Like many children, my parents often had no idea what get me, so they also gave me some money to get whatever I wanted at the mall. Even today, they give me some money to get my own gifts, but instead of wasting that money on Transformers or He-Man gear as I did when I was seven, I splurge on shoes.

Shoes would make a wonderful gift, but I don’t see people normally inspecting my feet to get an idea of my size and brand preference. I do get another pair of shoes almost invariably during the holiday season, though I often wait until that week between Christmas and New Year’s as the deals are better and you can get your hands on the nice things which weren’t good enough for the preppies and such because they were reduced second-hand merchandise from $1500 or so. Shoes make an excellent gift for a runner, but I would suggest that you simply give that person who runs in your life or in your family the money, just to avoid someone telling you that they can’t wear them because there is no midsole support or the torsion bar is out of place or whatever technical barrage you receive.

So, as you can see, runners enjoy running gifts. That should make a lot of sense, as people who build model airplanes would enjoy relevant gifts, and people who eat Spaghetti-O’s with a bamboo skewer would enjoy generous packets of napkins in their stocking. This is the time to begin thinking about what you will get that special runner in your life or that weirdo who claims to be your son or daughter who walks out of the house each morning strangely dressed simply for the purpose of agitating gravel for an hour or so. This is the time to consider those people and to consider what sorts of gear you know they would enjoy. If you are buying for me, I can only give you this piece of advice; keep the receipt, for I am rather finicky.

I write this piece on Halloween, meaning that Christmas is only 55 days distant, and that there are just over 7 weeks of shopping and fretting and saving until you must face that runner with the gift you have so thoughtfully picked out for them.

Hopefully, you have done them a service simply by remembering their dedication to a sport and their love of life as seen when a runner whizzes by on all twos.