20 Gifts for Trail Runners Under $50

There is some overlap between this and my triathlete gift guide but I thought trail running needed it’s own post. I’ve compiled a selection of inexpensive gifts for the trail runner in your life. We are in small gift or stocking stuffer territory here. Let’s face it your happy, little, exercise maniac needs and wants to make the big purchases themselves. If you want a bulletproof option a gift certificate to your local bike shop or local running store always works. The list below is  a combination of products I’ve tried and recommend, items that impress me and I want to try, and stuff just to cool or weird to leave out. Enjoy!

Liner Gloves

These are an essential part of a runners’s gear for Fall and Winter workouts. They are good for cool weather runs and can be used under windproof gloves to add insulation. I’m still using TherMax and SmartWool liners. My next liner glove purchase will likely be Duraglove Reflector gloves. They include grippy bits and conductive fingertips that allow you to operate your smartphone without taking them off.

Duraglove Reflector Hi-Vis Yellow

Socks make great stocking stuffers. Weird when you think about it.

Drymax Socks

I consider these socks the gold standard for trail running. There is also a lite version.

Drymax Socks

Ironman Socks from Wigwam

This is a very durable thin sock that I’ve been running in for years.

Ironman Socks

Darn Tough Socks

I just started using these socks. So far I’m one run in and I like them. They are made in Vermont and feature a lifetime warranty.

Ultra Light Running

Adorable Wool Beanie

A merino wool beanie is like a liner glove for your head. They weigh almost nothing, take up very little space in a running bag or backpack. Really handy for cold runs.

Merino Wool Beanie

Race Number Belt

Once your athlete tries a race number belt they will never go back to safety pins.

Fuel Race Number Belt


Trail Gaiters

I bought a basic pair of trail gaiters a few years back for trail marathons. They work great. I have never had to stop and shake pebbles or pine cone bits out of my shoes while running in them. I’ve been wanting to try these Salomon gaiters. I like the design, and they come in red. There are several trail gaiter designs. Give them a look.

Salomon Low Trail Gaiters


Runner’s Waistpacks

These are incredibly handy for carrying a phone and a few extra items. My Amphipod Airflow Endurance currently contains a wrist compass, whistle and a mini Bic lighter. There is also $6 cash in case I need Gatorade or succeed in ambushing the ice cream truck. I have been wanting to try the FlipBelt for a while now but haven’t gotten there yet.

Amphipod AirFlow Lite Waistpack

Amphipod Airflow Endurance



Road ID

Every endurance athlete whether they are a cyclist or not needs a Road ID. Get them a gift card and make sure they follow through with the purchase. Safety first.

Road ID Website



If your runner is unsatisfied with a basic, el cheapo headlamp and not ready to spend big bucks on a specialty runners headlamp, the Petzel Tikka is an established workhorse and more than capable for lighting early morning or late evening runs.

Petzel Tikka


Microfiber Towel

Perfect for those scorching summer trail runs. Just wet and wrap around your neck. I wish I had one at Ironman Augusta.

Microfiber Cooling Towel


Flectson™ Reflective Wings

The idea here is extra visibility for those dark winter runs. Please someone buy these and send me a photo of your significant other running in them.

Flectson™ Reflective Wings

Balance Pad

I make ankle strengthening a priority during the off season. Stand on one of these in single leg stance and see how many seconds you can go before losing your balance then add 30 seconds every couple weeks.

Yes4All Balance Pad


Minimalist First Aid Kit

I’m getting one of these because I’m danger prone. If it’s too bulky for your running vest or pack at least slide some moleskin, ibuprofen and antihistamine in a pocket. Stuff happens.

NOLS First Aid Kit

Race Bib Number and Medal Holder

If they don’t have one, they need one.

Race Bib/Medal Hanger


Race Bib Bag

I found this on Etsy. It’s an interesting gift idea. I’m betting your runner has enough race bibs to make a duffel bag.

Race Bib Bag


Scenic View Running Calendar

Never doubt the power of inspiration.

Runner’s Calendar


Car Magnets

Whether the magnet says – Got Chlorine, 70.3, 100 mi, 26.2 or Ultra – nothing dresses up a car like a magnet that says I do crazy races.


Audio Book

Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence by Gary Mack and David Casstevens Audible Audio Edition

This off season I’m listening to Mind Gym to up my mental game.

Mind Gym


Marathon or Ultra Sherpa Kit

What do you get your loyal ultra/marathon sherpa? That steadfast individual who sees you through race season, hauls your gear around, reminds you that every race can’t be a PR and has extensive first aid skills. I’m thinking any combination of folding chair, beach towel, tote bag, book by favorite author, insulated tumbler and snacks. Throw in a hat or t-shirt. Don’t bother to wrap it. Just slip it into their car Christmas morning. You send three important messages. I love you. I am grateful for your support. Come race day, you’re going to be there for awhile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *