Gifts for Trail Runners
Gift Guide 2023 | Fleet Feet
While trail running is the same right, left, repeat motion as road running, trail runners are a unique bunch with unique needs. 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.
That’s why in addition to owning a pair of the best trail running shoes, trail runners’ gear needs to be as tough as they are.
At Fleet Feet, we have been helping people choose gifts for the trail runners in their lives for more than 45 years. With over 250 locations across the country, we outfit and run with trail runners in every climate and geography, so we know what they like and need as gifts because we are out there with them on the trails ourselves.
Here are the best gifts for trail runners chosen by our Fleet Feet Editors for their off-road adventures:
- Garmin fenix 7X Sapphire Solar
- Nathan VaporAir and VaporAiress Hydration Pack
- CEP The Run Compression Mid-Cut Socks 4.0
- Nathan Terra Fire Hand Torch 400 RX
- Men’s rabbit FKT 7” Shorts
- Women’s rabbit Dirt Pounders 2.0 4” Shorts
- Orange Mud Transition Wrap 2.0
- rabbit High Country Long Sleeve Flannel
- TrailRunningHats.com CrushCap
- Buff Merino Wool
- Spring Energy
[This article is part of our 2023 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 7X Sapphire Solar
The Garmin fenix 7X Sapphire Solar has all of the GPS watch features trail runners dream of. The watch has preloaded topographical maps, navigation sensors and access to multiple satellite systems to get the most accurate location, even in the deep backcountry. They can also send their route directly to the watch for turn-by-turn directions, making navigation of the trails much easier.
The pinnacle of Garmin watches, the fenix 7X Sapphire Solar has all of the latest technology when it comes to training, racing and more. It is rugged enough to handle the inclement weather and rough trails, yet looks good enough to wear as an everyday watch.
Nathan VaporAir and VaporAiress 2.0 7L Hydration Packs
Known as one of the best hydration packs, the Nathan VaporAir and VaporAiress 7L Hydration Packs are perfect for any trail runner to carry their water, nutrition and gear. The versatile and large capacity pack is lightweight, comfortable and looks great. But the key to this pack is the fit: Adjustable straps and an internal compression system let them dial in the fit to keep the pack from bouncing on their 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 alongside plenty of storage to carry the rest of their gear. Your runner will think of you every time they put this pack on to go for an adventure.
CEP The Run Compression Mid Cut Sock 4.0
Runners might be the only people who actually love getting new socks as a gift. The CEP The Run Compression Mid Cut Sock 4.0 is perfect for trail running because the graduated compression helps to encourage blood flow to keep them moving on the trails.
The crew-cut length helps keep dirt and debris out of their socks and protects them from poison ivy. Plus, they are treated with silver to reduce bacteria and odors, so it’s also a gift for you since you won’t have to smell their stinky feet.
Nathan Terra Fire Hand Torch 400R
A good flashlight for the trails is something every trail runner needs (and can always use a spare if you don’t know whether they already have one) and the Nathan Terra Fire Hand Torch 400R is one of the best running lights. A flashlight is nice for the trails because your trail runner can use it on its own for over 400 lumens of crisp, clean light or combine it with a headlamp for two angles of light to help decrease shadows that could cause them to stumble on uneven surfaces.
It is also better than a standard flashlight because it is water resistant, grip-free and has a 24-degree angle to reveal any roots or rocks that might trip a runner up. Plus it is small and lightweight, so it is easy to pack.
Men’s rabbit FKT 7” Short
Women’s rabbit Dirt Pounders 2.0 4” Shorts
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 is why the Orange Mud Transition Wrap is a great gift for trail runners.
The Transition Wrap wraps around them like a towel after a shower, and it has a secure clip that allows them to change out of their muddy gear and into clean clothes after a run. Not only that, but it will protect their 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.
rabbit High Country Long Sleeve Flannel
Whether the runner in your life hangs out in the woods or is running a trail race, they can do it in style with the rabbit High Country Long Sleeve Flannel. This top looks like a plaid flannel but acts like a running shirt.
The fabric is super soft, lightweight, quick-drying, moisture-wicking and stretchy. The front snaps together for a buttoned-up look and the back is ventilated for additional airflow. Plus, it fits perfectly under a hydration pack.
Buff Merino Wool
The eco-friendly Buff Merino Wool is one of the most versatile pieces of trail running equipment and a great gift for any trail runner. The versatile, multisport headwear delivers four-season performance with natural moisture-wicking and odor-control properties.
It is wearable in ten different ways. 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 the sun in the summer. Finally, they can pack ice in it during the summer and wear it as a headband or around the neck.
Why You Should Trust Us
At Fleet Feet one of our core values is that it is a privilege to serve. We take the thought of giving you advice and guiding you to pick out the perfect gift for the runner in your life very seriously and are honored that you chose to read this. Fleet Feet is the No. 1 run specialty store in the country. We serve more than 3 million customers across 250+ locations annually and have completed more than 5 million 3D foot scans (and counting) of different runners and walkers’ feet. Our goal is to help every customer find the correct shoes, apparel and gear for their goals.
We don’t just sell shoes and gear, we run, walk and hike with you in those shoes. We have had hundreds of thousands of runners and walkers participate in our training programs, community runs and events every year. We have locations all over the country running in the snow, desert and everything in between.
We take our sales data and talk with the different shoe companies, designers and our network of runners, walkers and hikers to cultivate this list of the best gifts for runners. We also review shoes and gear ourselves to provide you with the best information possible when making these guides. We update this guide regularly to make sure you have the latest information possible to make the best decision for you when it comes to giving your loved one a gift.
How We Picked the Best Gifts
With more than 45 years of experience, Fleet Feet is the expert in running (and gifting). What makes the perfect gift for a runner comes down to the personal experience, goals, preferences and style of that runner. We use a combination of real-life use, quality of materials, seasonal trends and our own top-seller lists to pick out the best gifts. 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.
Standing Behind Our Picks
We picked the best gifts based on what we think will work for the most people in 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.
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