11 Savvy Gifts for the Runner in Your Life

iStock
iStock

Sneakers and a willingness to sweat are the basics of what a runner needs to get going, but these gifts go the extra mile, helping your favorite 10K devotée or aspiring marathoner stay moving whatever the distance, weather, or terrain.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. YAKTRAX RUN TRACTION CLEATS FOR RUNNING ON SNOW AND ICE; $32

yaktrax traction cleats for snow and ice
Amazon

Snow and ice won't slow down runners when they wear Yaktrax cleats, which can be secured to running shoes to prevent slippage. Replaceable carbide-steel spikes and stainless-steel coils provide great traction, while reflective stripes on the sides and heels make night runs safer.

Find It: Amazon

2. GARMIN RUNNING DYNAMICS POD TRACKER; $69

garmin running dynamic tracker pod
Amazon

Way beyond a basic pedometer, this tracker pod links to a compatible watch and sends real-time information about six running metrics: cadence, stride length, ground contact time and balance, vertical oscillation, and vertical ratio. It clips onto a watch wristband and weighs less than 5 ounces, so your giftee will barely notice it's there.

Find It: Amazon

3. RUNTASTY HYDRATION BELT; $30

hydration runner's belt with phone pocket
Amazon

This hydration belt holds two BPA-free water bottles (17 ounces total) to keep a runner going through a longer distance. Slip your phone into one large pocket with a touchscreen for easy control. Keys, cards, and everything else fit in the roomy other pocket. They're both sweatproof to keep your electronics safe. Anti-slip texturing keeps it from sliding around, and it's adjustable to fit a wide variety of bodies.

Find It: Amazon

4. JULBO AEROLITE SUNGLASSES; $143

julbo sunglasses
Amazon

Ultrarunners and mountain bikers helped design these high-tech polycarbonate sunglasses. They're super lightweight, rimless, and provide 100 percent protection against UV A, B, and C rays. Air circulates easily through them, so they won't fog up.

Find It: Amazon

5. RUN INK MARATHONER MAPS; $13 AND UP

colorful map of brooklyn marathon from run ink
Run Ink

These personalized printed maps are perfect for marathoners who have all the gear they need, but could use a well-designed memento of their endurance, tenacity, and spirit. Each colorful map shows the location, course, date, and name of a specific race, along with the runner's name, time, and bib number. Not a marathoner? Run Ink customizes maps for any race. They'll frame it too.

Find It: Run Ink

6. GRAND TRAIL: A MAGNIFICENT JOURNEY TO THE HEART OF ULTRARUNNING AND RACING; $31

cover of Grand Trail by Frederic Berg and Alexis Berg
© VeloPress

Set that New Year's resolution high. Really high. Inspiring and beautiful, this coffee-table book visits 13 iconic ultrarunning locations across the world in stunning color and black-and-white photography, and profiles 16 astonishing champions who've mastered these breathtaking, supremely challenging courses.

Find It: Amazon

7. GRAZE SNACK SUBSCRIPTIONS; $42 FOR THREE BOXES

mixed snacks and their ingredients from graze
Graze

The right kind of fuel is essential to running, especially during long distances. Gift your favorite runner with Graze snack boxes; each box has eight energy-packed snacks that easily travel. Snacks are each perfectly portioned into six servings. And with more than 100 options, there's a lot to choose from. Three categories a runner is likely to try: nuts and seeds, superfoods, and protein bars, bites, and toppers.

Find It: Graze

8. BABY TREND EXPEDITION JOGGER STROLLER; $103

jogging stroller
Amazon

New parents are often eager to get moving after a baby is born. They can start running again—and give a kid a fun ride—using this jogger stroller. It has a trio of large bicycle tires to smoothly roll over all surfaces, four cup holders (two for an adult, two for a child), a storage compartment, and a five-point harness to keep baby secure. It easily folds into a compact unit for stashing in the car.

Find It: Amazon

9. T-SHIRT QUILT; $75 AND UP

T-shirt quilt by Project Repat
Project Repat

Wrapping a runner in a blanket just after they cross the finish line is a long-standing tradition—and a necessity in cold-weather races. Give the practice a unique spin with this customized T-shirt quilt. Crowdsource some favorite or meaningful T-shirts from the runner's friends, and ask for tees from the runner too (but keep the end product a secret!). Ship them to Project Repat, choose a color for the fleece backing, and within weeks your runner will have a personalized quilt to warm up with—and keep forever. And don't worry about a little post-race sweat—the quilt is machine washable.

Find It: Project Repat

10. FITBIT ALTA FITNESS TRACKER; $124

alta fitbit
Amazon

Data-obsessed runners are all about the metrics while running. The Alta Fitbit can illuminate their activities during the rest of the day (and night) as well. It uses an array of sensors to track activity levels, sleep patterns, steps taken, floors climbed, calories burned, and more. Using Bluetooth, it automatically, wirelessly connects and syncs with more than 200 leading iOS, Android, and Windows devices. It's also sweat, rain, and splash proof, so it doesn't need to come off in the shower.

Find It: Amazon

11. SPOTIFY GIFT CARD; $30

image of $30 spotify gift card
Amazon

A runner's soundtrack is important—and often carefully chosen. With this gift card, runners who are Spotify subscribers can choose from millions of tracks to keep them going through three months of runs. 

Find It: Amazon

10 Thoughtful Gifts Under $25

iStock/monkeybusinessimages
iStock/monkeybusinessimages

Whether you’re searching for last-minute gifts, in need of a few stocking stuffers, or just frugal and proud of it, let our guide to gifts under $25 help you find the right surprises for everyone on your list.

1. Good + Well Supply Co. National Park Candle

Good + Well Supply Co National Park candle in Redwood
Good + Well Supply Co.

Now you can share the beauty of our national parks in candle form: Good + Well Supply Co. has created 20 evocative scents that will stir your sense of adventure. Try Acadia’s sea salt, dunes, and driftwood, Olympic’s red cedar, oak moss, and earth, Rocky Mountain’s juniper berry, peppercorn, and spices, and more luscious fragrances.

Find It at Good & Well Supply Co. for $24 and also at these other retailers:

2. Stirrings Craft Cocktail Bar Ingredient Set

Stirrings craft cocktail bar ingredient set
Patrick Gibbons

Your giftee can craft pro-quality cocktails with this trio of tasty mixers. The set includes 12-ounce bottles of blood orange bitters, simple syrup, and authentic grenadine for making manhattans, whiskey sours, tequila sunrises, and more (recipes are right on the labels).

Find it at Stirrings for $15.

3. The Public Domain Review Selected Essays, Vol. V

Public Domain Review Selected Essays Vol. 5 jacket image
Public Domain Review

With a cover drawn from a lithograph by 19th-century naturalist Ernst Haeckel, this 208-page illustrated collection brings together essays about narcoleptic walruses, witches, death masks, and other obscure topics, all inspired by works in the public domain. Volumes I through IV are also available and just as thought-provoking.

Find It at Public Domain Review for $20.

4. Kuhn Rikon Click n’ Curl Spiralizer Set

Kuhn Rikon click n' curl spiralizer on Amazon
Amazon

This space-saving kitchen gadget will help your giftee keep a New Year’s resolution to eat fewer carbs. Pick a peeler—toothed blade for spirals, smooth blade for ribbons—and snap on the large or small cone. Then, just twist a chosen veggie (we tried zucchinis) against the cone to make veggie noodles or ribbons for salads, stir-frys, and more.

Find It at Amazon for $18.

5. Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans

Harry Potter Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans from Jelly Belly
Jelly Belly

Harry Potter’s fave candy makes a perfect stocking stuffer—but beware of the truly gross flavors mingling with the standard sweets. Among the tutti-frutti, watermelon, and cherry beans, you might find those redolent of earwax, dirt, or vomit. Delicious!

Find It at Jelly Belly for $3 and up.

6. Hubble Space Telescope 2019 Wall Calendar

Hubble Space Telescope 2019 wall calendar on Amazon
Amazon

Time and space come together in this wall calendar, which features actual images snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope far beyond Earth's orbit. The 16-month layout includes 12 incredible photos of the Bubble Nebula, Jupiter’s moon Io passing in front of the planet, the birth of a star in the constellation Cygnus, a swirling pair of interacting galaxies, and many more.

Find It at Amazon for $12 and also at these other retailers:

7. Creature Cups Lobster Mug

Creature Cups lobster mug on Etsy
Creature Cups

Filled with coffee or hot cocoa, this glazed, handmade mug might look like others from your kitchen cabinet. As you drink the beverage, a double-clawed lobster appears out of the murk. Other colors and creatures—including manatees, spiders, unicorns, and French bulldogs—are also available, and each is dishwasher- and microwave-safe.

Find It at Etsy for $18.

8. Rifle Paper Co. Art Prints

Rifle Paper Co. art print by Ann Bond
Rifle Paper Co.

Know someone who’s redecorating, or a friend who just moved apartments? Rifle Paper Co.’s affordable art prints make great housewarming-slash-holiday gifts. Based on original paintings from artist Anna Bond, the collection includes a series for virtually anyone on your list: favorite cities, floral designs, reimagined vintage travel posters, birds, inspirational quotes from great thinkers, and much more, all illustrated in Bond’s colorful style.

Find It at Rifle Paper Co. for $24 each.

9. Effin’ Birds Playing Cards

Effin' Birds poker deck playing cards
Effin' Birds

Audubon probably never pictured his painting of an Eastern bluebird chirping “Keep it in your pants,” nor did ornithologist Thomas Bewick imagine his regal hawk calling out “Eat farts!” from on high. Effin’ Birds features those mashups (plus many with more profane sayings) in this delightfully coarse poker deck.

Find It at effinbirds.com for $20.

10. Native Union Belt Cable

Native Union BELT charging cable
Native Union

Hate tangled cords? This stylish 4-foot charging cable loops up neatly in its integrated leather belt, so your gift recipient will never have to undo snarls. The BELT cable is available in a variety of earthy tones for Apple Lightning (marine, taupe, zebra, cosmos, and rose) and USB-C (zebra, marine, and taupe).

Find It at Amazon for $25 and also at these other retailers:

11 Brilliant Gifts for the Coffee (or Tea) Enthusiast in Your Life

iStock
iStock

Most of us can appreciate a decent cup of joe. Then, there are those who obsess over bean sourcing, brew temperatures, and whether their paper filter is unbleached. For these friends and relatives, a gift card to the local franchise drive-thru probably won’t do. Check out 11 thoughtful gifts for the coffee and tea lovers in your life.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. Kombucha Jar And Brew Kit

For the uninitiated, Kombucha is a tea fermented with (good) bacteria that’s believed to be a rich source of probiotics and antioxidants. This brew kit allows enthusiasts to mix up their own exclusive 5-liter batch. It’s also dishwasher-safe and comes with a recipe booklet.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $65.

2. Fellow Stagg Pour Over Kettle

Pour-over coffee aficionados have taken the time to learn the correct brewing methods using a filter and hot water kettle. Fellow makes the process a little more precise with this stainless steel kettle, which has a built-in thermometer (for monitoring ideal water temperature) and an easily-aimed gooseneck spout for spot-on pouring.

Find It Amazon for $79 and also at these other retailers:

3. MistoBox Subscription

MistoBox

Can’t find a quality coffee roaster near you? MistoBox lets users select flavor preferences and then matches them with a high-quality grind that’s shipped directly to their door every month. An extra $15 upgrades the first shipment to a holiday gift box, including a mug, two coffee sample grinds, and a festive package.

Find It at MistoBox for $20 per month.

4. Hay Clip Clip Spoon

Measuring spoons for coffee can be easily misplaced; bags of grounds can fail to seal properly, hastening a loss of flavor. Why not solve two problems with this brass-colored steel spoon that has a spring clip for a handle?

Find It at MoMA for $10.

5. Merlot Infused Coffee

Cover all your bases by gifting your coffee-slash-wine enthusiast this merlot-infused coffee. The Arabica coffee beans have been aged in oak Merlot wine barrels to absorb the taste and scent of the famous wine. It’s alcohol-free, so they’ll remember to thank you.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $20.

6. OXO Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Cold brewing is the hot trend in coffee at the moment, offering lower-acidity results than conventional methods. This OXO brewer makes the process simple and still allows the user to serve up their brew warm or chilled. If you prefer the latter, the device's silicone seal will keep it fresh in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Find It at Amazon for $48 and also at these other retailers:

7. Blooming Tea; $21

Find yourself a clear teapot—not included—and watch as a selection of bud packets “bloom” in hot water while brewing to create drinkable works of art. Jasmine, peach, and chrysanthemum green teas are hand-sewn to the buds to create the effect.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $21.

8. ESPRO French Press P5

Espro promises that the P5 will make some of the smoothest, lowest-grit coffee or loose-leaf tea you’ve ever tasted. The Specialty Coffee Association of America agreed, awarding it the Best New Piece of Consumer Equipment Award for 2016; the thick glass wall ensures better heat retention.

Find It at Amazon for $50.

9. Pure Tea Starter Kit

Single estate teas are presented exclusively from a single supplier, making for better consistency. Silver Needle offers an introductory single estate sampler, along with a glass teapot for premium steeping.

Find It at Silver Needle Co. for $50.

10. Coolgear Bru Cold Brew Coffee System

Not everyone wants or needs to brew up a vat of iced coffee. That’s where Coolgear comes in: Their Bru is a single-serve drip coffee maker that brews cold directly into a portable 14-ounce container. It's the freshest coffee you can get while stuck in traffic.

Find It at Amazon for $23 and also at these other retailers:

11. Toast Living Carafe

For coffee lovers who want to keep it basic, Toast Living’s carafe is wonderfully understated. Just add ground coffee to the filter basket and pour over hot water for a minimalist experience.

Find It at Amazon for $50.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER