Getting a gift for the trail runner in your life can be a tall ask- they are often very particular people with very niche needs.
But don’t worry!
At Marathon Handbook we’ve done our research and compiled a top-notch list of the 12 best gifts for trail runners.
1. Squirrel’s Nut Butter
Ok, anti-chafe cream isn’t the most glamorous or high-tech gift, but it is certainly a must-have for trail runners.
And what better way to show that you care than getting your trail runner in question the gift of blister and chafe-free skin.
Squirrel’s Nut Butter, as well as having a brilliant name, is also a brilliant product.
This all-natural salve was founded by outdoorsy couple, Chris and Stacy Thornley, out of their home in trail running mecca Flagstaff, Arizona.
It smells great, has a buttery smooth consistency, and it has the backing of many professional trail and ultra runners.
Big names such as Zach Bitter, Jim Walmsley, and Courtney Dauwalter have all professed their love for this particular brand of
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As an extra bonus, Squirrel’s Nut Butter has a range of anti-chafe sticks, the smallest of which can fit snugly into any trail runner’s coveted hydration vest.
Vegan versions of the salve are also available for those ethically conscious trail runners.
2. Chirp Wheel back roller
Trail running can be pretty demanding on your body, so it’s only right that trail runners take extra care to look after themselves.
But often, they need to be prompted to take those self-care steps. Here’s where you come in!
Get them this Chirp Wheel back roller and they will have an incentive to do so.
Having a strong back is vital for efficiently and effortlessly tackling trails. This sturdy wheel helps to stretch and massage the thorasic and lumbar region muscles, improving trail runners strength, flexibility, posture, and balance.
And it is one of many low-risk gifts for trail runners on this list. If the runner is not 100% satisfied with the wheel, they are able to send it back and get a full refund.
3. Smartwool PhD Pro Endurance Socks
Socks as a present? Really?
Trust us, trail runners have to look after their feet, and they take their socks seriously.
These particular socks were designed by trail and endurance runner Rob Krar, so they are the real deal.
They are made from a mixture of elastane, nylon, and merino wool, making them a great pair of durable socks that keep your feet comfortable and dry throughout the seasons.
Also, their cool design echoes the natural world that trail runners love.
4. BioLite HeadLamp 330 Lumen No Bounce Rechargeable
A headlamp is a vital piece of kit for any trail runner that runs through the dark, be that because they are an early bird, a night owl, or it is simply winter.
As far as gifts for trail runners go, this headlamp is a dream.
The Biolite 330 Headlamp is rechargeable, water-resistant, it has a red light at the rear and white light at the front fit with customisable beam modes, a max high beam of a blindingly bright 330 lumens, a very long battery life of 40 hours, and is rechargable.
All of these features have to make this headlamp one of the best gifts for trail runners.
5. Bosu Balance Trainer
Tackling all those twists and turns along a trail requires trail runners to have great balance and agility as well as having strong stabilising muscles.
The Bosu Balance Trainer helps the athlete work on all of those things. Its unstable surface gives trail runners a unique opportunity to strengthen their stabilising muscles in a controlled, safe, and effective way.
This Balance Trainer is one of the more thoughtful gifts for trail runners.
The Bosu Balance Trainer is also a good rehab tool after injury, and unfortunately, trail runners are prone to getting injured.
The Bosu was created with durability in mind, so although the price may seem steep, it can be viewed as an investment that will last many years. It can take an impressive 400 pounds of weight with ease, so don’t let its poppable appearance fool you.
6. Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker
This is one of the best gifts for trail runners with dog companions.
For curious dogs, the trails pose many inviting opportunities to run off the path and away from their owners.
But with this dog tracker, dog-owning trail runners can run at ease knowing they’ll always be able to find their furry friend when they inevitably run off.
The Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker is small, lightweight, 100% waterproof, and it boasts an impressive 2 to 5 day battery life. The tracker connects to your phone via GPS and allows you to see where your canine is in real-time.
7. Nike Windshield Elite Rectangular Sunglasses
At any time of year, sunglasses are one of the must-have gifts for trail runners.
These sunglasses will make any trail runner look and feel the part, and they are certainly geared for performance.
The Nike Windshield Elite feature a sleek close to face design, and a wide one-piece wraparound. This snug fit means that these sunglasses sit effortlessly on the face without jostling around as the wearer takes on uneven terrain.
They are also anti-fog, with ventilation areas, so that the runner’s vision won’t ever be impaired.
All around, the Nike Windshield Elite are a great piece of kit for trail runners, who value distractionless, performance-focused gear.
8. Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles
Trekking poles for runners?
Although it may seem like hiking poles would weigh down a runner, it is actually quite the opposite.
Trekking poles actually help trail runners to conserve energy and keep their balance over unstable terrain. Elite trail and ultra runners wouldn’t be seen without them in some races.
And the Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z are the best of the best.
They are made of carbon, so are incredibly strong and lightweight at only 290g, and they are collapsible, perfect for attaching to or slipping into any trail runners hydration pack.
This is one of the most well-informed gifts for trail runners, it will look like you’ve done your research!
9. Jabra Elite Active 75t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
Trail runners have been known to take a lot of kit with them as they head out to the trails, so we wanted to pick the most minimal and non-intrusive set of headphones without compromising on quality.
This pair won’t interfere with any hat or sunglass-wearing, and their lack of wires means that the wearer will avoid any tangly disasters on the trail.
For such small buds, they have a powerful 7.5 hours of battery life, ideal for those long days out on the trails.
The Jabra Elite Active 75t are completely sealed and waterproof too, meaning that they can take on any kind of weather the trails throw at them, be that a monsoon or a sandstorm.
And of course, we’ve picked a set of headphones with excellent fit, sound quality, and durability.
10. RENPHO R3 Mini Massage Gun
Show your trail runner that you care by giving them the gift of unlimited massages!
Trail runners put their legs through a lot. After long sessions on the trail, DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) inevitably follow. But not if you’ve got his massage gun handy!
Massage guns get the blood pumping around those worn-out muscles, calming inflammation and soreness, and speeding up recovery. Also, they feel great and are the closest thing you can get to a spa day without a spa.
This massage gun has been tried and tested against many other popular models and it has come out on top.
Weighing in at a feather-light 0.68kg, with 5 speed settings, 5 different heads, and a battery life of 6 hours to boot, the RENPHO R3 Mini Massage Gun is the real deal and an excellent investment for the price.
11. Salomon Trail Gaiters Low
This is one of the best gifts for adventurous trail runners who like to take a walk on the wild side.
There’s nothing like a bit of grit in your shoes to ruin your run and give you killer blisters.
Luckily, these trail gaiters are designed to keep everything out of the shoe, from dust to thorns, to snow, to sand, giving runners utter foot freedom.
12. An Ultrarunning Guide- The Ultra Runner’s Playbook
The next step after conquering trail running? Ultrarunning!
That is assuming that the trail runner in question isn’t already a keen ultra runner.
Having said that, even if they have run a few ultramarathons in the past, this ultimate ultramarathon guide will support them and spur them on to their next challenge.
This guide is comprehensive, providing detailed training plans, strategies for ultra success, information on everything from mental preparation to how to fuel, and hours of expert videos.
So go ahead and give a trail runner the unforgettable and invaluable gift of ultra success!