Whether your training plan includes a couch to 5K or an ice bath after a long day of activity, there’s something on this list for you. There’s no shortage of gear picks that can help accelerate your training, pushing you towards your goals. Afterward, pick from recovery tools and strengthening bands to make sure you’re taking the time your body needs to see the gains you want. Here are a few of our top athlete-driven gifts this season.
VKTRY Performance Insoles
Every athlete wants the ability to run faster and jump higher. And VKTRY Gear’s Performance Insoles provide that edge with a patented carbon fiber design that returns the energy an athlete generates. Scientifically proven to increase explosiveness by +9.3 percent, these insoles are a winner this holiday season.
Enter GP70 at checkout to save $70 on VKTRY Performance Insoles.
Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave
The Nano is one of the most recognizable sneakers in CrossFit gyms. It’s also one of our best gym shoes of the year. The Flexweave upper is strong yet flexible so you can do all the power-lifting and rope climbing you want without losing grip or catching a toe.
Soccer fans might recognize this nylon-cotton-spandex blended sock. It’s built to help prevent blisters in both old and new shoes, as well as providing your toes with a more sturdy grip inside the toebox.
SKLZ Pro Band
These bands have the power to make every move harder. Place above your knees to work laterally and feel the burn in your glutes. You can also work with a partner to wrap around your waist and have them hold the opposite end of the band as you sprint forward. Nothing like a little power play to keep your competitive spirit up.
SKLZ Quick Ladder
It’s time to think about dexterity and speed. A ladder helps every athlete progress their explosive power and acceleration. Run through with quick feet, double step in and out or play a little old school hopscotch with it.
Outdoor workouts need a soundtrack. Blast the Ultimate Ears Megaboom, or carry it with you on group runs and you’re sure to attract a crowd. The battery lasts for up to 20 hours, and it’s a breeze to connect more than one.
Aer Fit Pack 2
This Aer pack is one of our staff’s favorite work bags that doubles as a gym bag. The slim zipper down the middle streamlines all your clothing and gear. Slip your sneakers in the ventilated shoe compartment and grab your laptop out of the padded pocket and you’re ready for work.
Acme Sledgeworks Triad Bundle
Based in California, Acme Sledgeworks creates one of a kind weight lifting pieces that should earn a place on your wall as well as in your workout. This bundle includes the 5, 10 and 20-pound cast iron triads. You can use them while on an indoor cycling bike, when walking or even while doing plank push-ups. The world is your oyster.
If you’re a runner or cyclist, Strava is the legit way to document your miles. Whether you’re competing against a team or signing up for another virtual 5K race, Strava provides you with all the tools you need to explore more, train better and share your data easily. The premium version also includes real-time location so you can go off on a trail run and ping your important contacts while you’re safely being tracked.
A cordless, relatively quiet and powerful handheld massager is the perfect gift for an athlete. It’s an easy tool to use on legs, arms and back for up to three hours on one charge. Everyday use can help improve your warmup and recovery, in addition to your range of motion.
Naked Vanilla Whey Protein
Nailing the WOD a couple times a week or more and you’re going to need some help recovering. Your body needs protein to re-build muscle fibers that are torn during workouts. Less Naked Vanilla Whey protein has only three ingredients and 25-grams of protein.
Sufferfest FKT Beer
After an intense workout, you’re going to want a drink. Sufferfest is the beer made by athletes, for athletes. It’s gluten-removed with black currant and salt added into the brew, so you’re getting some much-needed electrolytes after a sweat. While we can’t attest to any gains you’ll see after this, we can totally agree that a good can of beer is much needed after a Tough Mudder, Ragnar Relay and many other activities.
Manduka EKO Yoga Mat
Whether you’re into hot yoga or you just sweat a lot, slipping on a yoga mat can ruin anyone’s practice. Having your own mat is a good way to prevent that. This one made from biodegradable tree rubber is long and weighs eight pounds, making it one of the more durable mats today.
Zolo Liberty+ Headphones
You’re about to bump up the treadmill to hit a new high running speed when your hand grazes the wires on your headphones and out they fly. You proceed to stop the treadmill, collect them, and hop back on. It’s time to stop that. These relatively inexpensive earbuds fit great in most ears and have an impressive battery life.
Whether you’re just starting a new workout routine or hit the gym five days a week, it’s likely that you need a quick fix to muscle aches and pains. Rub the non-staining Tiger Balm on your skin and feel a warm tingle. The herbal blend contains camphor and menthol to elicit that “ahh” feeling.
TriggerPoint Foam Roller
The pros know that even 10 minutes a day of foam rolling can help ease sore muscles and stretch out muscle fibers. When you think of recovery and the tools you need to ease any tension, TriggerPoint is the brand for you. The hollow core means it’s lightweight enough to throw in a gym bag, but still provides enough pressure to help you really dig into those IT bands.
Endeavor Athletic 9-Inch Short
These stretchy gym shorts work for runs, indoor cycling, Pilates — even yoga. The deep side pockets are an ideal place to store your phone so you can stream a workout or music while you’re on the treadmill. Leave your workout sweaty and watch as the shorts bead it all off.