11 Savvy Gifts for the Runner in Your Life

iStock
iStock

Sneakers and a willingness to sweat are the basics of what a runner needs to get going, but these gifts go the extra mile, helping your favorite 10K devotée or aspiring marathoner stay moving whatever the distance, weather, or terrain.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. YAKTRAX RUN TRACTION CLEATS FOR RUNNING ON SNOW AND ICE; $32

Amazon

Snow and ice won't slow down runners when they wear Yaktrax cleats, which can be secured to running shoes to prevent slippage. Replaceable carbide-steel spikes and stainless-steel coils provide great traction, while reflective stripes on the sides and heels make night runs safer.

Find It: Amazon

2. GARMIN RUNNING DYNAMICS POD TRACKER; $69

Amazon

Way beyond a basic pedometer, this tracker pod links to a compatible watch and sends real-time information about six running metrics: cadence, stride length, ground contact time and balance, vertical oscillation, and vertical ratio. It clips onto a watch wristband and weighs less than 5 ounces, so your giftee will barely notice it's there.

Find It: Amazon

3. RUNTASTY HYDRATION BELT; $30

Amazon

This hydration belt holds two BPA-free water bottles (17 ounces total) to keep a runner going through a longer distance. Slip your phone into one large pocket with a touchscreen for easy control. Keys, cards, and everything else fit in the roomy other pocket. They're both sweatproof to keep your electronics safe. Anti-slip texturing keeps it from sliding around, and it's adjustable to fit a wide variety of bodies.

Find It: Amazon

4. JULBO AEROLITE SUNGLASSES; $143

Amazon

Ultrarunners and mountain bikers helped design these high-tech polycarbonate sunglasses. They're super lightweight, rimless, and provide 100 percent protection against UV A, B, and C rays. Air circulates easily through them, so they won't fog up.

Find It: Amazon

5. RUN INK MARATHONER MAPS; $13 AND UP

Run Ink

These personalized printed maps are perfect for marathoners who have all the gear they need, but could use a well-designed memento of their endurance, tenacity, and spirit. Each colorful map shows the location, course, date, and name of a specific race, along with the runner's name, time, and bib number. Not a marathoner? Run Ink customizes maps for any race. They'll frame it too.

Find It: Run Ink

6. GRAND TRAIL: A MAGNIFICENT JOURNEY TO THE HEART OF ULTRARUNNING AND RACING; $31

© VeloPress

Set that New Year's resolution high. Really high. Inspiring and beautiful, this coffee-table book visits 13 iconic ultrarunning locations across the world in stunning color and black-and-white photography, and profiles 16 astonishing champions who've mastered these breathtaking, supremely challenging courses.

Find It: Amazon

7. GRAZE SNACK SUBSCRIPTIONS; $42 FOR THREE BOXES

Graze

The right kind of fuel is essential to running, especially during long distances. Gift your favorite runner with Graze snack boxes; each box has eight energy-packed snacks that easily travel. Snacks are each perfectly portioned into six servings. And with more than 100 options, there's a lot to choose from. Three categories a runner is likely to try: nuts and seeds, superfoods, and protein bars, bites, and toppers.

Find It: Graze

8. BABY TREND EXPEDITION JOGGER STROLLER; $103

Amazon

New parents are often eager to get moving after a baby is born. They can start running again—and give a kid a fun ride—using this jogger stroller. It has a trio of large bicycle tires to smoothly roll over all surfaces, four cup holders (two for an adult, two for a child), a storage compartment, and a five-point harness to keep baby secure. It easily folds into a compact unit for stashing in the car.

Find It: Amazon

9. T-SHIRT QUILT; $75 AND UP

Project Repat

Wrapping a runner in a blanket just after they cross the finish line is a long-standing tradition—and a necessity in cold-weather races. Give the practice a unique spin with this customized T-shirt quilt. Crowdsource some favorite or meaningful T-shirts from the runner's friends, and ask for tees from the runner too (but keep the end product a secret!). Ship them to Project Repat, choose a color for the fleece backing, and within weeks your runner will have a personalized quilt to warm up with—and keep forever. And don't worry about a little post-race sweat—the quilt is machine washable.

Find It: Project Repat

10. FITBIT ALTA FITNESS TRACKER; $124

Amazon

Data-obsessed runners are all about the metrics while running. The Alta Fitbit can illuminate their activities during the rest of the day (and night) as well. It uses an array of sensors to track activity levels, sleep patterns, steps taken, floors climbed, calories burned, and more. Using Bluetooth, it automatically, wirelessly connects and syncs with more than 200 leading iOS, Android, and Windows devices. It's also sweat, rain, and splash proof, so it doesn't need to come off in the shower.

Find It: Amazon

11. SPOTIFY GIFT CARD; $30

Amazon

A runner's soundtrack is important—and often carefully chosen. With this gift card, runners who are Spotify subscribers can choose from millions of tracks to keep them going through three months of runs. 

Find It: Amazon

Save Up to 93 Percent on 8 Gaming Accessories and Enter to Win a Free Nintendo Switch Bundle

Stackcommerce
Stackcommerce

The Nintendo Switch is one of the hottest video game consoles of the past few decades, with worldwide sales topping 55 million (that's more than the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64, and it's only a few million behind the original NES). The problem with a console being so popular is that it's not always easy to spot one on store shelves. If you haven't had luck finding one in recent months, you can enter this contest to win your very own Nintendo Switch, along with a copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a pair of Switch-compatible Logitech wireless headphones, and a $300 Nintendo gift card. Head here for more details.

While you wait to see who wins, check out these other great deals on gaming accessories.

1. Protective TPU Case for Nintendo Switch Console; $12 (20 percent off)

Geek Supply Co.

Once you get your Switch, you'll want to keep it in pristine condition. This protective case is made with shock-absorbent, flexible TPU for full protection against bumps, scratches, dust, fingerprints, and even the occasional toss in the heat of the moment.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

2. Two-in-One Docking Station for Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons; $16 (20 percent off)

Geek Supply Co.

The standard Switch will only charge one pair of Joy-Cons at a time, so if you've got a roommate always willing to hop in on a quick game of Mario Kart, you'll need this spare charging dock to make sure their controller is ready to go. The weighted base keeps the controllers stable so they’ll sit still to charge until you’re ready to play.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

3. Four-in-One Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Dock; $18 (28 percent off)

Geek Supply Co.

Same as above, except this model charges two pairs of Joy-Cons at once. The easy-to-read red LED light lets you know it’s working, and the green lets you know it’s time to play.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

4. Ultra-Slim 500-Game Retro Gaming Device (Red); $14

Atelier Delfina

This portable HD gaming device packs over 500 classic arcade games like Pac-Man, Contra, Tetris, and plenty more. And with five hours of battery life, you'll get plenty of nostalgia before needing a recharge.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

5. Ninja Dragon Stealth 7 Wireless Silent Led Backlit Mouse (Black); $28 (30 percent off)

Onetify

The precision (or lack thereof) of a mouse can make all the difference when gaming on a PC. This wireless model comes with a 1600DPI true gaming sensor, ultra-precise scroll wheel, and high-precision positioning to avoid any lag while in a game.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

6. Gamecube Controller Adapter for WII/PC/Nintendo Switch; $10 (50 percent off)

Geek Supply Co.

A Nintendo Gamecube controller is still the best way to play any of the Super Smash Bros. titles, and with this adapter, you can use the old-school controllers on the Wii U or Nintendo Switch for an easy way to dive into multiplayer games. It also works for PC gaming.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

7. Gforce 3 Professional 7200rpm USB 3.0/Esata External HDD (Black); $140 (11 percent off)

Fantom Drives

If you haven’t already, you’re going to want to back up all of your files to an external hard drive. This external HDD has 3TB of storage, meaning you likely won't run out of space even if you tried.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

8. Core 17-Inch Gaming Backpack With Molded Panel; $110 (15 percent off)

Mobile Edge LLC

This bag was designed specifically to hold gaming laptops and consoles, plus their accessories, in three large storage sections and four side pockets. It also features an external USB charge port for instant power.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

Prices subject to change.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. If you haven't received your voucher or have a question about your order, contact the Mental Floss shop here.



Save Up to 67 Percent on These 10 Back-to-School Essentials

My Miggo
My Miggo

Back-to-school time may feel a bit different this year, but the basics are still the same. Make sure you have everything you need, from lamps to external hard drives—and everything you didn't expect, like a webcam light—at a price you can handle. Whether you're studying from home while living on campus or going into class, here are the 10 best deals on college living essentials.

1. Bamboo 6-Piece Smart Pocket Sheets (Gray/Queen); $39 (67 percent off)

Bed Bath Fashion

Quality sleep is important to stay healthy and sharp during a packed day, and these bamboo and microfiber sheets will do the trick. You’ll rest even easier when you don’t have to search for the remote, your phone, or earbuds while lying in bed, since these sheets come with handy side pockets to stash equipment (or snacks) for easy access.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

2. Ventifresh Eco: Next Generation Odor Eliminator (2-Pack); $96 (33 percent off)

Ventifresh

Stinky roommates, hot equipment, and tight spaces where you microwave dinner beside your bed can lead to stale odors. This device, which was a hit on Indiegogo, uses NASA-inspired photocatalyst technology to purify the air anywhere.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

3. Case Logic 14.1-inch Laptop Messenger Bag; $25 (73 percent off)

Case Logic

Protect your tech and your back with this nylon messenger bag. The ergonomically designed bag includes pockets for all your accessories and an easy-access magnetic closure. There’s space for your laptop, tablet, and supplies all in one nifty crossbody.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

4. Gforce 3 Professional 7200rpm Usb 3.0/Esata External Hdd (Black); $140 (11 percent off)

Fantom Drives

There’s nothing worse than spending hours on a project, only to have it deleted in an unexpected software crash. Protect all of your data with this external hard drive, which boasts 3TB of space for your photos, videos, reports, and more.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

5. Pictar Home-Office Kit; $90 (35 percent off)

My Miggio

If you could go back in time to talk to yourself a year ago, you’d probably never believe that work and school would be conducted like a FaceTime call—and you'd definitely give yourself a heads up to buy one of these Pictar sets with a wide-angle lens, lighting, and tripod to make video meetings easier to deal with.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

6. Townew: The World's First Self-Sealing Trash Can; $105 (12 percent off)

Townew

If you have roommates, there’s no doubt that taking out the trash is a nuisance. It may be full to the brim with junk that’s not even yours, but it will sit for days while you wait for somebody else to step up for once and do their part. This automated bin is on your team, though; it will seal the old dirty bag on its own for you to neatly grab and then it populates a fresh bag in the bin on its own.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

7. Bladeless Handheld Cooling Fan; $20 (50 percent off)

Home Essentials

This fan is not only effective, but it’s quiet enough to keep on during Zoom meetings without interruption. It will give your room a cool breeze without the buffering of traditional bladed fans, which means it’s also safe around kids and pets.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

8. Jashen V16 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner; $160 (46 percent off)

Jashen

This cordless vacuum cleaner will pick up grime from your hard floors and carpets, without the tangle or tug of a cord. The cordless cleaner runs on a rechargeable battery that can vacuum for up to 40 minutes, and the whole thing comes with multiple attachments to make cleaning tough spots, like in between couch cushions, even easier.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

9. Thor Bottle Opener (Bronze); $11 (26 percent off)

MarqInno

Harness the power of Thor when you open your end-of-the-day drink. It will feel appropriate to use the tool of a superhero while you reflect on the heroic job you did that day.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

10. Led Lamp With Wireless Charging; $40 (33 percent off)

Changeworx

Light the way wherever you look with this super mobile LED lamp, whether that's at your desk or in the common room. It includes a unique wireless charging pad for your phone and AirPods to juice up while you study.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

Prices subject to change.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. If you haven't received your voucher or have a question about your order, contact the Mental Floss shop here.