Running is a pretty affordable sport to take up. All you need is a pair of shoes. Really! That’s it! You don’t even have to do races!

A nice running watch is cool. Sweat-wicking shirts help. Shorts that won’t chafe are better. Goos and gels for the long ones. Reflective clothing and flashing lights for the night owls and early birds. Sunglasses for the afternoons. Jackets for the downpours. Headbands and gloves for the chill. Running belts for when there’s stuff to carry. Earbuds for your perfect playlist.

But shoes are what you must have. That I would encourage everyone to spend money on if you’re going to.

This Christmas I received a unique gift, one that I wouldn’t have thought to ask for. One that really impressed me. One that was thoughtful and can be used again and again and again all year long.

But a Metroparks pass is top-notch.