Not sure what to get the fitness enthusiast in your life? Here are 35 of the absolute best gifts for athletes that they’ll actually use.
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I swear, athletes and fitness buffs are living in their own world. They have different fashion, tech, and food trends than the rest of the world.
This makes them SO hard to shop for around the holidays or for a birthday.
Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of athlete-approved gifts that they would actually use in their day-to-day active life. They’re gifts that will either help performance, recovery, or just look great in the gym!
So whether they’re training for a big race, trying hit a PR in the gym, or just a casual fitness enthusiast, they’ll go crazy over these top gifts for athletes.
Here’s a quick guide to some of the best gifts on this list:
Best Overall Gift For Athletes: AirPods Pro Earbuds
Best Gift Under $20: Cooling Towels
The Best Gift For Recovery: Theragun Massager
Best For Female Athletes: Alo Yoga Leggings
Best For Male Athletes: Barbell Cufflinks
Funniest Gift For Athletes: Sweat-Activated T-shirt
Top Gifts For Athletes
If you’re shopping for a loved one who’s an athlete, here are the top gifts that they REALLY want:
1. Airpods Pro Earbuds
The pro version of Airpods are some of the best headphones for athletes and gym buffs.
They stay in your ears really well, have great sound quality, and they’re noise cancelling. Perfect for drowning out everyone else at the gym.
Like anything that Apple makes, they are on the more expensive side for a gift.
If you want something more affordable, these JBL earbuds are really great for the price.
2. Protein Powder
Protein powder is a staple in pretty much any athlete’s diet. It’s a great way to get some extra protein in on intense workout days.
Give them an extra container of their favorite brand, or grab a new brand for them to try out.
My all-time favorite protein powder is from the brand Kos. It’s organic, plant-based, and doesn’t have that chalky taste that some protein powders tend to have.
3. Athlete Cookbooks
The kitchen is just as important as the gym for serious athletes. Proper nutrition can help increase performance, speed up recovery, and improve energy levels.
A cookbook that was specifically written for athletes is such a great gift idea. It’ll give them new recipes ideas that will help their performance in their sport.
4. Fitness Watch
A fitness watch is a great way to track progress, hit new fitness goals, and monitor overall health.
If the athlete in your life doesn’t already have one, this could make a really great gift for a holiday or birthday.
The Apple watch is really popular among casual fitness people, but true athletes swear by the Garmin Forerunner. It allows you to download music to your watch, track important performance indicators, and even has contactless pay options.
For a lower priced option, I’ve been really happy with my Fitbit Versa. It’s waterproof and provides me with all of the workout stats I’m interested in.
5. Portable Blender
Whether it’s a green smoothie or a protein shake, athletes get a lot of use out of their blenders.
This portable blender will allow them to make their favorite drinks on the go. It’s USB rechargeable so you can truly take it anywhere.
6. Motivational Books
True athletes are all about perfecting their craft. These motivational books will help give them a push to be a little bit better every day.
Although I’m including them in this list of best gifts for athletes, these books would be great gifts for pretty much everyone on your list!
7. Cooling Towels
Nothing feels better after a tough workout than a cold towel on your neck.
These cooling towels make it possible to get that ice towel feeling after every workout. Just activate them with water, shake them a few times, and they’ll feel instantly cool.
These would be great stocking stuffers for athletes or gym enthusiasts.
Gift Ideas For Girl Athletes
8. Ankle Weights
Ankle weights are a great way to add some resistance while you’re walking or doing an at-home workout.
Any athlete would appreciate getting an aesthetic pair of ankle weights. These Bala Bangles weights have taken TikTok by storm because of how cute they are.
9. Lululemon Scuba Crop Hoodie
This has to be the BEST hoodie of all time. I have three of them now and I’m absolutely obsessed!
It’s perfectly oversized, made of really thick and nice material, and is SO flattering. My favorite cut is the cropped 1/2 zip, but there are a few other styles available as well.
It comes in a ton of different colors, so be sure to check what’s in stock right now.
10. Gym Bag
Who wouldn’t like to get a luxurious new gym bag as a present?
This gym bag from Lululemon is made of durable material, has separate compartments for shoes and dirty clothes, and features tons of internal and external pockets.
It’s also waterproof, which is perfect for athletes who workout outdoors.
If you want something a little bit more affordable, I’ve had this gym bag from Amazon for years and I love it! It has tons of pockets and it looks great.
11. Quarter Socks
Quarter socks are super in right now for gym girls. They’re the perfect in-between length of sock that looks great with gym shoes.
My absolute favorite quarter socks are the Adidas ones. They’re perfectly cushioned, a great height, and are great quality for the price.
I have the mens large size which fits a men’s 6-12 (women’s 7.5-13.5). They’re my favorite gym socks right now.
12. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands help make your workouts more challenging (and effective!). They’re a great gift for female athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
Personally, I prefer the woven resistance bands rather than the rubbery ones. They stay in place better and feel like they’re adding more of a challenge.
13. Yoga Mat
No matter what sport she plays, she’ll appreciate getting a new yoga mat as a gift this year.
You can use yoga mats for bodyweight exercises, stretching, pilates, and other activities. This one from Amazon comes in a ton of different colors and is super cute.
14. Alo Yoga Leggings
Looking for the highest quality of workout clothes to give as a gift? Alo Yoga is about as good as it gets.
Their leggings are flattering, buttery soft, and super high quality. They’re great for any type of athletic activity.
Best Gifts For Athletic Guys
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15. Lululemon Shorts
A pair of Lululemon shorts is one of the nicest gifts for male athletes. They’re super high-quality and they look really nice!
These come in a ton of different colors and they’re great for any physical activity.
16. Foam Roller
To be honest, we could have put a foam roller into any of the categories on this list! This would make a great recovery gift for athletes of any gender.
A foam roller helps you massage and stretch your muscles after a workout. This one has a grid design that mimics the feeling you would get from an actual massage therapist.
Every athlete needs a good foam roller, so this would make a great gift!
17. Gym Bag
Most guys don’t need a super elaborate gym bag. They just need compartments for shoes, dirty clothes, and clean clothes.
This gym bag from Amazon has everything a guy would need for day-to-day training at the gym. It’s also incredibly affordable!
18. Lululemon Socks
I know, I know, socks as a gift? It sounds lame but I promise these are not regular socks. Lululemon socks are like the Tesla of gym socks.
They were designed specifically for training with arch support, a shaped fit, and ankle tabs to prevent blisters.
19. Odor Eliminator Bags
The unfortunate part about being an athlete is that your shoes and clothes can start to smell BAD.
Constantly sweating is a recipe for stink. Luckily, these odor eliminator bags help prevent stinky gym bags.
You can stick them right into your shoes, closet, or gym bag and they’ll help absorb odors. Don’t believe it? Just read the reviews!
20. Barbell Cufflinks
This gift is perfect for the athlete who likes to keep things classy.
These cufflinks were designed to look like the plates that go on a barbell. So he’ll be pumping iron even when he’s dressed for a fancy event!
21. Fitness Dice
How cool are these fitness dice? Rather than having to plan a workout, these dice will instantly create a custom workout for you.
The dice have different body parts, reps, and types of exercises, so you have thousands of combinations to choose from!
They’re one of the best gifts for athletes who want to shake up their workout routine.
Recovery Gifts For Athletes
22. Leg Massager
Every athlete knows the pain of sore calves and feet. This leg massager digs into your sore muscles to help swelling and pain lessen.
It increases circulation which can also help decrease swelling in affected areas.
There are 6 different modes to choose from, so there’s plenty of options for recovery. This would be such a thoughtful gift idea for any serious athlete in your life!
23. Muscle Recovery Bath Soak
A bath can be one of the best feelings when you’re dealing with sore muscles.
This bath soak has 21 minerals and essential oils that hydrate, relax, and sooth sore muscles. It’s great for reducing inflammation, improving circulation, and healing sore muscles.
24. Ankle Ice Wrap
There’s nothing more annoying than trying to do day-to-day tasks while using a regular ice pack. You have to hold it in place and it can get way too cold on sensitive skin.
This ankle ice wrap fits perfectly around your ankle so that you can ice it while you’re doing your regular activities. It’s great for any sports-related ankle and foot pain.
This would be a great recovery gift for athletes who are dealing with ankle or foot issues.
25. Neck And Shoulder Massager
I have this exact neck and shoulder massager and it is a MIRACLE for sore muscles. I use it at my desk or while I’m watching TV and it feels so incredible.
This particular massager has 8 massaging nodes that really work your muscles. It also has a heating function to further sooth tension in those areas.
This would be such an incredible gift for athletes or just anyone who works at a desk during the day!
26. Theragun Massager
Theragun is the gold standard when it comes to athletic massagers. This powerful tool allows you to get a deep tissue massage wherever you are.
It has three speeds, an ergonomic grip, and is ultra-quiet. It’s the perfect balance between discreet and powerful.
27. Recovery Drink
This drink is full of BCAAs, Electrolytes, Omega-3s, and other ingredients that aid in recovery. They’re meant to be consumed post-workout to help your body recover from physical activity.
These would make a great inexpensive gift or stocking stuffer for athletes.
28. Foot Rocker
Stretching is one of the most important things to do for fast recovery after a workout.
This foot rocker makes it easy to stretch your calves and prevent plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and other injuries.
Funny Gifts For Athletes
29. Leg Day Candle
How hilarious is this leg day candle? You can choose your preferred scent, so it doesn’t ACTUALLY smell like a sweaty gym lol.
30. Flexed Muscle Tank
We all have that friend who is obsessed with their physique. If that’s your athletic friend, they’ll think this tank top is absolutely hilarious.
31. Dumbbell Mug
If I’m being honest, the only lifting I want to do in the morning is lifting my coffee mug to my face.
Well, now I can count that as exercise with this hilarious dumbbell mug! The handle of the mug is actually shaped like a dumbbell, which is so funny.
32. Sweat Activated Shirt
How good is a workout if you didn’t sweat through your shirt? Well, with this t-shirt you’ll finally know exactly when you’ve had a solid workout.
This shirt is sweat activated so the words only show up when it’s soaked through. How funny would this be for athletes?
33. Thor’s Hammer Water Bottle
How funny would it be to see someone walking around the gym with this as their water bottle? The athlete in your life will definitely get a kick out of this present.
34. Baby Biceps Teething Toys
Do you know an athlete with a newborn baby? If so, they would absolutely love to get these gym-themed teething toys.
If they’re a dog parent, you could also get them this set of gym-themed dog toys. So cute and funny!
35. Basketball Hoop Mug
If they’re a basketball lover, they’ll think this basketball hoop mug is hilarious! They can use it for coffee, hot chocolate, soup, or pretty much anything else.
Basketball not really their thing? They also have a soccer-themed mug and even a baseball one too.
This post was all about the top gifts for athletes.
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