by Jake Greski
Getting in some miles during the winter months is not the easiest task with temperatures falling and snow banks rising. It is however a great opportunity to gift a friend or family member some brand new running gear from Fleet Feet Albany and Malta. Whether that means new shoes or winter apparel, you can find it at Fleet Feet. Having the running gear you need is incredibly important this time of year and can make all the difference. Here are some of my favorite running gifts for the 2022 holiday season.
Budget-Friendly Running Shoes
Shoes are the one common item that every runner needs, making it a great gift. If you’re looking for a daily trainer on the less expensive side, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 is a versatile daily training shoe that fits the bill. Coming in at $130, the Pegasus 39 is a soft but durable training shoe at a moderate weight. The rubber outsole along the entire shoe provides decent traction for a wet patch of road. Two Air Zoom units, or hidden pockets of air, provide a soft landing but a responsive takeoff with their React foam. With this shoe being around for nearly 40 years, the Pegasus 39 is a shoe you can count on without breaking the bank for the holidays.
Winter-Ready Road Shoes
For those who need a warmer and winter-ready shoe, Fleet Feet offers many waterproof footwear options for both the roads and trails. Saucony offers their Runshield collection with several road running models in a waterproof design. These and other brands offer shoes that are designed to keep the water out and the warmth in. These along with a warm pair of socks will allow your feet to handle a great amount of snow or cold.
Winter-Ready Trail Shoes
If you’re looking for an off-road winter shoe, winterized trail shoes from brands like Saucony, Altra, Hoka and more are reliable options. My recommendation would be the Saucony Peregrine Ice+ 3, a waterproof upper while using a grippy outsole. Saucony actually uses a specialized rubber specifically designed to prevent slipping on ice which is unique among trail shoes. From personal experience I can say their grip offers an exceptional amount of traction on many different surfaces. While the shoe’s tread is made for the trails, it also allows for smooth use on the pavement. For those who are looking for a high cushioned option, the Hoka Challenger ATR 6 GTX is a great choice. Similar to other Hoka’s, the Challenger has a higher amount of lightweight cushion with tread to grip the trail.
Separate from shoes, Fleet Feet Albany and Malta offer a variety of high-quality winter running apparel. From brands like Saucony, Craft, The North Face, and New Balance, they offer warm tops and bottoms. I’m always looking for a warm pair of tights when the temperature drops, and the Boulder Wind Tight from Saucony checks that box for me. These tights have a warm inner layer of insulation along with a wind resistant outer material for protection from those frigid wind gusts. Several other brands also offer tights with wind resistant material and varying thicknesses. The Finnish brand Craft, worn by many professional winter sport athletes, offers multiple styles of warm and protective tops and jackets perfect for running. The Craft SubZ running jacket is Fleet Feet’s warmest piece with a wind resistant front and three layers of fabric built into the jacket. If you are searching for a warm gift for your friend or family member, Fleet Feet offers the warmest apparel in the industry.
Outside of keeping your arms and legs warm and dry, choosing the right running glove can be critical for those winter miles. Fleet Feet offers several different types of gloves, many being glove-mitten hybrids. My personal favorite is the Breath Thermo glove from Mizuno. This glove is special in that the material itself will warm up when exposed to water or sweat. Mizuno also makes a Breath Thermo sock with the same warming feature which has become one of my favorite winter socks. And at a competitive price, the Breath Thermo gloves and socks are a unique and much needed gift for those who need to keep their hands or warm out on the road or trail.
Reflective Gear & Stocking Stuffers
As important as it is to stay warm on the roads, being visible on a dark winter run is just as important. Getting out the door while the sun is down with cold temperatures can be a particular challenge in the winter. Fleet Feet offers high quality running headlamps from Nathan to light up the road ahead of you. Nathan headlamps are rechargeable, offering over 150 feet of visibility and are water resistant. Reflective vests, storage belts, clip-on lights and much more allow you to be visible from head to toe. Many running shoes also have conveniently built-in reflective strips to create a little more visibility at your feet. Personally, wearing reflective or lighting gear not only allows others to see me but can give me comfort and confidence when I hit quiet roads and dark streets. Fleet Feet offers a variety of other stocking stuffers such as socks, watches, sunglasses, and much more. If you’re not sure what to get a runner for the holidays, giving them a Fleet Feet gift card is always a good idea!
While I’ve expressed my favorites for running shoes and apparel, Fleet Feet offers a variety of potential gifts for your favorite runner. Stop in at the Albany or Malta store sometime for some holiday shopping! Hopefully I’ll see you there!
Jake has kindly agreed to be a frequent contributor to The Pace Setter. His background as an elite runner, running shoe specialist, and student in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Russell Sage College, makes him uniquely qualified to write columns that our readers will benefit from greatly.
Thanks, Jake for coming onboard.