Gear Closet: Stocking Stuffers For Runners

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Do you have an avid runner on your holiday shopping list? Want to grab them a great little stocking stuffer that doesn’t hurt the wallet? Then check out these items I picked up last week at The Running Event, a convention dedicated to all things related to running.

Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set ($40)
We all know the importance of staying well hydrated while running, particularly in warmer weather and on longer outings. But carrying a handy supply of water isn’t always easy, particularly on a short run when we don’t always feel like wearing a hydration pack or bottle holster. Salomon has come up with a great solution to this problem in the form of their Sense Hydro S-Lab Set, a lightweight glove that slips on to one hand and conveniently holds a flexible water flask with your beverage of choice. The glove is soft, breathes well and securely holds the included 250ml “bottle” in place. It features terry cloth outer shell that works great for wiping away perspiration and the entire thing folds up neatly into a pocket when it is no longer needed. To keep it clean, just toss it into a the laundry when you get home. Your favorite runner will thank you every time they take a drink.

SmartWool PhD Running Socks ($17)
Runners put a great deal of thought into what they put on their feet, but usually they’re focused more on their shoes rather than socks. A good pair of socks can prove invaluable, helping to avoid blistering, keeping the feet dry and comfortable, while providing overall impact protection to the foot. SmartWool’s PhD running socks are made out of a blend of fabrics that includes durable, yet soft, Merino wool that cradles the feet and keeps them feeling good, even on longer runs. Socks aren’t always the sexiest of gifts, but any runner will be happy to have a pair of these in his or her drawer.
HB Tune iPhone Running Case ($30)
shapeimage 9Carrying an iPhone, or other smartphone device, while on a run is becoming increasingly popular. Not only does it make good sense from a safety standpoint, it replaces an mp3 player for listening to music.  On top of that, there are also a plethora of fantastic apps that can help in our workouts, keeping track of routes, speed, calories burned and more. The problem is, no one wants to sweat all over their precious gadget nor risk dropping it on the unforgiving pavement. Thats where the HB Tune case comes in handy, wrapping the phone in a protective pouch that keeps out water, sweat and other harmful liquids. It also wraps around your hand, rather than shoulder, allowing the runner to access his or her songs, apps or calls without ever slowing down.

HB Tune Runnin’ Bud ($19)
Running while listening to music can be relaxing, inspiring and entertaining. It can also be dangerous. A lot of people get so caught up in their tunes that they aren’t always cognizant of what else is happening around them, putting themselves in jeopardy from cars, cyclists or even other pedestrians. The Runnin’ Bud from HB Tune helps with this by pumping all of our music into a single earphone, keeping the other ear open to listen for traffic or other environmental noises. Sound is reproduced in full stereo and quality is surprisingly good all things considered. The Runnin’ Bud even has an integrated microphone, allowing users to pick-up calls while using them. Cyclists will probably enjoy these headphones as well, as it will allow them to enjoy music while remaining safe too.

Just a few ideas for the runner in your life. Happy holidays!

Kraig Becker