I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything but I’ve never lost interest in the products that are available. And with the Christmas season upon us, I’m a bit late to the punch, but I’d love to share my thoughts for nice gifts for athletes.
I’ve categorised them by sport and most are below $25 but there are some more expensive ideas too. If you have any additions, please let me know in the comments below!
Gift ideas for runners
While running is a relatively cheap sport to get into, there isn’t a lot to get that’s cheap once somebody is very invested. But with the cold weather and darkness you can think of some nice accessories to make somebody’s runs just that bit nicer. I’d personally stay away from buying new shoes as that can be a very specific choice somebody has. But clothing, accessories and the likes are a good idea.
One thing I personally dislike is the cold wind on my forehead. It can even give me headaches. I’m usually warm enough to not quantify a full hat, but not wearing anything can be a real pain. Also don’t forget the ears! brrr. A great solution is a headband. You can grab one for less than $10 on Amazon and in a wide variety of colours.
Better safe than sorry! You might seem very dorky wearing a running headlight, but believe me, It’s nice to be seen and see a bit more for yourself. Starting at around $15 you have a pick at your flavour. A bit more conventional are arm straps. Easy to wear, comfortable and definitely adding to your visibility. I’d personally stay away from anything different than red, but it’s all up to you. Cheap sets of arm strap lights go for $10.
If you’re looking for something a bit more expensive why not look at a nice running watch. A relatively simple one with a lot of capabilities is the Garmin Forerunner 35. Prices start at around $90 on Amazon. The really nice part of these generation watches is that they have heart rate monitoring built in, so the chest strap can go on craigslist.
If you have (small) kids, maybe look for a running stroller. At first I said we didn’t need one, but we recently got a runner stroller ourselves and I’m pretty much sold. The little bub loves sitting in it and looking around for cars, birds, etc, while we get our workout done. Killing two birds with one stone.
Gift Ideas for Cyclists
While cycling is more expensive to get started in, there’s a lot of stuff you can get that’s not expensive and really useful or just plain nice to have. Again I’d stay away from stuff that needs a proper fitting, unless you know exactly what they want. So gloves, shoes, etc, I’d only buy on specific instructions or by copying what they have now (so just a ‘new’ set, or a better version of it).
With the colder weather, some cycling booties can really save a set of toes. Not expensive and a great option to have on those really cold days. From just a wind proof layer to a bit of added insulation, you can grab them starting at $11 at Amazon.
Under helmet hat
Apart from booties, another nice addition for the really cold days is a skull cap which fits under your helmet. Insulating your head while staying safe. Again, these can be found quite cheap for $15 and up on Amazon.
It may not be your first go-to purchase for the off season (if the off season exists…) but some good glasses are always welcome. The low sun can blind you, or if you grab a set with exchangeable glasses, a clear set will just keep your eyes sheltered from that blistering cold. They can come cheap, starting at around $15 but you can make it as expensive as you want. Bonus, you can use them year round.
General gift ideas
One product I really like is NUUN. Little tablets that you pop in a bottle to make a packed with electrolytes, non sugary, rehydrating drink. You can grab a box with assorted flavours for just under $25.
I like my calf compression sleeves. Some people don’t believe in it, and in the past the only evidence that it works has been “slightly”. Personally I just like wearing them, it feels nice after a long run, a bit of extra support. Again this is not too expensive, but sizing might be important. Pick up some compression sleeves from $12