12 Gifts for Runners

by Anna Ratliff & Holly Martin

We think that winter running really gets a bad rep—people say it’s too cold, too icy, too dark, you name it. We have to disagree.

Winter running means running through snowfall and getting first tracks. It means really earning the post-run coffee and hot chocolate. Best of all, it means that Christmas is on it’s way, and we can all ask for fun new running stuff from Santa. The difference between a cold, icy winter run and a warm, rejuvenating winter run is all in the accessories and gear you use. Get your list ready, and try out some of our winter running favorites!

As the snow rolls in and temperatures stay low, Salt Lake Running Company is receiving all sorts of great winter running gear to get excited about. Check out these favorite winter goodies for yourself, friends, and family. They make great gifts, as well as great motivation to run in the colder months.



Icy sidewalks and packed snow can make running through the winter pretty challenging, but Yaktrax make it so there’s no excuse to not hit the pavement on icy days. A combination of steel spikes and coils wrap around the bottom of your shoe to provide 360° of traction for the iciest of days, and allow you to run normally without worrying about landing flat on your face because your neighbor somehow forgot to shovel his sidewalk the last three times it snowed.

Yaktrax are also perfect for the trails giving you safe footing and durable performance. They attach to any shoe well, and stay on while you get after it. They’re light weight and convenient to use.



Zensah Smart Running Gloves

zensah gloves

Personally we only have 2 requirements for a good pair of gloves—they just have to be warm, with a soft nose wipe on the thumb.

These Zensah gloves have all of that and more! With reflective hits, grippy silicon on the palm, and touchscreen capabilities, rated for warmth down to 30°, they’ll be excellent gloves for a good portion of the fall, winter, and spring.




Merino wool! Half of our 12 Gifts for Runners feature Merino wool – you will see why after checking out these gift ideas. Read on! 


Smartwool Reversible Headband

smartwool headband

Merino wool is (in my opinion) the best option for technical apparel—it’s naturally antimicrobial, light, breathable, and biodegradable. That’s a big part of why I love this headband—it’s also lightweight, incredibly warm, and does a great job of keeping my hair back and ears warm. Add in the fact that it’s reversible and you’ve got my favorite winter headband!



Icebreaker Gloves

ice breaker gloves

Everyone needs some hand coverage in the bitter winter.

Icebreaker gloves are made of merino wool, and help thermoregulate body temperature.

They have two weights, one for extra cold and one for an average winter day.

Merino wool is naturally antimicrobial, so these gloves won’t stink! Great for many winter activities and stocking stuffers.



Icebreaker Flexi Chute

flexi chute

This is one accessory that no one should live without—it can function as a hat, headband, balaclava, neck gaiter, and you can even turn it into one of those sweet pirate-style headwraps, just by adjusting the way you wear it!

The Flexi Chute is (of course) merino wool, so it’s lightweight, breathable, non-itchy, and will keep you warm throughout the winter.

This is one of my favorite pieces because it has so many functions.

I usually start out using it like a balaclava on cold days, then pull it down so it’s a neck gaiter when I warm up. If it’s not so cold to need a neck gaiter, twist it into a hat, or fold it into a headband.

It’s so incredibly versatile that you will definitely find many uses for it!



Icebreaker Balaclava


Cover your head, neck, face and ears with this merino wool piece.

It is versatile enough for multiple different styles, thin enough not to cause extra sweat, and wicking enough to keep your skin dry.

Stay extra warm with this key piece!





Icebreaker Merino Underwear


If staying warm and dry in the winter is an art form, good underwear and baselayers are the bread and butter.

Okay, that analogy doesn’t make sense, but hear us out—if your next-to-skin layers get wet and cold, it doesn’t matter what layers you have on top because you’ll still be wet, cold, and miserable.

It’s definitely worth it to invest in some high-quality merino wool underwear. Like we said above, there’s so many great reasons to wear merino, and we promise that if you use it as a baselayer, you’ll never go back to cotton.


CEP Merino Compression Socks

prms-p-anthracite_blackLast plug for merino wool, we promise.

With merino wool compression socks, you still get all of the benefits of compression socks (improved blood flow, muscle and joint stability, improved recovery and performance) with the added bonus of antimicrobial, moisture-wicking, and incredibly warm merino wool.

The portion of merino in the sock is low enough that you still get medical-grade compression along with your snuggly warm wool.




Coffee Break….

Gu caramel macchiato


This sweet gel will keep you fueled during your run, as well as satisfied.

Try it on a cold day for an extra coffee treat to keep you going.

Contains caffeine.





Flip Belt

FlipBelt Slide Phone in Belt

This staff favorite has many uses.

Take it running, biking, skiing, traveling, or anywhere else you might want to go.

It has multiple pockets of all sizes for phones, gels, cards, keys. There’s also a special key clip so you don’t lose that necessity on a run. Fill it up and flip it over to protect the stored items.


Nike Shield Flash Jacket


This highly reflective jacket can be seen from all over if any amount of light hits it.

It’s also windproof and water resistant, so it will keep you especially warm during the cold months.

Loaded with convenient pockets, it’s also the most comfortable jacket you will run in, and will last more than a couple seasons.




Sugoi Versa Jacket

There are so many great features to this jacket that I don’t know if I can list them all in a tiny paragraph, but I’m going to try. The Versa jacket is a jacket-vest combo, using magnetically-attached sleeves that are easily removed if temperatures warrant (bonus—there’s a perfectly-sized pocket on the back to put the sleeves in if you get too hot). It has 360° of reflectivity, two zippered front pockets, a mesh panel for breathability on the back, and is incredibly durable and warm. This is definitely a staple piece that will prove to be useful for fall, winter, and spring running.


There are so many great pieces of winter apparel out there that there’s not really an excuse for not running in the winter. The key is to invest in quality performance pieces that can function in many types of conditions, and have enough versatility that you can change things up when needed. Remember to use the V.I.P. layering system (ventilation, insulation, protection), keeping your next-to-skin layers light and breathable, and using layers above that will provide warmth and protection from the elements. Starting with the basics listed above, you’ll be able to enjoy all that winter running has to offer, without the misery of cold, clammy, wet layers holding you back.

Happy Running!

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