Monday, December 13, 2010

Gifts for Runners

Ok, I missed Hanukkah, but if you're still shopping for Christmas/Kwanza/the Solstice, here are some gift ideas for your favorite runner:

Socks: I've said it before, but it's still true: runners actually like socks as a gift. Smartwool, Nike and Icebreaker are my favorites. Just make sure you're buying the right size and a style meant for running. The best ones have little Ls and Rs on them, indicating which foot they belong on.
Gift certificates: I recommend a gift certificate to Road Runner Sports - big selection and great customer service or your runner's local running shop (e.g. A Runner's Mind on Howard in Burlingame). Smaller, local shops tend to have a nice, hands on approach and really know the gear in their store.
Compression anything: We're not getting any younger. Compression socks, tights and even arm bands help us keep it together, especially during and after long runs.
Accessories (clothing): Running hat (Nike, Brooks, Asics), wrist sweat bands and thin knit gloves all make great stocking stuffers.
Accessories (gear): Some of us are pretty particular, but if you know what you're doing, gear is great. Clip on water bottles and headlamps (for night runs) are affordable options, while watches, sunglasses and iPod shuffles are great for the generous giver.
Slightly risky, but novel: Race registration. Races can be expensive. If you know someone plans to run a race (and I mean you really know it, not just they've said they might), gifting them their race registration is very thoughtful and shows your support.
More risky:
Clothing of any sort. Runners can be picky. We don't want to seem ungrateful but we would be so much happier getting to pick out our own toys (yes, running clothes count as toys). Hence, the suggestion of a gift cert.
Shoes. An expensive gift that can be wrong in every way. Thoughtful, but don't do it unless the runner is with you, picking out their size, style, color and brand.
Scale. Unless you're trying to give your running pal a complex, avoid gifts that imply they should be running more and eating less.

Happy holidays and may all your gifts be good ones!