Whether you are ready for them or not, the holidays are quickly approaching! You are already planning and may have purchased Christmas gifts for loved ones if you are anything like me. You may also be like me, in that you have several people you buy gifts for that you NEVER know what to get.
Well, if one of the people you buy gifts for is an ultra-runner (or even just a runner in general), look no further. I have compiled an extensive list of gifts for ultra-runners. Since I have a background in nutrition and ultra-runners follow various diets, I will point out if an item is suitable for them (keto, vegan, gluten-free, etc.).
If you don’t find a gift idea on this list for the runner in your life, I am not sure where you will find one. Let’s get into it!
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Let’s start with some small gifts that would make great stocking stuffers or variety bag gifts for the ultra-runner in your life.
Small & Inexpensive Gifts for Ultra-Runners
Runners and ultra-runners both use anti-friction balms. These balms are used to prevent painful chaffing issues during runs. There are several types, and they all work relatively the same. I don’t have a personal preference, so here is a list of some of the most popular kinds in no particular order.
- Squirrel’s Nut Butter
- Body Glide
- This is vegan. There are many different formulas (men’s, women’s, etc.), but they all have the same ingredients.
- Gold Bond Friction Defense Stick
- They don’t say they are vegan, but it doesn’t seem to have any non-vegan ones on the list when looking through the list of ingredients. If you aren’t sure, play it safe and skip that one.
Runners also need snacks for their long runs. Some runners run for the snacks (me!). Runners always need snacks for putting in drop bags for races.
- ProBar Bolt Energy chews are yummy, vegan, and gluten-free.
- Clif Blocks are also delicious, vegan, and gluten-free.
- Honey Stinger chews and waffles are not vegan, but I have heard they are delicious! Their chews are gluten-free, but make sure that you buy the waffles labeled explicitly as gluten-free, as not all are.
- Gatorade Prime energy chews: their labels don’t specify vegan, but the ingredient list seems like they would be acceptable. They also do not state that they are gluten-free.
- Scratch Labs energy chews are vegan, gluten-free, and I have had a couple of their flavors and enjoyed them.
- GU also makes a stroopwafel that has gluten-free flavors, but none are vegan.
Running long distances is also one of the few times it is recommended to eat sugary foods, so you can also buy your runner snacks like:
- Oreos make an excellent running snack and are vegan but not gluten-free. However, they do make a gluten-free version!
- Clif bars: most are vegan, but they are not gluten-free
- Gummy bears/worms: Most are not vegan or gluten-free, but some brands make vegan and/or gluten-free versions of these snacks. Just be sure to check the label.
- Cookies: most cookies are not vegan or gluten-free unless specifically marked, so make sure you double-check the label; it is usually easy to locate on the packaging.
- Chips: many plain, unsalted chips are vegan, gluten-free, and the preferred flavor for most runners.
- Chocolate (most dark chocolate is vegan-friendly, and most chocolate is gluten-free unless they add an ingredient that contains gluten), and everyone (except me) loves chocolate!
Some runners like the liquid-ish version of gels.
These are a no for me, as I’m not too fond of the texture of most of them. If you don’t know for sure that your runner likes them, you might skip them!
- GU gels: according to their website, all GU gels are vegan and gluten-free
- Clif Shots: these are vegan, gluten-free, and some contain caffeine
- Huma: these are vegan, gluten-free, and some flavors contain caffeine
- Honey Stinger: These are gluten and dairy-free but not vegan due to the honey in them.
- Muir Energy: these are vegan and gluten-free products, and they have both caffeinated and non-caffeinated options.
Electrolytes are almost always suitable for runners to add to their water. These are lower on added sugar, so they are better to drink regularly when not running.
- Huma nutrition: These are gluten-free, vegan, and very low sugar (1g per serving).
- Nuun: They have both caffeinated and non-caffeinated versions. Nuun is a little different, as they fizz up your drink a little bit. Nuun tablets are keto-friendly, vegan, and gluten-free.
- Hydrant: Three of their flavors have zero added sugar, making them keto-friendly. We are fans of the light flavor of these. Some flavors have caffeine. Many of their flavors are also certified gluten-free. They are all vegan.
There are also many different small, non-food items that runners love.
- Gloves: These gloves have a few different sizes and colors to choose from. They are great because they aren’t too thick or thin, and you can still use your phone with them on.
- Buff (full coverage): These are the most popular brand out there for a good reason. They have several different kinds: some with SPF protection that are thinner and made for warmer weather. Others are thicker and made to keep your head warm. There are also different lengths that you can choose from. Also, the number of patterns they have is a plus! They have a design for probably everyone.
- Buff headbands – These are my preferred buff, and they have tons of patterns for these as well.
- Beanie: There are skull cap beanies for men, and they even make ones with a ponytail hole for women.
- Warming Headband – These are great for women who don’t want to wear a beanie and want to keep their ears warm on those colder running days.
- Visors – These are my preferred over a hat, and Headsweats makes the best, in my opinion. Visors are great for keeping the sun off your face without making your head hot and sweaty.
- Hats – Once again, Headsweats are my preferred brand. They are made for runners!
- Personal Safety Items & Devices – It annoys me that I even have to write about this and include a list of items to help keep you safe when running, but, alas, this is the world we live in!
- Foam roller – there are several options, but here are a couple of solid choices:
You wouldn’t believe the number of socks that ultra-runners go through. A runner can never have too many socks, and they (unlike kids) will appreciate getting socks for Christmas!
- Toe Socks: many runners swear by these Injinji socks for blister prevention. They keep your toes from rubbing each other. There are men’s and women’s sizes, and they also have different heights depending on your runner’s preference.
- Bombas also make high-quality socks, and they are very comfortable. Just know that many of their socks are wool, making many of them not vegan-friendly. They do have some styles that are vegan-friendly to choose from, though. You can get 20% off your first order when you subscribe to their newsletter. Another great thing about this company is that they donate an item to community organizations for every pair of socks you purchase. Who doesn’t love a company that gives back to the community?
Runners who run primarily on trails typically wear a gaiter of some sort to prevent rocks from getting in their shoes. Here are a couple of popular brands:
- Altra: If your runner uses Altra shoes, these are a great option, as they are made for those shoes. Their velcro patches line up with those that are built into the shoe itself. Hint: You can also buy little velcro patches to stick to your shoe so that you can use these gaiters. We have done that in the past with no problems!
- Dirty Girl gaiters are very fun! They have a lot of really cool and cute designs. If your runner likes bright colors and patterns, these are the gaiters they will want. They do require velcro to adapt to shoes as well.
- Wapiti Designs Go-Long Gaiters are also a good brand that has a few different designs to pick from. They also provide velcro for you to stick them to your shoes.
Larger & More Expensive Gifts for Ultra-Runners
- Hydration belt – There are so many options to choose from when it comes to hydration belts. It is all about runner preference and what works best for one person. Another person will hate. I will list a few of the more popular brands (in no specific order), but I suggest you see what brand/style your runner prefers.
- Handheld bottle – As with hydration belts, this is purely runner preference.
- Tops – Runners love running clothes! My husband and I currently have a running clothes closet at our house…we might have too many! There are so many options available. Enough that I don’t think you need me to tell you about them. Find out what your runner likes, and get that brand.
- Bottoms (pants/tights): I wear running tights in the late fall and winter months. Chase only runs in them when it is well below freezing. As with the running tops, the number of pant options is great, and you can find the ones your runner prefers very easily.
- Headphones/Earbuds: There are tons of different options for these, and it really comes down to the runner’s preference. Many of them are fairly low-priced and have a really good battery life.
- Headlamp or other light for nighttime runs – There are so many different kinds of these, and it, once again, goes back to runner preference. Typically, runners want something that is pretty lightweight. For long nighttime runs, battery power is also essential. Some lights are worn at the waist, and those that use this type seem to like them.
- Medal Rack – These are great for runners who do it for the swag! Who doesn’t want to show off all the awesome medals and buckles (if you are an ultra-runner) earned at races?
Big Ticket Gifts for Ultra-Runners
- Watch – There are so many smart and fitness watches out on the market, but I will list a couple of the more popular, especially for ultra-runners.
- Garmin Fenix: they have a larger size for men and a smaller size for women. This is a top-of-the-line GPS running watch. It has tons of features that your runner will love.
- COROS APEX: this is a less expensive option, with a really good battery life. It is also smaller in size, making it great for everyday use.
- Suunto Baro: this is a good, rugged watch for trail runners. It is known for its durability.
- The Polar GRIT X: This watch is a good value with tons of features.
- Hydration pack – As with all ultrarunning items, there are tons of options when it comes to hydration packs. What works for one runner, another hates. Chances are, your runner has one that they prefer or have been wanting to try out.
- Shoes – I am not going to bother with links for these because the shoe market is SATURATED. Ask your runner what type of shoe they run in and their size. Ultrarunners go through so many shoes. Their wallets and feet will thank you.
- Massage guns – These are amazing. You can save your runner from having to get massages by buying them one of these. They will LOVE it!
- Treadmill – These are great for training days when the weather is not cooperating. Many come with built-in programs, which is a nice feature. There are tons of different brands to pick from, with varying specs and sizes. Find out what your runner would want before making a large purchase like this!
- Elliptical – Ellipticals are perfect to use for cross-training days. They are a lower impact method for your runner to get some cardio in. As with treadmills, I highly recommend discussing this purchase with your runner, as they likely have a specific brand and/or model in mind.
- Gym Membership – Runners and ultra-runners alike need to get in some strengthening and injury prevention exercises. It is also nice to have the option to run at the gym when there are 6 inches of snow on the ground. Another perk is if the gym has a pool for your runner to get some cross-training in.
You can also go with the easy option of a gift card. Gift cards allow your runner to get whatever it is they want and/or need. I love receiving gift cards because it also takes the pressure off the person buying me something.
I wouldn’t be a very good business owner if I didn’t plug our products at least once here! Our products would also make a great holiday gift for ultra-runners! T-30, our daily endurance formula, combines seven of the MOST BENEFICIAL endurance supplements out there. We also add in other synergistic ingredients, making it a revolutionary new supplement. Additionally, T-30 is vegan, gluten-free, and keto-friendly.
Terminus is our recovery formula, and it is hands-down the BEST recovery formula on the market. Terminus has a perfect PDCAAS of 1.0 and an amino acid profile that is superior to whey! Terminus is also vegan and gluten-free.
Proxima C is a great endurance fuel. It has a stellar electrolyte profile, a unique four-carbohydrate blend, and additional L-ornithine. If you are looking for the perfect endurance fuel for your runner, this is it!
By buying any, or all three, of our products for the ultra-runner in your life, you would be giving them an excellent gift to take their training and recovery to the next level!
Whew! That was a long list of gift ideas! As I said initially, if you cannot find a single gift for the ultra-runner in your life in this blog, then I don’t know where you will find one! I pity you!
As a general rule, I always recommend getting a gift receipt with any Christmas gift you buy. That way, if the specific color, brand, flavor, or size is not right, they can return it and get the correct one.
I hope this list was helpful and can help you find a gift for your loved one. Happy Holidays, and happy shopping!