25 Best Gifts You Can Get for Athletes in 2021

Shopping for an athlete this year? Here’s what they REALLY want.

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This post will show you the best fitness gifts for athletes.

Header graphic with the text 25 Most Popular Gifts for Athletes This Year above a photo of a man and woman doing lunges with dumbbells in their hands

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been sharing gift guides for everyone on your list. (See our posts on gifts for college students, gifts for girls, parent gifts, white elephant gifts, and stocking stuffers for college students.)

Today, we have a special gift guide for the athlete or fitness fan in your life. These people can be notoriously difficult to shop for if you don’t know the trends in the fitness world.

To help, we’ve compiled a list of the 25 most popular gifts for athletes this year, so you can get them what they really want. Read on for the gift guide!

25 Gift Ideas For Athletes

Apple AirPods

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You knew this one was coming. If they don’t have a pair of AirPods yet, this is definitely the #1 gift every athlete wants this year. Yes, it’s a splurge, but they will use these daily.

Gone are the days of snagging your headphones on your arm during your workout, sending your phone crashing to the ground. AirPods allow you to listen to your music wirelessly, and the new Pro model comes with special tips for a custom fit for your ears. Plus, the noise cancellation and battery life on these is unmatched!

Lululemon Align Leggings

Lululemon’s Align leggings have a cult following for a reason — they truly are as “buttery soft” as the brand claims. They’re ultra-flattering, come in the cutest colors, and are THE workout legging every woman wants to own. (AKA they’re basically the best gift ever!)

While I live for my Lulu leggings, for a more budget-friendly alternative, I’m also obsessed with these CRZ Yoga leggings from Amazon. They aren’t quite as soft as the Aligns but they’re very similar, plus they’re ultra-comfy and totally squat-proof! Just another great gift option.

APL Sneakers

These APL sneakers are THE most fashionable running shoes on the market right now, by a mile. (See what I did there?) Name a celebrity or fitness influencer and it’s very likely they’ve been photographed in these shoes.

Yes, APLs are expensive. But if you want a gift that will really wow them, these are a sure winner that they will wear all the time.

An Apple Watch

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Another one that your giftee may already have, but a total no-brainer if they don’t. Everyone I know who’s into fitness has an Apple Watch to track their workouts. It’s definitely the must-have fitness tracker of the past few years.

If you want to bring your gift over the top, consider pairing the watch with a replacement band in their favorite color. (This nude colored one is my personal fave, and super affordable!)

TAN + LINES Exercise Bands

I’m obsessed with these “Toned + Tan” exercise bands from TAN + LINES. They’re so pretty and aesthetically pleasing. Plus, resistance bands make a great gift as they’re super affordable and great for travel.

These bands would be the perfect gift for any girl who Instagrams her workouts as they will help her tone up while fitting right in with her aesthetic.

New Gym Bag

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A gym bag is one of the most classic gift ideas for athletes, and for good reason. Every athlete needs a good bag to carry their gym essentials, and gym bags get gross over time and need to be replaced.

You don’t have to spend a lot to get a great gym bag, either. This awesome bag from FocusGear is less than $30 and has thousands of five-star reviews.

A Fitbit

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If you want a more affordable alternative to an Apple Watch, a FitBit is a great fitness tracker option at a lower price point.

Though the Apple Watch has definitely eclipsed it in popularity, a FitBit is still great for tracking steps, heart rate, sleep, and calories burned. And I love how small and comfortable it is, as opposed to the larger Apple Watch.

If your giftee doesn’t care about the social competition aspect of the Apple Watch, wants something small and unobtrusive, or doesn’t need too many extra features, a FitBit is the perfect gift.

Melissa Wood Health Subscription

Set of four screenshots of the Melissa Wood Health app from the iTunes app store
Screenshots from the App Store

This is my personal workout of choice and a fantastic gift for women at any fitness level. I’ve been doing Melissa’s workouts for over a year now and I’m still not sick of them!

These yoga and pilates-focused workouts are perfect for college students, since all you need for most of them is a yoga mat and a pair of ankle weights. They range in length from five minutes to over an hour, so they’re easy to fit into any schedule. In addition, there isn’t a lot of jumping around, so it’s a great workout option for anyone with downstairs neighbors.

Subscriptions are available on Melissa’s website, and you can gift them in intervals from 1 to 12 months long.

Cute Amazon Workout Set

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This year, matching sets are definitely the biggest trend in womens gym-wear. So if you know a woman who is into fitness, a matching set makes a fantastic gift idea.

This affordable top and leggings set from Amazon is highly rated for its thick, flattering, and squat-proof fabric. It also comes in 14 different colors, so you’re sure to find her favorite. It looks so much more expensive than it is, and she’ll wear it all the time!

Body Love” by Kelly LeVeque

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Most athletes I know love smoothies, and Kelly LeVeque’s Fab Four Smoothies are famous in the fitness influencer world.

Kelly’s book “Body Love” shares all of her recipes for these famous energy-boosting smoothies, plus tons of other tips for healthy living. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone looking to live a healthier lifestyle.

The Instagram-Famous Amazon Sports Bra Top

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Here’s another Amazon find made famous by TikTok and Instagram influencers. These crop tops with built-in padding eliminate the need for a bra, and are ideal for workouts or just wearing casually.

The fabric is thick and surprisingly supportive, plus it comes in 24 different colors. And the best part is, it’s under $20. 43,000+ reviewers aren’t wrong — this top is a winner!

Theragun Massager

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Here’s a gift that will be appreciated by ANY athlete on your list, guaranteed. The Theragun is a high-tech portable massager that targets muscle aches and pains. It can aid in post-workout recovery and is amazing for anyone that suffers from tight or tense muscles.

A Theragun makes a fantastic gift as it’s something most people wouldn’t buy for themselves. All of their friends will be jealous of this one!

Bala Bangles Ankle Weights

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Ankle weights are a must-have for at-home workouts or just making gym workouts more challenging, and Bala Bangles are the best ankle weights on the market.

I got a pair of these last Christmas and I use them every time I exercise! They’re so easy to put on and off and unlike other ones I’ve tried, these don’t randomly leak sand everywhere. Plus, they are SO cute and come in a bunch of different colors.

“Seeing Serena” Book

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Serena Williams is the greatest athlete of all time (fight me), so any athlete will appreciate a copy of this revealing biography.

The book takes readers behind the scenes of Serena’s return to tennis after the birth of her daughter, and features interviews with many heavy-hitters in the sports industry. It’s a fantastic, inspiring look at a true trailblazer and role model.

Exercise Dice

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I had never heard of exercise dice until recently, but now I’m obsessed!

These $10 dice are perfect for anyone who likes to mix up their workouts. One die features exercises (crunches, push-ups, jumping jacks, etc.), and the other has times and reps (10 reps, 20 reps, 30 seconds, 90 seconds, etc.). You just roll the dice together and follow what they tell you to do.

This is a great way to keep your workouts fresh and exciting, and it makes a fantastic gift idea!

Cute Yoga Mat

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There are a lot of ugly yoga mats out there, so surprise your athlete with a stylish one, like this gray marble print mat.

While your giftee might already have a yoga mat, you can totally still get them a new one. Yoga mats wear out and get grimy over time, so this is very likely a gift they will use right away!

Adjustable Dumbbells

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If you want to splurge on a gift they’ll really love, a set of adjustable dumbbells is an insanely thoughtful — and useful gift for athletes. I would freak out if someone bought me a set of these!

This is a great gift for male or female athletes as it’s completely customizable. The dumbbells adjust from 5 to 52 pounds, so your giftee can increase the weight as they get stronger, or switch the weight for different exercises. This set replaces an entire rack of dumbbells, so it’s perfect for people who mostly work out at home.

A Good Foam Roller

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A total classic gift for athletes, and something that most people wouldn’t think to buy for themselves.

A foam roller is a super easy (and affordable) way to relieve sore muscles after a workout.

Foam rollers come in lots of sizes and colors, but I like this 13″ black grid one as it’s smaller than most foam rollers but still just as effective (perfect for small spaces). In addition, the grid pattern helps it to better target tough-to-reach muscles.

Water Bottle with Times to Drink

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This made my list of the best Amazon finds this year, and I’m still obsessed with mine! I got mine for Christmas last year and still use it every day.

This genius water bottle has times printed on the side to motivate you to stay hydrated and drink your water throughout the day. To be honest, it’s the only thing that’s actually gotten me to drink all of my water for the day, so I highly recommend it for everyone!

Pack of Alani Nu Energy Drinks

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Katy Hearn is a major name in the fitness world and the energy drinks from her brand Alani Nu are 10/10 amazing. They’re sugar free and only 10 calories each, plus they have 200 mg of caffeine per can for a major pre-workout boost.

All the flavors taste incredible but my personal favorites are Hawaiian Shaved Ice and Breezeberry. I love buying these in bulk (in fact I’m drinking one as I write this), so I would be psyched to get a bunch of these as a gift!

The Towel” from Lululemon

This thing is so cool! It’s an ultra-absorbent microfiber towel that attaches to their yoga mat to soak up sweat during their workout. It has a non-slip surface and easily attaches to most mats.

The Towel comes in a bunch of different sizes and colors, too. (Though I’m obsessed with this white and gray marble print!) A total must for any yoga aficionado in your life.

Anything from Gymshark

Gymshark is probably THE biggest gym apparel brand on the market right now. If you’re shopping for an athlete, trust me, they’ve heard of it. I see Gymshark gear everywhere!

Gymshark makes a variety of workout clothes and accessories for men and women, so they’re the perfect place to shop for every fitness fan on your list. You can’t go wrong with anything from the brand, but I’m particularly loving this cute and comfy half-zip for working out in the winter.

Anything from Alo Yoga

Like Gymshark, Alo Yoga is another “it” fitness fashion brand, a favorite of celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner. (You’ve definitely seen it on your favorite influencers, too.) Their designs are super chic and fashion-forward.

If you’re shopping for someone who is into fitness and fashion, you can’t go wrong with anything from Alo. While the brand makes amazing matching workout sets, their foxy sherpa jacket, above, is particularly famous and coveted.

Shiatsu Back and Shoulder Massager

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Ever since I saw this shoulder massager on TikTok, I’ve been dying to get one for myself.

Although it looks weird, this back and shoulder massager is supposed to be a game-changer for relieving tension and pain. (Seriously, look it up on social media for tons of rave reviews!) Most people wouldn’t buy this for themselves, so they will definitely thank you if you gift it to them.

High Protein Fitness Snack Box

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This is a great gift for any athlete who lives far away, or anyone who is tough to shop for. After all, who doesn’t love snacks?

This awesome high-protein snack box features 20 individually wrapped, nutritious snacks. It has everything from plant based protein bites to energy bars and protein cookies! Any athlete would absolutely love this gift.

What do you think of our guide to gifts for athletes?

Any great gift ideas we missed? Let me know in the comments down below.

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