Holiday gift guides for runners are as ubiquitous as Christmas Carols after Thanksgiving… and generally about as unique. Heck, even my guide from 2013 is pretty standard (cough boring cough cough). In 2014 I focused on cheaper “dupes,” and in 2015 I tried to highlight more unusual offerings, but generally it’s always been a gift guide for active runners, or for people who at least pretend they’re going to run sometime. Soon. Maybe after New Year’s.
But what about all those bajillions of runners who get injured and can’t run? I know you’re out there, and I know you still like junk, so this year, 2016 (The Worst Year EverTM), I’m offering a gift guide for the runner who can’t. (Specifically for the runner who can’t run, but maybe also who just can’t in general.)
A Darco Shoe ($9.50 to $20). Or an Aircast Boot ($65 to $75). Or a cover to keep the germies off their floor (tall ($29) or short ($10)). Your (severely) injured runner probably already has at least one of these items prescribed to them by a doctor, but they might want an extra to wear inside, or at the very least they’ll want a foot cover thing to wear inside so they don’t track all the grossness from the outside world into their private cocoon fortress of rehabilitation (aka their tiny apartment). An extra canister of Lysol wipes might also be appreciated.
A subscription to Netflix, or HBO NOW, Amazon, or Hulu (Varies, generally about $8 to $15/month). Because right now TV is their best friend, after you for getting them more TV.
A subscription to meditation apps like Headspace ($95/year with chocolate) or Calm ($60/year). They might need this even more than the TV. For what it’s worth, I’ve only tried the free trial of both apps and prefer the woman’s voice in Calm infinitely more than the man’s voice on Headspace, but online reviews say Headspace offers more comprehensive guided meditations (and comes with chocolate). So, I’d say try the free versions and see which you (or they) prefer, or maybe they’re hardcore and can stick to a meditation program without hand-holding apps.
A couch table ($20) or remote control holder ($13). If your injured runner is literally stuck on the couch all day, they will create a little nest of items they need within reach. Help them feather this weird little nest of snacks and tissues and magazines and lip balm with this sad table and/or couch pouch. What’s even sadder? Those cookies don’t come with that table.
An expensive cashmere travel wrap from White & Warren ($209 to $350). A runner definitely couldn’t or shouldn’t run in this, but it would go great with their couch and some ice cream. (It’s also great for flights to all their future races when they’re better, or to wrap up in when they need a cozy nap after long runs. It’s also unisex! And it comes in many, many colors! Have I convinced you yet that this scarf/blanket is worth $300? No? Well then, fleece blankets are on sale at Old Navy for $5, normally a whopping $10.)
Adidas Superstars ($80) or other fashion sneakers (varies). Runners have soooo many pairs of running shoes. The interwebs and the KardashianHadids tell me sneakers have become fashionable, but only the cute impractical sneakers, not Frankensteinen Hoka One Ones. I always feel a little guilty buying sneakers I can’t run in, since I already own so many sneakers and it’s a waste if they’re not functional, right? But if your runner can’t run, it doesn’t matter! Get them some fun fashion sneakers that are not appropriate for running and they can finally enjoy them guilt and run-free.
Betsey Johnson Pom Pom Gloves. (At Macy’s, regularly $32, on sale for $22.40, with code “FRIEND” only $15.68!) These aren’t running gloves, and look like they’d be quite impractical for running or even life in general if you ever want to put your hands in your pockets or keep your fingertips warm, but damn do they appeal to the 14-year-old girl in me. The male equivalent would be… what? I’m not sure, but probably these.
Dainty gold jewelry from Stone & Strand or Vrai & Oro (Varies, $50 to $$$). I mean, one could run in it, but it looks better while not running so people can admire it for longer.
Tea and Sympathy (Free, almost). While I didn’t love talking about my injury, I did appreciate it when friends would check in, and I appreciated it even more when they’d stop by my
prison cell apartment or made plans to see me that I could handle (e.g. at a nearby bar or restaurant, or planned an activity where I didn’t have to walk – like sitting on a park bench listening to a podcast together, or going to a movie theater with full reclining seats). Even just encouraging your injured runner to crutch around the block if they’ve been inside all day will help them shake off the funk of watching TV nonstop and worrying they’ll never run again. I have to say that those outings were the best presents I received this year, even if they weren’t intended as presents. If you literally want tea and are in the market for a water boiler (aka “kettle”), I really like this one from Amazon. It’s lined in stainless steel (thus avoiding any plastic taste or fear of shattered glass), boils quickly, and is only $32. You deserve the upgrade for being such a good friend.
What do I want for Christmas 2016? A non-broken ankle, a non-ruined body, and the last 8 months of my life back. Not possible? Then I guess chocolate. Or that cute guy from PT.
What do you buy yourself when you’re injured? What’s the best present you gave or received this year? What do you want for Christmas? Share in the comments!