Holiday Shopping Guide for the Best Fitness Apparel Gifts


When it comes to fitness apparel gift buying, there can’t be a one-size-fits-all approach. After all, a CrossFitter's wish list will look much different from that of a yogi or a runner. Considering that the sports apparel industry generates close to $200 billion annually, there are myriad options for every sport, fitness genre and pastime.

Sorting through all the apparel options may seem daunting, but don't be overwhelmed! Our ACTIVE Reviews Team tested the durability, versatility and affordability of dozens of items across a broad spectrum of activities to find the perfect gift for your favorite fitness fanatic.

Our Favorites Fitness Apparel Gifts

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Best Training Shoe - NOBULL Trainer


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The NOBULL Trainer is the quintessential cross-training shoe great for running, jumping and lifting weights. Do not let the minimalist design fool you into thinking that these shoes can’t handle everything you can throw at them. The upper portion of NOBULL Trainers are made with SuperFabric, which gives them unmatched durability. The SuperFabric is laid atop a flexible mesh base that allows for breathability.

In addition to the toughness of the NOBULL Trainer, we also really appreciate their versatility. The sole of these trainers were designed with adaptability in mind; they move seamlessly from inside the gym workouts to outside adventures. NOBULL Trainers don’t offer much variety in terms of style or price point, especially given that they're rarely on sale, but they will hold up for a long time.

What We Love:

  • Versatility across all types of exercise
  • Minimalist design and sleek colors allow them to be worn anywhere
  • Highly durable shoe

BUY: NOBULL Trainers

Best Weightlifting Shoe - Nike Savaleos


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For the weightlifter in your life, consider shoes that will keep the foot stable and secure. The Nike Savaleos does both as quite literally the foundation of a lifter’s attire. The strap along the upper portion of the Savaleos keeps the foot in place against the flat and wide base while the midsole has a slight incline at the heel to help transfer power to the proper place on the foot.

The Nike Savaleos can easily withstand several weightlifting sessions a week. For CrossFitters, the shoe is flexible enough to transition from weightlifting to rowing or biking, but they would not be ideal for jumping or running.

What We Love:

  • Incredibly affordable compared to other weightlifting shoes
  • Durable enough to withstand years of work
  • Could be worn in some functional fitness workouts

BUY: Nike Savaleos

Best Running Shoe - Nike ZoomX Invincible Run


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The running shoe arena is arguably the most saturated area of fitness apparel. There are running shoes for overpronation, underpronation, long distance, treadmill running, short distance and other specific needs. It's understandable why one may shy away from purchasing these as a gift. However, there is one running shoe, the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run, that hits many specific needs and has an incredibly comfortable overall feel.

The Nike ZoomX Invincible Run was designed to mimic a rocker. This combined with the foam provides support for the three phases of a runner’s stride: push off, early recovery and mid-to-late recovery. This shoe proves to be strong, durable and breathable for many miles. The hip colorways also allow these to easily pair with jeans or joggers during casual errands or post-run beverages. The price point for the Invincible Run is at the mid to high end, but given the longevity of the soles, they're worth it.

What We Love:

  • Comfortable for both runs and casual outings
  • Cool colorways
  • Extremely durable for lots of mileage

BUY: Nike ZoomX Invincible Run

Best Leggings (Running/Yoga) - Lululemon Align


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Have you ever slipped into a pair of leggings and felt like you were melting into the warm embrace of perfection? If not, try on a pair of the now widely beloved Lululemon Align leggings and join the cult-like following. Even better, give a pair to some lucky lady looking for comfort, style and functionality because a good pair of leggings are a girl's best friend. The Align leggings are made of Lululemon’s proprietary fabric, Nulu, which is buttery soft and lightweight. They hug in all the right places and none of the wrong ones.

These high-waisted leggings come in a variety of lengths, ranging from 21 inches to 28 inches, and also recently offer a super high-rise version. The Align leggings define versatility. Seriously, they can be worn for just about anything—CrossFit, Olympic lifts, running, yoga or throw them on with a comfy sweatshirt for the perfect athleisure outfit.

What We Love:

  • Nulu fabric (soft, comfortable, forgiving fabric)
  • Pockets for a credit card or small key
  • Variety of length options, colors, and patterns

BUY: Lululemon Align Leggings

Best Weightlifting Gloves - Mechanix Fingerless Gloves


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Rough hands, rips and calluses are the price to pay for keeping in shape with weightlifting. But with the Mechanix Fingerless Gloves, the lifter in your life no longer has to sacrifice dexterity and function for protection. These fingerless gloves feature a thermoplastic rubber construction for protection along with a shock-resistant padding on the palm. This increases comfort and helps to prevent injury to the knuckles, hand and wrist when lifting heavy loads or performing closed-fist movements, such as boxing or knuckle push-ups. The Mechanix Fingerless Gloves are breathable and moisture wicking. Say goodbye to sweaty palms, and prevent slipping on a pull-up bar or when lifting a loaded barbell for good.

These all-purpose gloves are versatile, which is an added benefit if the lucky gift recipient likes to do the odd job around the house or tinker with power tools. The thermoplastic rubber is used for a snug and secure closure around the wrist. This design increases precision in use, which is important when performing those heavy lifts and movements that require good form and strong grip on the bar or dumbbell.

What We Love:

  • Form fitting yet breathable
  • Shock absorbent padding
  • Fingerless for increased dexterity

BUY: Mechanix Fingerless Gloves

Best Men’s Shorts - Hylete Verge III Shorts


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The gym short-wearing crowd spoke, and Hylete listened by delivering the Hylete Verge III Shorts. With a slimmer leg-opening and four different lengths, these shorts stylish, and the built-in gusset, four pockets and quick-drying and lightweight material make them extremely functional, too.

The Verge III are antimicrobial treated, meaning they can endure sweat session after sweat session and still smell sweet. Hylete is confident in its products, so it offers a full refund within 60 days if the purchaser is not completely satisfied with the quality or performance of the Verge III. We know the price is a little steep, but these shorts are built to last.

What We Love:

  • Multiple length options
  • High quality shorts
  • Antimicrobial treated

BUY: Hylete Verge III Shorts

Best Women’s Shorts - Reebok Workout Ready High-Waisted Shorts


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The Reebok Workout Ready Shorts are all-encompassing. They can be used for almost any workout, and the retro, high-waisted design coupled with the contrasting piping makes them stylish as well as functional. The drawcord and elastic waist helps keep these shorts in place no matter what kind of workout you’re doing.

The Workout Ready Shorts come in three color combinations, and at $25 you could gift multiple pairs without breaking the bank. The only complaint we have about them is that they lack pockets.

What We Love:

  • High waist for maximum coverage
  • Super stylish
  • Extremely affordable workout option

BUY: Reebok Workout Ready High-Waisted Shorts

Best Workout Socks - Stance Franchise Crew Socks


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Why do socks get so much gift grief? Can’t we all agree that socks are awesome gifts? And when it comes to workouts, socks are the unsung heroes.

Stance does socks well. It offers a variety of lengths and fabrics, but we don’t think you can go wrong with the Franchise Crew Socks. These socks come in a classic height, and the calf stripes give them a throwback feel. The performance cushioning combines impact protection with comfort while the secure elastic keeps them in place during even the most intense workouts. Plus, the seamless toe closure cuts down on friction from shoes, keeping your toes covered for a long time.

What We Love:

  • Unique, fun designs
  • Great for workouts and also casual wear
  • Breathable, high-quality material

BUY: Stance Franchise Crew Socks (3-Pack)

Best Joggers - Under Armour Hustle Fleece Joggers


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One of the best parts of the weather turning colder is being able to slip on your favorite joggers. The ones we find ourselves reaching for again and again are the Under Armour Hustle Fleece Joggers. The lightweight cotton-blend fleece feels like leg hugs, and the tapered design and ribbed cuffs make them stylish enough to take from the gym to the hottest brunch spot.

The quality that Under Armour is known for shows through in these joggers. The Hustle Fleece Joggers are nicely priced at around $45.

What We Love:

  • Priced competitively
  • Great for in the gym or casual wear
  • Lightweight feel

BUY: Under Armour Hustle Fleece Joggers

Best Graphic Shirts - Actizio Sweat Activated


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Although working out is an important aspect of keeping our mind and body healthy, it's crucial to remember to have a little fun while you perspire. The Actizio Sweat Activated tanks are the perfect way to do that. When you are nice and dry, these tanks display a partial message, but after soaking them down in sweat, its entirety becomes apparent.

These tanks are made from soft, breathable and hypoallergenic materials. Not only are the quotes motivational, but the price is too. These will be a big hit for all of those who take their workouts more seriously than they take themselves.

What We Love:

  • Fun, playful messaging
  • Breathable material
  • Affordable

BUY: Actizio Sweat Activated Tank

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