The past year or so has taught us that the greatest gift of all is being able to get out running – whenever, wherever, no matter how far or fast we go.
If you’re looking to improve your running, or a loved one’s running, in 2022 and beyond, here is a selection of the best gifts for road and trail runners.
Best gifts for road runners
If you or the runner in your life are seeking maximum comfort to run further, check out the HOKA Clifton 8, a highly cushioned and lightweight neutral shoe. Combined with a rocker geometry, it will provide maximum protection for those long or easy, steady runs.
Similarly, the HOKA Arahi 5 is a great choice if you need additional support, as it features dynamic support for runners with excessive pronation.
The Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 is a great race choice (it weighs in at 221 grams for the men’s model and 193 grams for the women’s), and is also a fantastic shoe for faster speedwork and tempo training. It features the SpeedRoll geometry that delivers a highly propulsive toe-off that makes your running feel faster, along with a highly energy-returning foam.
For all-round comfort
For reliable comfort on any run, you can’t go wrong with the Brooks Ghost 14. This is the perfect option for pretty much any runner who is running at steady paces. It'll offer a great fit and feel ultra comfortable. Also available in a Wide Fit and a Gore-Tex version, you can pick the version that will suit you best.
Neutral or stability?
The Run4It team can help you determine whether a neutral or stability shoe is right for you. In-store we offer a free analysis and shoe fitting called +runlab, currently available by appointment only. Book in at run4it.com/book.
For immediate guidance, checkout our neutral or stability article dedicated to the topic!
Selecting the right running socks is just as important as choosing the right shoes when it comes to comfort and performance. Treat yourself or the runner in your life with a proper pair to help them enhance their experience!
Some of our favourites are:
- Hilly Marathon Fresh: a great lightweight sock featuring a Polygiene treatment for anti-odour.
- Feetures Light-Cushion: padded under the forefoot and the heel for extra cushioning but thin on top
- Balega Enduro: it perfectly moulds to the contours of the foot, offering an excellent fit with Balega’s signature V-Tech Arch Support.
Road and urban runners can embrace the darker mornings and early evenings of Autumn safely, with high-visibility gear. The Ronhill Life Nightrunner range is great for runs in the dark, featuring 360° reflective print and iridescent reflective strips, making it easy for cars, cyclists and pedestrians to spot you in motion.
AfterShokz wireless bone conduction headphones
For many runners music helps the miles go by! AfterShokz offer a welcome and safe alternative to traditional headphones and earbuds, by using bone conduction technology to deliver music through your cheekbones, keeping your ears completely open to hear ambient sounds, for maximum awareness!
Garmin Forerunner 245
“If it's not on Strava, it didn’t happen”
For those who want to track their runs, know more about their fitness and performance, and improve on previous times, the Garmin Forerunner 245 is a firm contender. This GPS running smartwatch tracks advanced running dynamics and evaluates your training to let you know if you’re under or over training. It's like having a coach on your wrist!
The music version (the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music) stores up to 500 songs on your wrist and syncs with Spotify (premium subscription required) so you can tune in with wireless Bluetooth headphones (like AfterShokz) while you run and leave your phone behind!
Check out our seasonal offer on Garmin ~ Save over £30 on selected GPS running watches!
Best gifts for trail runners
Most versatile or go anywhere
If you’re not sure exactly what kind of trails you or the runner in your life will be running on, it’s hard to go wrong with the Saucony Peregrine 11 – it’s by far one of the most versatile trail shoes on the market. The multi-directional lugs on the outsole means the Peregrine performs exceptionally well on steep, muddy slopes without feeling like a pair of football boots when you hit tarmac or harder-packed sections of trail. A light, well-cushioned, low profile shoe that will perform well on any adventure.
Most rugged or go long
For the runner who likes to disappear off to the woods for hours on end and come back talking about rough, rocky mountain trails, a pair of Nike Wildhorse 7. It is a great all-round trail shoe that’ll provide good levels of grip on a wide variety of surfaces and aid downhill plus uphill running. The midsole is made from the highly protective and cushioned React foam and also features a segmented rock plate that shields the foot from sharp objects.
Most nimble or go fast
For the mountain goat who likes to be fast on their feet on rolling trails and technical descents, consider a pair of HOKA Zinal. Featuring Vibram Megagrip litebase, it will provide exceptional traction on wet surfaces. This is perfect for rocky and hard trail terrain: the lugs are 3.5mm deep so optimised to grip on compact surfaces and less so for very loose trail terrain.
These socks feature fabrics that will keep your feet drier and more protected on trail runs. Getting your feet wet won’t be a worry anymore!
The Nike Trail collection includes running jackets, tops, shorts and caps engineered to the exact specifications of trail runners
The tops and shorts feature Dri-FIT technology to keep you cool, dry and comfortable. While the shorts come with multiple pockets providing secure storage for your running essentials.
The classic jacket is wind and water resistant (Shield fabric), while being lightweight enough to keep you cool and comfortable on the move.
The GORE® Wear R7 GTX SD Trail Hd Jacket is totally waterproof and windproof, highly breathable and form-fitting, abrasion and tear-resistant enough to be used with a light backpack or running vest, stows into its own front pocket for easy storage, and weighs just 175 grams (size dependent). And because the GORE-TEX SHAKEDRY fabric causes the water to persistently bead on its outer surface, it’s dry and ready to pack away in just a few quick shakes.
The Salomon Bonatti Trail Jacket is the perfect waterproof jacket to keep you dry and comfortable, thanks to an enhanced freedom of movement. Indeed, it features a specific stretch fabric, articulated sleeves and an ergonomic fit that adapts to a hydration pack of up to 12 litres.
Running head torch
Don’t let darker days get the better of you - enjoy trail running by night with a running head torch.
If you venture off road onto remote trails or rough tracks, a good head torch is essential. Head torch technology has improved dramatically over recent years with torches becoming lightweight, brighter and significantly less expensive.
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro makes an extra special gift or treat! It can run in full GPS mode for 36 hours – three times as long as most other sports watches – making it a game changer for covering ultra-distances. The highly detailed mapping and navigation features, the altimeter (so you can see how much you’ve climbed in real time, before uploading to the app), storage space for 1,000 songs, the ability to record open water swims, more metrics than even the biggest tech nerds will have time to utilise, and there’s very few watches on the market that can compete with this.
Gifts for all
Give the gift of motivation with a subscription to a popular running magazine such as Runner's World or Trail Running magazine. Or pick up one of the recommended sporting reads in our 10 running books to inform and inspire you article.
Small but mighty stocking fillers
By keeping warm on chilly runs, our body will waste less energy trying to keep it warm. Hats, gloves and headbands are always winning stocking fillers for Christmas and the winter period.
Nutrition is also a great option - pick a few gels, bars and/or energy drinks to create your own gift basket.