Best Graduation Gifts For Runners 2024

Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet

Updated on

Don’t sweat trying to guess what your new graduate or student-athlete needs.

Help your graduate prepare for their future while supporting their love of running with the best graduation gifts for runners.

New students and recent grads can always use more gear, and balancing their studies or work while making time to run or exercise is no easy feat. Your graduating runner has put in the hard work, and now it's time to celebrate.

Whether they graduated high school and are heading off to college or just starting their career, celebrate their accomplishments with the perfect gift. From running gear for their first 5K or 10K to the latest tech and gadgets, we’ve compiled our favorite thoughtful and practical gift ideas to help you figure out what to buy for your grad who likes to run.

Here’s our list of the best graduation gifts for runners:

This article is part of our 2024 Gift Guide for Runners. See all the best gifts for runners by price, category and more. Can’t make up your mind? No worries. Check out our gift cards for a gift that keeps on giving.

goodr Sunglasses

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From runs across campus to coffee with friends, great style is easy to achieve with goodr’s lineup of fun and affordable sunglasses. These running sunglasses are no-bounce, no-slip and most pairs come with polarized lenses.

Vuori Performance Joggers

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They’ll thank you time and time again for gifting them a pair of Vuori Joggers. With comfort for days, these soft and stylish sweats are a staff-favorite at Fleet Feet. Perfect for running, lounging or studying, they’ll never want to take these joggers off.

Sprints Hat

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Every runner needs a reliable running hat. As fun as they are functional, Sprints Hats let them show off their personality with cool designs and patterns so they look good while they train hard.

Garmin Forerunner 265

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They’ll never be late to a class or meeting again. The Garmin Forerunner 265 blends sleek style with performance to give them all the benefits of a smartwatch, including wrist-based heart rate monitoring, GPS tracking and more. The watch easily syncs with a phone for notifications and can store up to 8GB of music.

Garmin’s Training Readiness Score helps them calculate their sleep, recovery time, heart rate and stress to analyze how prepared they are for a tough training session. Plus, it has a safety tracking feature that shares their exact location with friends and family so you can keep track of them while they're out running or follow along with their race progress.

Read more in our Garmin Forerunner 265 review.

Hydro Flask 21oz Water Bottle

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If you gift your runner the Hydro Flask 21oz Standard Mouth, they’ll likely own it for life. But not just because they come with a lifetime warranty. These insulated water bottles are built like tanks and can keep beverages cold for up to 24 hours or hot for up to 12 hours.

Feetures Elite Light Cushion No Show Tab

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Don't let your grad get caught wearing two different socks on laundry day. Runners can always use more socks, and the Feetures Elite Light Cushion No Show Socks are one of the best running socks out there. These high-performance socks are anatomically designed for the perfect fit that hugs their arches and never slips down the back of their running shoes.

Shokz OpenRun Headphones

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Shokz Bluetooth headphones have an open-ear design and use bone conduction technology so they can safely run and still hear their surroundings, like cars and other pedestrians. The OpenRun Headphones have a lightweight and comfortable fit with nothing going inside or over the ears to distract or annoy them. So your grad can run, work and commute while enjoying music, podcasts, audiobooks and phone calls all day long.

rabbit High Country LS Wool

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Buying clothes for students and recent graduates can be a gamble, but it’s a safe bet that they’ll love the rabbit High Country LS Wool button-up. It looks good with anything and has the performance features of a running shirt so they can wear it for hikes and coffee dates with friends.

rabbit EZ Tee Short Sleeve

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The rabbit EZ Tee is so soft and comfortable that they might forget they’re wearing it. Sweat-wicking, fast-drying and available in plenty of different colors, the EZ Tee makes it easy to pick out a running gift for your grad. We loved it so much that it made it onto our list of the best running clothes!

Hyperice Hypervolt GO 2

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Hyperice Hypervolt GO 2 Runners are constantly dealing with tight and sore muscles. The Hyperice Hypervolt GO 2 is like gifting a lifetime of free massages. Small and compact, this portable percussion massager is perfect to throw into one of the best running or gym bags so they can warm up and recover on the go. The small design is perfect for the small space of a dorm room or first apartment too.

Cotopaxi Vest

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When the temperature drops, they’ll love layering up with a Cotopaxi Vest. Cotopaxi uses responsibly sourced materials and their vests have a fun and colorful look that you won’t find anywhere else.

Brooks Heritage Pom Beanie

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The Brooks Heritage Pom Beanie gives them warmth on the run and style for everything else. This retro style winter hat is perfect for their winter adventures and snowball fights.

New Balance Heat Grid Half Zip

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Half zips are such a versatile top that it’s hard to go wrong giving your grad one of these. The New Balance Heat Grid Half Zip is perfect for layering during winter runs and outdoor adventures. It looks great sitting by the fireplace too.

Saucony Rested Sherpa

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This classic pullover with a retro vibe will keep them cozy all winter long. It’s sustainably made with recycled polyester and looks just as good with running tights as it does with a pair of jeans.

Amphipod R3 Venture Out Pack

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Belt bags are back in style and the Amphipod R3 Venture Out Pack not only looks good, but can handle any adventure your grad throws at it. They can wear it around the waist during runs or hikes and convert it into a crossbody bag when they are out with friends.

On Performance Long T

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They’ll love wearing this premium running shirt year-round. It’s cut from lightweight Japanese knit fabric that’s known for its ability to wick moisture away from skin. So it will keep them warm when it’s cold out, and cool when it’s warm. It also has an antibacterial treatment to keep them smelling fresh if they happen to skip laundry day.

OOFOS OOah Slide

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Whether they’re in a dorm room for the first time or lounging at home, the OOFOS OOah Slide will keep them comfortable while they recover from their workouts. These recovery slides absorb 37% more shock than traditional footwear and help relieve stress on sore feet, knees and lower back.

More Gifts for Runners

We narrowed down our favorite products by category so whether your runner likes to crush marathons or enjoys the daily stress-relief, these gifts will make your shopping easy.

How We Picked the Best Gifts

Fleet Feet is the expert in running (and gifting). With over 250 stores in communities across the country, Fleet Feet is the largest running store in the U.S. with over four decades of experience outfitting runners with the best running shoes, apparel and gear. We focus on running and walking gear, so we can be the experts and bring you the best running and walking advice possible.

What makes the perfect gift for a runner comes down to the personal experience, goals, preferences and style of that runner. At Fleet Feet, we have been helping runners pick out the right gear for decades, so we know a thing or two about making picking out the perfect gifts for them.

Additionally, thanks to 100,000+ runners participating in our local running clubs and training programs each year, we can see firsthand how the newest running shoes and gear perform for all different types of runners, each with different goals in mind.

Collectively, our experienced team of Fleet Feet editors has tried, tested and fallen in love with running gear from the world’s top running brands. We use a combination of real-life use, quality of materials, seasonal trends and our own top-seller lists to pick out the best graduation gifts for runners. With all that in mind, we picked gear that lived up to our personal (and professional) expectations. Plus, as people who live and breathe running, we know what we would like to unwrap ourselves.

From running shoe and gear reviews to workout tips and inspiration, we are your go-to source for running knowledge and motivation.

Standing Behind Our Picks

Fleet Feet knows running. We picked the best running gifts for grads based on over four decades of experience outfitting runners of all abilities, ages and sizes.

If you buy gear from us and you don’t like the way it looks, fits or performs, bring it back within 60 days for a full refund.

Plus, we offer free shipping & returns on all orders over $99 on fleetfeet.com, and we’ll match a lower price from a qualifying retailer. That’s our Happy Fit Guarantee.