The Runner’s Holiday Wish List

With the holiday shopping season upon us, I am going to join in on the plethora of “holiday shopping ideas for runners” blog posts and offer my own thoughts on what might cause the eyes of that special runner in your life to sparkle a little brighter this season.  Runners can be hard to buy for because we usually impatiently buy things without waiting.  If this is the case, you should look for things that they either must continuously have to re-buy throughout the year or for those things that have a cool factor, but may have been difficult for them to justify buying themselves.  Here are a few ideas including some of my personal recommendations from some of my sponsors.

Socks

I absolutely LOVE a fresh new pair of socks, so I tend to go through more than the usual runner, but the bottom line is that replacement is inevitable.  Socks lose their cushion, develop holes, or take on a rather permanent smell.  This makes running socks are a no-lose gift idea for runners.  While many runners are also picky about the brand they use, I personally recommend Injinji.  Aside from being super comfy, the individual toe design provides maximum protection and reinforces proper toe splay.  They have models for all types of runners, but during the winter months, the Outdoor wool line is great for running through snow or kicking the feet up by the fire.  Use code JOEULTRA at injinji.com for 10% off.

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Stocking Stuffers

Continuing with the theme of “things runners continuously buy”, you have those items that are constantly being restocked, such as Food and other nutritional supplements, body glide, headbands, hats, etc.  A random grab bag of essential accessories would be a welcomed gift for any runner.  My favorite accessories that I love to collect are the hats from Headsweats, the best performance hats in the business.  Use code ULTRARUNNERJOE at headsweats.com for 25% off.

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Relief and Recovery

I know so many runners that severely neglect themselves when it comes to stretching, recovery, and working out trouble areas in the body.  What better way to nudge your runner toward a more healthy and productive season of running than buying them the tools needed to take care of their aches and pains throughout the year.  I recently came across and started using the kit from RAD.  They have a wide array of tools for self-enabled trigger point and myofascial release therapy.  They literally have something for every need and their kit is built tough!

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Eliminate the Boredom

We all know that running can be a solitary (lonely) endeavor.  Sometimes it can be a welcomed escape, but other times it can be a drag.  When I want to listen to music, podcasts, or anything for that matter, I hate having wires running all over the place.  Wires constantly get caught on things while running or cross training.  Why not help your runner go wireless with a pair of bluetooth headphones.  The best I have found out there so far are those from Red Fox Wireless.  With about 8 hours of battery life and a great fit, these can help pass the time.

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Instagram Models

They are out there; the runners that like to take lots of pictures of themselves, nature……themselves in nature.  The best add-on I have found to make my photos Instagram-worthy are the iPhone lens attachments from Olloclip.  I especially like the macro photography options!

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Of course, this list is by no means complete.  Runners love gear and would probably be happy with anything that you get them.  I will say though, these are my personal favorites.  For other ideas, check out some of the stuff from my sponsors on my “What I Use/Discounts” page.

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Product Spotlight: Olloclip 4 in 1 iPhone Lens

If you have spent any time on Facebook or Instragram, you know that even trail runners are not immune to the allure of posting pictures of their adventures all over the Internet.  I mean, how could we not with all of the beautiful surroundings that our legs takes us through on a regular basis.  Unfortunately, many of us like to travel light and are therefore limited to the capabilities available on our smartphone.  No matter how hard I try, my iPhone just can’t capture the beauty of the trails like my eyes can…until now.

Imagine the excitement in my eyes when I started considering the possibilities of the Olloclip 4 in 1 iPhone lens when I saw it at Outdoor Retailer this year.  This product would be just the thing to bring me one step closer to helping those around me understand why I love trail running so much (not to mention taking my Instagram feed to the next level)!

In the Box

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  • iPhone case with swivel guard around the camera
  • 4 in 1 lens that supports 4 modes
    • Fish Eye
    • Wide Angle
    • 10x Macro
    • 15x Macro
  • Soft lens pouch

Retail Price: $70 for the lens and $100 for the lens/case combo (available only for the iPhone)

Experience

The Lens itself slides firmly onto the corner of your iPhone, over the top of the camera lens.  It is small and easy to carry in your pack or belt.  It also comes with lens caps and a small pouch bag to protect the lens from damage.

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Quality

Simply put, this product shines.  I have includes some examples of some flowers and trail surface that I took.  You can notice the crisp nature and detail that comes through in the picture that is simply not possible with your standard iPhone camera.  There is really nothing else I have seen of this size, designed for an iPhone, that can result is such stellar images.

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Conclusion

While you can use the fish eye and wide angle lens to apply effects to photographs from a normal distance, my favorite  by far are the macro magnification.  I cannot say enough great things about this.  Get one if you like to take awesome pictures while on the run, it is worth it!

Disclaimer:

Olloclip provided me with the 4 in 1 lens free of charge at Outdoor Retailer 2014, however, I have no other affiliation with them.