The Salty Running Holiday Gift Guide 2012

Steals! Deals! Coupon Codes! YESSS!

‘Find the 50 best running gifts for women’ might possibly be the most fun assignment we’ve handed out to the Salty Bloggers yet. And with such a diverse group of spicy ladies here, you know we’re gonna deliver a great list.  Herein you will find gift recommendations for runners at various price points, and special offers from Oiselle, Sparkly Soul, and For Two Fitness!

Ready? Set? ….

But Wait! Show Me the Deals!!

Before we really get going on the wish list, Salty Running is pleased to offer some great deals from our friends:

Oiselle: Enter Code “SALTYBIRD” at checkout for 10% off, exp. 12/5/12

Sparkly Soul: Enter Code “SALTYRUNNING” at checkout for 15% off, exp. 12/6/12

For Two Fitness: Enter Code “SALTYGIFT” at checkout for 20% off, exp. 1/1/13

Additionally, if you’re considering purchasing online through any of the following retailers, please consider clicking through these links. A small percentage of your purchase will come back to Salty Running to help fund site operations and help us grow and serve you better. We do this in our spare time, so every little bit helps! - Free Shipping Over $75

Free Shipping on $50+


And now for the list!

GOODIES ( < $30 )

iBungee Speed Laces ($7). Cinnamon says: The perfect stocking stuffer for runners. They’re cheap, they come in fun colors and they make life easier. Never go untied again!

Balega Enduro Women’s Running Socks ($8-12). Sassafras says: Every runner knows the importance of high quality socks. These guys are my trusted go-to. They’d make a great stocking stuffer!

OMG who wouldn’t love these hilarious Proud Runner knee socks in the “Tacky Holiday” style?

Proud Runner Knee High Running Socks ($9/pair). Clove says: I don’t deny that Thorlos are the best for a technical winter running sock, but when I need to brighten up my mood against the gray winter skies, nothing does it better than a fun pair of knee highs – even if they are a cotton/poly blend. In a variety of fun and sassy styles, these give some extra warmth over a pair of tights or make a super-fun outfit when paired with capris. I’ve found all my favorites at Proud Runner – including the pink skulls!!!

Smartwool PhD Run Light Mini Socks ($12-24). Coriander says: Smartwool socks are the best socks ever! On long winter runs on the trails it is so important to keep your feet warm and dry when the temperatures are cold. Smartwool is the only sock I’ve tried that does just that in the winter and keeps your feet cool and dry in the summer too.


Look, it’s even got a gingerbread runner on it!

Honey, Do You Need a Ride? Confessions of a Fat Runner by Jennifer Graham (Hey, that’s SR’s Mace!) ($11). Cinnamon says: Mace is too modest to plug her own book, but if you read her posts here, like me you probably want to read more.  Having been a fat runner myself, and believing that we can be healthy at every size and still laugh at ourselves, I can’t wait to get my hands on this book!

“More Than A Number” Necklace ($12). Ginkgo says: Okay, so most of you might know that I’ve struggled with an eating disorder and body image problems, so this holiday gift is a little more geared toward runners who might be dealing with something similar, on either side of the weight spectrum. A great way to spark a conversation and raise awareness, this leather bottle cap necklace is a beautiful reminder that the number on the scale doesn’t equal your value or self-worth. Proceeds benefit FINDINGbalance, a non-profit dedicated to help people live healthier, more balanced lives, free from eating and body image issues.


An inspiring read for runners of every size

To the Moon and Back by Meggie Feran (Hey, that’s SR’s Ginkgo!) ($15). Ginkgo says: A shameless little plug here, but I’d be honored if you’d be interested in reading about my honest recollection of the toughest times with my anorexia, bulimia and exercise-addiction battle. A topic that, unfortunately, touches close to home to many long-distance runners, it’s a memoir alternating between my journal entries and my mother’s. It gives a first-person view of what it’s like to live with an eating disorder and the importance of reaching out for professional help. I’ll even send free copies to the first 5 people to send an e-mail to with their mailing address!

Eat and Run by Scott Jurek ($16). Coriander says: Scott Jurek is an ultra legend and has won races that I dream of just finishing one day. His book details his life, how he started running and racing, woven with how his diet has changed his performance and overall wellness. It also has some great vegan recipes and is a must-read for every ultra runner.

Sparkly Soul is a company built on one product. And man, do they do that product right!

FEATURED!!  Sparkly Soul Headbands ($15-17). Salty says: The perfect headband. Sparkly Soul attracts you with its glittery rich colors, but keeps you coming back for more with a non-slip velvet lining that really just does. not. budge.  Tame your bangs under your winter hats and headbands while running, wear it to a holiday bash or just add a little sparkle any time, any day. Keeps the fly-aways at bay and looks great glittering against the snowy backdrop of any winter run! (Enter “SALTYRUNNING” at checkout for 15% off!)

Brooks Seamless Arm Warmers ($17). Ginkgo says: A winter racing essential. They add that extra bit of warmth without chafing. They are super portable and easy to strip off if you get too warm after those first few miles (they are small/light enough that you can literally stick them in your waist and hardly notice them there). They come in cutesy colors, too: hot pink, lime green, yellow and teal!

BondiBand No Slip Ponytail Hat ($20). Ginkgo says: Finally, a hat that lets you wear a practical ponytail on your winter runs! Rather than wearing a low pony or creating a goofy bulge under your hat, this provides the perfect hole to fit your pony through. Cute designs. My personal favorite being the “Will Run For Wine” design.


Chappy Chanukah! CLIF SHOT Energy Gel is certified kosher by Orthodox Union!

A Case of Clif Gels ($24) Coriander says: Ultra runners go through gels like crazy. In my peak months, I’m ordering a new case every month! Clif is the brand I like best, and they come in great flavors!

Road ID ($12-$25ish). Clove says: We’ve talked about Road ID in some of our safety posts before, and this is a great time for another reminder. Road ID is inexpensive and unobtrusive on the wrist or ankle, but something no runner should ever be without. Even more fun, most bands have enough room for a personal message or two; my husband put “I Love Trails” on mine. Put a special, romantic or funny note on your gift to make it even more special.

Running charm bracelet from Lift Your Sole (~$25) Thyme says: My husband got a bracelet for me for Valentine’s day last year, and I absolutely love it!  They often sell their wares at race expos, so you may have seen them before – they have really cute running charms with different race distances and other running symbols (winged foot, shoe, etc.).

Smartwool Neck Gaiter ($28) – Licorice says: I have a soft spot in my heart for Smartwool. Their products are warm, wicking, and super soft. This neck gaiter is perfect for those super-cold days when you need a bit more insulation on your neck than your running tops and jackets provide.

Believe I Am “I Am Strong” Scoop Neck Tee ($29). Sassafras says: This top hits it out of the park in my book. It’s organic, sustainably made, inspirational without being overly cheesy – oh yeah, and it’s my favorite color. The hidden inspirational message would make this a great pre-race tee!

Yurbuds Ironman Inspire In-Ear Sport Headphones ($29) Licorice says: Never grab after a lost earbud on the run again! These little buds stay put in your ears through just about anything, even pre- and post-run stretching. As a bonus, they fit flush in your ears, so you can easily wear them under a hat or headband during the winter months. There’s several different versions of them out there, but the regular “Inspire” set fits snug and provides great sound. (Audiophiles may want to upgrade to another version if they’re super picky about how their music gets delivered into their ears.)


TREASURES ( $25-50 )

PETZL Headlamp ($15-$40ish). Clove says: Headlamps are a great gift for your winter runner! We often focus on being reflective and seen by others, but we don’t focus as often on making sure we can see. A headlamp serves both purposes, and makes those pesky curbs and patches of black ice a bit easier to see. As a trail and ultrarunner, I have a fierce collection of these puppies, and for my money, PETZL is the only way to go. They offer a wide variety of lights, bands and “bells and whistles” – as well as price ranges.


Practical, motivational, classy, and designed by pro runners, the Believe I Am Training Journal is guaranteed to be a hot gift item this season.

Believe I Am Training Journal ($24). Cinnamon says: I’m embarrassed I only heard of Believe I Am like three days ago, but oh my heavens, pro runners Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan have a good thing going here! This journal is exactly what I want to give: it’s luxurious, it’s practical and self-motivating without being corny. It’s so important to write down our training. And this beautiful cherry-wood journal makes me want to write down my training!

SPIbelt with Water Repellant Pocket and Gel Loops ($27). Cinnamon says: This little guy takes SPIbelt to a whole new level. The stretchy loops around it are good for holding everything from gels to my running gloves, and the pocket is water repellant, so my phone can stay safe and dry when I’m hot and sweaty or when it’s pouring rain. I never run without it anymore!

FEATURED!!  Running Tees by Oiselle ($25-35). My “Runbow” tee left me lusting almost daily after more Oiselle shirts. They are a little pricey, but man are they worth it, and you can get a nice price break by shopping the sale section!  The neck isn’t too tight, the shape is just right, the arms fit perfectly, the colors are beautiful…but the piece de resistance is the fabric. The 50/50 fabric is ridiculously soft and I don’t know what they do to it, but it retains its perfect shape and lush feeling through a run, through the wash, through everything. The Oiselle gals truly have the perfect T-shirt. 

Victoria’s Secret Supermodel Racerback Sports Bra ($33 or 2 for $50). The black/gold sparkle fabric lured me in to this sports bra and I am so glad it did! This bra is not only sassy, it’s comfortable and manages to wick sweat away better than your average bra. If there is one thing a lady runner can never have enough of, its quality sports bras. Add glitter to the mix and you’ll wind up feeling like a supermodel!

Show your achievements proudly and clean out your junk drawer at the same time!

Running on the Wall Bib & Medal holders ($33-53) if, like me, you’ve been wondering what to do with all of your race bibs and medals, this is your answer! This Etsy shop makes bib and medal holders in a variety of colors and styles. You can pick from one of their stock phrases (such as, “Run like a girl,” “Running: run far, run fast,” or “Races”) or create your own. They even have his & her sets if your spouse is also a runner or triathlete.

Pearl Izumi Women’s Infinity Shrug ($36). Cinnamon says:  ATTENTION SANTA: This is what I most want under my Christmas Tree! I was never into shrugs for fashion, but I have often thought of cutting off a long-sleeve just so I could have the sleeves and not the shirt part. This sleek shrug (Sleek is what Pearl Izumi does best-rowr!) zips off in the front and does the trick for those days when you need coverage at the beginning of your run but know you’re going to want…shrug your sleeves off later.

Brooks Utopia 2-in-1 Mitten ($38ish). Clove says: The only mitten I’ll run with under 40 degrees – unless I’ve snotted on them and have to wear Thorlos on my hands instead – the Utopia is a two in one mitten that features a super soft, super warm fleece liner covered by a thin but mighty wind breaking outer mitt. You can wear these layers separately or together since they’re not attached, giving you the wind layer as option on slightly warmer days, as well as a good place to stash a single key (between the two layers). I super heart these mittens.

The Oiselle Stripey Long Sleeve is to die for. Check out the signature birds on the back right shoulder-LOVE!

FEATURED!!  Oiselle Stripey Long Sleeve Scoop Neck($44) this super-soft, super-comfy tee with extra-long sleeves and thumb holes works equally well as a base layer for running or as a top for lounging in post-run (or anytime). It wears and washes incredibly well – you’ll want to pick up several so you won’t have to choose between wearing it on or off the run. (enter “SALTYBIRD” at checkout for 10% off!)

Greenlayer Twilight Half-Zip Long Sleeve Tee ($42) – I have a heavier Greenlayer top that’s a winter staple, but this would be perfect for layering and a bit warmer weather. And I love the white for added visibility!

Tim Brodamore Personalized Running Necklace ($45). An adorable way to always remember the race of all races, whatever that is for you! Tim can personalize your jewelry with names, races, distances, PRs…whatever makes you most proud to be a runner!

FEATURED!!  For Two Fitness Signature Long Sleeve Tee ($45 on sale). – If anyone knows the importance of having at least one go-to top for running during pregnancy (that actually fits!) it’s me!

Saucony Ulti-Mitt Convertible Gloves ($50) Sassafras says: These gloves convert to mittens – and they also feature a light and two convertible fingers for texting! There’s a handy pocket for storing the “mitten” part while it’s not in use. I will confess to purchasing a pair as an early Christmas gift for myself. And trying to get the word “glitten” to catch on.


SPLURGES ( $50-100 )

Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp ($55). Rosemary says: This headlamp sheds light on your path while easily fitting over a ballcap, winter hat or winter earband. And the rear blinking light adds visibility for traffic and other runners/cyclists.

FEATURED!! Oiselle Rundelicious Top ($64). Sassafras says: This top has a zippered key pocket and thumbholes… oh, and like all Oiselle tops it’s also cute enough to wear anywhere! (enter “SALTYBIRD” at checkout for 10% off!)

Ink N’ Burn Performance Denim Shorts ($65). Cinnamon says: I can’t justify the price for myself, but I dare anyone to tell me a skirt is sexier than these Daisy Duke-lookin’ trailer trash shorts. Made from tech fabric and printed to look like denim (complete with pockets and fold-over red bandana waistband), these shorts were made for babies who got back and love showing it off, like me! I think I’m in love…

A stretchy waistband I can wear three ways? GENIUS!

FEATURED!! For Two Fitness Fortitude Maternity Workout Capri ($65) Salty Says: After running through three pregnancies I know just how much I would have appreciated these capris! Like any quality workout gear, the beauty is in the details. These capris stretch beautifully and have a fold-over waistband that allows you to wear them from the first trimester (folded over to a midrise), through the second (unfolded with full belly coverage), and even into the third (folded down to lay under the belly, shown). (Enter “SALTYGIFT” at checkout for 20% off!)

ASICS AYAMI Tunic ($70) Licorice says: a longer cut provides some modesty when it’s time for the tights to come out and the unique hood can be worn up or pulled down and work as a turtleneck/gaiter for extra warmth. The material is super soft and warm without being heavy, so you can easily toss it on as an extra layer when winter’s chill sets in.

Brooks Women’s Nightlife Essential Run Vest II ($75, currently on sale for $43). Cinnamon says: I used to think vests were dumb, but after receiving one as a gift I learned they really are one of the most valuable items in my running wardrobe. The one I have is fleecy, but I would just love to have something like this. Lightweight, wind- and water-resistant and high visibility for winter nights. (Psst-Bonus, it’s on MEGA sale at for $43!)

Elastic cuffs and big pockets–YES PLEASE! Mac not included.

FEATURED!!  Oiselle Mac Jacket ($89). Salty Says: I love running clothes that are simple, functional and attractive. This jacket will not only keep you warm on those cold winter morning runs, but will look super cute hanging at the bagel shop with your crew afterwards! I can’t wait until I’m not pregnant anymore so I can wear something like this!

Athleta Long Sleeve Stride Top ($89). Coriander says: This is the best long sleeve running top I’ve ever owned. I ordered it because I thought the design was pretty, but it fits tight to the body, is long enough to feel comfortable and stay put and the thumbholes are perfect for keeping hands warm on a chilly morning. The gathering along the front is extra flattering as well. It’s pricey, but worth every penny.

Mile 22 Bags Race Day Tote Bag ($96). Cinnamon Says: WHOA, COOL! Another creative and practical way to use your race bibs and showcase your accomplishments! Save 12 bibs or a combination of bibs and t-shirts and have a simple, chic tote made from them! Sassafras says: I’m saving my bibs and plan to splurge on one of these when I get that elusive Boston Qualifier.

LUXURIES ( > $100 )

A Massage (prices vary). Coriander says: This is, of course, a great gift for anyone, but for a runner, they’re downright magic.  My husband proposed to me at the end of my first marathon, and a few hours later had scheduled a couple’s massage. Magic!  It’s great if you know that a runner has a major race coming up and you can help them to reward themselves afterward!

Membership to the Picky Bars Picky Club ($37/mo., 3 mo. minimum). Cinnamon says: As athletes who care about our bodies, we all love healthy snacks. And for someone like me who’s going going going all the time and always struggling with my weight, having healthy snacks I can grab and go makes all the difference in how I feel, especially when it helps me make better food choices. Picky Bars are dairy free, gluten free, have a balanced 4:1 carb:protein ratio and are delicious. They should be; they were designed by pro athletes and based on “freaking science, dude!” Great for the athlete in your life who has special allergy needs or is extremely nutrition-conscious.

Brooks Women’s Utopia Thermal II Hoodie ($110). Cinnamon Says: Man, Brooks knocked it out of the park this year with their new apparel. My favorite from this year’s line is this amazing hoodie, complete with thumbhole sleeves that wrap around your hands, a ponytail slit in the hood and a waterproof pocket sized just right for my phone. Working outside all winter, I couldn’t resist its cozy thermal lining, which keeps me really warm and never sweaty.

Saucony Women’s Sonic HDX ViZiPRO Jacket ($110). Rosemary says: I have a past season’s version of this jacket and I love it for low-lit runs. It’s also great because it is loose and lightweight, making it great for cold snow (with many layers beneath it) or warm rain (atop a tech shirt).

How thoughtful, they even waterproofed an iPod in Salty Running Lime Green, just for us!

iPod Shuffle WATERPROOFED by Underwater Audio ($150). Thyme says: Yes, I said waterproofed! I know, I know, everyone already has an iPod Nano or Touch or iPhone or whatever, but I always cringe a little when I see someone running with a giant, expensive electronic strapped to her arm.  For one, they’re kind of big; for another, what happens when it rains? Additionally, I run to escape, and hauling my iPhone with me means the work texts and emails come too. The Shuffle, on the other hand, weighs less than my chapstick, holds 2 gigabytes of music and lets me run in peace. With the matching headphones, this version can not only clip weightlessly to your shorts in a downpour, you can also wear it in the pool while flip-turning.  Imagine the multi-sport possibilities!  And if you don’t need the waterproofing a Shuffle will run you less than $50.


The North Face Women’s Enduro Pack ($150) Coriander says: It’s hard to find a hydration pack that carries two liters of water, plus food or an extra jacket AND comfortably fits a woman’s body. I’ve been searching for the perfect pack to take to the Grand Canyon with me and this is it! The knob on the bladder turns to prevent the sloshing feeling without having to add anything to it and it’s light enough to stay really comfortable when you’re out there for an extra long run.

Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS Watch (Sale price $160) Thyme says: This watch is great for tracking mileage, pace, elevation changes, and targeting specific time goals.  It syncs with your computer to provide a detailed workout analysis.  Best of all, it’s on sale on Amazon for $159.99!  A heartrate monitor is included for added tracking capabilities.

Oooh, can’t you see Clove burning through an early training run in this beauty? HOT.

The North Face Women’s Animagi Jacket ($160). Clove says: A splurge piece with an expensive price tag, this is my pick for THE jacket of the winter season. The equivalent in layering of a vest over a long sleeve – but far more sophisticated – the core of the Animagi is composed of a (super cool looking!) material called PrimaLoft Eco, while the sleeves and side panels are a stretch knit material. This super lightweight jacket also features UV protection, thumbholes and inner mittens, and provides sufficient warmth with just a thin base layer deep into the twenties. And honestly, it looks about as HOT as a running jacket can.

Bia Sport Watch with Go Stick ($249+) Cinnamon says: If you’re thinking about a Garmin for yourself this season (come on, we all do it), consider holding out for a Bia instead. As far as I’m concerned, supporting a new electronic company owned and operated by female athletes is a step in the right direction for us women, and that gift is worth waiting a couple extra months. I can’t wait to get my Bia in April so I can track myself running in the April showers (or swimming laps!) without worrying how my watch is going to hold up. Not to mention the ergonomic design, cute colors, the unprecedented safety feature, quick-connect GPS…the list goes on, and these features are seriously sick. Check out the faq for the full list of awesome.



The Official Boston Marathon Treadmill by ProForm ($3,995).  Vanilla says: Max speed is 15 mph, and it has an incline of 20% and a decline of 6%!  On sale now for only $3,995!

The Body Rock Eternal Love Sport Bra ($20,011).



Try a gift card to your local running store! We point you in this guide to online retailers, but there’s nothing like getting a little piece of plastic that holds inside of it the promise of a fruitful visit to your shoe-slinging buddies at your favorite LRS. It’s like a magic license to try something new, or a special promise to re-up on the stuff you already love!  Cinnamon says: For my birthday Salty got me “one running shoe,” a gift card to my local sports store for $50. It was funny and sweet, and made me incredibly grateful when my shoes wore out!


What’s on your wish list this holiday season, Salties?

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Cinnamon made Salty Running, takes lots of pictures and drinks lots of coffee. By day she's a camera assistant for films and tv in New York, and by night she's on a quest for zen in the 10k. Her writing is a mix of satirical humor, finding wholeness as an average runner, cheering for runners at all paces and more.

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  1. Oh yes, on the Under Armour Tights! And, Sugoi Sub-Zeroes. And, while we’re dreaming, six months of coaching with Alberto Salazar. And I am desperate to design my own pair of running shoes, like Nike and New Balance are now offering, albeit at a steep price. (The Nikes I designed came in at $155 … ouch…. maybe if I get a tax refund this year!)

  2. Those Ink N Burn denim shorts are AMAZING! I just could not pull them off, but hats off to anyone who can!

    Can I add a baby? It’s my due date and at this point I’d just be happy to have him or her by Christmas!

  3. One gift idea I would recommend for any runner are the long sleeve shirts by Relax Reflect. As the name indicates, they make AMAZINGLY comfy running clothes designed for low light conditions. AND – here’s the best part – they are running a sale for their Facebook fans right now – $25.00 each for the 26.6 and 13.1 designs. I LOVE mine, but who couldn’t use two or three extras?

  4. This post makes me want to SHOP! I must say, I have the Garmin 410 and I am less than impressed. I’ve had it a little over a year and have already sent it in for maintenance twice. Now, if I take it off the charger in the morning, it is dead before I get to my afternoon run. I’d recommend splurging for the 610:)

  5. Great list. The Road ID is crucial. Another item I find really important but I never see on any lists is a clip-on deal that lets you hang up wet clothes in your shower or bath or whatever. The one I have came from IKEA (but I can’t find a link on their website). It looks like an octopus with 8 arms and 2 clips on each arm and hangs on the bar in my bathtub. I rinse my sweaty clothes and then clip them onto that to dry before washing so they don’t stink up the laundry hamper. It was under $10. I’m sure you can get a similar item at places other than Ikea.

    We’re trying to go very uncluttery for our gift gifts this year so I’ve asked for a bike tune-up.

  6. This list is wonderful! My own wishlist has grown quite a bit because of it. I’m definitely asking for a pair of Speed Laces.

    If you go to the gym or pool at all and bring your own lock, I highly recommend the Word Lock. I’ve had mine about 2 years. It’s so much easier to remember the word of your choice (and you can make it fun and catchy!) versus a series of numbers.

    For others who want non-cluttery things like Debra, you could ask for vouchers for post-race indulgences of your choice (pedis for me). Or if you are really aiming for the moon, a dream destination race trip!

  7. I just bought my husband a golf ball muscle roller, got pretty good deal on it, hes been wanting one for awhile and i finally found one! 🙂