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! This year we've decided to round up our team's absolute favorite picks to produce this unique gift guide. We think about running 24/7 and tried our best to give a good range of non-shoe related gifts for the holiday season, because while shoes are fun, it's also the stuff that we go to time and time again before, during, and after the run that can make a run as well.

Editors Note: NONE of the following links used in this Gift Guide are affiliate links. We wanted to provide a gift guide of our absolute favorite things to share and decided to make this edition completely ad-free. Thanks for reading!


Rabbit High Country LS Flannel 
Price: $85

The Rabbit High Country LS Flannel is a high powered flannel long sleeve for everything from running miles through the cold winter months to formal events. As a Pacific Northwestern at heart, owning flannel as a significant portion of my wardrobe is incredibly important. On top of that, I have had a quest to find apparel that would work for both running as well as formal attire. This is my go to shirt for long workdays and long runs in colder weather. The rabbitWool is incredibly durable, comfortable against bare skin and does a great job of wicking away moisture during runs. The fit is now slightly large, so those interested may want to consider going true to size or a size down for a snug performance fit. I have been equally comfortable using the High Country LS flannel as a base with a suit jacket as I have hitting a hard run on the trails after work. For those that want the best of both worlds with incredibly comfortable performance wool, the Rabbit High Country LS Flannel will make a great gift for yourself or anyone else. 

Skratch Labs Sport Recovery Drink Mix Coffee

Price: $33.95 (12 servings)

Close followers of the podcast and the Doctors of Running team know that my body is 90% coffee at this point. We have dedicated several episodes discussing recovery in all its forms, whether it is training, sleep, cognition or nutrition. Post-Run nutrition is incredibly important in timing recovery, restoring glycogen stores and preparing for the next run or workout. The Skratch Labs Sport Recovery Drink Mix Coffee is my go to recovery drink after runs. With the colder months now, it makes a great addition to a warm mug of water, mild or dairy alternative. The taste is chocolatey with a moderate coffee flavor for those who like Mochas or Caffeinated Hot Chocolate. Add in 45-50 mg of caffeine per dose, the Skratch Labs Coffee Recovery Drink provides a nice boost to kick start your recovery and get after all the things you have to do in order to prepare for the holidays.

Looking for more hydration options? Check out our guide here.

Nathan Pinnacle 12 Liter Hydration Race Vest

The Nathan Pinnacle 12 LIter Hydration Race Vest is a performance vest for faster and race efforts. It is light, compact and stays secure regardless of the pace. As a professional runner, my wife has moved into the area of road ultramarthons. She has done incredibly well, with a 2nd place finish at the 2021 US 50k Road Championships and a 3rd place finish at the 2022 US 100k Road Championships. As her pacer, that means I have had to do all her longer workouts with her. Balancing this training with a PhD dissertation, clinical work, working as a professor/teaching and keeping up with Doctors of Running has meant that keeping nutrition and hydration on point at all times is incredibly important for both my physical and cognitive performance. Keeping up with her running faster efforts for longer also means that the pack could not weight me down. The Nathan Pinnacle is light and stays out of the way while also having a ton of storage space. The 1.6 L hourglass fluid bladder has been excellent for carrying my hydration drink of choice (Pocari Sweat) while the remainder of the vest still has plenty of room for nutrition, keys and other items. The water resistant pockets in the front have been a life saver for keeping my phone and keys dry over long efforts, especially with the surprising heat we experiencing this summer in Southern California. Eventually my wife will convince me to race a road Ultra and when that happens, this will be my nutrition vest. So those looking for a comfortable pack for long and faster efforts, this is well worth a look as an excellent holiday gift.


Deckers X Lab Ko-Z Slide
Deckers X Lab KO-Z Slide
Price: $130

The Deckers X Lab KO-Z Slide is designed with comfortable recovery in mind. This is something I wear nearly every single day between doing dishes, cooking, laundry, or just hanging out. The platform has about 5 layers of different density foams and helps take pressure off of the feet. The overall construction is incredibly soft and comfortable using a temperature resilient wool on the lining of the wrap.  

rabbit Fall EZ Tee Long Sleeve

Price: $55

The rabbit EZ Long Sleeve is a piece of apparel I have used quite a bit. The shirt works well when going for easy days running and also doubles well for lifestyle wear. The material is really soft on skin and something you just like having on, regardless of movement. It breathes decently well and doesn’t overhead when running, though I wouldn’t quite do workouts in it unless it is on the colder end of conditions. This is one of my most worn long sleeves.


Ciele RDCap SC
Price: $50

Of the many caps that I’ve ran in this year, this is the one that took the cake for me. Compared to some other Ciele caps, there is a bit more depth to accommodate multiple head sizes with still comfortable fit for smaller heads like mine. Functionally, it works very well to absorb sweat and block the sun. Stylistically, it double very well for casual wear and even some dates with my wife.

"Do Hard Things," by Steve Magness

Price: $19.89 (prices vary)

The subtitle of this book is “why we get resilience wrong and the surprising science behind toughness”. This is one of the best books I’ve read in 2022, and I’ve also had my athletes that I coach read it as well. His method of taking research findings and making them practical and meaningful is masterfully done, making this book impactful for a wide variety of folks. The concepts found in this book stretch far beyond running in their applicability, but he uses running as an analogy throughout given his background. If you want to get a meaningful book that addresses the psychological aspects of running, this is a fantastic option. I listened via audible and really enjoyed it as an audiobook, though there are many times I wish I could have underlined things he said!  Andrea Item 1: The Feed Zone Cookbook Link:


Peanut reading the Feed Zone
The Feed Zone Cookbook

As an athlete with a full time job and low motivation to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I look for recipes that are simple, nutritious, and easy to make. The Feed Zone Cookbook is written by Dr. Allen Lim and Biju Thomas, who work with pro cyclists during some of the world’s toughest races, including the Tour de France. A couple of my favorite recipes are buffalo and sweet potato tacos and sweet rice porridge. The book also includes a chapter on portables, which are items that are ideal for those of us who are tired of bars and gels. The rice cake recipe and its many variations are one of my favorites because there are so many ingredient options - peanut butter and jelly, scrambled eggs, fig and honey, etc. This book is well known among cyclists but less known among runners, so I wanted to share the cookbook love with DOR readers!

Tracksmith Brighton Base Layer
Price: $88

The Tracksmith Brighton Base Layer has become my hands-down favorite base layer for cold weather. It is incredibly versatile, working well on its own in 30 degree temps and making a warm, yet breathable base layer under a jacket in sub-freezing temps. The engineered merino mesh is knit more tightly in the arms and looser in the torso, which does a great job of letting my core breathe and keeping my arms warm. The top never rides up and does not need to be tucked in, even under a jacket. I wear this top 1-2 times per week throughout the long New England winter, and it is still in like-new condition after a year of use. This top is worth every penny of its $88 price tag thanks to its exceptional performance and durability.


Ryan wearing the NoxGear Tracer 2
NoxGear Tracer 2
Price: $49.95 (sale)
Tracer 2 Lamp accessory: 

The Noxgear Tracer 2 is a staple to my early morning running attire. For the majority of the year, my runs are performed before the sun rises so being seen and safe is a large concern for me. The Noxgear Tracer 2 helps to solve this goal in two ways. First, it helps keep me visible to traffic and other runners using its unique 360 design. This allows me to be seen from all angles but especially from behind where the largest light is. Second, with the help of the attachable Tracer Lamp (purchased separately) I no longer need a headlamp. This accessory attaches to the Tracer 2 vest helping to brighten the trail ahead. As far as fit, the Tracer 2 is highly adjustable. I am able to adjust the size based on what I am wearing underneath. I have no issues fitting it tight over a T-shirt in the summer and a jacket in the winter. This allows it to be versatile for year round use. As an added benefit, both the lamp and the Tracer 2 are rechargeable so there is no need to purchase or change batteries. The Tracer 2 vest has a very long battery life as I can go a couple weeks before needing to recharge. I typically recharge the lamp after each run so I have enough power the next time. For those runners,walkers, and bikers out in the early morning and late evening, the Noxgear Tracer 2 is a great piece of equipment I highly recommend. 

Amphipod Hydrafrom Ergo Minimalist Handheld Water Bottle
Price: $24-25

This is a small, 16 oz, easy to carry water bottle with a name much larger than the bottle itself. When I was searching for a way to stay hydrated during my longer and hotter runs I came across the Amphipod water bottles. I typically run very minimal as I don't enjoy extra accessories weighing me down. The Amphipod water bottle fits this goal as it is compact and easy to hold. The strap surrounding the bottle wraps around the hand keeping the bottle secure without needing to “hold onto the bottle”. For me, I found that 16 oz was enough water for the majority of my runs and if I needed more, I could often find a water fountain along the route. The only complaint I have with the water bottle as the liquid inside can become quite warm. This is mainly due to the minimal design having no thermal insulating properties and also to your hand contact warming up the liquid. I found adding some ice to the liquid does help with this in the short term. During many of my runs this was only a small complaint as I was just happy to have some hydration along the way.  Overall this is a great water bottle that is easy to hold and stays secure nicely while running. 


Petzl Headlamp
Price: $124.95

This is a perfect gift for the runners who are out there before the sun comes up. This headlamp has been a staple to my early morning runs for years. The Petzl headlamp is lightweight and has an adjustable strap which helps keep the lamp in place while running. The adjustability allows for the headlamp to fit over ear warmers/hats in the cold temps too. Many headlamps move/bounce while running, however this one doesn’t even budge and the cushion makes it even more comfortable. It features a sensor that analyzes surrounding light and adjusts brightness to your needs. In addition, the light is reflective and allows oncoming cars to see you from a great distance away. The battery is rechargeable and can hold a charge for up to 50 hours worth of running!  

Brazyn Collapsible Foam Roller
Price: $69.95

Every runner has (or at least should have) a foam roller laying around somewhere in their home. However, one of the biggest challenges for races requiring any travel is where to pack/fit the foam roller. It takes up lots of space and is awkwardly shaped. In comes the Brazyn Collapsible Foam Roller, which makes recovery convenient! It collapses to be totally flat and takes up virtually no space at all in a carry-on bag, backpack, or a suitcase. I discovered this staple item last year when figuring out how to get my foam roller across the country with me for a marathon. Since then, it’s come with me to every race, workout, and I always have it on hand. This is an ideal gift for the runner on your list who travels a lot or does many races!


Nathan wearing the Shokz OpenRun Pro.
Shokz OpenRun Pro 
Price: $179.95

Formerly the Aeropex, the OpenRun Pro is Shokz’ premier headphones for running. I’ve had the original Aeropex for over a year and a half now and can’t imagine life without them. They’ve provided countless hours of podcasts and music on the move while giving me great natural sound. I run on a lot of sidewalk-less roads and have greatly appreciated being able to hear from traffic in all-directions. They have also done a great job staying secure over my ears even through the worst of weather. Best of all though is their unobtrusiveness. The headphones sit over the ear and do a nice job of staying out of the way. I have a little bit of sensitivity to in-ear headphones over long periods of time, but the OpenRun has carried me through countless long runs with no issues thanks to its unique, out-of-ear design. If you want the absolute best audio on the run, this may not be it, but if you want a balance of podcast/music on the go while being able to listen to the world around you at the same time, this is the headphone for you.  

Anodyne Coffee - Ethiopia Sheka Haile Estate
Price: $19.00

There is nothing more important to my everyday life than waking up to an aromatic, freshly ground cup of coffee. As a running enthusiast, it was fun to see worlds collide with this unique blend from the Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Not only a delightful brew, the coffee beans come from legendary Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie’s own estate. Besides producing tremendous coffee, Haile’s farm has also helped support his community in Ethiopia through the development of jobs, improved roads, and a new school. The coffee itself is a satisfying brew featuring a modest roast with a mildly sweet profile - perfect for an easy morning.


BJ wearing the Powerbeats Pro
Naked Running Band
Price: $54.99

I actually received this as a Christmas gift last year, and it’s come in handy countless times. The design is simple yet versatile: an elastic mesh band that’s basically just a bunch of stretchy pockets. You can fill those pockets with almost anything: keys, ID cards, gels, phones, water bottles, etc. I use mine the most for holding my phone. I find it much more comfortable to keep the phone at the small of my back instead of on an armband or a side shorts pocket. The mesh is so light and the fit unobtrusive that you quickly forget it’s there, with no bouncing or moving around. Tired of carrying things in your pockets on the run? Grab the Naked Running Band.

Powerbeats Pro Headphones
Price: $200

A good pair of running headphones is as essential to me as a good pair of shoes. The Powerbeats Pro from Apple are my gold standard for workout headphones. They’re truly wireless (meaning no connecting wire between them), give you 9 hours of listening time, and have both playback and volume controls on each headphone. If you’re an iPhone user, you get all the benefits of Apple’s magic with the H1 Bluetooth chip. On top of all that, they sound fantastic, with all the low-end energy you’d expect from a pair of Beats to keep you hyped for your entire run. To top it off, they’re incredibly durable. I’ve had my Powerbeats Pro for more than 3 years and they’re still going just as strong as they were on day one. They’ve been drenched in rain & sweat, been dropped, and probably been gnawed on by my toddlers–still pumping out the jams. They’re on the pricier side at $200, but well worth the premium.


Drymax Socks: Feetures is great as well, but we are big drymax fans and
love their durable quality and great grip.
Honey Stinger Waffles: The easiest and most delicious pre/active/post run snack in the game.
Goodr: Make running fun and protective all at once.
Great fitting, super affordable sunglasses for all runners.
Mizuno Infinity Apparel: Affordable, super lightweight, sustainable running clothes
with pieces for every part of the year.
Gloves: Cold weather running means it's time to bundle up. Keep your hands insulated is a must. Check out this Running Warehouse collection to see what fits your temp and needs best.
A Kofuzi Cap: This Path Projects collab special is a must for running shoe enthusiasts in your life.


We hope these recommendations were 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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