CLOSE
iStock
iStock

11 Brilliant Gifts for the Runner in Your Life

iStock
iStock

Nothing says “I care” to someone with calf-searing pain and weeping blisters more than a gift that speaks to their love of running. Check out some ideas and suggestions for family and friends that pound pavement.

1. NANOSPIKES; $45 AND UP

Your favorite runner doesn’t have to give up their favorite shoes to gain traction. NANOspikes are harnesses that fit over a sneaker to provide security in bad-weather conditions. Think of them as snow tires for the feet.

Find it: Amazon

2. WIND TIGHT LEGGINGS; $140
 

Speedsters rarely let cold weather trip them up, but you can make their life more bearable with these wind tights that keep legs comfortably warm in freezing temperatures. Long workouts won’t be a problem, either: the nylon-wool blend allows the wearer to cool down as the day gets warmer.

Find it: Men's, Smart Wool; Women's, Smart Wool

3. RUNNING COOKIE CUTTERS; $15 for 4
 

Treat a running pal to these baking accessories that let them make cookies shaped like sneakers and distance markers. Their metabolism can handle it.

Find it: Gone For A Run

4. BOSE SOUND TRUE HEADPHONES; $135
 

Most earbuds aren’t designed to stand up to heavy exertion. These in-ear headphones from Bose reduce the “crackling” interference of the cord rubbing against clothing, are moisture (sweat) resistant, and allow the user to easily switch between music and calls with the built-in microphone.

Find it: Amazon

5. TIGER TAIL MUSCLE ROLLER; $30

Used by professional athletes and weekend warriors alike, muscle rollers help stretch muscles and keep the body in motion by working through tightness and soreness. The Tiger Tail has more “grip” for better friction.

Find it: Amazon

6. NIKE FLASH JACKET; $249
 

The ultimate in upper-body armor for runners, Nike’s Flash series offers protection against wind, rain, and overheating by wicking away sweat. It’s also one of the most highly reflective windbreakers on the market, making wearers highly visible to drivers.

Find it: Amazon

7. A MAP OF THE BOSTON MARATHON; $28

Even if your giftee doesn’t plan on running one of the world’s most famous stretches of marathon land, they can still be inspired by this topographical chart of the course. You can also purchase maps of the New York and Chicago Marathon routes.

Find it: Uncommon Goods

8. GARMIN FORERUNNER: $171

Not everyone cares to run with their cell phone in hand, particularly if it’s a heftier model. Garmin’s GPS watch straps to the wrist and logs the wearer’s time, distance, location, pace, and heart rate. With live tracking enabled, friends can even track their route.

Find it: Amazon

9. RUN GLOVES; $35

Not all gloves are created equal. Sweaty Betty’s design is reflective for better visibility, has a storage pocket for house keys, and boasts touchscreen-friendly fingertips.

Find it: Sweaty Betty

10. BODYGLIDE BALM; $9
 

Chafing, the bane of runners everywhere, can be minimized by applying this roll-on to the feet, thighs, or anywhere else friction creates skin abrasions and blisters.

Find it: Amazon

11. MEDAL HOLDER/BIB HANGER; $40

Help your loved one hang onto their hat—actually, race number or place medal—with this handmade display that lets them keep track of how many times they’ve slid off the couch and into perpetual motion.

Find it: Etsy

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Smart Shopping
15 Umbrellas to Keep You Dry
iStock
iStock

Make rainy days a little more exciting with a quirky umbrella.

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. BANANA; $18.99

banana umbrella
Amazon

This ingenious umbrella comes with a special cover to make it look like you’re lugging around a real banana. The covers come in green and yellow, but the umbrella itself is always yellow.

Find it: Amazon

2. MAGICAL UNICORN; $36.49

Magical Unicorn Umbrella
Amazon

Rainy days don’t have to be dreary with this colorful, pastel umbrella. The handle is elegantly shaped like a unicorn and mane, with its gold horn sitting atop the umbrella.

Find it: Amazon

3. GAME OF THRONES; $37.89

Game of Thrones Longclaw Sword Umbrella
Amazon

If you’re looking for something a little tougher, a Game of Thrones-themed umbrella might be just the thing. The umbrella is adorned with the show's logo and has a special handle that looks like the hilt of Jon Snow’s sword, Longclaw.

Find it: Amazon

4. LETTUCE; $14.88

lettuce umbrella
Amazon

Salad lovers will want to get their hands on this special umbrella, which, when closed, mimics the look of a head of lettuce.

Find it: Amazon

5. CARROT; $15.90

carrot-shaped umbrella
Amazon

For more food-themed umbrella fun, check out this carrot-shaped umbrella. Similarly to the banana version, it comes with a protective case that resembles a carrot. When you take off the top, it reveals an orange umbrella.

Find it: Amazon

6. THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR; $25.96

The Very Hungry Caterpillar umbrella
Amazon

For children who love Eric Carle’s creations: a Very Hungry Caterpillar umbrella. The transparent plastic allows the child to see the caterpillar design even when they’re using the umbrella.

Find it: Amazon

7. DOG UMBRELLA; $16.59

Dog Umbrella With Leash
Amazon

Don’t forget about your furry friends when it's raining cats and dogs. While dog rain jackets are adorable, you can also opt for a special umbrella made just for puppers. The handle is situated on top of the umbrella so you can easily hold it above your short companion. It’s also connected to a leash so you don’t have to carry two things at once.

Find it: Amazon

8. SKY; $43.95

umbrella with interior of blue sky dotted with fluffy, white clouds
Amazon

Opening this umbrella will have you seeing sunny skies, even in the rain. Designed by Tibor Kalman and Emanuela Frattini Magnusson, it looks like a plain black umbrella until it’s opened up, revealing its colorful underbelly.

Find it: Amazon

9. STARRY NIGHT; $43.70

umbrella with Vincent van Gogh’s "Starry Night" print
Amazon

If you want something a little more surreal than a boring blue sky, there’s an alternate version with Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night printed on it.

Find it: Amazon

10. CAT IN SPACE; $22.56

cat in space umbrella
Amazon

Strangely, the “cats in space” motif is pretty popular online. From sweaters to calendars, there’s no shortage of felines floating through the galaxy. You can also get an umbrella with the unusual design, because why not?

Find it: Amazon

11. LED UMBRELLA; $23.66

Blade Runner Style LED Umbrella
Amazon

There are a lot of futuristic gadgets in the movie Blade Runner, but some are more obtainable than others. You can actually buy the LED light umbrella seen in the movie. The battery-operated handle glows blue, which both looks cool and keeps you safe at night.

Find it: Amazon

12. BIRDCAGE; $22.99

Birdcage Transparent Clear Dome Umbrella
Amazon

Ever feel like a bird in a cage? Now you can really get that experience with this clear umbrella that looks like a birdcage. It even comes with a bird printed on the side.

Find it: Amazon

13. COLOR CHANGING UMBRELLA; $34

Black umbrella printed with color-changing rain drop design
Amazon

It’s hard to imagine actually getting excited about going out into the rain, but with this special umbrella, you might be watching for dark clouds. The special white ink changes colors when wet, so you can go from a monochrome umbrella to a rainbow one in seconds.

Find it: Amazon

14. RABBIT; €9.03

polka-dot umbrella with a bag that’s shaped like a bunny rabbit
Perletti

This simple red umbrella comes with a nice polka-dot design, but the real novelty is the carrying case. Instead of a regular sleeve, it comes with a zippered bag that’s shaped like a bunny rabbit.

Find it: Perletti

15. KATANA; $28.99

katana umbrella
Amazon

Carrying around an umbrella can be a bit of a pain, but at least you can look cool doing it. When wrapped up, this umbrella looks like a sword slung over your back. The hilt of the katana becomes your handle when you open the umbrella up.

Find it: Amazon

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Smart Shopping
15 Amazing Notebooks to Inspire You to Write More
iStock
iStock

It can be hard to get started writing, but when you're using one of these awesome notebooks, you’ll at least be tempted to jot something down (especially with the right pencil).

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. STAR TREK CAPTAIN’S LOG; $7.95

A lot can happen on a mission, so it’s important to keep a thorough captain’s log to help you remember it all. Trekkies will love writing their notes in this 64-page themed notebook, which is about the size of a passport and slides easily into a pocket.

Find it: Amazon

2. WONDERLAND PASSPORT; $7.95

It's unlikely Alice would have had an easier time exploring Wonderland if she'd had the proper paperwork, but this notebook modeled to look like a passport will please any literary bureaucrats you know.

Find it: Amazon

3. TREE TRUNKS; $9.17

Write down all your most outdoorsy thoughts in these notebooks, which have covers that look like different tree barks—and are textured to feel just like real trees. The 96-page books are made with FSC certified wood and recycled paper.

Find it: Amazon

4. LEFTYBOOKS; €9.50

Most of the notebooks designed for lefties are pretty basic. Not Leftybooks, which are made specifically with left-handed people in mind and are plenty of fun, too: Writers can choose from covers with fun designs like marble, feathers, cereal, and more.

Find it: Imborrable

5. MICROWAVEABLE BOOKS; $23.57

Your mother probably told you not to put non-food items in the microwave, but we’re here to tell you to put your notebook in there—or at least this one specific kind. The Rocketbook is a handy notepad that’s reusable: After filling it with notes and doodles taken with a Pilot FriXion pen, pop the notebook in the microwave. When the pen's ink hits 140°F, it turns invisible, rendering the the pages clean and ready for another use. You can microwave the notebook up to five times before you have to get a new one. Writers who want to keep their notes can download an accompanying app that will send your notes to the cloud service of your choice.

Find it: Amazon

6. TABLE TENNIS NOTEBOOKS; $20

When you have this set of notebooks, you and a friend can play table tennis anywhere. Two books act as paddles—they even have textured rubber on their covers, just like actual paddles—while the third book serves as the net. There’s also a scorecard on the inside of the books to keep track of your games, plus 100 pages in each for recording tactics and strategies.

Find it: Amazon

7. ETCH-A-SKETCH; $13.49

This may seem like an ordinary Etch-a-Sketch, but it’s really a notebook in disguise. Open it up and discover 200 blank, unlined pages waiting to be filled. The two white dials are secretly erasers, since shaking it won’t work this time.

Find it: Amazon

8. LENTICULAR MARIO BROTHERS; $7.61

The lenticular cover of this notebook features everyone’s favorite Koopa-killing plumber; Mario jumps up to activate a question mark block as you open and close the book. Inside, you can find 200 lined pages with grey illustrations along the bottom.

Find it: Amazon

9. R2-D2; $11.99

R2-D2 notebook
ThinkGeek

Jot down your screenplay ideas in this officially-licensed i>Star Wars R2-D2 Journal. The end papers are decorated with even more R2, and there are 240 unlined pages waiting to be filled.

Find it: ThinkGeek

10. COLORING BOOK NOTEBOOK; $21.95

If you hit a wall while writing, take a coloring break—and with this fun notebook, you don’t even have to change books when you make the switch. The hardcover book lies flat when you open it, making it easier to color every inch of the 50 pages that feature illustrations (the notebook has 176 total pages).

Find it: Coloring Notebook

11. DECOMPOSITION; VARIOUS PRICES

Decomposition Notebooks are a lot like regular notebooks, but these are made with recycled paper—and they’re absolutely adorable. The fun designs vary from dinosaurs to feline cosmonauts. Each book is made with soy-ink and contains no chlorine, so it can be recycled again.

Find it: Amazon

12. RAINBOW PAGES; FROM $28.45

Your notes will look beautiful when jotted down on pastel paper—especially when that paper is also handbound in colorful leather. The 120-page A6 journal can be purchased with either lined or blank sheets.

Find it: Etsy

13. SUSHI CATS; $5.99

When picking out just the right notebook, why not choose one covered in sushi cats? You can even get matching puffy sushi cat stickers to put on it.

Find it: Amazon

14. LEGO MOLESKINE; $17.92

If you love building with LEGO bricks, pick up this Moleskine notebook. The black hardcover comes with a fancy LEGO design and a real LEGO plate. Inside, you can find two sheets of LEGO stickers.

Find it: Amazon

15. INSPIRATION PAD; €11

Created by a Brussels-based design and advertising firm, this notebook is meant to break the norm of traditionally lined paper. The Inspiration Pad features a different pattern on each page: You can watch as the lines warp and shift in spirals, slopes, and waves. The notebooks are available in yellow, brown, or blue and can be shipped internationally.

Find it: TM Shop

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios