Gifts for Trail Runners

Holiday Gift Guide 2021 | Fleet Feet

Trail running immerses you in nature, taking you away from the hustle and bustle of the roads. While it can be peaceful, it also means your gear needs to hold up to dust, mud, dirt and the elements. If you get caught in a rainstorm, you may not be able to duck into a building or call someone for a ride. Trail runners’ gear needs to be as tough as they are.

Besides the best trail running shoes, here are 10 of the best gifts for trail runners for their off-road adventures:


[Updated September 9, 2021. This article is part of our 2021 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.]

Garmin Fenix 6s Pro

The Garmin Fenix 6s Pro has all of the features that any trail runner would want. The navigation, in particular, is great for trail runners. The watch features a GPS map, showing the trail route to help you get back to your car. You can also send your route directly to the watch and it will give you turn-by-turn directions, making navigation of the trails much easier.

In addition, it has altitude and elevation tracking, which is important for most trail runners who want to know exactly how high they climbed and then brag about their “vert” (short for vertical). It also has the ability to see VO2Max, sunrise/sunset times, current weather conditions and compass.

The GPS and battery life in this watch are fantastic. It is capable of connecting to GPS, GLONASS and Galileo satellite systems (the US, Russian and European Union navigation satellite systems, respectively), which can track your workout and sync the watch’s time to keep it on track. It has a battery life of up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, 36 hours in GPS mode and 10 hours in GPS + music mode. If you need more battery life, there is the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar Edition.

This watch has many other features, which you can read about in our gear review of Garmin Fenix 6.

Nathan VaporAir 2.0 and VaporAiress 2.0 Hydration Packs

Carrying water is essential on long trail runs, and there’s no easier way to carry it than in the Nathan VaporAir 2.0 and VaporAiress 2.0 hydration packs.

The versatile VaporAir and VaporAiress are lightweight, vest-style hydration packs that hold your water and gear on the run. But the key to Nathan’s pack is the fit: Adjustable straps let you dial in the fit to keep the pack from bouncing around on your back.

The 7L pack holds a 2L bladder with a quick-release valve and has two front pockets that hold 22 oz bottles or flasks. Zippered pockets on the front give you quick access to essential items, and a kangaroo-style pocket on the back holds extra layers, another flask or anything else.

With fits tailored specifically for men and women, the Nathan VaporAir 2.0 and VaporAiress 2.0 are a simple, comfortable way to carry your water on long days off road.

CEP Short Socks 3.0

A compressive fit and longer cut means the CEP Short Socks 3.0 are perfect for trail runners.

Compression can encourage blood flow to keep your muscles fresh and speed up recovery, so CEP designed the Short Socks 3.0 with targeted compression for your arch, ankle and Achilles. The snug fit also reduces bagginess that can cause blisters.

The crew-cut length sits above the ankle but below the calf to help keep dirt and debris out of the socks, while the polyamide-spandex blend keeps feet cool and dry.

With plenty of colors to choose from, the CEP Short Socks 3.0 are a gift every trail runner will love.

Nathan Terra Fire Hand Torch 400R

Blaze new paths and trails on land you love with the Nathan Terra Fire 400RX Hand Torch. This grip-free, rechargeable, running-specific flashlight cranks out over 400 lumens of crisp, clean light, while the integrated 24-degree downward projection angle assures the beam will pick up any root or rocks that might trip you up.

This flashlight is water resistant to light your way in rain, sno, or sleet. It provides five hours of light on high, six hours on medium and 12 hours on low. It works great for the trails by itself or combined with a headlamp to produce two angles of light and decrease shadows.

Men's | rabbit FKT 7” short

The men’s rabbit FKT 7” shorts offer lightweight performance for the toughest trail runs. With a soft touch and barely-there feel, these shorts wick away the moisture and dry quickly.

You can never have too many pockets in a pair of trail shorts. These have two side pockets as well as a rear zip pocket that is large enough to fit most phones. With an internal brief liner for extra support, the FKT shorts are engineered to be as tough as any trail runner.

Women’s | rabbit Dirt Pounders 2.0 4" Shorts

These trail shorts are buttery soft, quick drying and wick away any sweat so you can run. A 4" inseam and split leg means these shorts will never slow you down, no matter how steep the mountain gets. Plus, a chafe-free brief liner makes them even more comfortable.

These shorts have all the pockets a trail runner could want. There are two side panel pockets, which can securely hold gels or trash from the trail, and one center back pocket that fits most phones. The Dirt Pounder shorts are perfect for off-road adventures.

Aftershokz Aeropex Headphones

While listening to nature is one of the perks of the trails, sometimes trail runners still need their favorite song to keep moving and grooving. The Aftershokz Aeropex headphones are perfect for trail runners because they sit outside your ears, using bone conduction technology to transfer the sound. This way they can listen to their music or podcasts, while still hearing a mountain biker or another runner come up behind them.

The Aeropex headphones are water and sweat proof, so they can handle intense workouts or getting caught in a rainstorm. With eight hours of battery life, these wireless headphones are worthy of an adventurous trail run.

Orange Mud Transition Wrap 2.0

Trail running can be dirty and muddy, but no one wants that dirt and mud to get in their car. That’s where the Orange Mud Transition Wrap comes in handy for trail runners.

The Transition Wrap wraps around you like a towel after a shower, and it has a secure clip that allows you to change out of your muddy gear and into clean clothes after a run. Not only that, but it will protect your car seat by laying nicely over it thanks to its integrated hood that goes over the headrest. Machine washable, this wrap is perfect for adventures on the muddiest trails.

Sprints Hats

Mountain goats and Sasquatch patterns make Sprints hats perfect for off-road adventurers. A hat is great for off-roading because it keeps the sun (or rain) out of your eyes, while still allowing you to see uneven terrain.

Sprints hats are lightweight, breathable and wick moisture away. Not only do these hats perform well, but their fun designs will bring a smile to your runner’s face when they open their gift.

Buff Merino Wool

Proven performance and the eco-friendly materials make the Lightweight Merino Wool Multifunctional Headwear perfect for keeping you cozy on chilly days. It is a soft, warm, wind-resistant and lightweight layer made with 100 percent Merino wool.

Wearable in 10 different ways, the versatile, multisport headwear delivers four-season performance with natural moisture wicking and odor control properties. Trail runners can wear it as a neck gaiter to protect their mouths from dust, wind and bugs. It can also keep their faces and necks warm in the winter and protect them from sun in the summer. Finally, they can pack ice in it during the summer and wear it as a headband or around the neck.

Sold out? Check out the original Buff that gives you the same neck-warming coverage cut from 100% recycled REPREVE® Performance Microfiber fabric.

Standing Behind Our Picks

We picked the best gifts based on what we think will work for the most people in the most situations. If you buy a gift from us and you don’t love the way it looks, fits or performs, bring them back within 60 days for a full refund.

Plus, we offer free shipping 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.