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The 2019 holiday gift guide: gifts for every kind of runner

Gifts ideas for the runner on your list

The holidays are just around the corner. If you’ve got a runner on your list, Canadian Running is here to help you get them the perfect present. We’ve categorized this year’s list by type of runner for ease of gift buying. Our list of gifts is sure to excite the marathoner, trackie or new runner on your list.

For the runner who loves gadgets

The AirPods Pro charging case

For the runner who loves gadgets, there are a few products that would blow their mind. Those include but are not limited to: the NormaTec Pulse 2.0 Recovery Boots, ($1,295) the Garmin Fenix 5s Plus watch ($850) and the new Apple AirPods ($329).

These gifts are on the upper end of most budgets, but certainly products that every gadget-lover has been coveting.

For the purist

Photo: Matt Stetson

The purist is looking to get their mileage in without the distractions of over-complicated technology or gear. For this kind of runner, you want to keep things simple and practical. Ideas include: head lamps for cold, dark mornings and evenings or winter running shoes. Petzl makes a great headlamp, the Swift RL ($160-199), that is handily lightweight. And the Nike Pegasus Shield ($165) is an excellent, no-nonsense winter running shoe.

Socks are also a great option for the purist–everyone needs more socks. Smartwool and Wigwam are both solid choices in this category with Smartwool’s PHD ($15-30) socks and Wigwam’s Synchro Knit ($25-50) being their top running sellers.

For the new runner


Get the new runner the stuff that’s technical but not overwhelming. Our suggestions for the running newbie: nutrition, or a good piece of winter running gear, as there’s a very good chance they didn’t know they need either of these things.

For nutrition, consider RX Bars ($4) which are great for post-run snacks and made with whole foods (encouraging them to observe the 30 minute recovery window) or Nuun hydration tabs ($9). Nuun has even come out with an immunity line for cold and flu season to help runners stay healthy and out on the roads doing their thing.

For winter gear, either tights or a good jacket would be a lovely present. Lots of new runners underestimate the important of technical clothing. Especially in the winter, the wrong clothing can trap sweat, ultimately making you colder. The New Balance Winterwatch Tights ($100-130) or the Saucony Reversi-Run Vest ($150) are great outerwear ideas.

For the track runner

The track runner is all about layering. As they’re working out both inside and out through the winter, they need great gear to help them through all kinds of workouts. For the female runner, consider a great sports bra like Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra ($78). For gear, a Garmin ($420) watch like the Forerunner 245 is a great idea. The 245 doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the Fenix, but that’s alright because the track runner doesn’t need it.

Another suggestion is the AfterShokz Aeropex headphones ($210). At the indoor track there’s a lot happening in a small space–that’s what makes these headphones so perfect. These bone-conduction wireless headphones allow the runner to both hear their music and the noise from their environment, because nothing actually sits in the wearer’s ear.

For the trail runner

Trail running is all about storage and packable layers. When you’re on the trails for hours, especially in the winter, you need gear that can support you. Consider the Asics Metarun Long Sleeve ($110) for the trail runner on your list. This shirt is made from wool knit that’s designed to lock in warmth and help with mobility.  Another great option for trail runners who like to explore all day is the Black Diamond Distance 8 Backpack ($170), which is both a running vest and an alpine pack–important when you’re gone a long time.

Photo: Gareth Williams

For the worst days, the Arc’teryx Norvan SL Insulated Hoodie ($550) is a great option. The light, insulated, waterproof jacket with Gore-Tex is designed for wet and cold conditions. Finally, in the name of sustainability, if your trail runner loves to race, consider the Salomon Soft Cup Speed ($15) which is ideal for aid station hydration, and collapsible so that it can move with your runner.