Best Gifts for Athletes 2020: An Ultimate Guide

Best Gift For Athletes 2020: An Ultimate Guide

Best Gifts for Athletes

We’ve put together a complete list of the best gifts for athletes for 2020. If you need gifts for someone in your life that loves getting after it on courts, fields, trails, or in gyms, we’ve got you covered. This list offers a bunch of great options that will work for upcoming Christmas, holiday, or birthday gifts. 

We’ve rigorously tested all the items on the list and know they perform well. Our team includes many athlete testers who actively participate in multiple sports (minus during pandemic lockdowns). We know what’s important to the athletes in your life. If you have follow up questions about any product on the list, ask us on Twitter

We’ve also reviewed a lot of other products not featured on this page. With that said, let’s unveil our list of the best gifts for athletes in 2020.

Best Gifts for Athletes 2020

Best Percussion Massager: Exogun

Massage guns increase blood flow to specific muscle areas to reduce tension and inflammation.

Percussion massagers are now a staple of athletic recovery. Lots of companies offer percussion massagers with prices up to $600. Which should you choose?

Typically the more you pay, the quieter your massager. You also get more speeds and a carrying case. So the idea is to find one that’s less expensive but relatively quiet, has multiple speeds, and comes with a carrying case. 

When you go through all the options like we have, one stands out. The ExoGun DreamPro. It’s got all the bells and whistles. And it’s typically priced from $150-$200. Grab one for the athletes in your life and they’ll be thanking you after every game, match, or set. 

Best Multi-Court Combo Shoe: Nike Kybrid S2

Nike sponsored this slot and chose a shoe that’s popular across a ton of court-based sports.

Kyrie Irving’s shoes are worn by athletes in a ton of sports. Basketball, volleyball, pickleball, and more. If there’s a sport played on a court, you’ll see various Kyrie models on the feet of the players.

So what’s an awesome Kyrie-related gift for the athlete in your life? A shoe that combines three of Kyrie’s most beloved shoe models (4, 5, and 6) into one shoe. What results is a cool looking shoe that reminds the wearer of previous favorites and performs on any court.

Get this shoe for the athlete in your life and they’ll love the way they look both on and off court. Read full review for more details.

Best Athletic Mask: UA Sportsmask

In a world with an ongoing pandemic, everybody needs a reliable mask, especially athletes.

The UA Sportsmask from Under Armour is one of the many mask options that popped up among footwear and apparel brands after the pandemic hit us full force. A new product category was created almost overnight and now we have a ton of options.

The UA Sportsmask is the most comfortable, well-built option available. It’s lightweight, but still sturdy enough to stay put during heavy exercise. The mask is also comfortable around the ears, comes in various sizes to fit most faces, and offers 6 different colors.

High quality, high durability masks that work for playing sports are tough to find. We’ve looked since the pandemic began and this is the best we’ve tried so far.

Best Sleeveless T-Shirt: Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Sleeveless 2.0

Gym goers need sleeveless t-shirts for freedom of arm movement. We’re always looking out for the best ones.

Lululemon, which started as a brand focused on Yoga, has now expanded to make clothing for running, training, and basketball.

The Metal Vent Tech Sleeveless 2.0 is a near perfect athletic top. It features a seamless construction, impressive breathability, and is long enough to prevent showing bare midriff while lifting weights or balls above the head. The nylon, polyester, and elastane material mix delivers a soft, light shirt that stretches in all the right places.

The Metal Vent Tech Sleeveless is expensive (like all Lululemon products) but quality and durability are great.

Best Compression Sleeve for Training: GO Kinesiology Calf Sleeve

Leg compression sleeves have been an athletic fashion statement since Michael Jordan.

If you’re going to help the athlete in your life look cool with a compression sleeve, at least get them one that packs supportive features.

The GO Calf Sleeve includes built in Kinesiology tape to reduce pain from shin splits, achilles tendon issues, and calf muscle tightness. The sleeves fit super tight for compression purposes, so check out the size guide to ensure you buy the right one.

This is the type of fashion forward, but useful, gift that all the athletes on your list will appreciate.

Best Running Shorts: Under Armour Speedpocket

Lots of athletes still carry their phone on while running or at the gym. These shorts and pants can help with that.

Do the athletes you’re shopping for use their phones to track their runs or listen to music while lifting? 

If so, the Under Armour SpeedPocket will change their world. Under Armour has ingeniously built a water resistant expandable center-front pocket into the waistband of a large selection of their shorts and pants. The pocket’s even big enough to fit today’s max-sized phones. The speedpocket keeps the phone dry and secure with no bouncing while your athlete racks up the miles or reps.

Best Recovery Product: Normatec Pulse 2.0

Dynamic compression squeezes your legs in all the right ways to increase blood flow and boost recovery.

People call the NormaTec Pulse 2.0 leg sleeves magic boots for a reason. The way they envelop and squeeze the legs feels fantastic.

All any athlete needs to do is sit there for 20 minutes and let his or her legs get massaged. When done, they’ll feel refreshed and happy. It’s the perfect tool for the people who consistently beat up their legs with multiple sports.

It’s super expensive at $1000, but if you’re thinking of a big gift for that special someone, the recovery benefits they get from it will get you lots of love and attention.

Best Indoor Cycling Shoe: Nike SuperRep Cycle

Indoor cycling with Peloton, Zwift, or in class at a studio is hugely popular around the world.

The Nike SuperRep Cycle is great for indoor cyclists who use Peloton or Zwift and for new outdoor cyclists who want to make the jump to a cleated pedal. 

The SuperRep Cycle is correctly priced at $120, light, breathable, and very comfortable. The wide toe box is a nice bonus, but the power transfer won’t satisfy elite cyclists. If the athlete in your life needs a comfortable shoe for riding, or if they have just been dying to wear Nikes on a bike, the SuperRep Cycle is perfect for them. Read full review for more details.

Best Fitness Hoodie: Hylete Flexion Hoodie

Hoodies are essential as the temperature cools. Having one you can wear while exercising is clutch.

The Hylete Flexion Hoodie is made of a polyester and spandex mix that’s perfect for outdoor workouts, training, or sports when the weather gets colder.

The Flexion Hoodie also has a modern style that elicits “ninja” comments from peers. It just looks cool.

It’s got two front pockets, good breathability, and thumb holes built into the sleeves. It’s functionally built for any type of sport and looks good too. And while the Flexion Hoodie is on the expensive side, it’s built solidly and will last a long time.

Best Compression Tights: Under Armour HeatGear 3/4 Leggings

Compression wear is designed to increase blood flow which keeps muscles and joints warm.

Every athlete in the world probably owns a pair of compression pants. So why is this one on the list?

The UnderArmour Heat Gear 3/4 Leggings are durable, comfortable, don’t get smelly, and right-priced at $32. There’s a wide range of sizes including a tall version. 

The basic black, white, and gray colors are uninspiring but UA does offer patterned compression leggings for a little more cash. There’s also a bunch of full length options if you prefer. When you give this kind of gift the receiver thinks you paid way more than you really did.

Best Hybrid Cross Training Shoe: On Cloud X

Workout shoes aren’t usually fashion forward. Here’s one that is.

The On Cloud X is easily the best looking cross training shoe on the market. It’s got a sleek look that looks great dressed up with jeans for casual wear. That said, it still performs in the gym and on the roads.

On mainly makes running shoes and this is the second generation of their hybrid workout and running shoe. If your athlete is typically running a lot of miles alongside his or her weight workouts, this could be the shoe for them. It’s got a high build quality to handle all the typical movements they’ll make while working out or running. Read full review for more details.

Best Sports Drink: BODYARMOR

Everyone that exercises occasionally needs a sports drink to rehydrate after an especially tough workout.

The best sports drink for most athletes is BODYARMOR. BODYARMOR offers multiple great tasting flavors, uses potassium as the key electrolyte, uses no artificial sweeteners or artificial colors/dyes, and keeps the calories, carbs, and sodium reasonable. 

All BODYARMOR flavors are made with 10% coconut water. BODYARMOR is vegan, gluten-free, soy free, and certified Kosher. Our favorite flavor of BODYARMOR is Tropical Punch but Fruit Punch, Orange Mango, and Pineapple Coconut are also really good. That’s plenty of options to help stuff a stocking. Read the full Sports Drink guide for more details.

Best Stretchy Jeans: Barbell Apparel Jeans

Every athlete has needs outside of the gym. One of those needs is a great pair of jeans

Nowadays, there are a lot of stretchy jeans. Which is great for the extra large quads and calves of athletes and weekend warriors. Of all the stretchy jeans, Barbell Apparel’s flexible denim is the best.

Barbell Apparel jeans look like high end denim but include polyester and spandex in their material mix to provide just the right amount of stretch for athletic legs. Their ads regularly show people doing squats in them. 

Barbell Apparel jeans are available in multiple washes for both men and women. These jeans will easily become a go to pair for the athlete in your life.

Best Sneaker Community: WearTesters Membership

If your athlete loves WearTesters, we’ve created a place he or she will feel at home.

The WearTesters Discord community was started in mid-2019 to create a place where WearTesters’ fans could have direct access to the entire review team via various chat channels and DMs.

In the ensuing year and a half, the community has grown immensely and is now a troll free section of the internet where we geek out about shoes.

In addition, members get exclusive access to WearTesters events, monthly voice chat sessions, and special projects (like the NW1). Gold members get the added benefit of shoe giveaways every month.

You can gift someone a 1 year subscription at the Blue or Gold level.

Other Gift Guides

Need more gift ideas? Check out our other gift guides: