The Wishlist: 20 Best Gifts For The Athlete

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Probably never before in history has health and wellness meant so much to so many people. And a huge part of that is the ongoing gym and fitness movement. If you know a crossfit-obsessed competitor, a wannabe triathlete, or just someone looking to step up their workout game, the holidays are a perfect time to give them a helping hand in the form of new gear.

Of course, just as the world of exercise is vast and hard in which to maneuver, so to can it be difficult to know just what to look for in your holiday shopping endeavors. Lucky for you, we’ve done all the heavy lifting (pun intended) and put together this comprehensive guide to all the latest and greatest workout gear. These are the 20 best gifts for the athlete.

PlayMakar MVP Wireless Percussion Massager

At a fraction of the price of those offered by the competition, the PlayMakar MVP Wireless Percussive Massager offers superb, recovery-enhancing deep tissue massage. That includes up to 5,400 percussions per minute, six selectable speeds, six interchangeable attachments, and an ergonomic grip. Plus, it’s super quiet — producing as little as 45 decibels in use.

Purchase: $150

Onnit Kettlebells

Simple to use (so long as you learn proper form) and available in a wide variety of weights and styles, Onnit’s Kettlebells are amongst the best out there. And while you’ll want to learn how to use them the right way, they’re remarkably versatile workout tools for every age and skill set.

Purchase: $16+

Smartwool PhD Run Lite Elite Socks

Never underestimate the value of a good pair of socks, especially when it comes to working out — and activity for which these ones were specifically made. They’re made from a comfortable blend of Merino wool, nylon, and elastane that makes them stretchy but secure, breathable, and perfect for a little extra cushioning during those rigorous workouts.

Purchase: $19+

Brazyn Morph Foam Roller

Recovery is, often, just as important as the workouts themselves — or at least close to it. And one of the best ways to manage that is by using a roller to help alleviate muscle pain and cramps. This one is extra special in that it folds down flat for more travel-friendly and storage purposes.

Purchase: $68

Reigning Champ Delta Peak Performance Apparel

Designed specifically for athletic activity, Reigning Champ’s lineup of Delta Peak performance apparel was made to stretch with your body, remain breathable, dry quickly and wick sweat, and it was even tested by actual athletes during their rigorous workouts to ensure it’s all up to snuff — which it is.

Purchase: $75+

Naked Nutrition Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder

There’s an argument to be made that food (AKA fuel) is almost more important than exercise. At the very least, they work in close conjunction. And if you’re trying to build muscle, you need protein — like Naked Nutrition’s Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder, which is free of GMOs, hormones, and chemicals you wouldn’t want to put in your body.

Purchase: $86+

Tracksmith Session Jacket

An update to one of Tracksmith’s best offerings, this ultralight jacket is even lighter than ever before but is still soft, stretchy, breathable, and durable. If you know someone that’s the type who likes to go for early morning runs, this is a superb athletic-focused gift.

Purchase: $118

Nike Metcon 5 Training Shoe

Now in its fifth iteration, Nike’s Metcon continues to be the top name when it comes to training shoes for the gym. They’re sturdy for weight lifting, offer plenty of traction for when you’re moving around, and they’re extra durable. Get the best; don’t settle for the rest.

Purchase: $130

Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Tracker

Fitness is about more than just exercising every once in a while. If you really want to make progress, you’re going to have to keep track of your workouts and all physical activity. Luckily, Fitbit makes that ultra-easy with their Charge 3 fitness tracker — which can monitor your heart rate, keep a record of your metrics in an included app, and help you meet your goals.

Purchase: $138

So iLL Free Range LV Climbing Shoe

Don’t get too hung up on the light pink colorway; these shoes were actually designed with input from avid climber and film actor Jason Momoa. They’re rugged, light, comfortable, and were made to help you scale the sheerest of climbing walls.

Purchase: $149

Pocket Monkii Workout Device

Especially if you’re a traveler, getting in a workout can sometimes mean having to be creative when a traditional gym is unavailable. The Pocket Monkii was designed to travel anywhere and uses your own bodyweight to get you a workout whenever you have a chance. If you’re a big-time jet-setter or you know one, this is a superb pickup.

Purchase: $149

Vargo Titanium Para Bottle

The gym is full of big heavy things and most water bottles can’t stand up to the punishment of being thrashed around in the weight room. However, Vargo’s Titanium Para Bottle is lightweight and extremely rugged; it even has a paracord tether to keep the lid attached while you guzzle.

Purchase: $160

Adidas RPT 01 Sport On-Ear Headphones

Shoving earbuds into your ears can get pretty uncomfortable after a while, but Adidas has mitigated that issue by creating more comfortable over-ear headphones that are resistant to sweat — so you can keep getting those workouts in whilst still listening to your favorite playlists.

Purchase: $169

Aer Gym Duffel 2

Definitely one of the best gym bags ever made, Aer’s aptly-named Gym Duffel 2 boasts an ultra-tough ballistic Cordura exterior, has 37.4L of internal storage across a variety of compartments (including a separate, ventilated shoe pouch), and it looks absolutely spectacular.

Purchase: $170

Roka CP Series Performance Sunglasses

If you want to perform like a triathlete, then you’re going to probably want to gear-up like one too. In which case, Roka’s CP Series performance sunglasses are a step in the right direction with their superb field of view; ultralight construction; and resistance to oil, sweat, and more.

Purchase: $195

Apple Watch Series 5

Now with an onboard EKG monitor in its 5th iteration, there’s almost no reason to settle for any smartwatch other than the Apple Watch. This handy device is sweat- and water-resistant, loaded with apps (including fitness-focused ones), and it can be customized to your style. Nobody else even comes close.

Purchase: $399+

Hammerhead Karoo Bike Computer

If you know a die-hard cyclist out there who doesn’t own a bike computer (or has a cheap, discount model), it’s time to change that. This comprehensive offering offers Bluetooth connectivity, 8.5 gigs of onboard data storage, and onboard GPS accessible through its full-color touchscreen display.

Purchase: $399

The Mirror Home Training Device

This ultra-slim, high-tech device that can hang on just about any wall is part, as its name suggests, reflective surface and part fully-featured digital trainer. That’s because built into it you’ll find a full HD display, speakers, and access to tons of workouts that can be done in the convenience of your own home.

Purchase: $1,495

Hydrow Rowing Machine

Rowing machines offer one of the best full-body workouts with very little impact on your joints. This one, however, ups the ante by including a full-color HD display that gives you access to real-time workouts led by world-class athletes. You can even stream them live (or on-demand) from waterways around the world.

Purchase: $2,200

Peloton Stationary Bike

If rowing isn’t quite your thing, then the Peloton Stationary Bike might be right up your alley. This gym industry disruptor has exploded in popularity partly because their product is a thing of beauty, but more so because it offers an immersive, interactive cardio experience to keep you engaged and coming back for more.

Purchase: $2,245+

The Best Workout Gear For Every Exercise

What you see on this list is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fitness-focused offerings. Take a much deeper dive into our list of the best workout gear for men.