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Best gifts for runners: 13 gifts to get your runner friend in 2019

These are gifts they’ll actually want and use.

Amanda Capritto
4 min read
Getty Images

If running 13.1 (or more) miles just sounds like physical torture in the form of on-foot mileage to you, you might feel baffled as to what someone who actually enjoys that kind of thing would love as a gift. As a runner, I can confidently say that there are three categories of gifts any runner will love and cherish: 1) gifts that help them run faster, 2) gifts that help them run farther and 3) gifts that commemorate their big accomplishments, like running a marathon.

I already use many of the items on this list of best gifts for runners, and I'm certain that anything you pull from here, your own runner friend will love (and actually use), too. 

Gone For a Run

Does your runner friend have race medals stuffed into every drawer, basket, nook and cranny? Maybe they're strewn across shelves and chair backs. Give that friend a way to organize their beloved medals with this nifty (and adorable) wall hanger that can hold up to 24 medals.

Nathan Sports

There's honestly not much worse than trying to run through a water station at a race, attempting to drink from a paper cup while still moving and ending up spilling it everywhere. That'll no longer be a problem with this super snug Nathan Sports water bottle, which can save you tons of time and spills. 


Running in high-traffic areas is dangerous. Running in high-traffic areas with headphones only multiplies the danger. For your friend who likes to run roadside (or has no choice but to run roadside), give the gift of bone conduction headphones with Aftershokz Air. They sit on your cheekbones, rather than in your ears, so you can hear vehicles and people throughout your run.

Read our AfterShokz Trekz Air review.


Running certainly takes a toll on the body, particularly the quads, calves and hamstrings. This mobility kit from Acumobility has all the tools any runner might need to work out tight muscles and reduce post-run soreness

The Stick / Amazon

"Race-cations" are destination races that give you the fun of a vacation but center entirely around a run, usually a half-marathon or marathon. If your runner friend is always flying to different states for race-cations, chances are the running and the travel have resulted in tight muscles. Gift them this portable muscle roller for mobility on the go.

Polar / Amazon

A good heart-rate monitor is essential for any serious runner, and chest strap heart-rate monitors such as the Polar H10 tend to be more accurate than wrist-worn activity trackers. This one in particular has a 400-hour battery life and features a moderate width that won't slip or slide around during a run.


This watch isn't on the cheap side of activity trackers, but it's worth the price for a runner who will actually use all or most of its features. It does everything a basic activity tracker can do, plus so much more: Measure cardio load, perceived load, strain and tolerance, and other analytics to get the most out of any workout. It also works with Polar Flow, a comprehensive training planner that supports workout programming, metrics reports and more.

Saucony / Amazon

Everyone knows a runner who always gets blisters but won't wear socks that show. Give them a set of these Saucony socks with heel tabs for the best of both worlds: no show, no blisters. 

Tune Belt / Amazon

People sometimes joke when runners bring their phones on every route, but a phone provides music, podcasts, GPS, a flashlight if it gets dark and a means of communication if anything happens. A good armband, like this Tune Belt armband that works with almost any phone, can make it easier to carry a phone and keep those necessities handy.


Ah, nothing like running right into the sun and ending with a headache because you squinted so hard. Sports shades can fix that problem, but sports shades can't be just any shades: Running sunglasses must resist bouncing and sliding, which is exactly why runners love Goodr sunglasses. Plus, they're inexpensive for running shades and they have fun names.

Honey Stinger

Talk about race fuel. Honey Stinger leads the way in organic in-race energy options with healthy, great-tasting (that's important -- some energy gels are gross) gummies, waffles and gel. Gift your runner friend this variety pack so they can stay strong during their next big race.

Run Ink

For runners, few moments compare to the absolute euphoria of completing your first marathon. Celebrate your favorite runner's big accomplishment with a customized race map from Run Ink. You fill in the details (city, race name, time and so on) and Run Ink makes it nice and pretty. 

Black Diamond / REI

Dedicated runners do anything to get their miles in, even if it means hitting the pavement before or after the sun comes up. Encourage safe running practices by gifting your runner friend a high-quality, adjustable headlamp like this one from Black Diamond. 

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.