Shopping for people around the holidays can be very difficult, so we’ve compiled a list of things that might light up your favorite runner’s face or give you some ideas as to what you might like to see under the tree on Christmas morning. We won’t be doing an in-depth review of these items until later posts, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.
We just reviewed the FitBit Ultra and find it to be a very well designed activity tracker. This is a great gift for any health conscious individual. The FitBit Ultra is available at Best Buy and at FitBit.com for $99.95.
One of the many favorites that the TR crew runs with is the Spibelt. Meagan originally came across this gem when looking for a better answer on how to carry our iPhones during our run. The Spibelt is nothing more than an adjustable elastic strap with a single pocket that can be used to hold keys, credit or ID cards, electronics, gels and/or candy. It is available in many different colors, with models starting at $19.95 (Spibelt.com), and can also be found in most specialty running shops.
The WiFi Body Scale by Withings is available at most Apple Stores or at the Withings website for $159. The scale is able to calculate the BMI, fat mass, and, of course, the weight of up to 8 different users. One of the best features of this scale is the ability to seamlessly document all of this data in an easy to read graphical interface. The data is also accessible through third party sources and allows for Facebook and Twitter integration.
Whether it is winter running clothes or just normal gear, every runner could use more pairs of shorts, pants, tights, underwear, shirts, under shirts, etc. If you know very little about running gear and aren’t sure what to look for, stick with brand-name products (i.e. Under Armor, Nike, Adidas, Reebok) and stay away from compression gear unless you are 100% sure that the person you are buying for will wear it.
FiveFingers (FFs for short) are one of the originals when it comes to minimalist running shoes and the first to offer five individual toe pockets. The nice thing about investing in FiveFingers during this time of the year is price reductions can be relatively large because many of the models are near the end of their cycle, so you can snag some versions for nearly (if not more than) half off their normal prices. I personally love the look of the Speeds, but when it comes to cardio, the Bikila and the Bikila LS are designed specifically for running. Pick up a pair at CitySports.com, RiverSports.com, or at your local running shop. A list of stores that sell FiveFingers in your area is available on Vibram’s website. Keep in mind that the sizing is different on these compared to regular shoes, so be careful when purchasing them as a gift. Most stores that carry them will have a special Vibram FiveFingers sizing mat.
Reflective Arm Bands – These are great for any runner that has to brave the dark nights or go out for an early morning jog. You can normally pick these up from any specialty running store for just under $10 a pair.
Candy – Yep, that’s right, runners eat candy too! Try energy jelly beans, Quench Gum, PowerBars, or power gels.
Running Socks – Before I switched to Vibram FiveFingers, I preferred going for runs wearing padded athletic socks, but now that I’m in toe shoes, I’ve switched to wearing Injinji Toe Socks during the cold seasons. You can normally pick up a decent pair of athletic socks at any sports store for $5 – $20.
Headphones – Currently, I run with my iPhone headphones and notice that many of the other people running in my area are doing the same. Truthfully, iPhone headphones aren’t that great, especially for use during athletic activity, and I would love a better pair (so for anyone taking notes on what I want, here is an idea). I don’t have any specific suggestions as to what may be the best pair of headphones for a runner, but I can say that a good pair of headphones will likely cost you anywhere from $20 to $100.
In conclusion, most of this comes down to the runner’s personal preference. Some people run with little to no gear, some people like to run with every gadget possible. Some people go for compression clothing, while others prefer a looser fit. When in doubt, talk to a sales representative at a local running shop. We’ve always found the employees at ours to be pleasant to work with and eager to help. If all else fails, a gift card to a sporting goods store or running specialty store always works!
Steve is an Executive Recruiter at Robert Half Executive Search in Madison, WI with a business degree in Information Systems and E-Commerce from the University of Toledo. Steve loves spending his time away from work; running, gaming, watching movies, checking out new social networking tools/sites/start-ups and blogging.