Athletic gear can be expensive. Infamously so. Fancy shoes, pricey (but cool) sunglasses, and all sorts of big ticket items fill up the wish lists of athletes during this time of year. Worry not. Good athletic gear doesn’t have to break the bank.
Whether the athlete in your life is looking to find a way to stretch out a little more comfortably, coveting a new type of weight for their at-home workouts, or wishing they had a trusty carryon duffle for when they’re headed out of town for competition – we have all of the right picks. While the products on this list are on the more affordable side of the scale, they’re far from ‘cheap’. They’re all pieces of equipment that we stand by and would be happy to see show up in a box under our own tree. Take a scroll through and see for yourself the 15 fitness gifts under $50.
Stance Mission One Socks
Having a solid pair of socks on before you head out on a run or hit the gym can make a difference. Not only does this pair from Stance boast a comfortable blend of moisture wicking fibers, breathable mesh, and anatomical cushioning, but they look pretty sharp, too. Coming in either a dulled black, white, and grey or a more loud blue, black, white, and red – they’re an ideal gift to throw in as a stocking stuffer.
Teton Sports Trailrunner Hydration Pack
Staying hydrated is key for any sport, but it can be difficult if you’re riding through the woods on your bike or striking out on a long, hot run. This hydration pack from Teton looks to solve that age old problem with its lightweight, ergonomic pack with an included 2.0 liter BPA free bladder.
Hydro Flask Vacuum Insulated Bottle
For those who like to keep their water or coffee the perfect temperature, Hydro Flask’s Vacuum insulated stainless steel water bottles are a great pick. Whether for throwing in your bag before heading to the gym or drinking hot coffee out of while at a campsite – it’s a sturdy, and incredibly well insulated bottle that can keep liquid hot for up to 6 hours, and cold for 24.
Whether the athlete in your life is a prodigious weightlifter or a rock rat, having some chalk on hand can be pretty helpful. This stuff from Primo Chalk is not only sustainably sourced, but it is proven to last twice as long as others on the market, and is trusted by those in the NFL and NCAA.
SKLZ Quick Ladder
A simple but useful training tool that helps athletes build up their agility and acceleration. Just roll this 11 rung ladder out on any surface – whether it be the beach or a backyard – and you suddenly have a hundred different ways to improve your balance, rhythm, and body control. The heavy duty plastic rungs are built to be tough – so you don’t have to worry about breaking your training tool if you make a misstep or two.
Every person should have a pair of these. As simple as they are effective, these perfect pushup bars evenly distribute weight as you push down on them and rotate when you push up for better engagement of your chest, arms, shoulders and back. Each pushup bar features grippy treads on the bottom for solid traction on every surface, and a steel ball bearing system for a smooth rotation every time.
Training grip-strength is not the most intuitive thing out there. Some folks will do things like hang from pull-up bars for as long as they can stand, others use grip strengtheners that use springs. These little add-ons from RBW fitness, however, just fit right on to your barbell or dumbbell handles and work the forearm with every rep, making it easier to get grip-training into every workout.
Lululemon Lock Em Down Boxers
Just like a solid building can’t stand without a good foundation, a solid athlete can’t reach his peak without a good pair of trunks to prevent chafing and keep everything locked down. This pair from Lululemon is made from a combination of Luxtreme and Lycra – and as result it can stretch four ways and wick sweat easily to keep the athlete in your life comfortable no matter how intense the workout is.
Myles Apparel Everyday Tee
For the guy who isn’t a big fan of synthetic materials, Myles Apparel’s Everyday Tee is a solid pick for a simple top. Made from quick dry cotton and merino wool, it not only looks good and fits well, but it preforms like few others do.
Gaiam 5MM Athletic Dynamat
You don’t have to be a yoga maniac to appreciate a good mat. Perfect for laying down in your home or apartment to do some stretching after a gnarly workout, or for doing some bodyweight exercises outside of the gym. Latex free and made of PVC, this 5mm thick mat is a solid pick for the home gym.
Everyone wants a six pack, but few people can seem to find an exercise that they like enough to try and get it. This Ab roller makes that goal a bit more attainable. This large wheel, rubberized grips, and included workout video and knee pads make it so users can train their core in the comfort of their own home. Now for the real challenge – avoiding all of those holiday treats.
SKLZ Bottle Roller
A water bottle that doubles as a foam roller may be one of the best inventions of the past decade. Perfect for quickly working out surprise knots while at the gym or on the sidelines, it combines two of the most essential pieces of gear for any athlete into one sleek package.
Onnit Zombie Bells
A kettle bell as menacing as your worst workout. Weighing in at 18 pounds and sporting a face only a mother could love, this thing is a fun weight to add to the quiver.
SPRI Heavy Jump Rope
A classic exercise given a unique twist. This heavy rope from SPRI both helps you get your cardio in while also strengthening your shoulders, wrists, and forearms. Weighing in at four pounds and measuring in at 9 feet long it’s a solid addition to the gym bag.
Matador Pocket Duffle
For when you are headed to the next town for a cross country meet or across the country for a big game – it is always helpful to have a solid go-to bag you can throw your gear in. This one from Matador is super durable, made from ripstop and waterproof Cordura it’s just as game as your are.