Triathlete’s 18 Killer Holiday Run Gift Ideas (2022)
We asked our editors and a few guest experts to tell us what running gear they’d want this holiday season. Check out our list of 18 picks for the 2022 holiday season - everything from luxurious clothing to little gadgets under $100 that keep us glued together.
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Shopping for a triathlete is hard. There’s so much to get, and so many ways to get it wrong. The good news is we’ve scoured all of the top recent releases to help you find the perfect run-related gift for the multisporter in your life. What follows is our own wish list with 11 handpicked items from our editors and seven running bits from four guest experts.
Scroll down for the coolest run gear on our lists this holiday season, broken down into three price categories: under $100, $100-200, and over $200.
Looking for more great gifts for triathletes? Check out the rest of our 2022 shopping lists:
- 16 Great Holiday Swim Gifts for Triathletes (2022)
- 15 Awesome Holiday Bike Gifts for Triathletes (2022)
- Triathlete’s 13 Must-Have Holiday Gifts for Indoor Training (2022)
Awesome Holiday Run Gifts for Triathletes: Under $100
Osprey Duro/Dyna Handheld Hydration
You might be thinking, “I don’t need a handheld hydration system. I’m not an ultrarunner.” Well, you’re right and you’re wrong: Even if you’re not running over a half marathon on race day, the vast majority of triathletes are doing long runs—or bricks from bike to run—that put them in a severe state of dehydration. And even if you “get through it,” you’re heading into your next workout depleted unless you’re incredibly on top of your post-workout intake (which, be honest, most of us aren’t). This simple 360mL soft flask has a great outflow nozzle, a stabilizing “jacket” to prevent bouncing and sloshing, and two pockets to store other nutrition, keys, personal protection, or more. Think: a stocking stuffer your giftee didn’t know they needed but will always use.
RELATED: em>Ask A Gear Guru: How Should I Carry Water While Running?
Atreyu Base and Artist Running Shoes
Starting at $80, atreyurunning.com
There’s something to be said for a pair of quality—albeit minimalist—running shoes from a small U.S.-based company for (way) under $100. For just $80, Atreyu’s base running shoe model weighs a scant six ounces for men’s size 9 but has a surprisingly nimble ride on a very svelte outsole/midsole. While some might be (correctly) tempted to use this shoe mostly for fast training days or racing, it’s worth noting that Atreyu also makes a carbon-soled supershoe that’s even more dynamic for only $100—inscrutably named The Artist. Regardless of which model you choose, spending $100 or less on a super unique running-related gift is a great surprise for anyone!
RELATED: Reviewed: Atreyu Base and Artist Running Shoes
Castelli Perfetto ROS Gloves
This pair of cycling gloves has appeared on so many of our editors’ favorite lists over the last year for good reason: They’re freaking awesome. First, be sure to ignore the fact that they’re designed for cycling. As good as they are for mild-weather cycling, experience has shown that these gloves really shine while running. The perfect blend of ultra lightweight, wind and water protection, and breathability prevents that nasty hot/cold, sweaty/frozen cycle before it even starts. We’ve worn these gloves on high-altitude runs where temperatures change from 60 degrees F to 20 degrees F in a matter of minutes, and even if they didn’t pack down to essentially nothing, they excelled the entire time.
RELATED: Ask a Gear Guru: What Are the Best Accessories for Winter Running?Section divider
Awesome Holiday Run Gifts for Triathletes: From $100-200
Superfeet Me3d Custom Insoles
Custom insoles used to cost a fortune, but you couldn’t deny that they help plenty of runners and triathletes with plenty of problems. But for $500, they’re not the most practical gift. The good news is Superfeet has the Me3d platform that creates semi-custom insoles (from the arch back to the heel is 3D-printed based on an in-store scan at an authorized retailer). We tested these against even higher dollar semi-custom solutions and found this setup to be the best by far. Even if your giftee doesn’t have any running injuries or issues per se, it’s still worth heading them off at the pass with a pair of good insoles, molded to their foot.
RELATED: Face Off: Two Semi-Custom Running Shoe Insoles
Allbirds Tree Flyer Lightweight Running Shoes
On their face, these sub 10-ounce trainers may not look special (aside from the fact that you probably don’t recognize the brand), but dig deeper. The Tree Flyers are a fantastic gift because they’re hands-down the most ecofriendly pair of running shoes in an industry that is shockingly very impactful on the environment. Using bio-based material for a springy, lively midsole and a eucalyptus fiber woven socklike upper, Allbirds has greatly improved upon their previous attempts at a shoe that sounded good on paper, but rode like a recycled tin can out on runs. If you’ve got an earth-focused giftee, surprise them with this environmental unicorn of a running shoe.
RELATED: Extended Review: Allbirds Tree Flyer Running Shoes
Tracksmith Rain Shorts
To be clear, you really can’t go wrong with any running gift from Tracksmith. But the piece we’re most excited about—that we probably wouldn’t buy for ourselves, but would love if gifted—is their entirely singular Rain Shorts. At $150, they’re not cheap, but the moisture-resistant outer fabric (think: rain jacket material) pairs well with the shorter built-in tights—even when not worn in the rain. In fact, we like running in these shorts when temperatures climb due to how lightweight the liner is, when compared to other built-in liners that can become a sweaty mess when it gets hot. And of course in dumping rainy conditions, these are hands-down the best way to keep your “middle parts” dry and therefore warm.Section divider
Awesome Holiday Run Gifts for Triathletes: Over $200
Whoop 4.0 Wearable
Though it’s not exactly run-specific, this wearable from veteran body metric brand Whoop can absolutely change the way you train, race, and recover. Using a combination of heart rate variability (HRV), resting heart rate, blood oxygen, and (much) more, Whoop uses some pretty intricate algorithms to help determine your levels of strain from workout to workout, how ready you are for your next workout, and your overall recovery/fatigue rates—pretty much essential for any triathlete training twice per day. The latest version of the small, stylish-looking wristband has haptic (vibration) feedback, a new band that expands its wearability, blood oxygen and skin temperature readings, and more.
RELATED: Face Off: Whoop 4.0 vs. Apollo Neuro
Asics Metaspeed Sky +
Boasting an updated upper, an increased amount of “Flytefoam Turbo Blast” foam, and a slightly relocated carbon plate, the Asics Metaspeed Sky + is one of our shoe reviewers favorites for this year. Our testers found that the Sky + is especially dynamic for runners with a long, powerful stride—so think more like racing at distances of 70.3 and below. In the world of supershoes, this is considered one of the more “bouncy” options, so expect your giftee to feel super fast and move at a quicker pace than they expect—even on the first wear. Oh, and this is the same shoe that Daniela Ryf and Lucy Charles-Barclay wore at the Hawaii Ironman this year.
RELATED: Ask A Gear Guru: What Are The Best Supershoes, Head-to-Head?
Coros Apex 2
The latest smartwatch from scrappy tech brand Coros updates their middle-of-the-road Apex series with some much-needed improvements. The new Apex 2 has 17 days of smartwatch use (45 hours of full GPS), a 1.2-inch color touchscreen, and fantastic accuracy across GPS and heart rate. Additionally, for those who like to explore off road, the new version has offline topo maps and an 8gb storage capacity for navigation and offline mp3s—which you can listen to via Bluetooth headphones. And unique to all of Coros’ watches, the Apex 2 also has built-in running with power via a “effort pace” metric that takes into account the difficulty of the terrain and gives realtime pacing regardless of grade—a great way to do offroad workouts or properly pace yourself off the bike on hilly courses without getting frustrated or blowing yourself up. Coros also offers a “pro” version with nearly double the battery life, a bigger screen, and dual-band GPS for greater accuracy (for another $100).
RELATED: Reviewed: The Newly-Upgraded Coros Apex 2 Pro
Apple AirPods Pro Bluetooth Headphones
Yes, AirPods are already nearly ubiquitous, but we absolutely love the newest version from Apple for triathletes who want to train with music. First, the updated chipset on the Pros has substantially increased sound quality well above its competitors—giving a wide, detailed soundstage and rich lows you’d expect from an around-the-ear headset. But more importantly, this new version has twice the noise cancellation capabilities compared to the previous models—a huge boon for anyone working out inside on a loud trainer or in a busy, noisey gym. For those who choose to run outside with music, the Pros have an essential feature: transparency mode that helps let external sound in through the earbuds (in the inverse way that noise canceling works), so you can still stay aware of your surroundings while outdoors. As far as training outside with music goes, this should be a no brainer.
RELATED: Apple AirPods Pro 2 Review: The Only Headphones You Need
Omius Cooling Headband
You’ve probably seen them on pros’ heads, from Kona to Challenge Cancun—if it’s a wicked hot race, you’ll see the distinctive Omius headband with its funky little gray square shapes. The story behind the (un)fashionable headwear involves a space-age material used in cooling computer parts that is said to draw heat away from head to disperse into the air (and with water as an additional cooling effect). While the science may feel a little murky, we can tell you from experience that the headbands certainly feel cooler, and pros have won races in blistering conditions with the help of this piece of equipment. The newest version has replaceable pieces (the previous one was delicate and problematically fragile), is said to cool 25% better than the original, and has a better, more ergonomic headband. If someone you know has a hot race on their 2023 calendar, this will literally save their skull.
RELATED: The Hottest New Gear In KonaSection divider
Our Experts’ Holiday Wish Lists
BioLite HeadLamp 750
Training through the winter will sometimes mean running in the dark. With later sunrises and earlier sunsets, you need a good headlamp to safely guide your way through the urban matrix and suburban pathways. The comfortable and lightweight BioLite HeadLamp 750 pumps out an enormous amount of illumination in a wide spotlight—up to 500 lumens on Constant mode or 750 lumens on Burst Mode—allowing you to see everything several strides ahead of you.
Dynafit Alpine Wind Jacket 2
When it comes to high-energy endurance training in cool weather, you need a lightweight jacket that provides protection from the wind and superior breathability that keeps you from overheating. I’ve found the Dynafit Alpine Wind Jacket 2 to be an extremely versatile jacket that’s ideal for trail running, cycling, hiking, mountain biking ,and going on a long road run in cool or breezy conditions. It’s a featherweight shell with perforations and a mesh back panel for optimal air flow, thumb loops to keep sleeves snug at the wrist, and a compact hood that wraps around your race (and easily fits under a bike helmet). Because it’s so light and compact, it can be easily tied around your waist or stuffed into a jersey pocket.
- Brian Metzler, writer, reviewer, and member of the Colorado Running Hall of Fame
Runners are picky about their gear, making it next to impossible to buy a gift for them that they will use. But it’s hard to go wrong with this compact, quiet, powerful, durable, and best of all, easy-to-use percussion massager. The R1 is only five-and-a-half inches long, weighs a mere 1.3 pounds, and cycles through four speeds using a single button. I keep it next to my desk and use it a couple of times a day for soothing relaxation of tight calves, quads and hips—and it can go a week without recharging.
Injinji Lightweight Running Gloves
Looking for an inexpensive gift that will be used and appreciated three seasons of the year? These gloves from Injinji stay near the top of my glove drawer because they are just the right weight to keep me warm when I head out the door but not get hot and sweaty a mile down the road. The fit is also just right: loose and long enough that they go on and off easily and hold a little air for insulation, but fitted enough I can tie my shoelaces or use my phone without taking them off. And I love the clip that keeps the pair together so I don’t have to search for a match when getting dressed on a cold, dark morning.
- Jonathan Beverly, Senior Running Editor, Outside
Brooks Run Visible Tight
Stay safe while running without looking like a highlighter thanks to the men’s Brooks Run Visible Tights. Yellow fabric near the ankles, plus 3M Scotchlite reflective strips near the knees and ankles provide visibility in high motion areas that drivers are most likely to see. They also have one snug phone pocket and one side zipper pocket so runners can bring all the essentials on the go.
Paka Breathe Joggers
Because not everything has to be workout-related, we’ve included this offering from Paka, a company that makes athletic wear from all natural fibers. They’ve discovered the ultimate recipe for softness: alpaca fleece + bamboo + organic cotton. Put it all together and you’ve got a cozy recovery from a long day on the trail in the form of the Breathe Joggers. These can easily become a campfire or couch-crashing favorite.
- Malissa Rodenburg, reviewer and former editor, Women’s Running
VaporAir 2.0 7-Liter Hydration Pack
Most hydration packs are a pain to wear, to say the least. But this lightweight and breathable vest with a just-for-you adjustable sizing system is a joy to lug around. Best of all: little to no annoying bounce. Certainly, it can be more comfortable to wear than a weighed-down hip pack. The 2 liter, easy-to-clean bladder provides a couple of hour’s worth of hydration and there is plenty of storage space upfront for things like gels, gps devices and coins for a necessary dash into a corner store. The drawstring pockets at the back are a great place to stash layers when you start cold but things heat up. And when training takes place on the periphery of the day – either before the sun rises or after it sets the reflective parts are an asset. Both men’s and women’s versions are available.
- Matthew Kadey, writer, Registered Dietitian, connoisseur of jersey-pocket fuel