2020 Runner Gift Guide: Customizable Gift Ideas for Runners

Running saw a surge in popularity in 2020. Quarantine and social distancing, working from home, and the closure of gyms all drove people to look for different ways to stay in shape by keeping close to home and safely away from large gatherings or indoor spaces. 

I've compiled this gift list with our unique circumstances of a global pandemic in mind. Customized gifts are great for both new runners and experienced marathoners. The accessories, home decor pieces, and other gift ideas on this list are all available from small business owners via Etsy.

Tip: If you're shopping Etsy for the holidays, be sure to place your order in a timely manner. Many sellers on Etsy are small artisan home-based businesses that don't really ramp up production with extra employees during the holiday rush.

1 Custom Runner Caricature Digital Image

Found on Etsy

This is super cute for runners of all levels. Get a caricature of your runner in action. Work with the artist to get the background, clothing, accessories, and other details included in your drawing. You'll get a digital image that you're free to print. This artist also offers runner caricatures in the style of the Simpsons and you can pick other hobbies or professions if you need gift ideas for others on your list.

2 Customizable Embroidered Runner Towel

Found on Etsy

This is a cute gift idea for runners that can be used in the home or after a run. Pick your own personalized name to feature underneath an embroidered running shoeprint. The  lightweight towel measures 16" by 26" which is a good size for mopping off sweat after a run or workout or to use as a hand towel in a powder room.

3 Personalized Runner Holiday Ornament

Found on Etsy

Add your runner's name to this cute tank top wearing runner ornament figure. This is a quality polyresin ornament ready to be hand personalized with your specified name. This seller offers many other customizable ornaments, including a matching female runner figure. You can also find ornaments with runners in track suits.

4 Race Distances Reusable Black Cloth Mask

Found on Etsy

Get the runner on your list a face mask (so 2020) featuring a race distance (half or full marathon) or a running shoe. For the design print you can choose from gold, silver, or white.

5 Printed Tyvek Virtual Marathon Bib

Found on Etsy

Anyone who was scheduled to run a marathon in 2020 was probably crushed when the news broke that it was being cancelled. Seller CharmedRunning offers printed Tyvek race bibs for big races like Chicago, New York, and MCM. You can also send in a PDF of your own bib, from a virtual race or of your own creation, to be printed on Tyvek. This is a fun way to make your virtual race experience more real as most races offer digital bibs rather than physical, Tyvek-printed bibs.

6 Running is Essential Women's Tank Top

Found on Etsy – See more in Running & Race T-Shirts & Swag

In 2020 we learned about essential workers, essential travel, and essential activities. Runners would definitely consider running to be essential. Get this cotton racerback tank top in your choice of 5 colors and 4 sizes for women.

7 Custom Text Arm Warmer Running Sleeves

Found on Etsy

Running sleeves are nice to have as an extra easy to remove layer during colder runs. Custom sleeves like these can be used to share a message as well. Add your runner's name for him or her to wear during an upcoming major race, or words of motivation to help get through a tough run. Pick from 7 different colors and 7 different fonts.

8 Running Is My Happy Place Cross-Stitch Pattern

Found on Etsy

Looking to get crafty yourself? Purchase this PDF download cross-stitch pattern to make frameable art, a pillow, linen, or other fabric into a gift for your runner. This purchase is for the pattern only; you'll have to provide the thread and other necessary materials.

9 Custom Embroidered Runner Sweatbands

Found on Etsy

These retro style terry sweatbands are available in 12 different bold colors. You can customize headbands or wristbands in various different set configurations. Pick your thread color(s) and desired fonts for your text. There are options to add icons or images to your custom text as well. 

10 Customizable Medal Holder with Hooks

Found on Etsy

Have a totally custom medal holder made for your runner. Maybe a new runner needs a medal rack for their new collection of virtual race medals, or a seasoned runner needs more storage capacity for all of their medals. Customize text for virtual race medals, races cancelled by COVID-19, those rare in-person races that happened in 2020, or medals commemorating small group runs in this unusual year. Other ideas for personalization: your runner's name or nickname, motivational sayings, or favorite quotes from movies.

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