Despite being a relatively simple and straightforward sport from an outside perspective, running is surprisingly complex. While this certainly extends to stride mechanics, nutrition and recovery, here we're talking about something all runners love: gear.
But no matter if you're a runner or not, buying gear for a runner during the holiday season—especially a male runner—can be somewhat of a challenge. Styles come and go, and fads fade into the distance, so what are some foolproof things the runner in your life will love? What are the new trends and tech?
Don't worry—we've boiled the shopping experience down to make it as easy as possible.
From sports nutrition and coffee, to running apparel and shoes, we've listed several holiday gift ideas for the male runner in your life.
Compex Fixx Massager$250
Whether it's a 5K or an ultramarathon, his muscles take a lot of pounding on the pavement when running. Help him reduce muscle tension, soothe aches and pains, help prevent injury and run at his best with the Compex Fixx 1.0 massager. Portable and easy to use, this is the secret tool runners will want to take everywhere.
Fixx is a portable, battery-operated massager that offers three speeds and a three-angle adjustable head that allows him to reach and treat different muscle groups with preferred massage intensity, so he can get back to feeling great—sooner than later. A low-noise motor allows for discreet use, which means finding relief whenever the need strikes. Fixx comes in a compact case that also holds the rechargeable battery and its charger, making it convenient to toss in a gym bag, stash in a desk drawer, throw in a suitcase or tuck away near the couch so it's always handy.
Headsweats Ugly Gingerbread Man Performance Trucker Hat$26
Ugly sweater parties are all the rage, so why not let your runner take the party with them on their next run with this ugly gingerbread man trucker hat? It's essentially Headsweats' popular performance trucker hat with a fun holiday twist, and it's plenty lightweight and breathable for whatever your runner will throw at it.
Vega Sport Hydrator$29.99
Help your runner set a new personal best with Vega's new Sport Hydrator drink mix. It's formulated to help replenish electrolytes, has 100 percent of your daily value of Vitamin C and has no artificial flavors or sweeteners. Better yet, it tastes as good as it looks, too.
Osmo Nutrition Acute Recovery$35
Recovery is just as important as the workout itself, and the right nutrition plays an important role in recovery. Osmo's Acute Recovery mix incorporates the optimal balance of proteins, carbs and caffeine to promote muscle repair while boosting glycogen replacement. What does this mean? Your runner will recover quicker and more efficiently after a workout.
Swiftwick PURSUIT Seven Stripe$21.99
With new striped patterns for the holiday season, your runner will reach for Swiftwick's PURSUIT socks time and time again due to the fine-gauge Merino wool construction that gives them a softer, no-itch design that's ideal for mile after mile of running. The reinforced heel and toe increases durability and longevity, and the mid-cushion option increases comfort (and therefore increases performance).
Reverie Eco Tencel Sateen Sheet Set$155
Sleep is the number one driver of recovery, so help your runner recover better by gifting them a sheet set this holiday season. These sheets from Reverie are made with sustainable eucalyptus fiber that's great for moisture management and body temperature regulation. They're also naturally hypoallergenic and fully biodegradable, so it's a win-win for both your runner and the planet.
Nathan VaporAir 2.0 7 Liter Men's Hydration Pack$149.99
If your runner loves pushing themselves by tackling ultramarathons, this is the hydration pack for them. It's designed around the lightweight and body-mapped VaporAir race vest, so it's easily customizable and loaded with features like a two-liter bladder with a quick release valve, reflective hits for 360-degreee visibility and more pockets than your runner will know what to do with (gels, gels and more gels).
Cleer Audio Ally$149.99
Nothing makes a long session on the treadmill (shall we say dreadmill) more enjoyable than a solid set of headphones. Cleer Audio's new Ally headphones are stylish true wireless headphones designed for active lifestyles, and they boast up to 10 hours of audio playback (and an additional 20 hours with the recharging case), an IPX5 water-resistant and sweat-proof design and touch pad operation for playing, pausing and answering calls.
OluKai Hele Mālie$130
What's better than a properly fitting pair of running shoes? An even better pair of recovery slippers. These slippers from OluKai feel like they're half sneaker, half slipper, and they're great for both indoor and outdoor use. The soft, suede leather upper with a twin-faced shearling liner will keep your runner's feet warm, and the structured footbed and lightweight EVA outsole provide plenty of protection and support not usually found in slippers.