Wow, we finally ran/walk/crawled Shawshank-style through this sewage tunnel of a year and are now rewarded with spending the holidays alone, talking to our pair of Vaporflys on a deserted island.
Good news – FedEx still delivers to deserted islands so you can console your loneliness with a good ol’ fashioned “reverse stimulus check,” aka “Fridays when that paycheck hits my bank account.”
To that end, we’ve put together a list of gear from some of our favorite companies that we promise will treat you right. We’ve worn or tested all of this gear and every piece is backed by us 100%.
From high-quality merino tops (Iffley Road) to simple stocking stuffers (Lock Laces) to cozy footwear that will get you through the coldest winter (Deckers Lab), we got you covered.
Happy holidays to you all from us here at Believe in the Run. We wish you the best that running and life have to offer.
Vuori | Fleet Pant
Trim and modern cut | Perfect run/lifestyle combo | Made from recycled materials
We were turned onto California-based Vuori this fall, and we have yet to be disappointed by any product we’ve come across. The Fleet Pant keeps the hits going with its tailored fit, soft and stretchy material, and a look that fits in anywhere. A brushed interior waistband is super comfortable while an internal drawcord gives more support. Extra storage space for a key or card on the run is provided by a small zip storage pocket inside the right pant pocket. The best part about it? It’s made from all recycled materials, right in line with Vuori’s core values: ethical manufacturing, sustainability, and community.
Protect ya neck Lulu, ’cause Vuori has you in their sights.
HOLIDAY SAVINGS: Free beanie with any purchase over $150 (on Black Friday).Shop Vuori
Path Projects | Sykes PX Short & Baseliner
Made in California | Toray Primeflex fabric | Optimal storage
Keeping the California dream alive, Path Projects isn’t just based in Cali – all their products are actually made in California. One of the highest-quality brands we’ve reviewed, they think through all the details in their products, especially the Sykes PX 5” short and the Torch FX Base Liner (all Path Projects shorts rely on a base liner system, providing exceptional comfort and eliminating chafing).
The Sykes PX running short has storage galore (2 zip gel pockets, 1 zip cell phone pocket, and an interior key pocket), and is made of Toray Primeflex fabric, a spiral yarn with built-in flex. I can tell you that I wore this short almost every day this summer, either while running or in general daily activities. And that’s the beauty of the baseliner system: Outside of running, the shorts can be work for everyday life and the baseliners work as underwear! Treat yourself to a pair of Path, we promise you won’t regret it. (Side note: their Badlands cap is my most favorite running hat ever).
Available in classic fit, which is a perfect cut in our opinion (they also have relaxed fit for those who like a roomier feel).
PRICE: $47 (Sykes PX short), $28 (Torch FX Base Liner)
HOLIDAY SAVINGS: Spend $100, get a $10 gift card. Spend $200, get a $30 gift card.Shop Path Projects
Iffley Road | Thorpe Merino Half-Zip
100% Italian Merino Wool | Designed in UK | Perfect for holiday parties, or runs
You know how when you hold a really great piece of quality clothing, you just know it’s exceptional by the way it feels? Something about the weight and construction and fine craftsmanship. Well, that’s Iffley Road.
If you read our spring review, you know how much we love this brand out of the UK. They’re one of the few running companies out there that balances the line between pure fashion and high-performance gear. Case in point – I wore their merino running turtleneck to a mod-themed holiday party last year and the next morning wore it on a (slightly hungover) long run. (Side note: If you don’t own any merino running gear going into the winter, you are a fool. It is a magical fabric.)
The Thorpe Merino Half Zip keeps the tradition going. It is a beautiful piece of gear made from 100% Italian merino wool and sewn in Portugal. An in-seam pocket provides a small stash space for key and credit card while fold-down cuffs with thumbholes keep your hands warm for those first few miles.
Look, true quality comes at a cost – literally. It’s not the cheapest running gear in the world, but this is as close to designer/boutique as you’re gonna get (the company is literally just a husband and wife team). And we can assure you, the quality is 100% there, especially in their cold-weather gear.
HOLIDAY SAVINGS: Sale from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday.Shop Iffley Road
Deckers Lab | KO-Z SNPER Mid
Um, the most comfortable boot/slipper/thing ever? | Looped wool interior | Sheepskin upper
Real talk. We thought this KO-Z SNPR MID was ridiculous when we first saw it. But whatever, we live for the post-long run comfort zone, and this had potential. Boy, did it ever. For real, this is our most-worn piece of footwear since we got it in a few months ago. It’s hard to describe how cozy/comfortable/perfect this slipper boot is, but we’ll try.
A little background: Deckers Lab is the innovation arm for Deckers Brands (the parent company of Ugg, HOKA ONE ONE, and Teva). So they clearly know a thing or two about comfort. Lucky for us, Deckers Lab was given the greenlight to start putting out some wild stuff – we’re talking Frankenstein-like experiments that are a blend of all their brands. The KO-Z takes that idea and turns it up to 11.
In the case of the KO-Z (‘co-zy,’ get it?) you have a slipper combined with sneaker/boot, made of EcoTan sheepskin and cow suede leather. The interior is a recycled looped wool that is so luxurious feeling, it’s hard to describe. A full-coverage sponge rubber outsole means you can wear this thing anywhere, which is exactly what Thomas does. It also has a water-repellent treatment and the same Meta-Rocker geometry you’ll find in HOKA shoes.
We promise this is an indulgence that’s well worth having. Available in men’s and women’s styles.
BLACK FRIDAY: November 25-30th Deckers Lab discount closet will be open with deals on select in-season styles.Shop Deckers Lab – Men Shop Deckers Lab – Women
rabbit | re-run long sleeve
Made from Polartec Power Wool | Works great as a base layer | Tailored fit
Yet another made-in-California company has made our list, and for good reason – rabbit is a woman-owned business that has a steadfast following in the running scene because they consistently put out quality gear.
Being from SoCal, they mostly excel in the warm weather space, but that’s changed with the re-run wool long sleeve for men and the ribbit wool long sleeve for women. Made from Polartec Power Wool, this 65% polyester/36% wool blend shirt wicks moisture while keeping you warm, and works perfect as a base layer for really cold temps, or just as a typical long sleeve running shirt in the 40-55 degree range.
The fit is great, and I’ve been wearing it on a lot of my runs recently, as well as just an everyday long sleeve shirt. The women’s ribbit top is pretty much exactly the same (except they get thumbholes!).
HOLIDAY SAVINGS: Promotions throughout Thanksgiving weekend.Shop rabbit
Elastic laces with double eyelet lock | Totally secure | Yet turns your shoe into a slip-on
You may have seen Lock Laces before. You may have even thought (like me), ‘Is this just Velcro for adults?’ If so, you were a little right, but also very wrong.
We got a bunch of Lock Laces in a month or so ago, and to be honest, this was the first time I tried them. I gotta tell you – I’m not sure if I can ever go back to normal laces. The utility of having flexible lacing that can toggle tight or loose is a dream. I can slip my shoes off and put them back on easily, then tighten them to my exact liking. It’s like everything I’ve wanted in a shoelace but didn’t know I needed.
We’re super stoked to have these for our winter runs, because there is nothing worse than trying to tie shoes with frozen fingers. Same thing for race day – triathletes love these because it’s lightning-fast to change shoes between stages. For real, if you try a pair, you probably won’t go back to regular laces. They have styles/colors to match pretty much any shoe, and hey – they actually look pretty cool.
PRICE: $9 for single, $20 for bundle packs
BLACK FRIDAY: 40% OFF Sitewide & free domestic shipping with code BFCM20 (this is an insane deal btw). Runs Thanksgiving at 7 p.m. ET until midnight on Cyber Monday.Shop Lock Laces
Janji | Multi-Pass Sling Bag
2L capacity | Water-repellent DWR fabric | Secure on the run
Technically, this was already in our Holiday Gift Guide… last year. But we love it so much we’re throwing it in again, especially now that it’s updated with a bunch of reflective elements. A 2-liter capacity sling bag that can convert from chest to back to waist pack, this thing is great on the go. Storage comes in the form of a main compartment, small inner envelope-style pocket, and a large back air-mesh pocket. Enough space for sunglasses, nutrition, hydration, passport… you get the idea.
We use this a lot for errand runs to the store (perks of living in a city), and I’ve even used it chest-style on long bike-packing trips for quick access to my phone/GoPro/snacks. Of course, if you’re a runner, you only have one question – does it stay in place? Indeed it does, thanks to the easy-cinch system supported by a reflective cross-body strap that packs away when not in use. Comfort is great thanks to the honeycombed foam back panel.
Lastly, it’s made of DWR water-repellent ripstop (kinda like a tent material), so your stuff will remain dry in light rain. Pick this up for you or anyone, it’s a great gift you won’t find anywhere else.
BLACK FRIDAY: 20% OFF EVERYTHING on Janji.com for Thanksgiving week.Shop Janji Multi-Pass Sling Bag
Like The Wind | Magazine Subscription
Quarterly mag from the UK | Printed on matte paper | Beautiful artwork and stories
We’re not even sure we can call this a magazine, because it’s so much more than that. Like The Wind is a UK-based publication focused on incredible writing, storytelling, photography, and art related to running. Except instead of some crappy newsstand-style magazine, what you get is literally a small book.
Once a quarter, Like The Wind content is compiled into a beautiful package printed on matte paper and sent out to its subscribers. It’s truly a treat, and collectors have found themselves rounding up every issue to display on the shelf.
Speaking of collecting, you should probably jump on board now because issue 26.2 (you gotta go the extra .2 miles) is about to be released into the wild. They’ve built a monumental issue for this milestone and will intentionally feature some of the best marathon distance-related writing and art you’ll ever see.
You can also order back issues and art prints on the site.
PRICE: £32/$42 (yearly subscription)Shop Like The Wind
PWURE | Nutrition
Organic and natural ingredients | Pulls workout data from Strava | Personalized nutrition
This is kind of a wild take on nutrition, but the idea behind the name PWURE is a combination of pure and power. Pure in that the nutritional supplement is totally organic and all-natural, uncontaminated by any unnecessary or unclean substances. Power in that it intends to give you just that for your performances.
With those core values in mind, PWURE determines your best nutritional plan by syncing to your Strava account and analyzing your data (though you can tweak your history for a more accurate recommendation). Once they figure out what kind of runner you are, PWURE puts together a unique, on-demand training formula just for you, including both pre- and post-workout nutrition.
It comes in powdered form (which you then mix with water). Take the pre-workout 10-40 minutes before a race/hard run and take the post-workout mix immediately after. We’ve only used it a handful of times, but I’m just gonna throw this out there– I PR-ed a 5K the first time I took this stuff, and my energy levels throughout were great. Was it the Saucony Endorphin Pro, the great weather, or the PWURE? Probably a little bit of all of them. But I’m willing to keep going with this.
PRICE: Starts at $2/dose
HOLIDAY SAVINGS: 30% OFF your first month with code BREAKMYPB (ends Black Friday)Shop PWURE
Bell Lap Track and Field
Basically, game-worn jerseys | Gear from pro runners | All profits go back to the athletes
Bell Lap Track and Field is truly an awesome site for true running nerds. Here’s the deal: Many pro runners don’t make crap for money. Outside of running, they’re Uber drivers, baristas, or even worse – local running store sales clerks.
Instead of payment from their sponsor companies, they just get a ton of gear, year after year. Which is great, but you can’t pay for rent with a Nike Aeroswift singlet. Except now you can. Instead of letting all that gear go to waste, they send it to Bell Lap. Who then sells it on their site and gives all the proceeds back to the athletes. Yes, all the proceeds.
The site is run by a couple of brothers with normal jobs who just love to help out runners, as their younger brother was in the same predicament at one point. Anyway, check them out for some sweet, one-off gear, and know that when you buy something, it’s going straight to an athlete trying to make his dreams come true.
If you want the good stuff, follow them on Instagram and don’t miss out on their Tuesday Gear Drops.
PRICE: VariesShop Bell Lap
Believe in the Run | Fells Hustle Tee
Custom design by Mighty Short | BITR detailing on sleeve | Sticker two-pack included
Did you think you’d escape without a Believe in the Run gear pitch? Well, that was naïve of you. Check it out: We recently partnered with designer Mighty Short for a unique BITR throwback look, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. The all-new Fells Hustle tee is printed on a super-soft unisex blend with custom BITR detailing on the sleeve. We’re also throwing in two custom stickers with each order to slap onto your local light post or back car window. Pre-order now for mid-December shipping (not guaranteed by Christmas).
HOLIDAY SAVINGS:Shop Believe in the Run
Running Warehouse | Gift Card
You’re lazy and also terrible at picking out presents. Get a gift card.
PRICE: Whatever you want it to be.Shop Running Warehouse
NOTE: Some entries in the gift guide are sponsored partnerships, though we don’t receive any affiliate revenue from the shop links, with the exception of Running Warehouse.