With the Festive Season nearly upon us many of us will be shopping for running friends and loved ones. Trail runners love the latest gear. Over the years the best gifts I’ve given to fellow runners, are the one’s I’d most like to receive myself.
So here are some great gift ideas (that I’d love to receive) to make the ultra or trail runner in your life very happy!
*Please Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Read more here.
I love my injinji toe socks. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re designed to prevent rubbing that occurs between toes when you run long distances.
I never get blisters anymore when trail running. In addition to blister prevention, by separating your toes, it doesn’t constrain your foot when you’re wearing running shoes. Which means your foot is fully engaged in the activity, providing stability and enhanced balance. They are also made from amazingly soft fabric, and sweat wicking lycra material.
I wear my injinji socks, on any long run, and are a must have in my ultra race kit. The downsides are they look a bit odd, and for a pair of running socks they’re expensive. But taking care of your feet will enable you to keep running for a lot longer. Plus on a cost per wear basis, they’re a gift that keeps on giving.
Ultimate Direction Ultra v2 Waterproof Jacket
Ultimate Direction are a specialist trail and ultra running brand. I’ve tested some of their kit, and it’s all high quality, made to last and very comfortable. The Ultimate Direction Ultra V2 Jacket is a waterproof and breathable shell jacket that is perfect for winter trail running or an ultra race. I actually bought it for myself for the South Downs Way 50 race.
There are a few features that make this jacket stand out from the competition. The first is it’s super lightweight. It folds down into a tiny pack, and can easily fit into a running waist band.
Secondly, it’s waterproof and breathable, which means you can comfortably wear it as a second layer. The nylon fabric is 30,000mm water resistant, and 29,000mm vapour release.
Thirdly, the hood has a formed brim which helped keep the rain of my face on the South Downs Way 50.
Finally, the integrated flip mitts are a nice touch, that keep your hands dry and warm in inclement weather.
It’s not cheap, but for the serious trail runner, it’s a piece of kit that will be taken on trail runs year round.
OOFOS Unisex Sport Recovery Slider
Oofos provide the post run recovery that my feet need after long training sessions. If you’ve never tried them before, they are a unique type of foam slider or flip flop, designed for athletes.
The sliders are made from an extra-thick patented foam, which provides shock absorption and arch support. They’re also lightweight and machine washable.
I love mine because my feet feel like they’ve had a massage after a long run. I also find that they help with my plantar faciitis and sore heels, as the foot is able to rest in a well supported neutral position.
The downside is that they’re not the most stylish footwear on the market, but who cares when your feet feel this good!
An ideal post workout gift for trail runners, that will help most runners recovery times.
Aftershockz Running Headphones
Aftershockz are a specialist brand of headphones, designed for runners.
They’re unique in that they use bone conduction technology. This means that the sound is transmitted through the cheekbones and skull, directly to the inner ear, bypassing the eardrum completely.
This is perfect for runners, as it means you can hear your music or podcasts without completely losing your hearing, which is essential when running ultramarathon races.
They are also water resistant and the sound quality is far superior to other bone conduction wireless headphones.
The downside is that they are expensive, but worth every penny if you want music without headphones.
An ideal gift for a runner who loves their tunes or podcasts on their long runs, but prefers to keep both ears free from earphones.
Ultra Running Magazine Subscription
The ultra running magazine has been producing magazines since 1981 and is the leading magazine for supporting and promoting the sport of ultrarunning.
Their website contains a wealth of information on races, kit and nutrition, as well as a blog and forum.
The magazine is packed full of interesting articles and interviews with some of the top ultrarunners in the world.
A subscription is ideal for any trail runner who wants to stay up-to-date with all the latest ultra news and events.
A perfect gift for trail and ultra runners, and a magazine that every trail runner will want to get their hands on!
Altra Lone Peak Trail Running ShoE
The Altra Lone Peak is one of the best selling trail running shoes of all time, with good reason. It ticks all the boxes for a great trail shoe.
It has a zero drop platform, meaning that your heel and toes are at the same height, which is essential for a natural running gait.
It also has a wide toe box, which allows your toes to splay naturally, aiding in stability and traction.
The tread is deep and aggressive, perfect for grip on wet or muddy trails.
In addition, it comes with a removable insole, making them ideal for running sockless. The only downside is that they’re not waterproof.
They come in a range of different colours and styles, perfect for any gender or taste.
The ultimate gift for trail runners who want performance, without compromising on comfort.
The Sky Runner – Emelie Forsberg
Forsberg is known for her incredible mountain running skills and amazing collection of race wins from around the world.
This book contains stunning photos, that capture some of Forsberg’s most breath taking races. It also contains personal insights from Forsberg on her races, training and nutrition.
A perfect coffee table book for any trail runner that wants to be inspired by the best in the business.
Rockay Compression socks
Compression socks split opinion. Some people swear by them, while others find them uncomfortable and restrictive.
However, for runners who suffer from conditions such as shin splints, or runner’s knee, compression socks can be an essential piece of kit. I wear them, and whilst I can’t pinpoint exactly the benefits, I do think the extra support helps relieve pain and improve recovery times after a long run.
Rockay is a premium high performance running apparel company based in Denmark. They’re on a mission to make the best running apparel sustainably. Where possible they use recycled materials, and for every item sold they remove plastic from the world’s seas and oceans.
Their compression socks are made from a blend of spandex and premium elastane, which provides both comfort and support.
They also feature graduated compression, meaning that there is more compression around the ankle, less around the mid foot. This means that they’re not as restrictive as traditional compression socks, and can be worn for long periods of time without causing discomfort.
The perfect gift for runners who want to improve their performance and reduce the risk of injury.
The Buff scarf is a versatile piece of kit that every runner should own. It was created over 30 years ago by an expedition kayaker named Diesel Burner, who needed to keep warm when he was wet and cold. He cut a piece of neoprene in half, creating the first Buff, which has evolved into the multi-performance accessory that it is today.
Buff scarves are great for many reasons. They’re incredibly versatile an can be worn over 15 different ways, from a beanie to a facemask. They’re also really warm, moisture wicking and fast drying. In addition, they can be worn with a hat underneath for extra warmth in the winter months, or on colder days when running. What’s more they come in a range of colours and designs so you’re sure to find one that your loved one will love.
The perfect gift for the runner who has everything.
Garmin Fenix 6s Pro
It’s Christmas, and with the battery life on my Garmin Fenix 5s now failing me over 10 hours, it’s time to start looking at alternatives.
The Garmin Fenix 6s Pro is the latest top of the range GPS watch from Garmin, and features a sleek design, more customisable watch faces and an improved user interface compared to earlier models. Once you get used to Garmin’s user interface it’s definitely one of the best out there.
If your loved one wants a smart watch that is specifically designed for running then this is the model for them. The Garmin Fenix has a built in barometer that’s great for measuring altitude and predicting weather changes, making it a powerful tool for trail running.
It also features activity tracking, heart rate monitoring and you can store up to 2000 songs on the device. In addition the battery will last up to 14 days on standard smartwatch mode or 36 hours with GPS and heart rate turned on, making it the perfect option for ultra runners.
A great gift for the trail runner who wants a top of the range GPS watch.