Nighthawk™ Armpocket, $49.95
Runners are a dedicated breed, willing to do anything to eke out their daily mileage—even if it means waking up at the crack of dawn to hit the pavement. But during the shorter days of winter, visibility during the dark mornings and evenings can be a concern. Keep your loved runner safe with the Nighthawk Armpocket, which features front and rear LED lights for seeing and being seen. A white light illuminates the path ahead, while a flashing red light ensures visibility from behind. The zippered compartment securely stows the essentials (phone, keys, ID, etc.) making it a true all-in-one tool device.
IceBreaker® Merino Gust Vest, $199.99
Snow, wind and rain—oh my! Ward off the elements with the Ice Breaker Gust Vest, the perfect gift for the cold-weather running bunny in your life. Formatted with a merino inner layer for next-to-skin comfort, a polyurethane middle layer to shield off wind, and a polyester outer layer to protect against rain, this 3-in-1 vest is lightweight but robust enough to withstand all types of weather conditions. The vest also includes a zipped media pocket for securely stowing iPods or Smartphones. Our tester gave the garment a thumbs-up for comfort. “It kept me warm without overheating.”
Air Lady Hoody Shirt, Gore Running Wear, $119.99
Functional and flattering, this feminine, moisture-wicking top from Gore Running Wear is great for hardy runners who are wont to brave chilly temperatures. The insulated shirt has many smart touches, such as thumbholes on the sleeves to keep hands and wrists warm, as well as a built-in media pocket to tote phones or music players. What really makes this shirt stand out, however, is the detachable hoodie. “The hoodie is great for windy days,” one of our testers said. “And, when you don’t need it, you can roll it down and secure it with a built-in snap so it doesn’t flop around when you’re running.”
iRiver On Smart Exercise Headset, $199.99
Track mileage while jamming out to your favorite tunes with the iRiver On, a Bluetooth headset formatted with an earbud sensor to continuously capture heart rate, physical location and workout data. Because it combines the superior iRiver headset listening experience with the intelligence of a built-in fitness tracker, the gadget eliminates the need to schlep along multiple gadgets while you run. Another bonus: the complementary iRiver On® Smartphone App allows runners to plan outdoor running routes and share their workout progress with friends. Talk about every runner and tech geek’s dream!
Spira Footwear Women’s Stinger 2, $109.95
Runners who log serious miles need shoes that can go the distance. Consistently top-rated Spira shoes are the perfect kicks for pavement-pounders. These high-perfomance running shoes, which are available in a wide array of colors, earned high marks from our wearer-testers, who loved the shoes’ minimalist yet durable construction. Designed to reduce stress on the body, these remarkably lightweight, neutral shoes have superior cushioning and amazing shock absorption. “I felt like I had wings on my feet!” our reviewer gushed. One small caveat: Because Spira shoes lack a ton of arch support, they are perhaps not suited for the injury-prone or those with low arches.