Running is the cornerstone training exercise in just about every sport. As a lifelong action sports athlete, I’ve always relied on running to be my primary conditioning training for increasing Vo2 max, endurance, and general health. I’ve never ran a marathon or really competed in a running race for that matter… The Lava Man Triathlon in Waikoloa, HI would be the closest thing to a running race for me. Nevertheless, I have spend over two and a half decades running and learned a thing or two along the way. So, if you are looking to find the best gifts for runners, you’ve come to the right place. I recommend items for serious runners, casual runners, and everything in between – see “Types of Runners” below for further explanation.

The history of running

Running dates back centuries to ancient civilizations like the Greeks and Romans. In fact, running was an important part of the Greek Olympic Games which began in 776 BC with a running event known as the Stadion race. This foot race, which covered the length of one stade (192 meters), changed over time to include distance races of up to 24 kilometers.

In Rome, running became a popular pastime and served as a form of entertainment at public festivals. It wasn’t until the 18th century that competitive running events started to become more organized with regularized rules and measurements such as timekeeping and standard track lengths. Nowadays, there are hundreds of different types of running events from marathons to ultra-marathons, sprints, relays, road races, trail runs, obstacle course runs and more. While there is still strong competition among elite runners at all levels, many runners now focus on achieving personal goals.

This article contains affiliate links. The Klubb earns a commission if a purchase is made after clicking through one of the links. The Klubb was gifted product by some of the brands on this gift guide.  

Things to consider when buying gifts for runners

Running means different things to different athletes. Some are totally focused on running as their core discipline. Others use running to cross-train for another sport. When trying to find the best gifts for runners it’s good to know who you are buying for.

Types of Runners

For this article, we highlight products that are the best fit for either the “Hardcore Runner”, the “Beginner Runner” or the “Cross Training Runner” (described below). As a lifelong athlete who has crossed between many sports, I find it helpful to have a roadmap before shopping. While the thought is great when someone shops for my primary sport, they often purchase a product that just doesn’t work for me. To help you find the best gift for the runner in your life, read the descriptions below first and identify who you are shopping for.

The Hardcore Runner

Hardcore runners that focus on running as their core discipline are likely pickier on gear. In general, these runners are highly absorbed in the running world and know all about the latest shoes, gear, and tech.

Cross Training Runner

Cross-training runners are grateful for new gear or tech that will improve their running. Because their focus is on another sport, they are likely not as absorbed as the hardcore runners are.

Beginner Runner

Additionally, there is the beginner runner. As the name suggests, these athletes are just getting into running and learning what works for them and what does not. They likely are not brand or product loyal yet to something specific because they haven’t been training long enough to develop a preference.

Quality over Quantity

Rather than give you a list of 50+ products, we focus on the best gifts for runners which they will actually use. This results in more in-depth reviews of a curated list of products. As an outdoor athlete, you are more connected to nature. Whether it’s running the streets of Manhattan or trail running in Aspen, a runner is a boots-on-the-ground athlete. Being in the elements provides a first-hand view of nature and the impact which people have on nature. For this reason, most outdoor athletes are more environmentally conscious than non-outdoor athletes. When shopping for a gift for a runner, keep this in mind. Purchase only organic food products, ethically made gear, and eco-friendly products.

Top 10 Gifts for Runners

#1 Outdoor Voices

Runner Types: Hardcore, Cross-training, and Beginner.

We ranked Outdoor Voices as the best gift for runners because of their variety of athletic apparel and the quality of their products. Case in point; I’ve had the same lightweight hoodie from Outdoor Voices for over 5 years and it still looks brand new. The CloudKnit fabric is awesome for daily wear. Because even the pickiest hardcore runner needs stylish athleisure, we think that Outdoor Voices has something for everyone.

Best Outdoor Voices Gifts for Hardcore Runners

When it comes to clothes shopping for a super serious runner, focus on loungewear rather than performance wear. The CloudKnit Hoodie is by far the best product I have ever owned. This hoodie is incredibly soft and stays looking brand new even after a hundred plus washes. Really though, I bought this exact CloudKnit Hoodie about 6 years ago and wear it all the time. I’m amazed that it still looks brand new. The lightweight material makes it a great hoodie for lounging around. Even the pickiest runner will love this gift.

cloudknit hoodie

Best Outdoor Voices Gifts for Cross-Training Runners

There are more options for buying gifts for runners who are cross-training. While loungewear is always a safe bet, you can explore items like Boardshorts, Sandals, Running Apparel, or specialty personal care items. The Outdoor Voices Body Wash makes an awesome gift item for runners of all abilities.

Gifts for men who have everything and love running will be stoked to get casual apparel from OV. Products like the Outdoor Voices Shorts or lounge wear like the OV Hoodie make great gifts for male runners.

Best Outdoor Voices Gifts for Beginner Runners

Shopping for beginner runners is the easiest. Beginner runners are stoked to try new things and grateful for new gear. You can’t go wrong with running shorts, pants, shirts, or even shoes. The Outdoor Voices men’s RecTeck 7″ Short is my personal favorite. Buying high-quality products from Outdoor Voices will keep the stoke alive and motivate your running partner to keep going.

I opt for the longer 7″ Outdoor Voices running shorts because they are more versatile. I wear the RecTeck as lounge wear, gym shorts, and running shorts. Having a “do everything” short is a major benefit when you are figuring out your training schedule.

#2 Bulletproof Coffee

Runner Types: Hardcore, Cross-training, and Beginner.

As a coffee fanatic I am excited to share with you my favorite coffee brand. I’ve been drinking Bulletprooff Coffee (Coffee + MCT + Ghee), for over ten years and am a big fan. Maintained focus and better digestion are just a few of the benefits I have gotten from drinking Bulletproof Coffee, also known as, “butter coffee”.

bulletproof coffee and mct oil

Best Bulletproof Gifts for Hardcore Runners

If you are shopping for a hardcore runner, go with the simplest product – Bulletproof Clean Coffee. Every athlete I know drinks coffee and it is something you can never have enough of around the house. The High Achiever “enhanced coffee” by Bulletproof is a great gift and a fun splurge in the morning routine for your athlete partner.

Best Bulletproof Gifts for Beginner Runners

Help your beginner runner start on a strong foundation with an optimized morning routine. The Bulletproof Starter Kit that includes Coffee, Ghee, and MCT oil is everything one needs to make “butter coffee”. Be sure to start slow when introducing new supplements like Ghee and MCT oil as they can make your stomach upset if you take too much at first.

#3 Sunwarrior Protein

Runner Types: Hardcore, Cross-training, and Beginner.

Supplementing with Plant Based Organic protein powder is a great way to optimize your nutrition. Most runners and athletes in general use protein powders as part of their daily routine. However, not all protein powders are created equal. Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend and Active Protein blend are some of the best available. The high quality, organic ingredients are fortified with other essential vitamins and minerals.

sun warrior protein

I use the Protein Warrior Blend daily for my morning protein shake. The organic ingredients are light on my stomach and mix very well with fruits and oat milk. Most athletes supplement with protein in order to get the best nutrients and calories to fuel their training. Just like coffee, an athlete can never have enough protein powder around the house.

#4 Hoka Recovery Slides

Runner Types: Hardcore and Cross-training.

While I list these as great gifts for hardcore and cross-training runners, really anyone is going to love these slides. The Hoka Recovery Slide is my personal favorite for everyday wear. From walking the dog, to running errands, I feet feel like I am walking on clouds. After a run I switch immediately from my running shoes to these slides. Having a sandal that maintains the same same support of a shoe helps my feet adjust after a run – as opposed to flat ground where my arch immediately drops. Read our guide on the 7 best flip flops for men if you want more ideas on footwear.

hoka recovery slides

#5 An Athletic Vacation at a Getaway Cabin

Runner Types: Hardcore, Cross-training, and Beginner.

Ranked number five mainly because of logistics and cost, an Athletic Vacation at a Getaway Cabin is my dream present. I recently had the chance to stay at the West Catskills Getaway Cabin and am hooked – read the full article here.

getaway house Catskills

While my stay happened to be on the coldest day, on a record cold year, I had an amazing time. The Getaway cabins are luxurious and perfect for a weekend escape.

Save money on your Getaway cabins reservations? Save $25 with this exclusive Getaway coupon code (click here and enter coupon code THEKLUBB25 at checkout as well).

#6 Honey Stinger Chews + Hydration

Runner Types: Cross-training and Beginner.

The Honey Stinger Waffle is an iconic training snack for athletes. Before a big training run I will have oatmeal as my main dish and coffee plus a Honey Stinger waffle on the side. The easy to digest waffle provides sustained fuel during training and a boost of energy at the start.

Honey StingerHoney Stinger

#7 Nalgene 1000ml Water Bottle

Runner Types: Hardcore, Cross-training, and Beginner.

Nalgene 1000ml

Staying hydrated is a daily task that every athlete must do. Having a durable and dishwasher safe reusable water bottle makes hydrating easier. The Nalgene 1000ml Water Bottle is great for tracking fluid intake to ensure proper hydration.

#8 Cariloha Sleep Wear

Runner Types: Hardcore, Cross-training, and Beginner.

After a hard day of training there is nothing better than getting into comfy sleep wear. It is important to focus on recovery to ensure you’re charged up for another day or training. The super soft Cariloha fabrics are the best way to optimize recovery. If you are looking for a safe bet, give the runner in your life a pair of Cariloha PJ’s.

#9 Sunday Riley Skincare

Runner Types: Hardcore, Cross-training, and Beginner.

Harsh outdoor conditions that athletes encounter when training can beat up the skin. Adding a morning and evening routine from Sunday Riley Skincare will help combat skin damage. Plus, hydrated skin will help you feel more hydrated as well. Products like the C.E.O. Vitamin C Brightening Serum contain 15% Vitamin C which hydrates your skin. Just as you need to drink electrolytes to hydrate your body, your skin needs something as well.

#10 Thrive Market Gift Card

Runner Types: Hardcore, Cross-training, and Beginner.

It is amazing how much more I eat when running consistently. Opening a fridge full of good food after a long run is like finding an oasis in the desert. Thrive Market has all of the best brands that your running partner will love. If you are buying a gift for someone who is a hardcore runner, their diet is likely very strict. Having extra cash to stock up on training nutrition essentials is always a win.

If a gift card seems too not personal, pair it with a shirt or running shorts from Outdoor Voices. This gift under $100 for runners is a great combo:

Unique Gift Ideas for Runners

Putting in miles running takes a tool on your body. If you are shopping for a runner who has everything, here are some unique gift ideas.

  • Day of Running Fun: Plan a day (or morning) around a new running route. The ultimate morning run could include a post-run breakfast, pedicure, massage, or picnic at the beach. Send your runner spouse off on their run and surprise them with a relaxing day of pampering when they get home.
  • Destination Running Race: If you’re buying gifts for the woman (or man) who has everything, consider booking a dream destination running race. The Honolulu Marathon is a great option and makes for an epic post-race Hawaiian vacation. Book your hotel room early as over 50,000 people participate in the Honolulu Marathon.
  • Hire a Running Coach: This is best for cross-training, beginner runners, and hardcore runners that don’t have an ego. Many local running clubs can help you find a good coach. This is the gift that keeps giving as proper running form makes running exponentially more fun.
  • Smoothie Recipe Book: Looking for a DIY gift idea? Create your own protein smoothie recipe book for the runner in your life. Check out this article for inspiration from our 30+ best protein shake recipes. Nothing is better than a cold protein smoothie after a long run in hot weather.