it creates a bright pulse of LED light with 30 lum intensity for 200 meters of visibility. The light, which is weatherproof so you can wear it in all conditions, will clasp onto a running belt or waistband and only weighs 1.7 ounces so your runner will hardly know it's there.
Under Armour Beyond 18 oz. Bottle$27.99 5 of 18
This best-selling water bottle from Under Armour has all the functionality runners need, plus a sleek stainless steel finish that makes it an eye-catcher. The bottle uses vacuum insulation to keep drinks cold for an impressive 14 hours, and runners will appreciate the durability of a stainless steel interior and exterior. The bottle has a leak resistant, locking flip-top lid with a simple push-button, so they can drink on the go. This BPA-free bottle comes in a number of cool finishes, including metallic rose gold and blue infinity.
Balega Hidden Comfort Running Socks$13 6 of 18
Beloved by pretty much every runner everywhere, it's hard to beat Balega when it comes to socks. If you're looking to stuff your favorite runner's stocking with this classic gift, turn to the brand's Hidden Comfort line, which has an impressive amount of cushion in a very slim profile. The 200 needle-count fabric is made with Balega's Drynamix moisture-wicking material, so feet stay dry no matter the conditions outside. The socks also come with reinforced microfiber mesh ventilation panels for even better airflow. But the real beauty is in the extra deep heel pocket, where your runner will feel like they're touching down on a cloud with each and every step.
Lululemon Resolute Runner Gloves$36 7 of 18
Every wintertime runner needs a pair of dependable gloves to get them through those especially brisk mornings. This option from Lululemon keeps it simple with a black finish and a bright reflective stripe strategically located along the back of each hand, so it's sure to catch the light of cars as your runner pumps their arms. The gloves are constructed from the brand's RULU material, which is a sweat-wicking, four-way stretch fabric that is naturally breathable and noticeably soft. These gloves are also machine washable, and you can even throw them in the dryer (on tumble dry low), so upkeep will be a breeze.
OPTP Stretch Out Strap$15.95 8 of 18
Has your runner ever complained about a muscle group that's always giving them trouble because it's constantly tight? Then they need this epic stretch out strap, used by many physical therapists and athletic trainers. The woven strap, made with durable and long-lasting nylon, comes with 10 individual loops so he or she can get the exact level of stretch they want for each specific muscle group. With this strap your runner can deepen their usual pre- or post-run stretching routine, targeting their tightest places without assistance. The strap also comes with an instructional exercise book, so they won't be left with questions about how to use it.
GU Energy Gel Multipack$29.95 9 of 18
Forget the candies and chocolates this holiday season, and stuff your runner's stocking with nutrition that will get them a step closer to their racing goal. GU has been runners' go-to source of energy for years, and this multipack is the perfect way to score all their favorite flavors. You can choose from a fruity mixed variety, including the classics like lemon sublime and salted watermelon, to the indulgent mixed variety, which features flavors like salted caramel and chocolate outrage. Each GU is vegan and contains a mix of quick-release carbohydrates, caffeine, sodium and amino acids, all in 100 calories per packet.
Runner's Facts Ceramic Mug$14.99 10 of 18
Any runner will love this addition to their morning coffee routine. This ceramic mug may look simple at first glance, but the "nutrition" facts clearly listed on the front and back will speak straight to your runner's heart. With things like 365 percent commitment and 100 percent determination found in each serving size of one mile, the label will make your favorite runner crack a smile as soon as they read it. The mug is both dishwasher and microwave safe and holds 11 ounces. They're sure to have a new spring in their step after downing their morning coffee before the day's run.
Icebreaker Multisport Ultralight Mini Socks$16 11 of 18
Socks are a staple of every stocking. But rather than getting your runner any old pair, choose Icebreaker's Ultralight Minis. The socks are designed with a number of supports in place—for the Achilles and for the instep—and are breathable, lightweight and just the right height so they won't slip down. But the best part may be that Icebreaker socks come with a lifetime guarantee: If they ever wear out, the company will replace them with a new pair no questions asked.
Buff DryFlx Neckwarmer$25 12 of 18
Know someone who just can't stand the treadmill yet lives somewhere that gets pretty darn cold in the winter? Perfect for stockings, your runner will be thankful they received this cold-weather accessory this holiday. Its 360-degree reflectivity for nighttime visibility and thermally-efficient fabric make it the ideal garment for chilly runs. It also has UPF 50+ sun protection and is quick-drying so you don't have to worry about sweat. Plus, coming in a variety of colors, you're bound to find a design that every runner in your life will like.
Kiehl's Lip Balm #1$9.50 13 of 18
A great basic lip balm that protects and repairs for both the male and female runner, Kiehl's soothing formula is infused with Vitamin E and other nutrients. It's an essential for those who battle cold winters and dry lips.
HOKA One One Ora Recovery Flip$35 14 of 18
The last thing your runner wants on his or her feet after a long workout is another pair of running shoes. The Ora Recovery Flip from popular running shoe brand HOKA One One features a plush yet supportive underfoot feel perfect for post-workout relief. Throw a pair in your loved one's car or in their training bag for convenient, slip-on comfort.
Strava 3-Month Subscription$15 15 of 18
There's no doubt your runner has heard of Strava, but help take their online experience to the next level by gifting the Summit package. It includes three different packs (training, safety, analysis) with features like live segments, filtered leaderboards and beacon. Increased safety and data analysis can help your loved one perform at their best while virtually competing against runners around the world.
Body Glide, Original$9.99 per 1.5oz. 16 of 18
It may sound silly, but chaffed skin can make or break the race experience. Body Glide is the go-to anti-chafe solution for repetitive rubbing from clothing, shoes or between your thighs. It's dry and non-greasy, and one application lasts even for the full duration of marathon-distance races. Conveniently sized and easy to apply, don't let your runner leave the house on race day without a stick or two.
BioLite HeadLamp$49 17 of 18
While not available to the masses until spring of 2019, the preorder link is live for you to get your runner in on the fun. But what makes this headlamp different than every other light on the market? It's lightweight (just 69 grams!) and produces 330 lumens of light. Plus, it's rechargable, ultrathin—so much so that the wearer forgets it's there after a while—and features a pivoting design and a four different light modes, from red light to strobe.