Still searching for the perfect gift for dad this Father’s Day? If you haven’t found exactly what he needs just yet, than perhaps the Gear Institute can be of service. This week we’ve been publishing our “Gear for Dad” series, first taking a look at some of the best knives and multitools that are available today, and then suggesting plenty of gear that dad can take camping and hiking too.
But if your dad’s outdoor passions lean more towards running – either on trails or the road – we have some gift ideas as well. So, without further ado, here is the GI Father’s Day 2015 gift guide for runners.
Brooks Launch 2
If your dad tends to stick to the road when out for a run, than the Brooks Launch 2 running shoe will make the perfect gift for him, and his feet. This shoe took top honors in our 2015 road running footwear showdown, earning a perfect 10 from the reviewer. It was lauded for being very lightweight, yet highly durable, maintaining its cushion even after more than 150 miles of running. This is the kind of shoe that can provide many miles of comfort before needing to be replaced, which is something every runner can appreciate. ($100)
For other suggestions on road running shoes, check out our review page for this category.
New Balance Leadville 1210v2
Rated as one of the top shoes in our 2015 trail running footwear test, the New Balance Leadville 1210v2 sets the standard for off-road running. This shoe is built with ultra-runners in mind, but adapts nicely to the more casual trail runner as well. It provides excellent traction on a variey of surfaces, and is comfortable and durable enough to withstand plenty of punishment. In fact, this shoe did so well in our own rigorous testing that after 150 miles of running it showed only the faintest hint of wear and tear.($125)
Check out our trail shoes reviews page for other suggestions for your off-road running dad.
Salomon Skin Pro 10+3 Hydration Pack
Staying hydrated while on a long run is crucial to success, and dad will appreciate the Salomon Skin Pro 10+3 hydration pack when he is out training. This bag offers a form fitting design that minimizes bulk and doesn’t inhibit motion in any way. In fact, with its vest-like design, runners can pull this pack on and almost forget that they are wearing it at all. The Skin Pro 10+3 is perfect for longer runs where carrying water, snacks, energy gels, a spare jacket, and a headlamp are a necessity. A pack like this one can provide a nice sense of security while out on the trail. ($150)
Click here for other great options in hydration packs.
North Face Apex Lite Jacket
Built to protect against both the wind and rain, the North Face Apex Lite Jacket will be a welcome addition to any runner’s wardrobe. Featuring waterproof, quick-drying and wicking fabrics that stiill manage to offer a high level of breathability, this jacket is perfect for cool weather runs, or for pulling out of your pack when the weather takes an unexpected turn for the worse. It includes two hand pockets for storing small items, and a form-fitting athletic cut that ensures uninhibited movement on both the trail or the road. ($130)
If you’re looking for suggestions for other running jackets, click here.
Garmin Fēnix 3 GPS Watch
Runners can be obsessive about tracking their progress in terms of speed and distances covered. That’s where a good GPS watch, like the Garmin Fēnix 3, can come in handy. This device is built for adventure, both while running and elsewhere. It can track a wide variety of data, including how far and how fast you’ve traveled, altitude gained and lost, route taken, and much more. Think of the Fēnix as a smartwatch for runners, offering ways to improve training, tracking recovery time, and setting goals for future improvements. It even comes in a durable, and attractive design, and offers features for cyclists too. ($500)
The Garmin Fēnix isn’t the only watch for runners. We suggest others here.
Rudy Project Ergomask Sunglasses
Lightweight, comfortable, and offering a wide field of vision, the Rudy Project Ergomask sunglasses scored exceptionally well in our recent look at the top performance sunglasses of 2015. They offer a custom fit, excellent venting options, and clear lenses that protect the eyes both from the sun, and wind-blown debris. Made with runners and cyclists in mind, this eyewear seeks to blend both comfort and performance. ($225)
GI has other suggestions for running eyewear as well. See all of our reviews here.
Patagonia Merino 1 Baselayer Shirt
Made from merino wool, the Patagonia Merino 1 shirt is a great for runners. Designed for use in warm conditions, this shirt breathes well, is fast drying, and won’t retain odors. It is also comfortable to wear on long runs, looks great on and off the trail, and can double as a shirt for hiking or travel too. ($65)
Pearl Izumi Flash Running Shorts
With its built-in liner, zipped back pocket, and fast drying materials, the Pearl Izumi Flash running short is an excellent option for warm weather runs. Dad will love the comfort that the shorts provide, whether he’s going for a short run, or training for a marathon. Lightweight and highly breathable, these shorts are designed to keep runners moving without chaffing or restricting motion in anyway. ($50)
Stance Fusion Run Socks
Socks can play a major role in keeping a runner’s feet comfortable while out on the road, and the Stance Fusion Run collection was created with exactly that thought in mind. These performance socks are made from breathable, quick-drying fabrics that keep the feet dry throughout a long run. This is crucial in preventing blisters and hot spots from forming, and keeping dad’s feet healthy too. These socks also provide an extra measure of cushioning as well, which is much appreciated as the miles start to pile up. Available in a variety of lengths and styles, this is one sock that dad won’t mind receiving as a gift. ($15-$36)