Ultimate Runners Gift Guide

Christmas Gifts for Runners in 2017

As a runner myself, I know that buying gifts for runners is far from straightforward. Shoes are a tricky area, many of us get quite fussy about our footwear!

This page has all the types of gifts that the runner in your life will enjoy unwrapping this Christmas / Holiday Season. You will find these listed by category. Within each type of gift, there are options for smaller budgets and for bigger spenders.

You will find gifts in several categories below –  simply scroll through until something catches your eye. I have put a short summary of the most popular item in each category into the table below for those of you in a hurry!

  • Fitness Trackers and Watches
  • Headphones
  • Visibility Accessories
  • Running Sunglasses
  • Treadmills
  • Massage / Recovery Products

Table: Most Popular Runners Christmas Gifts in each Category

Best FitBit for Christmas

FitBit Alta Wrist Band

FitBit set the standard for trackers, and the Alta is their best product yet. Track runs, heart rate and connect to apps. A perfect gift for both recreational and competitive runners. Check out the options and colours!

Check the FitBit Here!
Runners Headphones from Anker

Anker SoundBud Bluetooth Headphones

The best of all worlds with these popular headphones. SoundBuds adjust to your ear size, have wireless Bluetooth connectivity, and sound great too. Very positive feedback for this model.

Check the SoundBuds Here!
Pathfinder21 Runners Headlamp

PathFinder 21 Runners Headlamp

Perfect for those cold winter nights. This halogen light attaches to your head with comfortable straps. The runner in your life will both see and be seen!

See the Pathfinder 21 Here!
Treadmill Gift for Runners

JLL S300 Home Treadmill

App connectivity, a big 16km / hour top speed and great looks. This home treadmill would make a perfect gift for any running fan. The price is closer to the mid-range models than the top spec would indicate!

See the JLL S300 Here!
Best Runners Foot Spa

Beurer Footspa / Massager

Treat your feet after a long run with this heated foot spa from Beurer. The hot water combined with massage attachments will bring instant relaxation.

See the Beurer Spa Here!

 

#1 Fitness Trackers and Watches

Gifts of Fitness Watches for Runners

Only a small minority of runners don’t track their runs these days. Not only do watches and tracking bands collect stats, they tie in with apps and communities too.

A top-end running watch from Garmin can be expensive. The newest and highest spec’d models go for more than £500. While I’m sure that the runner in your life would love to unwrap one of those, there are plenty of alternatives.

Apple or Android smartwatches, POLAR products and Fitbit style tracking bands are all popular options. This type of technology is mainstream these days. The big brands might still lead the way in terms of technology and style – though unbranded knock-offs from the far east will usually do a perfectly good job at a fraction of the price!

Here are my picks:

Best Running Watch 2017:

Garmin S5s ReviewedThe Garmin Fenix 5S simply crushes the competition, it’s expensive, though includes GPS tech and a spec which would put an Olympic athlete to through their paces. It is multi-sport, contains monitors, app connectivity and both GPS and GONASS satellite positioning, anti-glare glass, interchangeable bands and a powerful battery. Without wanting to sound too positive, nothing else on the market comes close at the high-end… the feedback from owners in the Amazon comments verges on the side of ‘gushing’.

Check out the amazing spec, pics and feedback for yourself on this dedicated amazon.co.uk product page.

Budget Alternative:

Try the POLAR M40, this also uses GPS, and is from the company that set the standards with running trackers and connectivity before the ‘app generation’ took over.  Recognized as pro level equipment you’ll find the full range of styles, specs and of course prices. A basic POLAR tracker can be had for less than three figures, while a brilliant watch which will last for years will only come in at 2x this.

Check this list of POLAR Running Watches for some fabulous choices.

Best Runners Tracking Band:

Fitbit is the best-known brand in this space, will quality guaranteed. If you are looking for a Christmas gift for a runner without breaking the bank, then there are plenty of popular choices in this area which come in for a lower double-figure budget.

My pick is the Fitbit Alta: Check the options on this amazon.co.uk product page to see plenty of options and colours.

#2 Headphones for Runners

headphones for runners

Before you start with buying headphones as a gift for a runner, I recommend finding out their preferences for in-ear (buds) or over-ear types. This can be easy enough. A casual chat along the lines of ‘those in-ear ones just keep falling out for me, what about you?’ should do the trick!

There are some excellent choices of both types. What you should keep in mind when buying headphones for a runner is a) the wires and b) how they will stay in place.

Of course, the quality of the sound is important too.

headphone picks for running fans giftsFor in-ear / bud type running headphones, Anker SoundBuds are a best-selling choice. These Bluetooth buds have a strap with accessible controls, come in 3 colours and include custom hooks with 3 size settings to help keep them in place. These are not expensive items, and according to the feedback from previous buyers, give you a great sound while you run.

Check out the Anker SoundBuds on this amazon.co.uk product page

Some People Prefer Over-Ear

Over-ear fans need a model with a flexible strap which can hold them firmly in place. I like the Marathon2 headphones in this category. You’ll see from the picture gallery that there are controls to skip songs and adjust volume right on the side of the speaker – saving a separate control console. At the time of writing, these had a discount attached at amazon too!

Check out the Marathon2 Sports Headphones via this page

More Sports Headphone Options

If you are looking for a novelty gift for a runner in your family (maybe to give alongside something more serious), then a Bluetooth speaker hat might fit the bill. For the more discerning runner, a bone connectivity headset is supposed to be the ultimate in sound while you work out. I have yet to try one, so if you do get one, please let me know if they live up to the hype!

#3 Visibility Accessories for Runners

Visibility for Runners

We all want our running friends and relations to return home safe after a run. With the long winter nights here, some extra visibility be just the ticket. As an extra, the products in this category are lower cost – ideal gifts for a sister, uncle or simply a friend! What I like best about these is that they show you care.

Headlamps:

This is such an effective, yet simple idea, that I am surprised it too so long to become popular. Combine an LED light, a battery and a strap to hold it on to your head – and you have your own headlamp. This not only helps you be seen, it can help you see where you are running. Ideal for the park at dusk, or out on the road.

You can pick these up at a very reasonable cost. The best seller is the Pathfinder 21.

Check it out on this amazon.co.uk product page.

Neon Reflective Straps:

reflective straps for runnersAnother simple idea, which (statistically speaking) must have saved lives already. These are usually yellow, and will shine bright in the headlights of a car. Basic straps have been around for a while. These days, makers such as Tuviso are combining them with pouches and pockets to make your visibility straps even more useful.

This reflective vest fits the bill perfectly – check it out for yourself!

Reflective Heels:

As cheap and useful as you will find, reflective heel stickers add that extra little bit of safety when running in the dusky evenings. These work in the same way as the reflective bands, shining bright in the headlights of cars.

#4 Running Sunglasses (Christmas gifts that are ready for the summer!)

If you are not a runner yourself, you might not be aware that regular sunglasses have issues. Movement is the main one, though wind and the occasional bug come close.

Running sunglasses solve these issues, add UV protection and their wrap-around look is a stylish accompaniment to your other gear. All the major brands like Nike, Adidas and Under Armor have these. I have picked two with distinctive and contrasting looks below. You can see a gallery of all the styles and sizes on this page over at amazon.co.uk. One thing to keep in mind, unless the glasses grip the head tightly, a holding string is always a good idea as a backup.

Check out this page at amazon.co.uk for a ton of different options!

 #5 Home Treadmills

Treadmill for Christmas

Some nights the weather simply won’t cooperate and that run gets cancelled. Buying a treadmill as the Christmas gift is not the first thing that springs to most people’s mind. Watching the eyes of your running loved-one light up when they get one should be plenty enough to convince you it was a good choice.

Top end treadmills cost £1000+, though you can get a decent home model for a fraction of this amount. Brands like Nordic Track, Proform and JTX produce some excellent models. I have covered these in a lot of depth on my dedicated Treadmill Reviews page. Some of the key things (other than budget) to keep in mind are:

  • Does it Fold? These are often big machines, the ability to fold it away is important for those who do not have a dedicated space.
  • Incline? A small slope will make a big difference to the intensity of the run. It will also allow the user to vary the intensity.
  • Speed: Some cheaper models top out at 10km / hour. This is a light jog for many experienced runners, make sure you have 12km / hour as a minimum.

I could go on here, the computer, cushioning of the running surface, multi-media compatibility and so on are all important factors.

Here are my picks. Both are best-selling models. The first is a solid mid-range treadmill with incline and a good console, the second is a popular cheaper machine. Of course, if you have the money, a Nordic Track Elite 2500 would be the perfect gift for any runner!

Treadmill Pick #1: The JTX Slimline Folding Treadmill

JTX Slimline Folding Treadmill ReviewThis is a top-rated mid-range model with the ability to fold up. You won’t compromise on spec with this treadmill. It has a top speed of 14 km / hour, 8-point shock absorbing surface (you will feel the difference compared to budget models with this), and digital incline. The display is multi-functional too (and looks impressive!). This would make a wonderful Christmas gift for any runner.

Check out the JTX Slimline Treadmill gallery and spec on this page.

Treadmill Pick #2: The JLL S300 Treadmill

This JLL model connects with your iPhone / smartphone, and goes up to 16km / hour. It is lower mid-range in price, and competitive in terms of the spec. You’ll get a 20-level incline, and (best of all) speakers are built in. No more complaining that running at home is ‘too boring’ with this model.

Check out the impressive gallery, the JLL S300 looks great from the side!

JLL S300 Amazon.co.uk Product Page

#5 Massage / Recovery Products

massage-recovery-runners

There are times after a long run when I have dreamt of a relaxing foot spa! This is more for pleasure, and you will also find accessories which have more practical applications. These help to stretch or to massage the muscles, and can be used before and after a run. Once again, the beauty of this type of runner’s gift is that you will not need to spend a fortune to bring a smile to the face of your running friends!

Rollers, stretching aids and electronic massage devices all come in to this category.

Rollers:

You can show the runner in your life that you have done your homework by choosing the foam roller used by therapists, coaches and athletes. TriggerPoint not only give you a quality roller, they come with unique (online) instructional videos too. See this dedicated amazon.co.uk product page for the colours, specs and (solid) user feedback.

Massage Stick:

Foot Spa Perfect Gift for Running Fans
A great value gift that will be a real relief to sore leg muscles, the Physix Muscle Roller Stick Pro makes a big deal of no squeaking! This is not the only big positive, the feedback from users is excellent, and the effect on those muscles is highly rated. Find out more about this massager stick on this dedicated amazon.co.uk product page.

Foot Spa:

The best thing about buying this as a Christmas gift for the runner in your life is that you also get to use it. Foot Spas have come along way, and now include integrated massage attachments, waterfalls for the top of your feet – and even models which cover your lower leg as well as the feet. Just sit back and relax, while the warm water and massage functions do their job.

I recommend this model from Beurer, which heat the water as well as including different massage functions. This is a best-selling model.

Wrapping Up: Best Runners Gifts for the 2017 Christmas / Holiday Season

If you got this far, then you’ll have a much better idea of why I chose the 5 items below to go in the table at the top of the page. Runners are lucky, there are a lot of great gifts people can buy for them. Whether your budget is big or small, there are ways to keep the runner in your life happy.

Here is that table once again – enjoy the holidays!

Best FitBit for Christmas

FitBit Alta Wrist Band

FitBit set the standard for trackers, and the Alta is their best product yet. Track runs, heart rate and connect to apps. A perfect gift for both recreational and competitive runners. Check out the options and colours!

Check the FitBit Here!
Runners Headphones from Anker

Anker SoundBud Bluetooth Headphones

The best of all worlds with these popular headphones. SoundBuds adjust to your ear size, have wireless Bluetooth connectivity, and sound great too. Very positive feedback for this model.

Check the SoundBuds Here!
Pathfinder21 Runners Headlamp

PathFinder 21 Runners Headlamp

Perfect for those cold winter nights. This halogen light attaches to your head with comfortable straps. The runner in your life will both see and be seen!

See the Pathfinder 21 Here!
Treadmill Gift for Runners

JLL S300 Home Treadmill

App connectivity, a big 16km / hour top speed and great looks. This home treadmill would make a perfect gift for any running fan. The price is closer to the mid-range models than the top spec would indicate!

See the JLL S300 Here!
Best Runners Foot Spa

Beurer Footspa / Massager

Treat your feet after a long run with this heated foot spa from Beurer. The hot water combined with massage attachments will bring instant relaxation.

See the Beurer Spa Here!