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Gift Ideas for Athletes

Gift ideas for athletes don’t have to be overly complicated. Whether you’re looking for a stocking stuffer or a big gift to bring the wow factor, we’ve got you covered. We’ve rounded up the best athlete gifts- yes, any athlete.

presents wrapped with mistletoe

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It’s that time of year again. We are on the hunt for the best gifts for our loved ones, and if you happen to live in an athletic family, you could be looking for gift ideas for young athletes, female athletes, trail runners and more.

If you’re not into ultra running, finding gifts for trail runners may seem overwhelming. Does it seem like they have everything they need?

Maybe you’re not a runner. You have no idea what your favorite athlete wants, but you don’t want to just give a gift card, again.

Or you’re an avid runner and you are working on your own wishlist.

Either way, these gifts are great for a novice runner or for gift ideas for ultra runners—all will be thrilled!

Gift Ideas for Athletes

These gifts for the athlete are suitable for athletes for any sport. Your loved ones who play a sport like basketball, soccer, football, softball, or lacrosse, will absolutely love these gifts:

  • Christmas ornaments: Some folks love to hang ornaments that have special and personal meaning. What’s a better to do this than to highlight their favorite hobby?
  • Shoe tags: Whether they place these tags on their competition footwear or for their everyday sneakers, these shoe tags can provide a little extra motivation.
  • Protein powder: No athlete will turn down protein— protein shakes are a convenient snack to fuel any athlete. I happen to love this chocolate shake. Also,  Orgain and the Garden of Life varieties for plant based athletes. For a whey based powder, I recommend this one.
  • Bars: Again, convenient snacks are a bonus for athletes. UCAN chocolate almond energy bar is delicious and is a great source of carbohydrates and fiber.
  • Electrolytes: All athletes sweat, and electrolytes for runners are key for adequate hydration, especially for salty sweaters. These UCAN watermelon electrolytes are so so good!
  • Gels and chews: These portable sources of energy are perfect for training and for race day. My favorites are Huma GelsHoney stinger chews and just dried mango. More about race day chews and energy gels here.
  • Water bottle:  Aren’t we all obsessed with water bottles? STOJO collapsible water bottle is great for on the go. The Cactaki Water Bottle – These are great for athletes who don’t drink enough water, since it’s broken down into time spots.
  • Other drink containers: If your loved one is a coffee drinker, or likes to unwind with a glass of wine, you could get a cup for their non-water beverages, like the yeti coffee mug or wine tumbler.
  • Resistance bands: These resistance bands are great for stretching, flexibility and even strength work!
  • NordicTrack Treadmill: This gift would be a big ticket item, but your athlete would get so much use out of it, especially when it’s incredinbly hot, or cold and windy outside. It can fold up and save space and has 20 built in workouts.
  • Amazon Prime: Who can’t find something on Amazon to suit their needs? Amazon Prime is a wonderful gift to give anyone, but especially athletes looking for their training accessories.
  • An audible membership : Know an athlete who LOVES to read, but doesn’t have time? This membership will provide them with an opportunity to catch up with their favorite authors while on the go.
  • The gift of learning: Consider buying your loved one a gift subscription to Skillshare, so they can learn about business, marketing, calligraphy, music, photography, creative writing and more.

Gifts for Female Runners and Athletes

I love many of these gifts myself, so you could use them as gifts for female runners.

  • Yogatoes: If you’re looking for some help with flexibility and toe pain, these yogatoes look relaxing! They fit your shoe size. I have a client who swears by them. Plus, with over 5,000 reviews, the feedback is very positive. 
  • Lululemon Belt Bag – I love the everywhere belt bag for running errands, as well as the sleek fast and free running belt. It doesn’t bounce!
  • GPS Watch – Small but mighty gift that will keep on giving for runners training for a new PR. I’ve always loved and used Garmin but many people love COROS!
  • Epsom salts: After a long training session, your athlete may be looking to relax in a bath. Epsom salts for runners are often scented and can be a pleasant addition to a hot soak.
  • Release for tight muscles: The running stick is always a good stocking stuffer, although most runners (including myself) are notorious for not foam rolling or doing this. The trigger point products are also helpful for recovery!
  • Ponytail hat: This is great for people with long hair and pony tails to keep warm in the cold winter running weather. Likewise, this Ponytail Headband is also great for keeping hair out of your eyes.
  • Underarmor running gear: Particularly, this running vest, no bounce sports bra and this cold gear hoodie. Or, this Sports Bra that prevents bouncing!
  • Cookbooks: I love this one— Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow, the sequel to Run Fast Eat Slow. Nothing beats that superhero muffin recipe in my mind – my go to! 
  • Road ID Bracelet – You can get this for less than $40 and it’s a great safety precaution if anything were to happen! As females, I think this is extra important if we’re running alone. And I’ll add mace to this list, too. Super cheap and worth it!
epsom salts pouring into bath

Gifts for Trail Runners

Whether you run outdoors or need gift ideas for trail runners, here are some of our favorite products and ideas!

  • Dog leash: If you run with your dog a lot, this dog leash is hands off. It’s great for walks a lot, too. 
  • Reflective Vest and Gear: Safety is the most important, especially now that many hours of the day are dark. 
  • Ice grips: If you’re someone going out for runs in the snow and ice, consider something like these traction cleats or these stabilizersfor safety to help you better grip the terrain.
  • Cute gloves and ear warmers: You can make sure your loved one stays warm, and looks good doing it!
  • Ponytail hat: This is great for people with long hair and pony tails to keep warm in the cold winter running weather. Likewise, this Ponytail Headband is also great for keeping hair out of your eyes.
  • Looking for some cross training ideas for this winter weather? You can get a spin bike, a Peloton or Schwinn. I personally went for the Schwinn model and use it with the peloton app! 
  • Wool socks: Keep your runner’s feet nice and dry with some wool socks designed for performance.
  • The Complete Guide to Trail Running: This is the book for all things trail running!
  • Trail running gaiters: These gaiters protect from flying rocks and sticks that can be found on the trail
group of women running on trails

Clothing and gear

  • Tracksmith is the new running gear on the market! I haven’t personally tried it but I love the way the attire looks. 
  • Underarmor running gear: Particularly, this running vest, no bounce sports bra and this cold gear hoodie
  • Sports Bra that prevents bouncing!
  • Sunglasses: These Goodr sunglasses are so hot right now! For only $25, you can get a polarized, stylish pair of glasses that are great for running and outdoor activities. Also Knockaround sunglasses are budget-friendly enough that if you lose a pair it’s not the end of the world, but they are cute and super stylish, too! Grab 40% your sunglasses!
  • Socks: These socks are supposed to last a lifetime! In fact, if you get a hole in them, they’ll send you a new pair for free. While they are a little pricier than other socks, they are built to last.
  • GPS watch: These can be expensive, but you can get some of the older models for a reasonable price!
  • Running belt: This is my favorite running belt. I’m not a huge fan of the arm band, but love the belt for holding my phone and gels/chews during marathon training.
  • Aftershokz Wireless Headphones: These are awesome headphones to give as a gift. And for a cheaper option, there are these headphones.

Gifts for Runners who are Food Lovers

I mean, aren’t all athletes food lovers?!

  • Cookbooks: I love this one— Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow, the sequel to Run Fast Eat Slow. Nothing beats that superhero muffin recipe in my mind – my go to! 
  • If you like foam in your coffee like me, a milk frother is a great stocking stuffer gift for under $20.
  • An air fryer is a handy kitchen appliance. You can make crisp fries without actually frying them, like parsnip fries.
  • Meal subscription kits: I love Blue Apron and they’re always running specials!
  • Snacks: Do you know that runner who is always hungry? Well, first, that runner is me. But secondly, why not send him/her a snack box?
  • Quick food optionsDaily Harvest has a bunch of quick meal and smoothie options, which are great for quick mornings, or throwing into the blender after a run for a recovery smoothie drink. 
snacks in bowls, like popcorn, pretzels and chips

Gifts for Ultra Runners

Many trail runners may also be ultramarathon runners, so this is just an extended list!

  • Wearable hydration: A handheld bottle or hydration vest is a great gift idea for those who like to carry their hydration on their runs.
  • Road ID Bracelet – You can get this for less than $40 and it’s a great safety precaution if anything were to happen! As females, I think this is extra important if we’re running alone. And I’ll add mace to this list, too. Super cheap and worth it!
  • 365 Days of Motivational Quotes: I think we all need some motivation, especially for those days when we don’t feel like running.
  • If you have a runner in your life who has everything, or loves to learn, consider our Nail Your Nutrition course! We are a small business so if you’re into supporting small businesses, we appreciate it!
  • Compression socks: They help with blood flow which can help reduce soreness and bring more fresh oxygen to the muscles—perfect for a long distance runner’s recovery.
ultra runner with backpack and mountains in distance

Keepsakes

These ideas below could be great gift ideas for the athletic girl, or just sentimental athlete in your life.

  • Memento: A simple t-shirt can be fun, or a small marathon keychain make great gifts. 
  • Jewelry: This elevation necklace can be made for the marathon finished that boasts the elevation.
  • Map: A Corkboard map as a way to chronicle all of your races. This would be great if you’re a visual person, trying to see all the places you have run/raced.  
red and white stockings
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