Disclaimer: No company has approached me to include their products in this gift guide. This is based on my own research and opinions on what I would want for myself in running gear. There are no affiliate links anywhere in this post and any products that I personally endorse and spend my own money on are noted within the post.
It’s that time of year again! Time to highlight some awesome Running Gear that your may want to look into for that favorite runner in your life. Though there is no shortage of gear to choose from and no limits on the number of related running posts you’ll see out there, here is my take on the gear that should make it’s way under your tree this Christmas.
Most runners out there are into the cooler/cold/frigid run season so I’m gearing this year’s guide to suite us colder weather runners.
1. Under Armour Extreme Cold Gear Base Legging: Fitted legging that’s tight but not compression-tight. Made with a bonded fleece exterior and sherpa lining on the inside, these bad boys will keep you warm! Add in the anti-microbial (aka anti-smell) factor and these should be well worth the price of investment on those long, cold training runs. $79.99USD
2. Under Armour Cold Gear Slash Tights: Made with UA’s EVO technology, these compression tights will wick the sweat and dry quickly to keep your warm and comfortable as you pass the miles. The mesh slashing is also super cute. Probably not for the hard core winter running because they might not keep you warm enough on their own, but definitely good for the more moderate winters or spring/fall running. $59.99USD (as of this time, they are on sale at the online store for $44.99)
3. Under Armour Cold Gear Run Tight: Similar to the two above, these tights are second skin compression with the dual EVO technology that traps heat in, keeps cold out and wicks the sweat-pronto. They also have a hidden pocket for keys,energy etc and have reflectivity which is essential to staying safe during the long dark days of winter. $74.99USD
4. The North Face Isotherm Windstopper Tights: The name alone pretty much sells me on these pants. Windproof and water resistant, you will stay dry, warm and comfortable while logging some serious miles. Easy access rear pockets and ankle zippers make these easy to get into and out of, and keep you from having to dig in your sports bra mid-run for a long lost energy gel. $140.00USD
5. The North Face Winter Warm Tight: It says winter warm and there’s no joke. These are advertised to keep you warm even in sub-freezing temps. Bring a hearty prairie girl where it’s not uncommon to hit -40 with wind in the winter, I definitely have my eye on these tights for my winter running needs.
6. SmartWool PHD Run Tight: I am a huge fan of merino wool. Hubby got me some smart wool socks for Christmas last year and they are amazing. My feet love them for lounging and running. I’m very intrigued to see if their run tights can do for my legs what their socks do for my feet. Merino wool is fantastic because it regulates temperature and keeps you dry, all without adding obscene amounts of bulk to your body. I would say these bad boys would definitely merit a test run or two.
1. Under Armour Cold Gear Fitted Mock: I have this mock and it is fan-stinkin-tastic and I’ll tell you why. It fits beautifully. It’s not so tight that I can’t breathe but tight enough to keep me warm and dry. The best part is that the top doesn’t ride up. Nothing is worse than trying to stay warm on a run while constantly having to tug your base-layer down because it’s pooling up in your arm pits. $59.99USD (currently on sale for $44.99).
2. Under Armour Cold Gear Infrared Hoodie: This fitted, dual-layer EVO base-layer is designed to keep the heat in and wick away the sweat to keep you warm and comfortable from the time you step outside to when you get home. It also comes in amazing colours and has my favorite winter feature: the thumb whole. This one is definitely on my wish list. $64.99USD
3. Brooks Heater Hog Long Sleeve: Sorry for the horrid picture. Thankfully, all running shirts tend to look the same. Great as a baselayer or only layer if you’re not in the deep freeze. This top takes sweat away and brings heat to you so you can stay warm in the cold. Also features the afore mentioned thumb holes and comes in several different colours. $65.00USD for the top, $75.00USD for the 1/2 zip.
1. Lace locks: Nothing is more annoying than shoe laces that never stay done up….except maybe a double knot so tight you can’t get it undone. Lace locks are golden and work with any shoe. Perfect stocking stuffer for your runner or aspiring triathlete.
2. Hydration: Whether it’s a great water bottle for the run or electrolyte tabs to add to it, getting a nice hydration gift pack under the tree is a nice way of keeping your athlete’s needs met on those long weekend runs. I’m still looking for the perfect water bottle but for hydration, I’m hopelessly addicted and in love with Nuun. Particularly the Cherry Limeade flavor that’s just made it’s way to Canada.
3. Compression: Nothing says love for a runner more than providing compression gear of all shapes and sizes to make them feel like a sausage in casing before, during and after a run or race. Seriously. I cannot recommend compression socks enough for any runner who wants to be able to walk up and down stairs after hill training or 10 miles at 6am on a hot muggy day. I love, love LOVE my ProCompression socks. I own the trainer low ankle socks, the marathon and the calf sleeves. Not only can you get ridiculously awesome styles and colours and not only do they make my feet and legs so incredibly happy during and after a run but if you get their monthly news letter, every month they feature a sock of the month for 40% off. I’m having a seriously bad case of runner lust for some argyle or retro marathon socks under the tree this year (hint, hint hubby)
4/5. Gadgets: I hate to be the one to spill the secret but many runners are complete gadgets whores. We love our tech and there’s just something about a device that tells you your splits, your fastest/slowest mile, your current pace and your finish time instantly that makes the runner in me a little bit giddy. I have been using my Garmin 305 for the last number of years and I adore it. I also have a Polar FT40 for when I want to use a heart rate monitor and as I dig myself deeper and deeper
in debt into my journey toward a half ironman, I would love to learn how to properly incorporate heart rate monitor training. More advanced (read: expensive) version of both the Garmin and Polar brand are designed for multisport use as well so if the runner on your list also happens to fancy some biking and swimming, there are options. Bia is also on the verge of coming out with a triple-threat wrist unit for the ladies that is guaranteed to be pretty amazing. You can head to their site for more info. Pictured: Garmin910XT, Polar RC3.
6. Headbands: Check out my post on headbands that rock and stay on your head. No one wants sweat dripping into their eyes, especially in summer when that sweat is mixed with sunscreen. Ouch. A good headband will keep your head wicked and stylish while you’re pounding the pavement. If a visor is preferred, there are many options out there as well. I love my Under Armour visor but you can find Nike, TYR, Adidas etc at virtually any running or sporting good stores for various prices.
Not to be outdone by the gear, don’t forget you can also gift your runner a race entry into a coveted race, money toward a running coach or clinic or a subscription to their favorite running magazine. Heck, offer or arrange babysitting for them if they have kids so they can go for a solo jaunt around the neighbourhood.
This is in no way an exhaustive list but I am exhausted from the hourse it took to put it together. I hope you find something for your best running friend/spouse/sibling/parent or at the very least an idea of where to start if you’re feeling a bit lost by all this runner stuff.
I’m off to freeze my credit card into a huge block of ice before I spend to its max and have to explain to hubby why our house looks like the running gods upchucked all over it.