11 Thoughtful Gifts for Runners

iStock.com/skynesher
iStock.com/skynesher

There are a lot of exercise options out there, but one of the most popular—running—remains the simplest. That doesn’t mean you can’t accessorize or improve comfort. Check out 11 gifts for the pavement-pounding enthusiast in your life.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. Smartwool Phd Insulatd Training Gloves

A look at a pair of Smartwool PHD insulated gloves that are used for running
Amazon

Cut down on the effects of brisk winter with the Smartwool PhD glove, which offers wind resistance, reflective stripes for visibility, and touchscreen-compatible thumb and forefinger pads.

Find It at Amazon for $60 and also at these other retailers:

2. Garmin Forerunner 35

A Garmin Forerunner 35 smart watch displays its heart rate monitoring feature
Amazon

There are dozens of fitness and smart watches out there. While we can’t tell you there’s a clear number one, we can tell you no one is going to be disappointed with the Garmin Forerunner, which tracks your running paths, distances, and speed without having to use your cell phone. You can also monitor your heart rate without use of a chest strap. Reading all this data is easy with the vibrant, simple display.

Find It at Amazon for $158.

3. Osprey Duro 6 Running Hydration Vest

The Osprey Duro 6 vest provides hydration for runners
Amazon

Know a trail runner? Deck them out in this hydration vest that lets them tote up to 1.5 liters of water as well as food and other supplies without the need for arm straps or other compartments. A sensible strap system makes sure the vest doesn’t bounce during movement.

Find It at REI for $110.

4. Nike Elite Cushioned Socks

The Nike Elite sock offers cushioning for runners
Nike

Nike’s wool-blend sock was designed with runners in mind. The “splash zone” over the toes resist water, while the zoned cushioning makes sure your feet don’t take a beating.

Find It at Nike for $26 and up.

5. Extreme Sport Jelly Beans

A look at the packaging for the Extreme Sport Beans from Jelly Belly
Jelly Belly

Who knew jelly beans could be beneficial to athletic performance? Jelly Belly’s Extreme Sport Beans give long-distance runners a burst of energy thanks to caffeine and electrolytes, all in an easy-to-snack jelly bean for eating on the go.

Find It at Jelly Belly for $8.

6. FlexFixx Footfixx Massage Ball Therapy Set

A look at the FlexFixx FootFixx massage ball set
Amazon

If you run, your feet are destined to hurt. Help ward off chronic foot problems with this massage ball therapy set that works out stressed foot muscles. Each ball and roller in the set targets a different area of the foot for all-over relief.

Find It at Amazon for $19 and also at these other retailers:

7. Nordictrack C990 Treadmill

A woman runs on the NordicTrack C990 treadmill
Amazon

For runners faced with subzero temperatures or pressed for time, a quality treadmill can make sure they stick to a routine. Avoid lower-quality treadmills with the C990, a well-built, adjustable-incline unit that brings commercial gym reliability at a reasonable price. The 7-inch, web-enabled touchscreen lets users follow workout programs. Pavement hard on the feet? You can opt for underfoot cushioning that lightens foot impact on the treadmill surface. It’s the complete package.

Find It at Amazon for $999.

8. Higo LED Slap Armband

A woman wears the Higo LED slap armband
Amazon

Sometimes schedules necessitate getting a run in at night, but visibility can be a concern. Light up so drivers can see you with this LED armband that easily “slaps” over your wrists or arm without the need to tie or secure straps. You can even set the bands to blink to make sure you don’t go unnoticed while jogging along roads.

Find It at Amazon at $7 and also at these other retailers:

9. Remodeez Odor Eliminator

Remodeez Odor Eliminators are tucked inside shoes and sneakers
Amazon

Stinky soles are a badge of honor for runners, but their spouses, kids, and pets probably don’t appreciate the stench. Kill unwanted odors with these reusable odor eliminators, which use activated charcoal to absorb rather than just cover unwanted smells.

Find It at Amazon for $10 and also at these other retailers:

10. The Complete Runner's Day-by-day Log 2019 Calendar

A look at the front cover of the Runner's Log 2019 calendar
Amazon

Give runners a sense of accomplishment with this daily log that allows them to record run stats and read motivational quotes to keep them moving.

Find It at Amazon for $10 and also at these other retailers:

11. Goodr OG Sunglasses

A pair of Goodr OG sunglasses sit on top of a beer cooler
GOODR

Avoid harsh sunlight with these delightfully retro glasses that disguise a high level of performance. Goodr’s line resists bouncing against your nose and won’t slip off during sprints.

Find It at Goodr for $25.

These ASMR-Ready Headphones Promise to Lull You to Sleep

AcousticSheep
AcousticSheep

What do hushed whispers, gently tapping fingernails, and Bob Ross’s voice have in common? They’re all examples of triggers that may cause what’s known as an autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), or, as Dictionary.com succinctly explains it, a “calming, pleasurable feeling often accompanied by a tingling sensation” that can be triggered by soothing stimuli. ASMR has recently been recognized as an effective relaxation technique for those looking to calm their nerves; now, ASMR enthusiasts and novices alike can experience it in the form of a sleep-ready headband.

Upon first glance, SleepPhones: ASMR Edition may look like just a fabric headband, but the device actually features flat speakers tucked into soft, stretchy, eco-friendly material. Unlike regular headphones, SleepPhones can be worn comfortably to bed, even if you sleep on your side, and they come preloaded with content designed to help you relax. They feature eight hours of built-in ASMR content by 16 different ASMR artists (or ASMRtists), including but not limited to tracks with rhythmic tapping and "peaceful Italian whisperings."

A close-up of the SleepPhones speaker technology
AcousticSheep

The speaker components of SleepPhones
AcousticSheep

Using SleepPhones is designed to be a stress-free experience. The speakers have the ability to play for 20 ad-free hours with a mere three-hour charging time in between. There are also zero cords involved, meaning you won’t get all tangled up as you lie down or if you have a tendency to toss and turn at night. The small button located in the back of the headband allows you to start, pause, or skip tracks and control the volume.

For people looking for ways to relax beyond yoga and meditation, ASMR may be the way to go. One study observed that subjects watching ASMR videos not only reported feeling that aforementioned pleasant tingling, but were also found to have reduced heart rates.

You can get a pair of your own SleepPhones on Kickstarter with a pledge of $75 or more. They come in three different sizes with seven colors from which to choose.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Make Shopping Easier With This Super-Light Reusable Bag

Nanobag 3.0
Nanobag 3.0

With the current state of our environment being what it is, it's vital to try to reuse, reduce, and recycle as much as possible. Every year, people consume billions of plastic bags, leading to tons of unnecessary waste. Many consumers have made the switch to reusable bags, but they're often not the sturdiest nor most attractive method of portage.

The Nanobag 3.0, which is now raising money on Kickstarter, claims to be a comfortable, easy-to-fold, high-quality bag that can reduce the number of single-use plastic bags needed per year. This super-soft sack can easily fit into the smallest of places, like the watch pocket in your jeans.

Putting a bag into the watch pocket of jeans
Nanobag 3.0

Weighing just 0.7 ounces, the Nanobag 3.0 is made of water- and dirt-repellant rip-stop fabric. You can carry about 66 pounds of goods in its 18-liter capacity, and the bag's reinforced handles work to distribute the weight evenly on your shoulder or arm. Attached to the bag is a small pouch that can carry keys or a small wallet, so you can have all your essentials in one place.

For each bag sold, one tree will be planted with the Eden Reforestation Projects, a non-profit organization that restores forests and reduces poverty in developing nations.

With over a month left in its campaign, the Nanobag 3.0 has already exceeded its goal of $3,831, raising over $73,000 as of June 17. By pledging $10 or more, you can get your own ultra-light and ultra-strong reusable bag on Kickstarter. Shipping is scheduled for December.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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