Shopping for the runners in your life can be tough because we’re all such creatures of habit. We know the ideal legging length for a long run, the water belt that won’t slip and slide up our waist as the miles wear on, and we definitely don’t want anyone else picking out our go-to sports bra. No way. So if you find yourself tasked with shopping for a beloved pavement-pounder this year, you’re going to need to call in some backup. That’s us—and we’ve rounded up 11 of the best gifts for runners that, scouts honor, won’t wind up on the “store credit” list.
Whether you’re shopping for a newbie who loves to log a few feel-good miles per week or the hard-core devotee who takes on trails and swears by a 10-step recovery routine, we’ve got you. Add these gifts to your cart, and you might just receive the highest honor the runner in your life can offer: an invitation to log some mileage alongside them.
Allbirds launched these sneaks in early 2020—and they instantly become a favorite of Well+Good staffers. The unusual, geometric shape of the heel helps the runner launch forward effortlessly (not to mention, they just look cool).
Shop now: Allbirds Tree Dashers, $125
Thumbholes are like sprinkles to a runner: You don’t need them, but they make any run (or ice cream cone) just a titch better. Any runner who’s facing a long winter ahead will appreciate you for buying them this cozy, sweat-wicking piece that they’ll have in their wardrobe for years to come.
Shop now: Lululemon It’s Rulu Long Sleeve, $88
I purchased this cap in late July when the fury of a thousand suns was seriously harshing my runs. The back is made of adjustable mesh that allows you to wear your ponytail at any height. Now, that’s freedom.
Shop now: Brooks PR Lightweight Hat, $28
These metallic-inspired, race-ready leggings are just as functional as they are beautiful. The laces at the waist allow for effortless adjustment so you’ll never find these leggings slipping down your hips or hugging you too tight.
Shop now: Nike Icon Clash Speed, $90
If your runner is the type to appreciate a matching set, look no further. This two-piece from Pru Apparel screams, “I’m ready for a fun run!”
Shop now: Pru Apparel Elani Set, $39
Like I said: Sports bras are generally a personal matter—but Girlfriend Collective is the exception. The brand’s materials are so soft and sweat-ready that they have a tendency to win over even the pickiest fitness-lover. Don’t believe me? Let’s talk come New Year’s.
Shop now: Girlfriend Collective Moon Simone Bra, $48
Your running friend who’s thinking of hitting the trails will need a backpack that carries plenty of H2O, no question. The body-hugging fit of this baby will ensure it stays put as they cover their very first miles.
Shop now: Osprey Duro 1.5, $90
Runners spend a lot of time dreaming about smartwatches (just me?) and this one’s the cream of the crop. Music syncs directly onto this wearable so your friend can run phone-free in 2021.
Shop now: Garmin Forerunner 745, $500
I’ve said it a thousand times before, but I’ll say it one more time for the people in the back: The Apple Airpods Pros change the running game. No matter how sweaty you get, your jams will keep pumping while you stay aware of the environment around you.
Shop now: Apple Airpods Pro, $200
You win the holidays if you drop a grand to gift the NormaTec Pulse 2.0 recovery system. It’s just a fact. NormaTec boots promise to boost the circulation in your legs in order to expedite recovery—and, well, every runner wants that.
Shop now: NormaTec Pulse 2.0 Leg Recovery System, $995
Nothing says “I’m thinking about you!” like buying someone a garment with the express purpose of keeping their ears cozy.
Shop now: Athleta Seamless Tempo Headband, $24
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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.