I have been thinking about the best things to suggest for runners for about a week and a half. I have looked at various gift guides from Runner's World, Competitor Magazine, Outside, Men's Health, and the internet world. I have to be honest, I'm generally not impressed. On most lists, there is a bunch of crap I would never want or use. Also, some lists have things that are 2-3-$400. How do I suggest things that are that expensive? I will not, even if it is a product I love. For me to assume that someone else would feel good about the product after spending hundreds on it is a little much for me to ask. Instead, I have compiled a small, low coast list of things that I think every runner actually needs, or may want. I would love suggestions, so send them to me if I missed something. Here is my list in no particular order. By the way, some of this stuff I want too!! Hint, Hint...
1. Roadid- This product, if you aren't familiar is a must for runners, cyclists, walker, anyone really. It is a small ID bracelet, anklet, or shoe attachment that has all of your preprinted contact info. I asked for and got this last year. I explained it to my wife this way, "Basically, if I stroke out and am found in a ditch during a run, someone will find me and be able to identify me. They come in different shapes, sizes, colors, bling, etc.
(Depending on personalization, $20)
2. Target Performance Socks- I did a review of these socks last April. I still love them and they are cheap! (Roughly $3 a pair)
3. Runner's World- It doesn't matter if you are a hard core runner, an occasional jogger, someone that races a lot, or never. Every that runs, even just once in awhile, can benefit from the Runner's World magazine. Recipes, training ideas, races, cool interviews, race info, it's all in there. The thing is, most runners, especially beginners or those that do not run a lot, won't go out and buy a running magazine. However, if they get it, they will read it. ($20-ish)
4. Bib/Medal Display- This is more for the racer, obviously. Here are 2 new sites, GoneforaRun, and RunningontheWall, I found this week with awesome options for hanging up race bibs, medals, pics, etc. We love to get SWAG and show it off. Here are some affordable ways to do so. (Prices vary)
5. Handheld- All runners need a handheld water bottle. Sure, you can just grab a water bottle and head out, but if you get a good one, buy a runner's handheld. They don't leak, they hold stuff, much better than a Poland Spring bottle! It doesn't matter to me which you buy, but I do recommend one that holds at least 16 ounces. Here is a link to a list of a few, but check out others if need be. ($15-$50, depending on size, brand)
6. A Gift Card to a Running Store!!!! I'll be honest, runners like to pick out their own stuff. We're a little picky. Here are some choices I like:
7. Sunglasses- This is all on you. Fit and fashion aside, sunglasses are important for runners for
several reasons. First of all sun protection. Let's not forget, wind rain, dirt and dust, etc. I wear sunglasses on all my runs. I cannot be bothered with anything getting in my eyes, even just a gust of wind. Think protection. As far as which ones, most gift lists like to say Oakley, Nike, UnderArmour, etc. Why do sunglasses have to be $300? I prefer the Optic Nerve brand because they are meant for athletics, they hold to your face well, they are reasonably priced, and they have a good website offering info on size, shape, and fit. ($25-$110)
There you have it. My gift list. It's impressive right? You could add sneakers, clothing, watches, etc. At the end of the day, most runners will buy that stuff on their own. I can recommend, but a lot of that becomes preference and/or opinion. If anyone has anything to add, email me!