Friday, November 18, 2022

35 Gift Ideas for Runners and Adventurers: Recovery Shoes/Tools, Lighting and Run/Bike Safety, Packs and Vests, Poles, Sunglasses and Nutrition/Fueling

Article by the Road Trail Run Test Team

Road Trail Run contributors bring you 30 gift ideas for runners and adventurers in the categories of recovery shoes, lighting and run/bike safety, packs and vests, poles, nutrition, and sunglasses. This is the first of 3 RTR Holidays 2022 Gift Guides.

Recovery Sandals/Shoes & Tools

Topo Athletic Revive Recovery Slide ($120) 

A Cozy Slip-On with a Sturdy Vibram Outsole


Dominique Winebaum: This new recovery model from Topo Athletic is a slipper design with a fleece upper delivering a soft and cozy feel for your feet, bare or not, when it’s cold outside.  

Named “Revive” this cozy slip-on has 3D Wave Sense Insoles from Ortholite® which gently massage the soles of your feet as you walk.  I prefer to wear mine barefoot for a better feel of the wave vibrations from the insole.  

To top it off, the Revive has a Vibram®XS Trek EVO outsole, so you can wear them outdoors too!  

Yes, they are a bit pricey for “slippers,” however, this is a normal price range for recovery shoes, especially one with a durable platform such as the Revive which can serve you for so many uses.  Perfect for après-ski and run to slide into something comfortable and cozy for your drive home or to just hang out around the house. 

Sally Reiley: I also recommend the Topo Revive as a holiday gift! I have long been a hard-core Oofos fan and live in the Oofos OOcloog all winter long, with my Smartwool socks.  However, the Oofos clog is best suited for indoor wear and dry surfaces only because the outsole can be very slippery (don’t wear them on hard-packed snow!). The Topo has a rugged Vibram sole, so they are better suited for outdoor wear. And they are totally warm and cozy without being hot (delightfully breathable, no sweaty feet). 

Topo Revive is available now for women and men!


Kane Revive Shoe

Sam: An “active recovery shoe”.  The Kane is not a soft soft foot pillow (Oofos) but more the chassis of a run shoe with a slip-on fairly rigid and very supportive foam upper.

The Kane part. It's made from a sustainable sugarcane based EVA type foam. 

It is highly supportive and anatomically correct, stout yet light. The foam at the foot has raised nubs to stimulate and also provide an air and moisture gap area.

It is well cushioned and not soft and mushy anywhere with a run shoe feel and stability underfoot so for sure also useful as a walking, errands, dog walk and water shoe. I have not taken them off in the week since I received them, except to pull on run shoes, as around the house out and about they are comfortable and ready for anything.

Whole sizes. I am US8.5 and the US9 fits correctly front to heel which is a touch loose but well held. With socks the rear hold improves.

Notice the on the ground width of the platform.  Plenty of foot splay room with the toe box very decently wide and high.

$75 and available now in many colors with each pair including other  cord pull color options. 

Update: Kane Footwear is launching a new recycling program, Project Renew, the week of April 10, 2023 to turn used Revive slip-ons into yoga mats ($100) and changing mats ($60). 

Kane is offering this recycling solution for customers who want their well-loved Revives to live a new life. Customers can request a prepaid shipping label to send their shoes to Lavarubber, who will then grind down the shoes for use in yoga and changing mats. As an incentive, Kane is offering a $10 gift card in exchange for returned shoes. 

The Revive slip-on is made from a renewable, plant-based EVA foam alternative that is composed of over 75% sugarcane byproduct. Their signature RestoreFoam retains CO2 sequestered during the sugarcane's growth cycle, making it a carbon negative material. 

Through Project Renew, Kane is giving new life to their RestoreFoam, ensuring that it stays in circulation and out of landfills. 

Velous Pacific Flip ($70)

Michael Ellenberger: Velous recovery footwear deviates from “standard” flip-flops,with some key recovery features - stability, arch support, toe spring, traction, flexibility (among others) - but the through line here is their patent-pending Tri-Motion Technology, which facilitates heel strike, transition, and toe off while providing cushion, arch support, and flexibility for full flex. It’s hard to independently evaluate each of those elements while just walking around, but the flexibility in particular stood out to me - I don’t think I’ve ever had a sandal that was so heel-to-toe flexible (without feeling hyper cheap, or like that flexibility was at the expense of stability). 

There’s also a decent chunk of cushion underfoot, which shouldn’t go unnoticed - just looking at the shoe, you can tell it isn’t going to be as bare as the $9 Walgreens flip-flop you might have in your closet, but even compared to a running shoe, I was impressed by how stable and cushioned the Pacific Flip felt.

I had the pleasure of testing the VelousPacific Flip in my busiest month of running in a long while - I had just finished my PR effort at the Chicago Marathon (2:22:18, Strava linked here) and was hoping to gear up for a sub-2:20 effort at Indianapolis Monumental (which unfortunately didn’t come to fruition, as we battled some really nasty conditions, but I trudged through to a 2:23:49!). 

All that to say - I had a lot of need for recovery, as I tried to tape my body together for two hard marathons in a month, and the Velous Pacific Flip became an integral part of the process.

In short, I fully recommend the Velous Pacific Flip! Like I said, these came to me at exactly the right time to test them for recovery - in the month between two hard marathon efforts - and while I wish I could say that the Velous helped me slip under 2:20 in the marathon… I can say that they helped me recover sufficiently to give an all-out effort twice in a short period. They have other styles, if the “thong”  sandal isn’t your thing - I’m thinking they’re all similarly useful, and well worth it!

Hypervolt 2 Pro Percussion Device for Massage Therapy

Sally: Speaking as a runner who raced four WMM Marathons this past year (Boston 21 - NYC 21 - Boston 22 - London 22), I swear by my massage gun. It is fantastic for warming up the muscles, and better yet for keeping them loose after a hard workout. I am convinced the daily use of this has kept me healthy and out of my PT’s office. 

I first bought a generic and less expensive massage gun that worked “just fine,” but eventually upgrading to the Hypervolt 2 Pro was totally worth it (and watch for holiday sales, currently selling for $299 at 25% off). The Hypervolt is quieter, more powerful, has an incredible battery life, and comes with five head attachments to let you pinpoint different muscle groups. There are five different percussion speeds ranging from gentle massage to deep penetration. My hamstrings have thanked me every day! 

Hyperice Hypervolt 2

AMAZON SHOP HERE ($399 now $299)


Run, Hike, Bike Lighting

Petzl Nao RL (RTR Review)

Jeff Valliere: The Nao RL is the most functional, bright and premium headlamp I have ever used by leaps and bounds.  

Now with 1,500 lumens, a significant drop in weight, major redesign, reactive technology, easy on/off/mode adjust red rear flasher, USB rechargeable battery (doubling as a battery bank in a pinch), all for $30 less than the previous model (a pleasant surprise in this time of rampant inflation), the Nao RL is a must for anyone regularly running trails or adventuring at night.

Petzl Nao RL is available now!



Petzl Actik Core $75  (RTR Review

Jeff Valliere:  While not as bright as the Nao, the Actik Core has a very impressive 600 max lumens, weighs just 84 grams, has a rechargeable lithium ion battery and is very compact for carrying along just in case or for early morning runs.  600 lumens is actually plenty enough for most trail running, especially when paired with the Kogalla RA below.  


Actik Core available now SHOP HERE


Petzl Headlamps available now SHOP HERE

FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns

Kogalla RA  (RTR Review)

Jeff V:  While not new for 2022, This has to be included perpetually until they put out a new version.  The Kogalla RA has transformed my perspective and ability to run in the dark, with its bar of  5 LED providing 800 lumens of warm light, creating an impressive low to mid beam swath of artificial sunshine.  

Worn at waist/torso level, it projects such a non bounce glow that provides unparalleled terrain definition allowing fast, stable and efficient movement no matter how technica the terrain.  Paired with a good headlamp, especially with the Nao RL, I actually look for reasons to run in the dark and no longer see it as being an unfortunate necessity. 

Kogalla UltRA Ultra Trail Light 


15% Discount by entering code: RoadTrailRun

Now through Cyber Monday additional 10% Discount with code: BlackFridayNow

UltrAspire Lumen 800 Ultra 2.0 Waist Light ($200)

Mike Postaski: Like Jeff V, using a waist lamp has completely transformed my night running. This was the first year that I used a waist lamp overnight during races and it was a total game changer - check out my race reports at the links from my Standhope and IMTUF 100 milers. I was able to run through the entire night with the Lumen 800 on a single charge. There are three brightness settings, and I would use the “mid” setting for most flats and downhill running, and I would switch it off or to “low” for extended uphill climbs where only a headlamp is really necessary to see a step or two in front of you. I paired the Lumen 800 with a lightweight Petzl IKO Core for both races.

I previously had used a Kogalla RA for night running, but I find the Lumen 800 much more comfortable and easier to use with its integrated belt. 

The fit is super secure, with no bounce at all. Fit-wise, I hardly notice I’m wearing it. It is completely waterproof, and also offers connections to alternate power sources.

Lumen Ultra 800 2.0 available now

Running Warehouse US HERE

Knog Blinder Bike Light Twin Pack ($80)  

(RTR Review)

Jeff V:  It is hard to describe how bright these are, until you see them and once you do, you are literally blinded and see spots for a good 15 minutes or more.  I love that they are USB rechargeable, are light, compact, stylish and have a variety of blink patterns.  I occasionally ride home from town in the summer as it is getting dark, but mainly use them as daytime running lights to be noticed by cars, be it around the neighborhood, town, or rides in the foothills as they are exceptionally effective at getting driver’s attention.  I like them so much, I went and purchased a second set, one dedicated set for my gravel bike and one to my town e-bike.

Knog Blinder Bike Light Twin Pack

Available at REI SHOP HERE

BioLite 425 ($60)

​​Max output 425 lumens

  • Easy one-hand tilting and larger power button

  • rear red light with solid or strobe mode

  • 60 hours on LOW, 4 Hours on HIGH

  • Recharge via USB-C

  • 1h Reserve Mode alerts you when power is low

  • Connect to external powerbank (sold separately) for extended runtimes via Pass-Thru Charging

Sam:  Headlamps keep improving in light quality and quantity while dropping in price and weight. If your runner has a 2 or 3 year old lamp for about or less than the same money as back then they will get a far superior lamp and more run time as here with the 425. 

The 425 here is a perfect example. Its head unit is very slim and wraps the head without pressure, well balanced with almost as light rear battery pack with its head band no longer of those rough scratchy webbing like straps of old. Its 425 lumen strong max lighting is perfect for my more mellow night road running, hiking and night nordic track skiing. 

The rear red safety blinker and the Pass-Thru charging from a standard battery pack which can be used with the lamp in action (shown above with headlamp battery on empty)  and the easy front tilt are bonuses those older lamps just didn’t have. 

Head Lamp 800 PRO ($100)

  • 150 hours LOW, 7 hours HIGH, 8 hours RESERVE

  • 3000 mAh li-ion battery recharges via micro USB

  • PassThru charging: attach a power bank and continue lighting your way

Jeff V:  The BioLite 800 has a super high quality construction, is bright, infinitely adjustable at up to 800 max lumens with a USB rechargeable rear battery pack which includes a flashing rear red light.  The fit is comfortable, operation is easy, although the button functions take a bit of practice.  The beam has a warmer hue than most headlamps and is more in line with the warmer hue of the Kogalla, which helps a lot with trail definition and  particularly when the trail is rough and technical.  I like that the beam is broad, as well as distant which gives a nice field of vision.  The 800 Pro is a great value for its overall brightness, quality, battery life and performance.

John Tribbia: The BioLite 800 provides an incredibly bright and warm white light. What I love most about the brightness is the warmth of the hue and broad spread of light. It means a quality hands free experience to see directly and periphery. The wide angle works well to see in front of your feet and out to the broader obstacles ahead. On the road, the beam is strong enough to keep oncoming cars aware of your presence. Note: it can irritate oncoming runners with how bright it shines!  On dark trails, the brightness and hue are perfect to illuminate obstacles near and far.

Biolite 425 and Biolite 800 


​​Knog Free Plus Free Twin Pack Running Packs ($35)

Super Light, Bright Clip on USB Rechargeable Safety Lights 

Peter Stuart: The Knog Plus-Free is a great little set of clip-on lights that I didn’t know I needed until Knog was so kind as to send them. 

For $35 you get two USB rechargeable clip on lights. One has  a variable white light and the other  a variable red light. The front light is 40 lumens and has 5 different modes; Steady, Strobe, Pulse, Fancy Flash and Eco Flash. The Rear (red) light is 20 lumens and has the same 5 modes. 

They are super light, clip on anywhere and provide just enough light to help keep you safe and seen at  night, and during dusk or dawn hours of the day. I like to keep the white light on solid and the red light blinking which gives me enough visibility to see the street in front of me and enough blinking red light so I can be seen by cars. 

My favorite part of the lights is the charging mechanism. Instead of having to plug in yet another USB cable, these little beauties plug directly into a USB port for charging. They’re great, light and easy to charge. Steady light mode will get you 2 hours and if you put them on “eco flash” mode they’ll last for up to 40 hours. 

Knog Free Plus Free Twin Pack Running Lights


Packs and Race Vests

Camelbak Octane 25 Limited Edition with 2L Fusion Reservoir ($200)

The Ultimate Do it All Race Vest Style Day Pack

Sam: The Octane 25 (RTR Review) is my favorite all around day hike/travel/run pack of all time for its versatility. It is updated in the Limited Edition with a new pack material and with the included reservoir Camelbak new Fusion 2.) zip up new design. My original from 2020 is still going strong so I am thrilled to recommend the new Octane 25 LTD.

2L Fusion reservoir included, flasks not included

It includes:

  • The front of a running race vest with 6 pockets including flask pockets and a zip pocket 

  • 2 side belt zip pockets, 

  • 3 large mesh side and rear mesh pockets 

  • 2 rear zip compartments, one for the included 2.0 l hydration reservoir (also great for a laptop) and the other zip compartment with multiple stretch mesh organizers (one zip) for all the rest.

It gets 2 significant upgrades over the original. 

First, the main pack material is now an ultralight and durable dimension polyant LS07 sailcloth. This gives the rear of the pack a bit more structure so less movement on the run. Of course, it is also more water resistant and more durable although my OG shows no wear after 2 years of hard use. A rain cover (removable) is tucked into a zip pocket at the bottom rear and is very easy to pull over the entire pack for extra rain protection and visibility as it is bright yellow.

It accompanied me on my recent reporting trip to the Golden Trai World Series and passed my testing with flying colors.

Second, the included reservoir is Camelbak new Fusion 2.0L with Tru® Zip Waterproof Zipper. ($53) Done are the days of folding and painfully sliding (and losing) a clamp to shut.  

Other key features :

  • Integrated handle makes filling comfortable and easy

  • Universal hanger for all hydration-compatible packs

  • Rigid backplate eliminates need for baffle for easier cleaning and drying

  • Hydroguard™ technology inhibits the growth of bacteria in the reservoir and tube

  • 100% Free of BPA, BPS and BPF

  • Pinch grip allows single-handed filling at sinks and refrigerators

  • Big Bite™ Valve delivers 20% more water per sip

  • On/Off lever makes it easy to prevent leaks

  • Rain cover (look for it at the very bottom back of pack in a zippered compartment)

By itself the new Fusion 2L Reservoir ($53)  is also a great gift idea to replace someone’s grungy old bladder. Note that its fairly rigid zipper and width may make it difficult to use in narrower race vests.


The Camelbak Octane 25L LTD available now!


Fusion 2L Reservoir available now!




Jeff V:  While I have not reviewed the updated version, the original Octane 25 (RTR Review) is one of my favorite all around packs for day hikes, all day runs where I need to carry a lot or even for just travel where it is nice to have a pack that has easy to organize pockets and versatility where you are fully capable of most adventures once you get to your destination.

The original Octane 25L $145 is still available 

On sale for $107.93 


Osprey Duro 15 Hydration Pack  (RTR Review)

Jeff V:  The Duro 15 as with the higher capacity Octane 25  rides the fine line between run vest and pack, having all the functionality of a run vest, yet is sturdy and can carry weight like a pack.  

A bladder is included. You can add flasks to the front for added water capacity.  Construction is sturdy, high quality and zippered pockets give peace of mind to contain valuable gear.

Osprey Duro 15 

on sale $104.93


Duro line (15, 6, 1.5, belt)


Ultimate Direction Ultra Vest and Vesta  6.0 $140 (RTR Review)

Jeff V:  UD is at the top of the heap when it comes to listening to top athletes regarding run vest design and the designers are clearly out in the field themselves, so they know what works and what doesn’t.  

The Ultra Vest 6.0 packs a lot into a small and streamlined run vest, with 10L capacity and has a well thought out design with easy to access pockets, pole loops, soft and flexible materials which are breathable and comfortable.

Renee Krusemark: I agree with Jeff. UD is a top brand for hydration vests, and the Vesta 6.0 (women’s version of the Vest 6.0) packs a lot into a small and lightweight vest. The back storage is great. A lot of gear can go into this vest and it maintains a “race-like” fit. When fully loaded in the back (full bladder, full zipper pocket storage), the neck fit was a bit small/narrow for me. I’ve had runners ask, and to clarify, that’s only an issue when the back is fully loaded (see the photo above; I don’t have particularly narrow shoulders). For $140, the Vesta is well priced. 

Nathan Pinnacle 4L Women’s Hydration Race Vest $175

Renee: The Pinnacle 4L women’s vest has a comfortable “shirt-like” fit, and it’s more versatile than it seems. The vest is pricey, but I find it useful for daily runs (taking only a phone and a key fob), for long efforts (hydration in the front and clothing in the back), and I wore it for a 50k race. 

Running Warehouse US

Nathan Pinnacle 4L

Women and Men’s SHOP HERE

Nathan Hypernight Quick Start 2.0 4 Liter Hydration Pack $90

A Top Value for Basic Hydration/Gear Carry and Night Reflectivity 

Sam: The Nathan at $90 is a great value in a capable smaller capacity 4L hydration/night safety vest.  It includes a 1.5L bladder, a rarity in a sub $100 pack. 

My black has extensive front and back geo-reflective print.  A hi viz yellow version is also available.

The front zipper pocket just holds an iPhone 11 in case while the drop in pocket will easily do so and can be cinched tight. A smaller mesh pocket in front of the drop in pocket for gels and such.  The drop in pocket can hold a shorter length soft flask if you don’t want to use the included hydration bladder. 

At the rear we have the zipper compartment for the bladder with a decently large zip pocket lower down.

The fit is high on the body with dual adjustment straps on either side. 

Fully loaded with 1.5L of water I found it entirely bounce free and comfortable with the soft bindings and mesh very pleasant.

The Hypernight is a fine option at a reasonable price for bladder based hydration, for its safety features , and to carry an extra layer, some nutrition, and phone and keys.

Also available in a Hi-Viz Yellow. 


Available along with other Hypernight run safety products at Nathan Sports  HERE

Hypernight 4L Vest in Hi-Viz Yellow

 ($90 now $62.99)


Stocking Stuffer Idea:  

Nathan Sports SaferRun Ripcord Sirens ($20-$38.25) 

They clip to any clothing and vest and can be easily activated by pulling ithe cord.  The 120dB alarm is as loud as an ambulance siren and audible from over 600ft. Available as the Ripcord Siren standalone for $20 and with added strobe for $30. 

Or with an included phone hand held carrier case (now $38.25)  to which the Siren clips as shown above. 

Shop Ripcord Siren options at Running Warehouse HERE

Poles and Traction

Komperdell:  Run Poles Review  CARBON FXP 4 SUMMIT-VARIO Trekking Poles Review

Jeff V/Sam:  Austrian brand Komperdell has been producing the highest quality poles for 100 years!  While not the lightest on the market, they are still pretty darn light and are built with impeccable quality, sturdiness and craftsmanship which reflects their heritage, yet are always looking to innovate and produce a cutting edge product.  They also focus on environmental sustainability, have great customer service, the  highest quality standards and a great no questions asked warranty.  


Komperdell Trekking Poles



Komperdell Trekking Poles




Kahtoola EXO Spikes and Microspikes (RTR Traction Guide)

Jeff V:  Year after year, I circle back to recommending Kahtoola traction products to anyone's stocking stuffer list.  The original and now more streamlined Microspikes is for those snow packed hikes or runs, or in the mountains for safety, or on more mellow terrain for efficiency, the Microspikes are the best out there.  

For more packed and especially icy conditions, I challenge anyone to find a better solution than the EXOspikes.  

Similar in overall design to the Microspikes but instead of the traditional triangular points EXOs feature 12 well spaced, articulating, sharp tungsten carbide studs that are more capable of grabbing into hard ice and are more versatile in that you do not have to worry about taking them off or dulling them on dry, rocky sections of trail.  

Where I run daily in Boulder, I’ll use Microspikes if there is good, packed snowy trail from bottom to top, however with a lot of freeze/thaw, varied aspects and elevations, we most often in winter have a mix of everything, snow, dry rocky trail and featuring significant stretches of “death ice” or “luge run”.  When conditions vary like this (which they do most of the winter), EXOSpikes are almost always on my feet.

Sam: I would add that I have yet to find a better icy roads traction solution than the EXO. The articulation works on any shoe and at any pace and the small stubs grip like crazy and are never in the way or over noticed. Plus they are easy to pull on and off for drier sections. 

Shop for all the Kahtoola Traction at REI HERE


Julbo Fury Reactiv 1-3 Light Amplifier ($220)

Sam:  For many years I have been a fan of Julbo’s sunglasses with photochromic lenses and especially those with a big range of light transmission options to go from full sun to cloudy conditions and for early and late runs when the light changes as I go. 

My Fury with the 1-3 Light Amplifier lens (also available with other lenses) has a visible light transmission of 17% - 75%  and is made of Trivex material. The Light Amplifier coating really brings out contrast. The anti fogging coating and ventilation have performed well. 

I lent my pair to Robyn Lesh at Golden Trail World Series (15th overall) as her luggage was lost and she said they performed very well but she said they did fog a bit on uphills in the almost 100% Madeira humidity.

Photo Credit: Golden Trail World Series- Jordi Saragossa Philipp Reitter

With a broad field of view and impeccable optics they are outstanding for any sport.  The size allows me to wear them over my prescription glasses, I know goofy, but the way I rock sunglasses.

Julbo Fury (multiple lens types including 1-3 Light Amplifier) are available




Save 20% with Code: Holiday22

LT (visibility light transmission) : 17% - 75

Nutrition, Fueling and Hydration

Athletic Brewing Co. NA Beer (post run/anytime) 

Sally: I love a good beer as much as the next guy, but I am now a huge convert to drinking non-alcoholic beers when in training. I swear it makes a huge difference in race performance. 

The NA Beers made by Athletic Brewing Co are created with athletes in mind who simply don’t want the alcohol. They taste great, just as good IMO as a “real” craft beer. 

My favorite is the Upside Dawn Golden Ale, as well as the Cerveza Mexican style. There are always numerous small batch options to try that are available on their website. Once you try it, you will understand what I mean. 

Fortunately there is no longer a stigma attached to not drinking alcohol, and I am pleased that so many of my peers are opting to go this route for health reasons. Watch for Athletic at your next race - the company is doing a great job of sponsoring athletic events. 

Give your runner a subscription for monthly NA beers to be shipped to their door!

Disclaimer: I am an ambassador, but was already a huge fan before joining up

Picky Bars 

Sally: I was introduced to Picky Bars several years ago by my Colorado-based daughter who is a dedicated backcountry skier/hiker/biker. Picky Bars were created by athletes (pro runners and marathoners Lauren Fleshman and Stephanie Bruce) looking for performance fuel that is made of real food. And that tastes great! 

Picky Bars make nutrition bars (my go-to for pre-workout and on the road, favorite variety is Lauren’s MegaNuts), oatmeals (perfect meal before a long run - I especially love the apple and pumpkin flavors), and granolas. All gluten free, all packed with good nutrition, all delicious and convenient. My five kids always get PIcky Bars in their Christmas stockings.

Momentous Recovery (post-run)

Maurten Gels (for marathons/long races) 

The Super Shoe of Race Nutrition

Sally: As a marathon runner, I forced myself to use those gels and gu’s as instructed to fuel during long runs and races, but I always gagged at the sickening sweetness, and oftentimes my stomach rebelled. 

Carbohydrates are essential to keep up your glycogen stores during competition and prevent “hitting the wall.” Enter Maurten a few years back: it uses hydrogel technology to deliver carbohydrate-rich fuel that an athlete’s body can tolerate. The hydrogel enables a smooth transportation of carbs through the stomach to the intestine where the nutrition is absorbed, thereby reducing the risk of GI problems. 

The hydrogel contains no added flavor and no added colorants or preservatives, and comes in both caffeinated and non-caf varieties. I typically alternate the two gels during a race. You do not need water to wash these down, and the taste and texture is comparable to an unflavored jello. Ever since I first tried Maurten, it has worked like a charm for me and my sensitive stomach, and my race times have improved. Maurten is the SuperShoe of Race Nutrition! Every runner needs this. 

Give Maurten Energy Gear!

Running Warehouse SHOP HERE

Gnarly Nutrition 

Peter: I stumbled on Gnarly nutrition last year when I ordered some flasks or a vest (I can’t remember which company) and they included a sample of the Gnarly Hydration. I was instantly in. The hydration has great flavor, real sugar and about 80 calories per serving. Staying hydrated in the Texas summer is a tough game, and bad tasting stuff just won’t do it. Gnarly Hydration is great. I moved on to their greens, their creatine and their whey protein and I’ve enjoyed all of them a ton. I’d highly recommend checking out some Gnarly product. 

Precision Hydration 

Mike Postaski: I’ve used Precision Hydration products exclusively this year for all of my races. They have a salt/electrolyte focused approach to their products that seems to work well for me. I’ve had big problems in the past mainly with hydration, but also with fueling. PH provides lower carb, but (customizable) higher sodium mix packs which are perfect for long ultras. I find that I’m able to consume much more fluid while running than with more standard sugary sport drinks. Their gels also have a neutral flavor, and a jelly-like consistency (somewhat similar to Maurten), which also goes down easily. 

Gel packs come in easy to manage (and calculate) 30g carb and ultra-friendly resealable 90g carb packets. They also make a reusable bite valve for the larger 90g packets which is very handy for long races. Also race friendly - they provide single serving (16 oz) drink mix packs which are perfect for racing. I just have to figure out how many packs I need for each segment of a race, and pack them into my drop bags.

The PH website is also a great information source for all things fueling and hydration - all available for free. I highly suggest perusing their library here and thinking more closely about your fueling. PH doesn’t seem to be as well known within the running world, but perhaps that will change as I just saw that top ultrarunner Hayden Hawks has joined the PH team.

Precision’s Fuel Sample Pack ($40) may be the perfect holiday gift for the runner in your life - 

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Some products were provided at no charge for review purposes others were personal purchases. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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