Gear Lists and Advice

10 Great Gift Ideas For Trail Runners

In this gift guide I've put together a list of items that every trail runner is sure to enjoy. It doesn't matter if they're a beginner or pro, training for a 5k or a 100 miler, some new gear for the holiday season is sure to make those early morning training runs a little more enjoyable. 

Trail running is one of the fastest growing recreational activities in the United States right now. It seems that people are waking up to the amazing power of the beautiful outdoors. In this gift guide, I’ve put together a list of items that every trail runner is sure to enjoy. It doesn’t matter if they’re a beginner or pro, training for a 5k or a 100 miler, some new gear for the holiday season is sure to make those early morning training runs a little more enjoyable.

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1. GPS Watch: Coros Pace GPS Sports Watch

A GPS watch is a must-have for every trail runner looking to track and monitor their performances and improvements over time. Many will start their search with a Garmin or Suunto GPS watch, but this new company called Coros is creating some really amazing GPS watches. The new Coros Pace can currently be picked up for $240! This is currently my favorite GPS watch, as it is lightweight, has accurate GPS measurements, tracks heart rate, and lasts up to 25 hours in GPS mode.

Buy on Amazon

2. Nutrition: Tailwind Nutrition Stickpack

Nutrition is a major component of physical training. You can ask anyone that has been training and/or competing in trail running long enough, and they’ll tell you that poor nutrition is the fastest way to ruin a run. Eat the wrong things and you can upset your stomach, lack energy, or lack hydration. Tailwind powder has been a staple of my running, hiking, and backpacking nutrition over the past few years. I usually buy a large bag, but have found these individual packets work better while traveling.

Buy on Amazon

3. Socks: Drymax Socks

Blisters can make the easiest runs turn into a real challenge. Having quality socks that reduce friction, stay dry, and remain durable can go a long way to keeping your feet blister free. For hikes, I like Merino wool socks like Darn Tough and Smartwool, but I prefer synthetic socks like Drymax for running.

Buy on Amazon

4. Hydration Vest: Salomon Advanced Skin 12

As trail runners scale up the distance on their training runs, they’ll find themselves needing to carry more gear than before. Unlike road running, you can’t always find places to stop and get water or nutrition on the trail. You’ll also need to pack additional layers for variable weather on certain runs. This Salomon pack is one of the most popular in the business for a reason. It’s very comfortable and can hold a lot with its 12 liter design.

Buy on Amazon

5. Trekking Poles: Black Diamond Distance FLZ Poles

Most trail runners don’t use trekking poles, but there are certain runs and races that require them. The Black Diamond Distance FLZ poles are amazing for trail runners because they are super light, have adjustable lengths, and can fold up and be packed away quickly and easily.

Buy on Amazon




6. Multipurpose Headwear: Buff Headscarf

The Buff is a trail running staple seen on mountain runners everywear. The Buff can be worn as a headband, beanie, or scarf and comes in a multitude of fun colors.

Buy on Amazon

7. Winter Traction: Yaktrax Pro Cleats

As the winter months approach, the trials will begin to ice up. For serious routes a crampon is needed, but for possible light snow and ice, these Yaktrax Pro cleats are nice to keep in a running pack.

Buy on Amazon

8. Winter Layer: Patagonia Houdini Jacket

When the weather gets cold, trail runners need to layer up. A great running jacket needs to be lightweight and breathable, but also tough enough to stand up to light rain and strong winds. The Patagonia Houdini hits all the right notes here and makes a great gift that can also be worn off of the trail.

Buy on REI

9. Sunglasses: Julbo Aero

If you follow any trail races or keep track of top athletes on social media, you’ll see that Julbo is one of the most popular sunglasses brands. Julbo makes high quality eyewear that is designed to be worn in high output activities. My favorite frame of theirs is called the Aero. These sunglasses are light, don’t fog up, and stay on my face without movement regardless of how fast I’m moving.

Buy on Amazon

10. Chafing Stick: Body Glide Anti Chafing Stick

Few things kill a run faster than chafing. It can start between your toes, under your armpits, between your legs, or at any other friction point on your body. Keep that friction to a minimum with Body Glide.

Buy on Amazon

I'm Drew, creator of Trail to Peak. Trail to Peak brings content to life on the web through breath-taking photography and captivating video. I launched Trail to Peak in 2014 with a goal to inspire readers to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. I have traveled to 19 countries, walked Camino de Santiago, hiked the John Muir Trail, trekked through the Andes of Peru, and am constantly seeking new adventures in my home state of California. Joining me on my weekly adventures is my partner, Julia, our son, Owen, and our two goldendoodles, Isla and Lilly.

5 comments on “10 Great Gift Ideas For Trail Runners

  1. Pingback: 10 Great Gift Ideas For Trail Runners

  2. Brandon @ FitForMiles.com

    Bodyglide has saved my a** countless times! Love that stuff.

  3. Great article! I was actually Cyber Monday shopping today and this gave me some fantastic ideas for the runners in my life. Thanks! http://www.wayfaringtailwagger.wordpress.com

  4. #10 is a lifesaver!

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