Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

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Welcome to our Gift Guide for Runners! We've rounded up our absolute favorite items of 2021, including a mix of things released this year along with some longstanding items that we've come to rely on time and time again. You'll notice that in this gift guide we have NOT included shoes. We'll come back with an end of year "Best Of" guide to talk about our favorite picks. In the meantime, enjoy these gifts and let us know what we missed by shooting us a message at

Note: Any Running Warehouse specific items are affiliate links that support Doctors of Running. Using the links to purchase helps support Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!


Osmo Nutrition

The most digestible hydration formula we've tried yet.
We received some Osmo to test earlier this year on a whim and ended up really enjoying their products. Osmo focuses on dialing the osmolality of their formula. Too much of it can make your stomach heavy and reject the hydration. Theirs, however, has worked well for our entire team, powering us through our summer and fall runs. The flavor is maybe not the greatest on Earth, but they mix incredibly quick and go down super easy, which for running is all we ask for from our hydration.

Skratch Labs: Coffee Flavor
$25 for a 10 Pack at Running Warehouse

Combining caffeine, post run recovery and amazing taste to start getting you ready for your next run after the last one. Skratch is a fantastic company with a wide range of high performance natural nutrition and their Sport Recovery mixes are favorites among the team. For those who want a little extra caffeine post run (45 mg per serving), the Sport Recovery Caffeine mix is a go to. With a perfect ratio of carbs to protein, probiotic, lactase for those sensitive to milk and real coffee, the Coffee Sport Recovery Drink is sure to power you up after your next hard workout or long run. -Founder Matt Klein

Nathan rocked Huma Gels for his Lakefront Marathon!

HUMA Gels were my (Nathan) go-to gel throughout my marathon training in 2021 and also what fueled me on race day. They are created with all-natural ingredients including chia and fruit puree. One great part was that they tasted so good that I was actually excited to be able to take my next gel. Then better yet they sat happy in my stomach the whole time. My personal favorite flavors are Strawberry, Mango, Blueberry, and then Raspberry for a little caffeine boost. - Senior Contributor Nathan Brown

SIS Gels
$25 for a 30 pack from Science in Sport

SIS Gels have been my (David) go-to for long runs and intensive workouts. The SIS gels are great because they don't need water like many other gels do. This prevents bloating and just digests really easy for me, giving me the boost I need mid-runs to carry through the workout or race. The apple flavor is simple and solid for some seasonal Fall and Winter running. - Senior Contributor David Salas


Oiselle Flyout Long Sleeve
$72 at Oiselle

My favorite long sleeve, fast drying top for 32-40 degree temps. The best features are the watch windows on both sleeves - no more frozen wrists so you can see your watch between your shirt and gloves! - Contributor Andrea Myers

Rabbit EZ Tee LS
$50 at Running Warehouse

The softest of shirts you'll never want to take off. This is officially the most comfortable shirt I own. Great on it’s own for the 30-50 deg weather and a wonderful layer for colder temps. I love having it closest to the skin due to the comfort. - Senior Contributor Nathan Brown

For those who want the ultimate in wind resistance, performance, visibility and style. A favorite of our founder Matt Klein, the extremely cool pattern matches the excellent ability of this performance windbreaker to keep your temperature in check in the windiest of conditions. The Adidas Terrex Parley Agravic TR Ready Windbreaker is extremely light, able to be folded easily or be used on a variety of runs from easy paces to hard workouts while still being tough enough to keep the winds at bay. Mesh pockets provide plenty of space for storage, while a unique pattern and reflective details provide the visibility you need for safety as the days get shorter. A favorite of our team for style, visibility and performance. - Founder Matt Klein

Janji Men's Groundwork Flyby Tight Mountain
$88 at Running Warehouse

Soft, sustainable tights for cool weather running. Janji has been making high quality performance clothing with a focus on sustainability, whether it's reducing water in production or using recycled materials. Their pants are... so soft. So soft. These tights in particular will help both keep you warm and on top of your game, and also have reflective elements to help you stay visible during the darkness of winter.


A tough elite level split short with the ultimate storage. A favorite short of our founder Matt Klein, this amazing short combines an high split with incredible storage. A large rear zipper pocket provides plenty of room for a phone, money and/or keys. Additionally, 6 smaller pockets sit up higher along the waist band for gels, nutrition or whatever other small items you want to carry. The material is tough but super comfortable, making it a great choice for long runs on tough trails. However, the split is high enough and the short is light enough that it effortlessly handles any type of faster workout or race.  For those looking for the ultimate training and racing split short, check out the BOA 1" Alpaca Elite Split Short. - Founder Matt Klein

Vuori Kore Short
$68 at Running Warehouse

The lightest shorts for all your workout needs. These are my go-to shorts for the summer. I wear them running, lifting, and lounging. They offer the most comfortable built in liner of all the shorts I own. I chose to go with the 5” inseam as I like it a bit shorter falling several inches above the knee. - Contributor Ryan Flugaur

The Sherpa short is nothing remarkable, and that's part of why I love it. It has small pockets on both sides that I fit 2 HUMA gels in, and a larger zipper pocket in the back that I put another gel and salt tablets in for my marathon. I have never had any skin irritation with the shorts and they simply work to carry along all the fuel I need for long runs.

Rabbit EZ Tee
$45 at Running Warehouse

The rabbit EZ Tee SS is made of their incredibly soft and comfortable material in an aesthetically pleasing heather design. The shirt is best on easy days in temperate environments, but can be used as a workout top in slightly colder conditions. The shirt is a pleasing addition to any clothing rotation.


Goodr Sunglasses
$25 at Running Warehouse

For the everyday runner who wants to look awesome. When it comes to sunglasses, few fit as well and are anywhere as fun as Goodrs. They have endless amounts of patterns to choose from and a few different shapes to fit any head type. Additionally, their are just wide enough that they actually fit over regular glasses pretty well for those who need prescription glasses. One of our favorite gift recommendations this year that's sure to make any runner smile. - Social Media Manager Bach Pham

Mizuno Breath Thermo Fleece Gloves
$35 at Running Warehouse

Hand warmers that will save your body and mind during the dead of winter. Gloves for cold weather runs. The Mizuno Breath Thermo fabric uses your own body heat to generate warmth. Best for most cold days, but for the very frigid, you will need something to layer on top. - Contributor Ryan Flugaur

Salomon RS Bonatti WP Mittens
$44 at Running Warehouse

On the coldest of days, a pair of windproof mittens are one of my key go-to's.
A windproof mitten keeps the cold wind from cutting through the material, and having all your fingers in one compartment allows them to share the heat generated. Better yet, these mittens allow you to double up and slide your thin gloves inside the mitten shell. - Contributor Nathan Brown

The most versatile gift a runner can have for winter running. Buffs are one of those full-proof, endlessly useful tools that can work for you year-round, whether you're keeping your neck warm in the winter or a head band during the summer, or an instant hoodie in a pinch, there's at least fifteen good ways to wear a buff during your runs. The Coolnet adds breathability and a whopping 50+ UV protection to boot for those who need some sun protection. - Social Media Manager Bach Pham

Feetures Merino 10 Cushion Mini Crew Sock
1 at Running Warehouse

The socks that will change your mind about how important the right socks are for runners. Warm socks to keep your feet warm as the temperatures decline. These socks have been a favorite of mine the past few years. - Contributor Ryan Flugaur

Saucony Inferno Merino Wool Quarter Socks, 3PK
$21.95 at Running Warehouse

Excellent winter Merino Wool socks on a budget. A new release from Saucony, these socks are a hybrid of polyester and Merino wool, making them fairly breathable, yet also very soft and warm for winter running. They've added a lot of comfort to my runs recently, and for a three pack come at a really nice value in a market that can be quite pricey. The blue colors on the Inferno collection are quite nice, and you can also find some thinner versions available as well. - Social Media Manager Bach Pham

UltraAspire Fitted Race Belt
$32.95 at Running Warehouse
The absolute best belt for runners who want their phone all the time. Figuring out how to carry your phone is one of the great frustrations many runners have. It’s terrible for balance, emphasizing one side of your body, and also slightly dangerous to your phone as one slip-up on hard pavement can mean a hefty cracked screen (I know, I’ve done it TWICE). If you’re like me though, you still want access to your phone on the run. Sometimes you want to take a quick photo, or pick up a call you need to answer. Enter the UltraAspire FItted Race belt. The belt stands out for me because of its perfect top-open pouch in front. A tight mesh helps keep the phone from bouncing while the top entry lets you easily pull out your phone when you need it. Some side pockets, including one zippered for keys, have just enough space for a small piece of hydration while a back pocket helps you carry everything from bigger nutrition to masks or wallets that you may need while out and about. The belt fits nicely (it comes in many sizes to get the right fit) and once secure stays out of the way so you can perform your best. It’s also a great hiking belt in general. - Social Media Manager Bach Pham

Mizuno Breathe Thermo Beanie
$30 at Running Warehouse

It is thin enough for slightly warmer temps and then the Breath Thermo technology shines for the colder temps. The Beanie is a very flexible and form fitting material that will stretch to any head size. I have a smaller head, and it is no way was too large for me. The hat has extension of the beanie that come over each ear that ensure full coverage. - Senior Contributor Nathan Brown

Naked Belt
$49.99 at Running Warehouse

A really versatile piece of apparel. The Naked belt is a compact belt that wraps around your waist to hold all of your belongings. There are two pretty decent size pouches in the front with a seam that divides them and a long pocket in the back that extends the whole length. The best combo for me is my phone in the back and for some reason my keys are always in the left. The rest of the space is up to you. I have had 4 gels, keys, and phone with me on multiple occasions for my runs over 20 miles. In early morning runs the right pouch will also hold my headlamp without significant bounce once the sun comes up (and I have run under 5 minute pace with said headlamp in the pouch). It stores a lot and comes in a lot of pre-fabricated sizes. Its DJ approved. - Senior Contributor David Salas

Noxgear Tracer360 LED vest
$49.99 at Noxgear

For night owls who want to stay warm and well-lit in the dark. I do a lot of running at night during the winter. This LED vest makes me feel incredibly visible and safe. It does not bounce and is very lightweight. I have done many interval workouts wearing it and I have never been bothered by the vest (so I can focus on the effort, not being annoyed by my gear). The battery is rechargeable and there are 16 different color modes to choose from. I wouldn’t do a run in the dark without it. - Contributor Andrea Myers

Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
$350 at Running Warehouse

The best running watch for music lovers. For those runners that also like to do some biking the Forerunner 245 is perfect. The music version comes with onboard storage so you can take the tunes with you using a pair of Bluetooth headphones.- Contributor Ryan Flugaur

Deckers SNPR Mid
$170 at Deckers x Lab | $160 at Running Warehouse (X-SCAPE Low)

Incredible comfort for the winter months. Before Deckers sent this my way, I wouldn't have ventured to purchase something like this, both due to perceived functionality and fashion. But after a year, they are still the house to outdoor footwear that I wear literally every day throughout the winter in Wisconsin. Plus, people tell me they look cool...I guess.

Aeropex Headphones
$160 at Runnning Warehouse

Great fitting headphones for those who want some natural sounds on their run.
I reviewed the AfterShokz Aeropex headphone earlier this year and it remains a staple of my everyday running a half year later. These are some of the best fitting headphones, guaranteed not to slip or slide on your run, even on windy days. They’ve been tried and tested through sweat and cold and held up extremely well. The lack of in ear headphones provides some natural sounds to funnel in which helps you connect a little more to nature while still keeping the fun of your podcast or music alive. As someone a little sensitive to earbuds, these have been a really wonderful option for everyday running, and come with a decent battery life of 8 hours which gets me through my week. - Social Media Manager Bach Pham

Amphipod Hydraform 12 oz Handheld
$25-30 at Running Warehouse

The perfect hydration tool to carry you through your long runs. I have tried many handheld bottles, and this is my hands-down (haha) favorite. You don’t have to grip the bottle at all - you just hang the strap on your hand and the bottle’s shape keeps it in place. I used it all through marathon training and loved it so much I now own 2! - Contributor Andrea Myers

A premium do-it-all pack. So many freaking pockets. The Deckers X Lab NVRSTP is a do-it-all pack for those who want one backpack that can handle everything. Whether it be hiking, ultra distance running, work or commuting, this back can handle it all. Featuring plenty of room for clothes, electronics (laptop), nutrition and anything else you would want with the 19 pocket system, it still is secure enough to be used for a variety of runs. A large, modifiable capacity of 25L or 40L with the expanded roll top, the Deckers X Lab NVRSTP is both versatile and fully loaded for whatever you want to do with it!

USWE Pace 8 and Pace 2
$160 for Pace 8 and $140 for Pace 2 via USWE

The perfect secure pack for carrying tons of nutrition on long runs or races. We received both the Pace 8 and 2 and the biggest difference is the amount of storage, particularly in the rear (Pace 8 has more). Both packs stayed extremely secure and are still used by our testers to this day. Living partially up to their "No Dancing Monkey" technology, the packs stay in place and there is none of that annoying bounce. An added bonus is that two bottles come with the packs and provide plenty of space for fluid nutrition As some of our team has continued to hammer longer miles on the trail and roads, carrying adequate fuel has become paramount and the USWE Pace series continues to be a go to. -Founder Matt Klein

Therabody Theragun Mini Percussion Massager
$199 at Running Warehouse

A powerful recovery tool for high volume mileage runners. Great soft tissue recovery tool following a hard workout. The mini comes at a cheaper price point yet is powerful enough for everyday muscle recovery. See our Science Friday to learn more about the benefits of massagers for runners. - Contributor Ryan Flugaur


ROAR: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life
$13.93 via Amazon

This book is a game changer for female athletes of all ages. I wish I knew half of the things in this book when I was a high school athlete. I highly recommend this book for any female runner (or endurance athlete) in your family! Dr. Stacy Sims is a trail blazer in the sports nutrition world and Selene Yeager is a longtime writer for Bicycling Magazine and the host of the Fitter & Faster podcast. - Contributor Andrea Myers

One of the best books in the market today for Running Shoe Geeks, Kicksology is written by long time running writer Brian Metzler. It chronicles both his history with running shoes along with an introduction to how various new brands emerged over the past twenty years. The book stops just short of the last couple of year's running shoe boom, but serves as an excellent overview for new and old runners alike. - Social Media Manager Bach Pham


Kofuzi Path Projects Non-Elite Shirt
YouTuber Mike Ko's signature shirt in partnership with Path Projects!

Believe in the Run Shop
Find Believe gear, including a really cool Eluid Kipchoge tee and Olympics-Inspired no sleeve

Run Like Heller Shop

Get out here, get on the grind, and support Emily Heller with some really fun gear


We hope the information here was helpful! Thanks for visiting Doctors of Running. If this is your first time here, Doctors of Running focuses on shoe and gear review from the perspective of Doctors of Physical Therapy. We use our training to help provide insight on the positive and negative effects of footwear and help deliver ideas to make sure your runs are healthy and sound. We do reviews and posts weekly and educational information via our social media daily. Follow us for more info!

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Read More at Doctors of Running: Guide to Stability Shoes

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