December. It’s a month of blatant commercialism and marketing designed to get us to buy, buy, buy and buy some more. If you’re a guy and you’re in a pickle over what to get your gal for Christmas, the pressure is on. Here are a few hints to ensure your Christmas doesn’t suck one massive Yule log:
(You’re welcome, by the way)
Ahnu Noe ($110): Pronounced, “No-EEEE”. The skateboard shoe is popular and chances are that the gal on your gift list knows this. If she already has a pair, it’s pretty much a guarantee that they won’t be as nice as the Ahnu Noe. They’re well-made, not overly heavy and have decent arch support. Great for travel, slipping on at the trailhead after a mountain bike ride or even date night. I like wearing these with cuffed boyfriend jeans and a form-fitting hoody.
LOWA Palermo ($150): Can’t afford to give her a Porsche Cayenne for Christmas? A pair of LOWA Palma’s are the next best thing! They are, after all, LOWA. That means they’re made in Germany. For sizing, make sure you get her a pair in her normal, everyday shoe size and not her hiking boot or trail runner shoe size. Great for travel, casual use, impromptu hikes. She can wear with skinny jeans, plaid lumberjack-style button-down shirt and stocking hat.
Teva Foxy ankle boots ($130): Definitely not the Teva’s of Mark Thatcher’s Teva but evolution cannot be stopped. The nice rounded toe and low-profile gives them a more casual look and the cushioned footbed makes it a good travel shoe. Sizing feels a little wonky. Length-wise they’re right on but they are on the narrow side. I like wearing these with slouchy boyfriend-cut jeans (if you suspect I never grew out of my Nirvana grunge phase you’d be right), leggings, tights, a thin sock or no sock (to counteract the wonky sizing).
Timbuk2 Sunset ($109): My all-time favorite urban pack from Timbuk2. If your gal’s go-to bag says Coach, Louis Vuitton or Kate Spade—run! Or just get her a Timbuk2 Sunset backpack. This is a great urban pack for work, around town or travel. It has a sturdy leather grab handle for easy lifting from café chair or bus/airplane seat to her shoulder and back and the smooth waxy canvas just feels sexy to touch.
Rusch to Glory: Memoir By The Queen of Pain: Personally reviewed by our very own Head Gear Gal Jill! Gear Gal Jill “…devoured Reba’s book in one day, and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in athletic endeavors.” Even women who aren’t racers appreciate memoirs of women who are because who doesn’t want to read about the women who are capable, driven and have risen to the tops of their fields?
Cairn Subscription Box ($25/month): This monthly box of “Outdoor Discovery!” is sure to get you brownie points and your money’s worth. I’m on my third month and even though I already have a lot of gear in my gear box, I have still received useful items that I never thought about. Like an Aquamira Frontier Pro ultralight water filter and a V3-Pocket Bellow!
Tribe Adventure Hammock ($35): This attractively-priced hammock is low on frills but high on quality and weight savings. Easily packable into her backpack via its own stuff sack. Don’t forget to splurge on aftermarket treestraps and carabineers if you really want to impress her with thoroughness. Makes a nice stocking stuffer, too, since it packs down so small.
LowaLet the Palermo get you where you're going. ; Leather upper features a sneaker silhouette. ; Lace-up construction with metal eyelets. ; Lowa brand name on side. ; Textile lining and insole. ; Synthetic sole. ; Imported. Measurements: ; Weight: 13 oz ; Product measurements were taken using size 11, width D - Medium. Please note that measurements may vary by size.$64.99