1) A gift card to your runner’s favorite store – let them shop guilt free and get what they really want! $25 will allow them get some cool tech socks, running nutrition, or even some running lights to clip on. Add on and give them even more options.
3) Lightweight running gloves are perfect for those transitional days that start out crisp and warm up. Make sure to splurge for the tech fingerpad gloves so your runner can pop a selfie or check their stats while running on the phone! The Pearl Izumi Thermal Lite Glove is a steal at $15!
4) Running headbands are so underrated. Once the ears are covered runners new to cold weather running are often surprised they’re comfortable in their same outfit as much as 15 degrees lower than usual. Let’s keep that keep in and stay warm! These fit by personal preference, but plan to spend up to $20-$25 for an awesome one and it’ll last 20 years.
5) Rain and windproof lightweight shell (and splash out pants!) allow running year round in any weather (of course with all weather shoes). Ultimate Direction’s Ultra Jacket V2 delivers! Worn over any layering system, this will keep the wet out, and the mitt sleeve extenders to cover hands and extra long hood to fit over a running hat or other brim is a design feature that keeps your face and neck dry. This is spendy, but an amazing luxury to have when running ½ marathon through ultra. Lightweight and technically superior. $189 (but they do run specials, and the pants are incredible too).
6) Be seen in the dark early AMs and evenings with a Noxgear Tracer 360. Choose your favorite light color and pattern, and be seen by the cars. These really do work and we’ve been using them the last three winters. Drivers have pulled over to let me know they saw me!
7) For the serious distance runner, you’ll want a light that shines on the ground so you can see through any winter hazard whether on road or off, AND that will allow you to be seen. As bright as a car headlight, you’ll want the Kogalla light which you can attach to your hydration pack, your jacket, or even better your waist pack or strap. Seriously runners, this lights up like a car headlight and has reduced nighttime run tripping for this ultrarunner!
8) Wool running socks are a treat to put on pre-run, and they’ll keep those feet warmer than cotton when laying down winter miles. Smartwool always has great options, but the past few years I’ve loved running in these Injingi NuWool toe socks. The separated toes allow the foot to use all of the muscles better, and your feet will feel less beat up after runs. Initially I was worried my toes would get cold, but indeed they stayed warm and supported. These are a standard men’s pair, but they have lots of colors and options for both men and women.