It’s that time of year! Time to figure out what you are giving the runner in your life. Luckily for you, the topic for Tuesdays on the Run this week is gifts for runners. If you can’t find something cool in the lists you find here, then you are going to just have to settle for a gift card.
Personally, I’m a big fan of immediate gratification when it comes to holiday gifts. I mean, I love to get a race entry or maybe the promise of a future race trip as much as the next girl runner, but there’s something about opening a gift that’s for RIGHT NOW that just makes getting the gift even better. (Patience is obviously not one of my virtues…) And you know what gifts work for runners RIGHT NOW? Things that help them run in the winter.
Disclaimer: I was given some of the items below and some of the links are affiliate links which means I make a little bit of money if you purchase through the link. Everything I’ve included I use on a regular basis in the winter – except the treadmill and the Lone Peaks.
- Wool socks – Wool helps keep your feet warm in the cold weather even if you sweat or step in a puddle. Wool both retains heat and wicks moisture – two key things you want happening during winter running. I’m a huge fan of Feetures wool running socks – just don’t make the mistake I did: don’t buy the no show socks. In the winter, you want the quarter
or the crew sock to keep your ankles warm too.
- Running lights – In the winter, it’s darker. There are just flat out more hours of darkness and more days that never get bright. Our favorite around here are the Knuckle Lights. They light the way better than a lot of headlamps and they also make you really visible. In fact, I need to buy another set because Beer Geek has started running with the pair I won from Dimity and Sarah of Another Mother Runner!
- Gloves – This is kind of a no brainer. If it’s cold, you need to protect your hands. I have two pairs that I love: Brooks running gloves and Eastern Mountain Sports Women’s Power Stretch Gloves. I tend to have warm hands when I run, so the Brooks are enough for me most of the time, but when it’s colder out, the EMS gloves are awesome. They are sweat wicking and stretchy so they help keep my fingers warm. (When it’s crazy cold, I may start my run with both pairs on.)
- Sunglasses – In the winter, sunglasses are useful for a variety of reasons. Obviously, they cut the glare of the sun off of snow or even on a super sunny day. In addition to that, they help protect your eyes from the wind and cold. I still like the pair from USA Sport that I got last year, but I’m currently looking for a more substantial pair for winter.
- Traction – OK, maybe you can’t buy your winter runner actual traction, but you can buy them something that will help provide it. I have a pair of the Yaktrax Run that have come in handy over the years, but Virginia is not the greatest place to use them. We tend to have a lot of bare pavement in between the patches of snow and ice. They are great if you have a consistent snow pack to run on. Instead, I will be trying out the Altra Lone Peak Neoshell as an alternative this winter. They are a trail shoe with a waterproof upper and I’m hoping that they work well on the varied terrain we end up with here in the winter.
- Winter running jacket – I have a lot of running jackets. Some coughBeerGeekcough might say too many. But I wear them all, so I must need them all, right? My old standby is my Sugoi Firewall. I’ve had this one for years and it’s still going strong. For travel and/or windy conditions, I’m a huge fan of my Brooks Nightlife Essential Run Jacket. I’ve worn that one all over the country in all kinds of weather. Recently, I got the Double Take Reversible Jacket. Like the Lotta Love top I am giving away, I haven’t actually run in it, but it’s become my go to jacket as it’s becoming colder here. I LOVE the furry inside. I know it will come in handy when the temps really start dropping and I need major warmth on the run.
- Hat – I have an old Nike hat that I’ve worn for years. It’s warm and fleecy and has a pony tail whole. I’m not sure they make one quite like it anymore. While I was at the Runner’s World expo, I couldn’t resist buying a Janji hat. It’s cute, comfortable, and they give back. What’s not to love?
- Buff – I’lll admit that I’ve never actually bought one of these. I have one from Girls on the Run, one that I was given by a charity at Ragnar, and a few from Altra. Both Beer Geek and I use buffs a lot in the winter. They can be used to keep your neck warm or pulled up to over your face or even used as a hat in a pinch. Mine are all cotton, so I’m considering actually buying a wool one because it will wick moisture better.
- Handwarmers – These things are pretty much awesome! They are particularly good for racing as you can put them in your pockets or between layers and they help keep you warm and then you can discard them as soon as you no longer need them.
- Treadmill – What can I say? Sometimes it’s just not safe to go outside. Usually around here the biggest safety issues are ice and wind, but occasionally we get walloped with a load of snow and there’s no pavement to run on. (I’ll confess that I’m much more likely to run on the treadmill in the summer though.) We are actually in the process of buying a treadmill. My front contenders right now are the ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmilland the Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill, but I plan to head to one of the local higher end stores soon. I have a few questions I need answered by someone who really knows treadmills before I decide which one I will get.