Once again it's that time of year when you need to come up with a unique present idea for each of your friends and relatives. You know, the ones who are likely to buy you something back in return. That's not always easy, especially for the uncle you've not seen for half a decade.
If you've got people on your list who are into running, panic no longer: we've chosen a short, no nonsense selection of excellent gift ideas for runners. From smart water bottles and wireless headphones to wrist trackers and premium apps, you should be able to find inspiration for a present or two here.
Wareable is also supporting the Amazon Christmas Gift Guide this year, and has provided reviews for a crop of recommended wearable tech.
Wahoo Tickr X
For the most accurate workout tracking and the best feedback, you really need to invest in a chest strap that can measure your heart rate accurately. Wahoo Tickr X is one of the best options we've seen in a while, with integrated memory, cadence measurement, a treadmill mode and compatibility with a wide range of third-party apps as well Wahoo RunFit. Cheaper Tickr models are available if you want to save some cash during your Christmas present buying spree.
Read this: Our in-depth Wahoo Tickr X review
Strava Premium Subscription
For something a little bit different, how about treating a loved one to a premium Strava subscription for 2016? The main advantages are that you don't have to trudge to the shops or wait indoors for any packages to arrive, but there's plenty for the recipient of your gift to enjoy as well: more detailed analytics, training plans, GPX downloads, personal heatmaps, training videos, exclusive Strava swag and more. Just make sure the person you're buying for is already a keen runner or cyclist.
A wearable tracker is the obvious choice for someone you know who likes to run, and there are of course plenty of options to pick from. The Polar M400 is one of the best dedicated options out there for those who want to focus on their runs rather than Facebook updates or SMS messages on their wrist, and it's GPS-enabled and waterproof as well. It comes with smart coaching features and free Polar Flow smartphone and Web apps too.
Read this: Polar M400 in-depth review
Sony Smartwatch 3
Then there's the Android Wear option, which makes sense if whomever you're buying for has an Android smartphone (only the very newest Android Wear watches work with iOS). The Sony Smartwatch 3 is our recommended choice: it includes built-in GPS (so it can track routes without a phone connected), it looks the part and it's more waterproof than most smartwatches too. A choice of colours and straps are available, and because it's a little older the price is affordable.
TuneBand for iPhone
For tracking runs using a smartphone, an armband you can reply on is a must — but they're not all made equal. TuneBand consistently attracts good reviews and feedback for the quality of its kit, and you can find affordable bands to fit all the recent iPhones on Amazon. The strap for this year's iPhone model is available in a choice of six different colour combinations, and includes a protective silicone skin that keeps the handset safe but accessible at all times.
Jabra Sport Coach
These high-performance wireless headphones work over Bluetooth, so there are no dangling cables to get in the way during the daily jog. They also come with a companion smartphone app, offering more than 50 different exercises for improving fitness. Thanks to the pack of ear gels and ear wings included with the earphones, it's possible to get a snug and personalised fit for any shape of ear. They're sweat and weather proof too, another useful feature when you're out running.
Currently available for pre-order in the US, with shipping scheduled for any day now, the second-generation Moov wearable is smaller, smarter and even more impressive than the original. It can track all kinds of activity besides running (and monitors sleep too) and it can be worn anywhere on the body — around the ankle rather than the wrist, for example. The accompanying app comes with a number of coaching features to help you meet your goals and set new ones.
HidrateMe smart water bottle
Finally, what about an intelligent water bottle to help your friend or relative stay hydrated during the daily run around the park? Funded on Kickstarter back in June, the HidrateMe is now on sale to anyone who wants one. Together with the app that goes along with it, the bottle keeps tabs on how much water you're drinking every day, and the bottle itself glows if you're not taking on as many liquids as you should be.
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