A blog by runners. For runners.

Budget-friendly gifts (and stocking stuffers) for runners

Budget-friendly gifts for runnersAt the core, running is a cheap sport. You just need some shoes and a sports bra (for the ladies) and you’re good to go!

But that’s not to say we runners don’t want fancy socks, brightly colored-shoelaces, or an endless supply of energy chews. Here are some budget-friendly gifts for runners that will be much appreciated:

  1. SOCKS: Runners enjoy an “expensive” pair of socks though many of us can’t justify spending $18 or so per pair, making it the perfect gift. All you need to know is a runner’s approximate shoe size. Brands we recommend: Smartwool, Feetures, and Darn Tough. Want to save even more money? Buy multipacks of the same style or buy last year’s colors and models. 
  2. SHOE LACES: If you think this gift idea is lame, ask runners who wear the same model of shoe but have multiple pairs how they differentiate between those pairs. Colorful shoe laces could be the answer! At the very least, they’re a cool upgrade for $10 or less – and you can get even get them a pair that doesn’t require tying or that lights up at night.
  3. ENERGY PACKS: Long distance runners can never have too many energy packs, gels, or chomps. Find out their favorite flavors and create a “basket of energy” – from salted caramel GUs to double espresso Clif Shots to organic Honey Stingers. You can buy them individually at running or athletics stores (around $1.50 to $2) or for slightly cheaper in bulk online.
  4. BASE LAYERS: Long sleeve base layer shirts, and underwear are great gifts you can find for $25 or less. Since it’s a base layer, it will go under a jacket or pants so you don’t have to fret about getting the “right” color. What matters is that it has wicking power and allows the body to breath while also providing some warmth. Some options include Uniqlo’s heattech products, which although not technically running gear, work quite well and offer some fun patterns for both long sleeves and turtlenecks for men and women. You can also search “base layer” on Amazon or check out stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Nordstrom Rack
  5. LUBE: Care about the private parts of your loved one? Well, nothing says I love you quite like anti-chaffing ointment and cream. Long-time favorites include BodyGlide, SkinGlide, and the appropriately named ButtShield.
  6. GLOVES: All runner’s know the plight of digging through the laundry hamper in search of that one stinkin’ glove that’s no where to be found at 5:45 a.m. A spare set is pretty much a godsend in those moments. And you don’t have to go all fancy – a simple, moisture wicking glove works just fine.
  7. BOOKS: Runners thirst for knowledge, insight, and motivation – and what better way to supply that than with a good book about the sport? We have a full list of our favorite options here (and a selection specifically for pregnant runners here.)

Written by Rob Haneisen.