Top Holiday Gifts for Runners

by Adam Stuhlfaut, Director of Running

I admit it, us runners can be kind of particular about what we need for our sport. My family gets me lots of gift cards because they say they just can't keep up with my running needs. One year I'm injured and I'm focusing on rehab, the next year I'm all trail running, and the next I'm all road running. Each activity comes with its own unique footwear and gear. It's a lot to keep up with. To assist you, I've put together my top five suggested items plus stocking stuffers that will satisfy the runner in your life.

For the often-injured runner -

5" Orb massage ball
5" Orb Massage Ball

A big trend in preventing and recovering from running injuries is deep tissue massage. This massage helps to break up scar tissue and get the blood flowing to overused and injured muscles and connective tissue. The best single massage item is a foam massage ball like the 5” Orb Massage Ball from Pro-Tec Athletics. Massage balls, because they are spheres, can dig deeper into the tissue and can move in many more directions than traditional foam rollers.  Plus, massage balls are smaller than traditional foam rollers and thus easier to pack in your travel bags.

For the runner who needs a coach – Sometimes runners need a little extra motivation especially in the rainy winter months.  At SHOES-n-FEET, we have successfully coached hundreds of runners of every level.  Our Be You Training Program provides guidance for participants at all levels from beginner 5K to experienced 10K. We also offer marathon and half-marathon training. The gift of group training will motivate your runner without filling their closet with more stuff.   

Brooks Adrenaline 19
Brook Adrenaline 19

For the sneaker freak - Some runners just want to wear the hottest new technology. For that runner, Brooks Running just revolutionized the way they build supportive shoes.  The Adrenaline GTS 19 is built with Brooks’ “GuideRails” technology that adapts to each runner’s unique needs for support.  Since the technology adapts to the runner, you’ll worry less about whether you are buying your runner "the right shoe". 

For the runner with sore feet - Runners will often spend lots on their shoes for their runs but neglect their feet in-between runs.  Stop them from hobbling around in-between runs with Oofos flip-flops or slides.  Named for the "Oooo" sound people made when testing the original pairs, Oofos are luxuriously soft and highly supportive, plus they can be washed in the washing machine. 

run local
Run local products

For the run local supporter - Runners take a lot of pride in their local running environment.  That's why we created our locally-designed line of running hats and shirts. My personal favorites are any of the items with Bigfoot. We have many items in-store to check out.

The stocking stuffers

Pro-Tec Spiky Massage Ball – Smaller and firmer than the 5” Orb, the Spiky Massage Ball is great for massaging the bottom of the feet.

Nathan StrobeLight - This $10 investment might be the best thing you can buy for a runner who trains in the dark. 

Balega Blister Resist Socks – This wool sock is softer than cotton, prevents blisters and stays warm when it gets wet. The perfect Pacific Northwest running sock.

Gift Cards - Okay, so the whole premise of this article was to find an alternative to gift cards.  However, sometimes is just better to let those picky runners choose for themselves. 

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