Gift giving can be MORE fun than receiving when you are certain your loved ones are going to LOVE the gifts you purchased for them. When it comes to finding the perfect gift for the RUNderful person in your life, who better to ask about the best running gear than seasoned athletes and elite runners? We surveyed our ambassadors and other athletes we admire to find out which products they trust to make their runs comfortable, pain free and FUN! Check out the top rated products from our favorite #unstoppable women runners and surprise the runner in your life with a gift she's sure to enjoy!
"Altras -- Superior ($110) for trail, Escalante ($130) for road. As a petite woman who has a hard time putting on muscle I have to rely on good biomechanics, fast turnover and nimble feet. I have been wearing Altras since 2013 and have very rarely strayed. The wide toebox helps me keep my feet 100% blister free and also helps me with good ground contact. When toes can splay they can produce better power." - Rachel Bell Kelley, sub 24-hr Western States 100 Finisher & Mountain Masochist 50 Champion
"Topo Ultraventure ($130) - Why I like it: I just discovered this shoe, and wow, my mind is blown. I've struggled to find a shoe that fits my unique foot shape AND meets all of my needs for getting after it in on technical trails. But this shoe fits the bill and then some! It's lightweight, snug as a bug in the heel, and the rubber and deep lugs can handle ice, gnarly rocks, and everything in between. I'm in love." - Jody Sanborn, Top Ten Finisher Run Rabbit Run AND Bighorn Mountain Run 50-milers
"Black Diamond Spot - It's cheap! At under $40 this headlamp still gives me plenty of light on the trail at race paces at 300 lumen. And I have a tendency to lose headlamps all the time which makes replacing it when I need to way easier on my wallet." - Corinne Malcolm, U.S. Skyrunner and Top Ten 2018 Western States 100 Finisher
"Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta 4.0 ($134.95) - Unlike many other packs that I have tried over the years, the Ultra Vesta 4.0 can be adjusted to fit like a glove without creating any weird fit issues or hot spots. I also love the stretchy fabric that bounces back to its original shape without any lasting stretch-out. And the updated soft flasks are extremely comfortable even when completely full." - Jody Sanborn
"Orange Mud Endurance Pack ($119.95) - So light, comfortable and has so. many. pockets!! It's my go to pack for almost everything! - Sarah Scozzaro, Ultramarathoner, Run Coach, Motivation & Performance Guru
"Nathan Soft Flasks ($39.99) - I like carrying a little bit of water with me for workouts and races with frequent aid stations, the 12 oz soft flask handheld is great for this purpose without extra bulk" - Camelia Mayfield
"Mile One Pullover from Oiselle ($78) - I know I'm not the only one who sometimes struggles to get out of my warm house or car and get my run started. I'm comfortable, leaving the house in a t-shirt or tank top just doesn't feel like enough. The Mile One Pullover fixes all of that. This long sleeve layer fixes all of those problems. It's light enough that I can get away with wearing it in warmer conditions, has extra long sleeves to pull over your hands, and a slightly wider cut designed with layering in mind. I love it!" - Corrine Malcolm
"La Sportiva Hail Jacket ($179) - This jacket is still holding up after years of mountain adventures. It is protective from wind and rain, and packs up small enough to always conveniently keep in your pack for emergencies." Maria Dalzot, US Mountain Runner, Registered Dietitian
"Patagonia Micro Puff ($299) - Why I like it: the new micro puff is super lightweight and packs small into a pocket. It’s made out of recycled material . Love that it’s not down and warmer than down...since I’m vegan I don’t wear down." - Catra Corbett
"Rabbit Mountain Climbers!! ($42) - I live for POCKETS! Not only are these key in races, easy to grab gels or stash trash or keys, but everyday life when I want athletic shorts to bum around in they have 7 amazing pockets! Two gel stash Pockets, two Velcro pockets one zip pocket and two more for whatever!!" - Rachel Bell Kelley
"BioSkin Compression Tights ($109) - The material comes from Italy and is so silky soft. The large pocket in the back is big enough to fit an iphone, and there is just enough compression to feel supported without being suffocated." - Maria Dalzot
"Adidas Terrex Agravic Trail Running Tights ($70) - These are the best tights for cold, winter running. They are fleece lined and have a wind layer on the front, yet maintain a lightweight and snug fit. They also have a zipper at the ankle which makes getting them on and off a breeze. - Jody Sanborn (P.S. -- take her word for it, she trains through Wyoming winters!)
"The Orb Extreme, by Pro-tec ($24.95) - I was fortunate to win one of these at Krissy Moehl's Chuckanut 50km two years ago, and it changed my foam rolling life. Because it's smaller than a traditional foam roller I found it way easier to use on my shins, calves, and glutes, allowing me to apply a little more pressure than I can with a foam roller but not as intense as using something like a lacrosse ball. Plus because of it's size it's super easy to throw into a travel bag or backpack and makes all my trips with me." - Corrine Malcolm
"Lily Trotters Compression Socks ($39.99) - I love my routine of getting in from my morning workout and pulling on my Lily Trotters before facing the rest of my day. They are light and comfortable enough to wear all day and help my legs feel more recovered going into the next training session!" - Jackie Merritt, 2017 2nd Female JFK 50, 2017 2nd Female Georgia Death Race, 2017 Western States 100 Top Ten Finisher -- 2018 Growing a Future Ultrarunner :)
"Hyperice Hypervolt ($349) - OMG, it's the best thing ever, a hand-held vibrating massager. We travel with it all over the country." - Jenny Nakamura
"LOVE my Suunto Ambit3 Peak ($350) watch. Great battery, syncs to Strava pretty easily, customizable." - Camelia Mayfield
"Trail Butter Nut Butter Blends ($11.99 and up) - Why I like it: The most delicious nut butter that you can take with you anywhere due to its convenient single serve pouches. It is delicious served in your recovery oatmeal, on your bagel, spread on a banana or eaten straight with a spoon." AND "Trail Sisters Trucker Hat ($22) - This is my favorite hat because it is the only trucker hat that I have owned that comes in petite sizes. It is super comfortable and all the styles are cute." - Maria Dalzot
"Icebreaker Beanie ($30) - Why I like it: No stink merino wool that keeps my noggin toasty!" - Sarah Scozzaro
There are so many amazing products on this list that we may have to buy one of everything for ourselves AND our best running friend. It feels good to deliver a gift you know will be appreciated. Thanks to the women who contributed to our Holiday Gift Guide. It's important to us that we share with YOU products we know will go the distance. The products above will be sure to please for many seasons to come!
Think we're missing something and want to share? Let us know in the comments below!
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We love following along on our ambassadors' journeys and it's been a blast to watch Jackie Merritt's journey to soon-to-be motherhood! As a respected ultramarathoner, we've asked Jackie to share her favorite products for runners in the past, but here she's dishing on the goods that made her active pregnancy a bit (or a lot) more comfortable.
Here's a few items that the new or expectant mom is your life would love to receive this holiday season!