2017 Runners Holiday Gift Guide

Press samples and purchased by me

The holidays are looming large. Not sure what to get the runner in your life? I hope this 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Runners provides some inspiration.

McDavid Compression Arm Sleeves 

McDavid Compression SleevesArm sleeves are an incredibly useful part of any runners kit. I use them between seasons when it’s too warm for a short sleeve top but too chilly to run in a singlet. If you get too warm, you can roll them down to wristband length. I also love them  for racing, when you want to wear the bare minimum but need to stay warm at the start line and on long stretches of the course. These sleeves by McDavid are not only stylish, but they also protect your skin from UV rays, while wicking away moisture. They are sleek and light for racing, and the slight compression keeps your arms feeling zippy. They come in several colors, including black and shocking pink!

McDavid Compression Sleeves
McDavid Compression Sleeves


november 2016 stridebox
november 2016 stridebox

Stridebox is a subscription box that features a samples of the latest nutrition, gadgets, and snacks specifically chosen for runners. I look forward to getting mine each month – always a nice surprise amidst the bills and junk mail. The best thing is that 95% of the items in the box are useful. The value almost always exceeds the $15 monthly price, so you are getting more than your money’s worth. Save some bucks and use the following codes when you check out 

  • VanillaAndZag10 for 10% off gift orders
  • VanillaAndZag5 for $5 off of the first payment for other subscriptions.

Check out my latest Stridebox review, which also includes a link to past reviews

Gift cards to a local running store

I’m a firm believer in supporting local businesses. Instead of giving your loved one or friend a box-shop gift card, instead give them a hall pass to go shopping at their friendly neighborhood running store.

Philadelphia Runner (PR for short, get it?) is my local store – they have several Philly locations – and they just happen to sponsor my team, Philadelphia Runner Track Club. Their staff is wonderfully knowledgeable about shoes and fit. They also host group runs for athletes of all levels, and they can fill you on the latest races and the city’s best running routes.

Running Shoe Ornament

Who wouldn’t love this cute sneaker ornament? And only $6! I’d like to see a tree decorated only with running ornaments. Sadly, my tiny Charlie Brown tree only has 3 ornaments, period.

Running Gloves

Running gloves are a winter workout must. They get sweaty and gross after just one run, so you need a few pairs, preferably in different colors to coordinate with your gear. They also make great stocking stuffers.


Visibility gear

Help your loved ones to stay safe and seen while they cruise through their dark early morning and evening winter runs. This lightweight LED wrist bracelet is easy to wear and helps runners stay visible.

GPS Watch or Fitness Tracker

If you want to get your loved one something special, why not spring for a GPS watch? I love my Garmin Forerunner and use it every day – sometimes a few times each day. I’m drooling over this stylish newer model, which also the heart rate monitor on the wrist so you don’t have to wear a heart rate strap around your chest. There are countless models out there, each with different features that connect to various apps, but I’m a loyal Garmin girl, hands down.


Massage or coaching gift card

runners massage
runners massage

Massages are a necessity if you are a serious or competitive runner, or if you are training for a half or full marathon. But they are also one of those luxuries that most of us don’t make time for or deprioritize [*Raises hand!*]. Just make sure the massage facility is reputable and specializes in sports massage. Here in Philly, I love Philly Massages. They are our team’s official massage therapists and they are fantastic.

Coaching fees can add up, so treating the runner in your life to a month or two of coaching can be a nice surprise. It’s a great gift for new runners or those who are stuck in a rut with their training. Mention this post and I will give you 15% off one month of running coaching. (Offer good until December 31, 2017. New clients only.)

There’s still time to finish your shopping. You still have 21 days until Christmas – but there are only 9 days until Hanukkah, this year.


Happy holidays!

Question: What do you want for the holidays?