Running. It's a simple concept: we lace our shoes, invest in a good playlist and then put one foot in front of the other - pounding the pavement until our legs hurt, our lungs burn, and we find ourselves back to where we started, wrapped up in a runners-high.
Now, to someone who doesn't see running as their Roman Empire, we know that just the idea of running can sound pretty miserable. But trust us, every runner (of every distance) has their own reason for clocking the miles on a weekend park run or competing for that "local legends" status on Strava. And thankfully, there's no shortage of gear that they can get excited about.
Whether you're looking for the perfect gift for your friend who signed up for a marathon, or you're dropping subtle hints about your own Christmas wishlist, we can guarantee that you'll find a thoughtful gift which won't disappoint.
We've created the ultimate gift guide for runners: featuring some of our very favorite products, alongside a handful of recommendations from fellow running enthusiasts (shout out to our run club legends). From recovery tools and top-rated nutrition ideas, to running gear that's been designed to help improve running performance, these are the best gifts for runners.
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The Ultimate List of Gift Ideas For Runners 2023
From road runners to trail explorers, we've put together a list of gifts for runners to help elevate their pace, increase their distance, and lift their style.
Jump Straight In:
Looking for other gift ideas for the athletes in your life? We might be able to help - 'tis the season of big gifts, and even bigger lifts after all. Explore our wide range of gifting suggestions to help make the winter season a little bit easier: gifts for weightlifters, gifts for athletes, gifts under $40, gifts under $60, small gift ideas.
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The Best Clothing Gifts For Runners:
As with most clothes for running, the best running tops are engineered to be as comfortable, breathable and sweat-wicking as possible, ensuring that the runner can get the miles in without distraction, chafe, or risk of overheating.
The Apex Tee is one of our favourite men's running t-shirts: designed from a lightweight fabric that moves with the body freely, it also features antimicrobial and sweat-wicking properties, offering you comfort when your training won't.
Sure. They can run in any old pair of leggings. But a great pair of running leggings will stay in place without falling down, allowing the person you're gifting to focus on their run rather than holding their leggings up.
Enter, the Running Leggings. Whilst they may seem simple in their appearance, the Running Leggings are a multi-functional must when it comes to warmth against seasonal wind-chill. Designed with a lightweight, high-stretch fabric that moves seamlessly with each stride taken, whilst waistbands have been engineered to support the runner no matter the distance - offering a comfortable, unrestrictive fit, that stays put.
Despite the runner in your life loving his faithful tracksuit bottoms, there comes a time that calls for getting the pins out, and when that day comes, having a pair of lightweight running shorts is key.
When searching for the best running shorts to gift, we'd recommend looking for a pair with an adjustable internal drawstring for a customisable fit. The Sport Shorts are our current favorite - featuring lightweight materials and a zero-distraction construction to help your giftee stay cool, dry and ready to focus on nothing but their goals and the run ahead.
If you're looking specifically for Christmas gifts for runners, one of our top recommendations is a running jacket. No matter where they live, or the distance they run, most runners can benefit from owning a variety of jacket silhouettes to layer up in throughout the year.
Whether it's as simple as an extra layer with reflective detailing on during the colder, slightly frostier morning runs or a lightweight windbreaker to help beat the winter evening chills as the seasons change; owning a durable running jacket with easy storage to keep their valuables safe is a great gift idea for runners.
Crew socks, though humble in their appearance will always be great gifts for runners. A good pair can be the difference between a comfortable jog, and one haunted by sore feet and blisters... yes, you best believe it, it's not always the shoes.
Look for socks that offer spongey cushioning with good stretch to support your feet as you run the miles.
The Best Accessories To Gift Runners:
It’s not always easy to find a running hat that fits well, or actually stays on your head whilst you run up, down, and around the block, but we might just have the answer, and it could be one of the best gifts for runners this year.
Made from an incredibly lightweight, sweat-wicking and stretchy fabric, the Gymshark 5 Panel Cap features a wide sweatband to help keep the head of your intended giftee cool and dry on their runs, whilst a reflective bungee cord to the back of the cap allows them to easily adjust the size, and be seen whilst running in the dark.
Perfect for those who like to run around the block, or for those who prefer to run without a running belt, the cap also features a hidden zip pocket that’s just the right size to store a key.
If you’re trying to find a gift for a runner who has absolutely everything, a pair of gloves might just be their holy grail. Ideal for those who run in colder climates, or who are training for an autumn/winter race, the Gymshark Gloves – available in three sizes – are made from a soft, snug fabric which helps to block out the chill, allowing you to stay warm whilst you increase your miles.
Oh, and did we mention that these gloves also have touch-screen compatible detailing so that they can use their smartphone and take pictures for their Strava upload on their run?
Whether you're training for a marathon, an ultra, or simply heading out on your first 5K, a running vest can help carry all of your essentials in one place so that you can focus on your run without distraction (and 1,000 things in your hands).
Larger than a running belt (and arguably more comfortable), a running vest is extremely lightweight, sitting securely against the body. Offering ample storage solutions, there's often enough room to hold your gels, a generous amount of water, keys, phone, and in most cases, spare kit too.
After an intense week of training or a tough race day comp, there's nothing more satisfying than slipping off your running shoes and letting your feet breathe. Upgrade your downtime by asking for a pair of Rest Day Slides for this year's gift; designed with a contoured footbed for maximum comfort post-run.
When it comes to finding cool and unique gifts for runners, you can't go too far wrong with a pair of polarized sunglasses. Having become a trending essential for any outdoor runner thanks to the likes of TikTok, the practical and stylish accessory makes for the perfect gift for runners this season. Lightweight and sleek in their design, sunglasses can (and should) be worn year-round to protect the eyes not just from the sun, but from dirt, bugs, and other matter found when running outdoors... plus, they look kinda cool.
The Best Recovery Tools For Runners:
A foam roller is just the thing you need to press fast forward on your recovery and bring relief to your sore muscles when you start to increase the mileage.
Perfect for beginners, and advanced runners alike, foam rollers are one of the most affordable recovery devices on the market - and for good reason. Their simple design allows for easy use, providing a massage that gets deep into stubborn muscle knots. Whilst it's no secret that foam rolling can be painful, the benefits of rolling out your muscles post-run are second to none.
Percussion Therapy Massage Gun
Recovery is a vital aspect of running, helping your body to relax ahead of your next session. When it comes to finding a way to recover, avoid the pain of DOMs, and get back on the road quickly, a percussion therapy massage gun can be extremely helpful.
Smaller, and easier to transport than your ordinary foam roller, percussion therapy devices are designed specifically to relieve muscle tension and stiffness by providing a deep tissue massage on demand. Use after each of your runs and watch the benefits unfold.
Wearable tech has become a staple in many of our lives, and that's no different for runners.
Designed to help improve your running performance, its technology tracks all of your running stats in order to give you real-time data. You'll get information on metrics such as heart rate, and your heart rate zones for those all-important Z2 training runs, alongside data to track your pace, cadence and stride length.
But that's not all they're good for. Wearable technology - especially fitness watches, also track how your body deals with stress, your sleep scores, and allows you to understand your recovery levels in much more detail so that you can get the most out of your training sessions.
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The Best Nutrition Ideas To Gift Runners:
When it comes to muscle recovery, fuelling your body before, during and after a workout is just as important as your pre and post-run stretches. Explore the best nutrition ideas to gift marathon runners and long-distance runners this season:
Ideal for those training for a marathon, an ultra, or any form of endurance run, gels are a gooey nutrition staple for many, and it's a unique gift that you know won't go to waste.
Designed to top up glycogen stores that get depleted during long-distance running, energy gels are often made up of simple sugar for quick and easy digestion, as well as a second burst of energy.
This year, give the gift of electrolytes... we know it's probably the least exciting gift on the list to wrap up and physically give to the runner in your life, but hydration is crucial to running success
And it's not just about drinking water... when we sweat, we lose vital salts and nutrients which need to be replenished to help maintain proper fluid balance and muscle efficiency. Without it, we won't be able to perform our best - experiencing cramps, fatigue, stitches and a number of other issues.
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IN NEED OF MORE GIFT IDEAS? WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED.
Discover our latest collection of gift guides here at Gymshark Central. From the best gifts for weightlifters, to the best gift ideas for the everyday athlete in your life, we’ve linked all our favorite things for you to gift this season.
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