A Gift Guide For the Athlete in Your Life

Athletes can be hard to shop for. We are obsessive, particular and often demanding. But these gift ideas will make even the toughest competitor smile. While some are high-tech and others are decidedly less so, they were each designed by people who understand athletes. They’re not only unique gifts, but the athletes in your life will love them.

GPS Watch

Is there anything better than tracking improvement? These days, GPS watches have all the sport-specific features to track every stride on the roads, trails, or ski slopes but they’re also packed with other sensors and technology to keep you connected the rest of the day, too. Whether your loved one just wants to track steps or multi-hour mountain adventures, there’s a watch for you and everyone in between.

I use a Suunto. Other popular brands include Polar, Apple and Garmin.

Meal Kit Subscription

You’ve either ordered a meal kit or know someone who has. Athletes are embracing services like Blue Apron for taking the stress out of dinner prep and guaranteeing a healthy, diet-friendly meal.

Especially during the busy holiday season, meal kits are excellent gifts for friends and family juggling training, family obligations, gift-giving and holiday parties. With all those obligations, finding the time to plan a menu and shop at the grocery store is tough to fit in. With meal kits, meal-prepping is done for you.

Fancy Kitchen Appliances

My boyfriend and I already unwrapped our Christmas gifts. He got me a KitchenAid Mixer with a spiralizer attachment. I just couldn’t wait for Christmas to open it. He made the right call, we’ve used it every day since.

Expensive, electric kitchen appliances seem too extravagant. I knew I’d like it but wasn’t willing to dish out the dough for it. Since the gift was revealed, we’ve experimented with brownies and pancakes with the mixing attachment and zucchini noodles with the spiralizing attachment. We’ll likely never peel another vegetable again. I prepped an entire bag of carrots in the time it would have taken me to peel one the old-fashioned way.

Body Work

Is there an athlete on this planet who doesn’t just love a good massage? If your athletic friend or partner has a niggle or an injury, a massage offers relief and relaxation. Athletes have a hard time relaxing and a massage could be the excuse what they need to kick back and pamper themselves.

If massage isn’t their thing, they could try acupuncture or physical therapy.

Merino Wool SportsWear

Merino wool athletic apparel is the best money can buy. The odor-resistant, temperature regulating, quick drying, anti-itch material is expensive but worth it. The other day, I used the same long-sleeve Australian Merino Wool shirt for running, skiing and yoga. Despite all the activity, my strength coach told me I didn’t smell. She challenged me to wear it the next day too, including on a fourteen-mile hard run and a weightlifting session. She didn’t smell a thing even after those grueling exertions.

My favorite wool pieces of apparel include my basic long sleeve shirt, my socks and sports bra. Icebreaker, Tracksmith, Smartwool and Patagonia have lots of durable wool apparel products to choose from.

Yoga Studio Pass

There are few things more decadent than taking an hour to stretch and restore. But yoga is tough to commit to doing on your living room floor. Buying someone a punch pass to a yoga studio is a great way to help your loved one commit to taking care of themselves.

Wall Hanger for Medals and Awards

Most runners have a collection of race medals. Before my boyfriend’s Dad gifted us a wall hanger for our medals, all of mine ended up in a shoebox. Now they hang proudly in our living room. You can get a generic, less expensive version on Amazon, or find original designs that are hand sculpted. Your medals easily slip onto the hanger, and most can hold more than 24 medals.