Ask any semi-serious runner: keeping up with training during winter months requires a whole other level of motivation. In fact, it can sometimes feel like an entirely different sport altogether. That’s why having the right winter running gear and clothing is absolutely necessary to make sure you still get to enjoy the sport, regardless of how nasty the weather can get.

With that in mind, giving a gift to a running enthusiast is not always easy due to the wide selection of toques, running shoes, sports watches and gloves on the market. If you’re looking for running gift ideas, read on and take a look at this guide prepared by our running experts.

close up on a woman's legs running with orange hoka clifton running shoes

We’ve chosen a selection of items that will make every runner in your life happy. You’ll find products for running on the trail or on the road, whatever the season. You may even find a unique accessory you never thought of, one that’s easy to slip into a Christmas stocking. This list of running gift ideas for all budgets will help you find that special something.

  1. Running watch
  2. Open-ear sports headphones
  3. Running shades
  4. Merino running hat
  5. Running vest
  6. Running socks
  7. Running cap
  8. Merino tube
  9. Injury prevention kit
  10. Winter running gloves

1. The Running Watch

This is a gift that's sure to please the seasoned runners or the ones who like to stay in their bubble while running. The Vivoactive 4s watch is easy to use and offers several customized workout programs designed by Garmin. It sports a casual, not too technical look, so you can wear it all day in every setting without looking out of place. With the ability to connect to streaming services like Spotify, it offers the option to store your favourite songs directly on your watch for a great workout.

For serious runners, check out Garmin's more advanced Forerunner 745 Watch.

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2. Open-Ear Sports Headphones

We can't think of a better gift to give to your favourite runner. Designed for indoor training or out locking in miles, the Xtrainerz Open-Ear headphones withstand the elements with an IP67 waterproof rating. The open-ear, bud-free design gives you unparalleled comfort to listen to your favorite beats or podcasts during intense training sessions. A great gift for anyone who likes to drown out distractions!

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3. Running shades

For running in winter or under the dazzling sun, a pair of sunglasses like the Attack Max from Smith Optics is a must. These come with two interchangeable ChromaPop lenses, and they stay perfectly in place on your face during sprints. 

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4. Merino Running hat

Here's a perfect toque to slip into your pocket after a long run. The 100% merino construction makes it warm, light and compact, ideal for winter and fall runs. It's a simple yet thoughtful running gift idea for those who need breathable, odour-resistant headwear. 

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5. Running Vest

For those who like to go for long runs without worrying about looking for water fountains along the way, the Quickstart tank backpack is a great gift idea. Designed by Nathan, this bag sports a 1.5 L bladder that allows you to drink without stopping. Very comfortable and made so it doesn't rub against the skin, this pack is perfect for the long-distance runners on your gift list.

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6. Essential Running Socks

You could say that Smartwool knows a thing or two about socks. Its performance models in merino wool are antimicrobial, almost seamless and they wick moisture away efficiently. Why not give a pair of the PhD Run Light Elite socks as a gift to your friend who loves to run in winter? Ultra-soft against the skin, durable, and ideal for year-round use, these are the perfect running socks. 

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7. Classic running cap

Montreal-based Ciele has successfully captured the market for running caps for a reason. Its GOCap is lightweight, breathable and built to last. These caps are so stylish that every runner in your life will love to have more than one to match with any outfit. With their reflective detailing and variety of colours, you can't help but want them all!

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8. Merino Tube

For runners who will stop at nothing, running even on snow days and windy evenings, a light merino wool neck warmer is a must. The versatile Flexi Chute Neckwarmer by icebreaker can be worn as a neck warmer, headband or toque, and it will make a wonderful running gift idea for all those who don't mind running in wintery conditions. 

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9. Injury Prevention Kit

This is the ultimate tape, the one used by pros and kinesiologists. The KT Tape, here in economy format (never need to buy it again) is probably the most effective tape on the market. This pre-cut adhesive tape sticks perfectly to the skin, retains its effectiveness for a long time and is particularly useful for getting back into running after an injury. Also used for prevention, it holds well in place in strategic areas and does not peel off when wet. 

You're interested, but you think it's a bit expensive for a roll of tape? Yes, it's a great gift idea for serious athletes, but for a smaller, less expensive format, try the equally effective KT Tape Pro Original

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10. Winter Training Gloves

Is there anything worse than frozen fingers on a 10 km run? For those who would say there isn't, Solomon Agile gloves offer excellent protection and maximum performance. Made of a nylon blend to make them stretchable and breathable, they are touch-screen compatible for that extra level of convenience. Give them to your favourite runner as a gift, and let them keep their hands warm on their winter runs.

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Happy Holiday Shopping!

Treat the runners in your life to the best running gifts on the market. Whether you put a bow on them and hide them under the tree or stick them in a Christmas stocking, these running gift ideas will encourage their passion for running and put a smile on their face. We hope you were able to take plenty of inspiration from our running gift guide!

Still looking for the perfect gift? Check out the official Altitude Sports Gift Guide!