The all-inclusive Christmas gift guide for that special runner in your life

OMG. It’s December 19 already. If you’re a responsible person, you’ve probably done all your holiday shopping and are kicking up your feet with a cup of hot cocoa and the next season of The Wire next weekend.

Or you could be like me and still have about 80 percent of your shopping list to cover with one weekend to go. :)

Better late then never, if you have a runner in your life and you’re wondering what’s you can get that s/he’ll cherish and appreciate — here’s some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

If your budget is < $20

Socks

Thorlo running socks

Thorlo running socks

Now, before you balk at paying $15 for socks, let me just say that the right compression socks? That keep your feet warm during winter running? That’s what keeps you between comfort and painful, painful blisters.

Thorlo is a great brand, and their Experia line is great for cold weather. SmartWool (carried at LL Bean) makes a great product, too.

My favorite socks I own are ones my sister-in-law gave me last year from Old Navy. I wish I could find them online but it looks like Old Navy isn’t carrying them any more.

You can tell great socks because they are a) going to be made of anything other than cotton (cotton holds moisture close to your skin) and b) will have arch support.

Flashing lights

I can’t help but type that title and think of this song that’s been on repeat on my computer since Beyonce dropped her surprise album last week. :)

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Duravision Pro Safety Light, $9

But no, I mean these kind of flashing lights! You literally can’t have too many of them because … safety. I try to wear a few any time I run outside after 3 p.m.

Look for lights that are not too big (better to wear more smaller ones than a bulky one which might smack you or fall off) and can be attached with a clip, like the one above.

Other great ideas are any kind of visibility gear, like a reflective vest or a headlamp. The LL Bean outlet has headlamps, Maine Running Company in Brunswick & Portland is another great source, and so is Dick’s Sporting Goods in Bangor.

Running gloves with conductive fingers

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Nike Women’s Lightweight Tech Run Gloves, $18

 

It might be too late to order gloves online, but Runners Warehouse has been the cheapest place I’ve seen these kind of gloves — you know, the kind where you can change the songs on your iPod without having to take them off.

I’ve seen some pretty nice ones at Epic Sports in downtown Bangor if you’re willing to extend your budget a bit. :)

What you want to look for: not cotton (preferably a fabric like polyester or wool that will wick moisture away from your skin), and the fluorescent kind with reflective strips help you stay visible on gray, icky winter runs.

A Runner’s World subscription

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I love this magazine. It’s got great content for runners of all abilities and interests, and some of the best sports journalism ever. No other running magazine comes close.

Book: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

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The paperback of this book is available for ~$12 on Amazon. Confession: I bought this as a gift for someone and then I ended up keeping it for myself and reading it. It’s a memoir about the act of running, and this runners experience, and if you’re a runner, you’ll get it.

If your budget is > $50

No matter where your runner lives or how often (or infrequently) she runs, a runner will appreciate a nice new fleece or jacket, especially around this time of year.

Nike Pro Engineered Hyperwarm Half-Zip Ii
Nike Pro Engineered Hyperwarm Half-Zip II, $70

OK, I will admit it, I’m kinda a Nike fan girl (they don’t pay me to say that, I just say it because their products have lasted thousands of miles and treated me very well). I saw this fleece on their website and it is super cute.

Here’s my big secret: The best place to get quality running jackets for a decent price? TJ Maxx. They usually have name brands like Nike and Adidas for the $15-30 range, whereas full price is more like $70-$120.

Things to look out for: Does it have a zipper in the front? Does it have pockets that zip? And can hold an iPhone? Perfect.

 

If your budget is > $100 …

Sneakers

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A runner needs to replace her sneakers every 500 miles or so, which means that for someone who goes out for a short run 5 days a week, she’d need to replace her shoes about twice a year. (Magazines say you can prolong the life of your shoes if you rotate them, but that’s probably shoe companies trying to get you to buy more shoes!) Find out what size and style of the shoes she runs in now (subtlety asks if she likes them).

A GPS watch

My New Nike+ GPS watch

If your runner doesn’t have one of these now, I guarantee she’d appreciate it! I didn’t get one until almost 3 years of running and now I couldn’t imagine going without it. A GPS watch will calculate your pace and distance over the course of a run. You can also get models that will calculate your heart rate.

I bought a Nike+ Sportswatch — mostly for looks — in June and I’m really happy with it. It cost about $170 and it’s worth hit to spring for the footpod. I love that I can run on the treadmill and not have to go through any extra work to chart my workout when I get home — just plug in my watch and sync to DailyMile!

Did I miss something?

Tell me about the gift you wish you could receive in the comments. :)

Pattie Reaves

About Pattie Reaves

I'm the User Experience and Audience Manager for the Bangor Daily News. I live in Bangor with my husband, Tony, and our two pugs, Georgia and Scoop.