Best Holiday Gifts

NOVEMBER 5, 2015 | BY AMY EISINGER

The Best Holiday Gifts for Fitness Lovers

Sure, any gym-goer can get excited over a new pair ofsneakers or headphones, but we all know it’s better to be unique. Whether your list is full of yogis, CrossFitters, runners, or hikers, we’ve found the most one-of-a-kind, fun, and clever gift items that any fitness fan will be delighted to open (and actually use). Some ideas are uber-practical; others are a little out there—but aren’t those “Where did you find this?!” gems the best kind of presents anyway?

Less Than $25 Gifts

The martial arts masters in your life will love to throw down with this throw pillow (sorry, had to) featuring adorable caricatures practicing Judo. Not into pillows? You can buy the same design as a mug, tote bag, or iPhone case instead. ($20; society6.com)

Originally designed for the Swiss military, this heavy-duty salve protects hands, face, lips, and pretty much anywhere else that’s exposed to the elements. It’s sure to please any outdoors fitness enthusiast whose adventures don’t come to an end just because it’s cold outside. ($12;bestmadeco.com)

This go-to gift gets a modern update thanks to a stainless steel exterior (read: no more breakable ceramic mishaps). And we’re pretty sure the words on the mug will provide motivation, even when your yogi friends wonder why they’re waking up for a 6 a.m. class. ($20; spiritualgangster.com)

Say sayonara to plain old gym socks. These crazy-cool designs will put extra bounce in every step (and set). Strategic compression and breathable fabric keep them technically on par, and the price tag makes it a no-brainer stocking stuffer. ($17; stance.com)

Have a friend who constantly needs to escape from daring situations, climb impossible heights, or survive shark-infested waters? Don’t we all. Thankfully, you finally have the perfect gift to give. This book, written by a former Navy SEAL operative, details 100 practical ways to be prepared in any situation using evasion tactics and self-defense skills. ($10.80; amazon.com)

Every day can feel a bit more epic when you wake up to a poster like this. Help motivate a friend or just show them how awesome you already think are. (from $15.75; etsy.com)

We love flavorful post-workout hydration as much as the next fitness fan, which is why we’re always looking for new drinks to try. These targeted blends of fruit and spices—for stability, strength, power, or stamina—look as beautiful as they taste. ($6 each;bodyandeden.com)

Less Than $50 Gifts

Meet the next generation of GI Joes: Yoga Joes! These plastic figurines are perfect for adorning any bookshelf, desk, or empty nook. Not only are these guys guaranteed to keep the peace, but if you’re just not feeling the green, they also come in hot pink. ($25 for a set of nine; yogajoes.com)

These off-beat t-shirts, sweatshirts, and tanks will make even the toughest gym rat crack a smile. If politics aren’t your thing, pick from a myriad of other silly tees that include references to Harry Potter, dinosaurs, and even drinking. (from $25.20;activateapparel.com)

Yes, you could buy the latest book on weightlifting, but a visual, easy-to-glance guide to exercise is often what you really want. Enter: this clever poster that provides perfect form instruction disguised as wall art. With subtle colors and an elegant design, it’ll easily blend with existing decor. ($29;popchartlab.com)

There might be a million and one apps to help you organize, but sometimes nothing beats an old-fashioned planner for jotting down daily notes. We love this version from Lorna Jane for the motivational mantras on almost every page, healthy recipes, and space to jot down goals, record workouts, and set intentions every month. ($39.99;lornajane.com)

Whether worn while practicing yoga, meditating, or going out to dinner, these beads look stunning in every situation. Each mala is made of wooden beads from the sustainable Schema tree and finished with a seven-sided Om bead of Tibetan silver. With color choices for every chakra, they’re ideal for your more spiritual pals, but really, couldn’t everyone use a little extra zen during the holiday season? ($44;modernom.co)

Thanks to this gift, your roommate can stop taking out aggression on your nice couch pillows. The bag is large enough to hold a heavyweight load of washing and tough enough to take jabs and uppercuts over and over. ($36; blueribbongeneralstore.com)

Show your love for lifting outside the gym with this gold dumbbell charm necklace. Perfect for the strong pal who still wants a dressed-up look. ($28;unbrokendesigns.com)

Foam rollers are awesome at working out knots in our legs and back, but occasionally our neck and shoulders could use some extra TLC. That’s where this massage plus ice therapy roller ball comes in handy. The combo item features a stainless steel ball with gel insulation, so it’ll stay cold—but not too cold—as it smoothly rolls over those aching muscles. ($39; sklz.com)

If you’re like most of us, race bibs serve their purpose for the duration of the race—and are then promptly thrown away. But thanks to this genius idea, you can now commemorate killer races with more than an Instagram finish line photo. ($25; etsy.com)

Less Than $100 Gifts

Face it: Hauling an extra outfit around so you can run straight to work (or after-hours drinks) can be tough. These bags (actually invented for the frequent flyer) make keeping dirty sneaks and clean clothes separate a cinch. Gym-going germaphobes never had it so easy. ($52; flight001.com)

Trust us: We see a lot of leggings, sneakers, and yoga mats. But there’s something about this one that made us look twice—and then look again. The mat, which is made in California, features an intricate design that includes three medallions to help align your asanas, and magic eyes to protect the spirit during practice. It is pricy—and therefore probably not for the beginner—but for the seasoned practitioner, it’s a gorgeous gift. ($98; magiccarpetym.com)

Hiking the great outdoors is an awesome way to get a workout and take in some scenery—if you know what you’re doing. If not, it can seem a little intimidating. Lucky for us, the folks at Alite have made our outdoor dreams more accessible with this day hike kit. A backpack, water bottle, tie-dyed bandana, and field notes will help get every first-timer off on the right foot. (from $54; alitedesigns.com)

It was tough to pick just one pair of leggings to feature here. LA-based fashion brand Poprageous has made a name for themselves thanks to their wildly original prints—we’re talking everything from theeggplant emoji outfits to dreamy moonlight leggings. Snag a pair for the friend who is anything but basic black. ($99;poprageous.com)

Splurge (Over $100 Gifts)

Stop wondering what to do with that stack of race t-shirts your significant other is never going to wear anyway—we’ve got the solution. A custom t-shirt quilt may take a little time and effort, but it’s a pretty cool way to commemorate years of memories and achievements. Granted, this may require you to either steal your S.O.’s stash of shirts or offer the gift first before ordering, but the end result will be something you can enjoy for years to come. (starting at $240; t-shirt-qulits.com)

Fashion, meet function. This bag—designed by two friends frustrated by the lack of cute carryalls for cyclists—features plenty of room for your helmet, laptop or tablet, cycling shoes, change of clothes, and office heels. Best of all, it easily converts from a backpack for riding to a crossbody bag for when you reach the office. ($185; givelovecycle.com)

This gift is a no-brainer for anyone who prefers hitting the lap pool to get in a good workout. The waterproof iPod is a true iPod shuffle that’s then made waterproof through a special process at Underwater Audio. Pair it with waterproof headphones and you’ve got access to all the same tunes you love on land. And let’s be honest: Even if you’re not training for a triathlon, this gift would be pretty awesome for lazy summers lounging on a raft, too. ($175; underwateraudio.com

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