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11 Best Gifts for Runners 2019

A runner stretches on a wall before a race

Buying gifts for runners can be tricky. Every runner has different needs—and different tastes. So figuring out what to get for the runner if your life is no easy task.

Take running shoes, for example. There is no best pair of running shoes for everyone. Some runners have wide feet, while others have narrow ones. Some runners have high arches, narrow heels, even a different sized left and right foot.

Trail runners need running shoes with burly tread for the most rugged environments, while road racers might opt for lightweight shoes with far less traction.

Then there are stability shoes, max-cushioned shoes, minimalist shoes, track spikes, walking shoes and shoes for cross country. And you have to think about size, color, brand and price.

It’s a lot to consider when you just want to help the runner in your life do what they love to do.

To ease your shopping worries, we collected the best gifts for runners no matter what distance, surface or race they’re getting into. Whether you’re shopping for a birthday, a graduation or a holiday, here are the best gifts for runners:

TriggerPoint GRID 2.0 Foam Roller

All runners can benefit from a foam roller.

Foam rollers can help work out muscle knots and adhesions, and you can use one to loosen your body up after sitting behind a desk all day. Rolling your glutes, hips, IT band and quads will help keep your muscles supple so you can stay on the road.

There are plenty of foam rollers on the market to meet every need and price point. One of our favorites is the TriggerPoint GRID 2.0. The firm feel and textured surface were designed to mimic a massage therapists hands, with vertical rows acting as fingers and flat spots that replicate palms.

The longer length gives you a wide base for rolling both legs at the same time, or working through your upper back or shoulders.

Shop GRID 2.0
A product photo of the Hyperice Hypervolt massager

Hyperice Hypervolt

The Hyperice Hypervolt is the next evolution of sports massage.

Like a foam roller, the Hypervolt gives you an at-home massage therapist to work out kinks in your muscles. Unlike a foam roller, though, the Hypervolt is capable of delivering up to 3,200 percussions per minute thanks to its high-torque motor and rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

Even better, the Hypervolt is as quiet as they come, so you watch TV at a normal volume while you ease your weary quads.

Four interchangeable massage tips and multiple power levels provide the ideal combination to soothe whatever ails you.

Shop Hypervolt
A packet of Maurten Hydrogel endurance fuel for runners

Maurten

Training and race-day nutrition is as personal as your shoe choice. Some runners can scarf a hamburger and french fries before a race and still feel fine. Others are done in by a single energy gel.

Maurten promises to avoid that by using hydrogel. Hydrogel is a 3D structure built by natural alginate and pectin that encapsulates carbs and sodium to protect it through your stomach. The gel releases the nutrients in your intestines where they can be absorbed without causing any GI distress.

Fleet Feet runners have been testing Maurten on long training runs, and it’s quickly made its way into our regular nutrition plan.

Shop Maurten
The GU Energy Stroopwafel in Salty's Caramel flavor

GU Energy Stroopwafel

The GU Energy Stroopwafel is one of our favorite sports nutrition products—and not just because it pairs well with coffee.

GU sandwiched a layer of syrup between two crispy waffles to give you the energy you need to crush your workout. Packed into the Stroopwafel is the same amount of carbohydrates, electrolytes (via sodium) and amino acids as a GU Energy Gel but in a solid, snackable form.

We love a Stroopwafel with a cup of coffee before a morning workout. The waffle is just big enough to sit on top of a coffee cup, which then warms up from the steam of your drink for a gooey pre-run treat.

Shop Stroopwafel

Feetures Elite Max Cushion No Show Tab

Nothing will ruin a run faster than a blister. Banish the word from your vocabulary with the Feetures Elite Max Cushion No Show running socks.

The Elite keeps your feet dry throughout your run thanks to the soft, moisture-wicking polyester fibers Feetures uses to sew the sock. The thick, dense fabric also cushions every step, so you get a softer ride.

If you want more coverage, Feetures makes the same Elite Max Cushion in a quarter-length cut that sits above your ankle.

Shop Elite Max Cushion
A product photo of the Balega Hidden Comfort running sock in blue

Balega Hidden Comfort

The Balega Hidden Comfort is one of the best running socks (and best-selling running socks) in the industry.

Balega spins an extra fine yarn into the Hidden Comfort to create a dense, plushly cushioned sock without adding unnecessary bulk. Added moisture-wicking fibers keep your feet cool and dry.

An extra deep heel pocket and enhanced elastane provide a snug fit. Plus, each sock is inspected by hand (in fact, each inspector places his or her own sticker on the sock so you can see who checked your pair). It’s a personal touch we love about Balega’s socks.

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The Aftershokz Trekz Air let you listen to music safely while you run

Aftershokz Trekz Air

Many runners like to listen to music while they work out. But popping traditional headphones or earbuds into your ears can be dangerous since you can’t hear approaching cars, bikes or other people.

Aftershokz alleviates that problem with the Trekz Air. By using bone-conduction technology, Aftershokz delivers the music through your cheekbones so your ears are free to hear ambient noises.

We like the Trekz Air for its clear sound quality and comfortable fit. The set also comes protected with an IP55 rating, which means it’ll stand up to dust, sweat and rain.

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A product photo of the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music with a teal strap

Garmin Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 245 Music

We think the Garmin Forerunner 245 and Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is one of the best overall GPS running watches you can buy.

Garmin updated the Forerunner line in 2019 after several years, and it was worth the wait. The Forerunner 245 packs tons of performance and tracking features into a rugged and stylish timepiece that won’t burn through your savings account.

Built in GPS tracking gives you a real-time look at your distance, pace and time, which also lets you keep a digital log of your weekly and monthly mileage. Garmin included a wrist-based heart rate monitor so you can know how hard to push or when to back off.

Fleet Feet runners reviewed the Garmin Forerunner 245 and found it to be a smart and capable GPS running watch that will do everything you need it to do and then some.

Shop Forerunner 245
A product photo of the Nathan StrobeLight LED Clip in orange

Nathan StrobeLight LED Clip

Visibility is important, especially during short winter days when daylight is at a premium.

To make yourself visible to drivers, cyclists and other runners, we like the Nathan StrobeLight LED Clip. The $10 LED lights are lightweight and water resistant, so you don’t have to worry about rain (or sweat). Clip one to your shirt to let other people know where you are.

The light can cycle between two modes: constant and strobe. Nathan says the low-profile light will burn for 57 hours in always-on mode and for 110 hours in strobe mode. When it runs out of juice, it has a replaceable coin-style battery than you can swap out for a fresh one.

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A product photo of the goodr Running Sunglasses in King colors

goodr Running Sunglasses

Lightweight, stylish and inexpensive. Goodr running sunglasses check all the boxes.

Each pair comes with polarized lenses that cut glare and protect your eyes from UV rays. The frames are snug and grippy, so you don’t have to worry about them bouncing around as you run.

Dressed up with dozens of color combinations, there’s a pair of goodr sunglasses that will fit every style and face shape. And, at just $25, they’re affordable enough to buy more than one pair.

Shop goodr
The ​amphipod 360 Full-Viz Reflective Hat in lime green

amphipod 360º Full-Viz Reflective Hat

Wearing a hat when you run shields your face and head from the sun, and it can also mop up sweat before it runs into your eyes. One of our favorite hats for runners is the amphipod 360º Full-Viz Reflective Hat. It offers the bonus of visibility, too.

The generous bill shades you from the sun, and it’s also helpful for keeping water off your face when you run in the rain. An adjustable strap lets you dial in the fit while reflective striping around the edge makes you easier to spot in the dark.

The 360 is a simple, no-fuss running hat that keeps you more comfortable when you’re logging miles, rain or shine.

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Gifts for Runners by Price

Sometimes the perfect gift needs a few accessories or you're rounding out your holiday shopping with stocking stuffers. That's when it helps to shop for gifts by price.

The best gifts for runners under $100 might be a vest to stay warm on a chilly winter workout or a high-powered addaday massage device.

Our favorite gifts for runners under $50 can help keep them visible on early morning runs or let them carry a phone, cards and keys with ease.

It's the little things that count with gifts for runners under $25. A cushy pair of running socks or a tube of hydration drink mixes can take a runner's training to the next level.

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