Finding the best fitness gifts for men can be a challenge, but with working out at home becoming the norm for more and more people, stocking up on home fitness gear is a great way to spoil a fitness-lover.
Whether your target works out in a garage or spare room, there is an overwhelming amount of gear out there, like space-saving adjustable dumbbells and speed ropes to punching bags, kettlebells, and rowing machines. Even though they’ve been harder to find lately, there is still a variety of great options on the market.
In addition to tools to help them work out, recovery aids are also excellent gifts for sporty guys. These can be as complex as percussion massagers and e-stim units or as simple as foam rollers and lacrosse balls. Recovery tools are an excellent way to ease soreness and speed up recovery between workouts. They go a long way to prevent overuse injuries like tennis elbow, shoulder pain, and tendonitis.
We paired our in-house tester’s extensive health and human fitness background with hands-on experimentation and quality research. We scoured the internet and spent countless hours in the gym, on the road, and recovering at home to find the best fitness gifts for men.
We put a mountain of gear through the wringer, from workout equipment and recovery tools to the most comfortable and supportive apparel. Here’s what gear stood up to the tests and rose to the top of our list.
- Best TENS Device: PowerDot 2.0
- Best Percussion Massager: Addaday BioZoom with Bluetooth
- Best Pullup Grips: Element 26 IsoGrip Gymnastic Hand Grips
- Best Gym Shoes: UnderArmour UA HOVR Apex 2 Training Shoes
- Best Kettlebell: Onnit Primal Kettlebells
- Best Jump Rope: RX Smart Gear EVO G2 Speed Rope
- Best PreWorkout Supplement: Flume Botanicals Flow Pre-workout
- Best Sleep Aid: Sleep Number True Temp Ultimate Pillow
- Best Recovery Shoe: HOKA Men’s Ora Recovery Slide
- Best Socks: Injinji Ultra Run Socks
- Best Underwear: Saxx Kinetic HD Boxer Briefs
- Best Hoodie: California Cowboy Wagyu Fleece Hoodie
- Best Running Shoes: Saucony Guide 14
- Best Sunglasses: SPY Optics Dirty Mo Tech
- Best Meal Prep Containers: Klean Kanteen Food Boxes
- Best Wireless Earbuds: JLab Epic Air ANC True Wireless Earbuds
- Best GPS Watch: Suunto 7
- Best Adjustable Dumbbells: USA-Iron Adjustable Dumbbells
- Best Bike Bottle: Bivo One
The Best Fitness Gifts For Men
When it comes to recovery, it’s hard to beat the PowerDot 2.0 as a great fitness gift for men. This iteration of the highly regarded TENS muscle recovery tool is compact, simple to use, and powerful. The packaging is small and easy to throw in a pack on your way to the gym, and the Bluetooth connectivity connects with the PowerDot app on your phone to provide you with the perfect programming for recovery.
I loved the PowerDot for its simplicity. After a nasty leg workout, it was up and running on my quads in minutes. And after runs, putting the electrodes on my feet and kicking back for a foot massage while I streamed Search Party was an absolute joy.
The new BioZoom percussion massager from Addaday ramps up the tech while minimizing the noise that these recovery devices are known for. In addition to a digital display and trigger-mounted power adjustment, the BioZoom with Bluetooth will also connect with your phone to find the perfect recovery plan for your workouts.
Addaday’s proprietary app takes all the guesswork out of recovery. Just open the app, enter your workout data, or input what muscles are sore, then the app will send a wellness routine to your massage tool and put your muscles through the paces.
A good set of pullup grips is a key part of the gym kit for any CrossFit athlete. The problem is that finding a decent pair of grips is a daunting challenge. We’ve gone through literally dozens of grips over the years, trying to find a set that will keep skin tears at bay and provide a solid grip on the bar during unbroken sets. After a long search, we’ve finally found a grip that never slips, never needs liquid chalk, and has yet to allow our hands to tear: The IsoGrip Gymnastic Hand Grips from Element 26.
The grip on these is unreal, thanks to the company’s proprietary Isoprene Polymer Material. In my first workout with these, I tried a set of 40 unbroken pullups and gassed out at 35. Fortunately, the grips on these held tight while I rested in a dead hang, then ground out 5 more reps.
As a seasoned CrossFitter, I’ve been conditioned to be skeptical of any workout shoes that don’t have “Nano “or “Metcon” on the box. But the UA HOVR Apex 2 from UnderArmour has been a revelation. During my workouts, I found myself going back to these kicks, again and again, thanks to their support, comfort, and versatility.
Most shoes in the fitness realm tend to excel in either bodyweight movements or weightlifting, but not both. The HOVR Apex 2s CrossFit Shoes have been just as comfortable on Olympic lifts like cleans and snatches as they are on box jumps and 400-meter sprints. The TriBase sole is grippy and low-profile, while the 3D printed reinforcement on the mesh upper adds durability and protection on rope climbs without sacrificing breathability.
Onnit’s Primal Kettlebells are a great way to add some style to anyone’s home gym setup. Kettlebells are one of the simplest yet most versatile pieces of fitness equipment globally, and Onnit’s feature a great grip, excellent balance, and a very cool tweak: each bell sports a cool primate profile on the bell.
They vary in weight from the 18-pound Howler monkey bell to the 90-pound bell sporting a growling sasquatch head. I’ve got the 70-pound kettlebell, which sports an intimidating gorilla head for the bell. The balance is excellent, and I’ve been able to maintain my grip in max-effort overhead swings with no issue (until my forearms failed). The style is a great twist to a simple piece of workout equipment, and it’s the one that people usually race for when getting ready for a workout.
For people who use jump ropes in their gym routine, a good speed rope is essential. And the EVO 2 Speed Rope from RX Smart Gear is the fastest, most well-built rope on the market.
The dual-bearing swivel assembly gives this rope an almost friction-free spin and excellent speed during jumps. For precise rope control, the machined aerospace-grade aluminum handles are designed with a pinch grip and sport aggressive knurling and rubber traction bands. Also, each EVO G2 Speed Rope comes with a custom carrying case to keep your rope organized and prevent tangling in your gym bag.
If you’re as old as I am, you remember when ephedrine was the best pre-workout supplement until it was outlawed in the United States because it was shooting people’s blood pressure and heart rates through the roof.
Flume’s Pre-workout avoids the chemical rush that you get with other pre-workouts by using only natural ingredients from nootropic and adaptogenic plants from the mountains and jungles of South America and India. Ingredients like Maca, Guayusa, and coconut water give you that energy boost without the spikes in heart rate, blood pressure, and potential life span drop.
One of the best workout gifts for him is a good night’s sleep. And the perfect pillow goes a long way towards helping your guy get those much-needed zzz’s after a killer workout. Sleep Number’s True Temp Ultimate Pillow is the best pillow we’ve seen, thanks in part to its ability to dissipate heat and stay cool throughout the night. In addition, three removable inserts allow you to adjust the pillow for sleeping in any position.
The first time I put my head down on my demo pillow, I sank into it and had a hard time keeping my eyes open. This cooling pillow is an unusual blend of soft and supportive, and the contoured top was perfect for my side-sleeping self. On nights when I wanted to sleep on my back (or face), I pulled one or both of the smaller inserts out to lower the pillow’s profile, and I was out like a light.
You know that the first thing you want to do after a long run or killer workout is to kick off your shoes. HOKA knows that too, which is why they made the Ora Recovery Slide. This amazing sandal sports a super-soft top layer EVA that immediately cushions the foot and a deep heel cut that supports and cradles the feet. The upper is ventilated to help your foot dry out post-workout, and the tough rockered outsole provides traction and a smooth stride.
Putting these slides on after hammering my feet with a box jump and double-under workout was an absolute joy. I had to consciously prevent myself from saying “aaaahhhh” every time I slid them on. And for early morning Saturday workouts, they’re perfect for trudging into the gym to shake off the previous evening’s festivities.
Blisters are the bane of any runner’s existence. One of the most common places to get blisters in between the toes, especially as the feet swell during long runs. While moisture-wicking socks help reduce friction in the heel or ball, they don’t prevent friction between the toes.
Injinji socks sport individual toe sleeves, enclosing every toe in material to prevent any friction between the toes and the blisters that may ensue. Also, they sport terry padding in high-impact zones and light compression in the midfoot for added support. They may look a bit strange out of the shoe, but they feel great in it. Full disclosure: I hate having my toes feel like they’re crammed together, so these socks are a godsend for me. I wear them on everything from long runs to multi-day backpacking trips and have never had a toe blister while they were on my feet.
One of the best gifts for a fitness guy is a good pair of workout underwear. These sport boxers from SAXX Underwear sport a semi-compression fit and four-way stretch for a full range of movement, flat seams to prevent chafing, and a soft touch for comfort. More importantly, they have what SAXX calls their “Ballpark Pouch,” which is an individual pouch for the man-parts, which keeps athletes comfortable and supported where it matters most.
As an athlete who’s prone to chafing in the inner-thigh region (too many squats), these boxer briefs have been my daily go-to boxers for years. The Kinetics have been fantastic for workouts – the mesh Ballpark Pouch keeps the boys from overheating, and the legs of the boxer briefs never roll-up. And the Kinetic’s material dries extremely quickly. After everything from summer WODs to a quick dip in a glacial lake on a dare, these boxers were bone dry in minutes.
Made with a ridiculously soft blend of bamboo and spandex, the Wagyu Hoodie from California Cowboy is designed for lounging. After trying it on for the first time, I never wanted to take it off. I’ve worn it on runs, during workout warmups, and, of course, for lounging around during recovery.
This mid-weight fleece hoodie has plenty of stretch and plenty of rebound, which means that it doesn’t get all loose and sloppy after a few wears. The bamboo blend material is soft both on the inside and outside, so it’s comfortable for both you and whoever happens to be touching you as well (a perk for everyone involved). Bonus: there’s a hidden pocket in the back hip that can carry your wallet, sunglasses, or even a beer bottle when your hands are full.
Saucony’s newest iteration of their lauded Guide shoe, the Guide 14, combines lightweight with plenty of cushioning. There are many things to like about this running shoe, but the star of the show here is the perfect blend of cushioning and speed. The thick, cushy-yet-supportive midsole foam is soft and comfortable but firm enough to provide plenty of response.
On test runs, my feet never felt like they took a pounding despite my 200-pound frame, and when I needed to speed up, the shoes rebounded and helped me push the pace when I wanted to. The mesh upper is light and breezy, but the TPU cage over the midfoot provides plenty of support. The extra padding around the ankle cuff adds a bit of luxury while minimizing any chance of irritation.
If you’re looking for sunglasses that work as well for everyday use as they do on a run, the Dirty Mo Tech from SPY Optics should be your pick. The styling on these sunnies looks great walking around town, but the coverage and durability make it equally at home on a run or mountain bike ride.
During testing, the Grilamid frame has survived drops, kicks, and knocking around in a gym bag on the way to the gym. On long runs, the nose and temple pads held the frames in place, and an ingenious set of hidden sweat channels helped shunt my excessing sweat away from my face.
One of the best fitness gifts for men who lift is a good way to fuel that lifting. These stainless-steel boxes with silicone lids from Klean Kanteen are plastic-free and come in three different sizes so that you can keep your meals fresh for the day. The containers are durable, machine washable, and watertight. We love the extra snap-and-lock tabs on the bigger boxes that make sure your lids don’t pop open during your commute.
I’ve found these meal prep containers perfect for storing all of my premade meals for the week. I’ve been throwing brown rice and ground turkey in these and stuffing them in the fridge. They stack well, have vent-able lids, and can keep food hot or cold for hours.
When it comes to wireless earbuds, a good fit is essential. This is part of why we love the Epic Air ANC buds from JLAB. They come with various bud options so that you can find the right fit for each ear.
We also love the nearly 50 hours of playtime with the included charging case and active noise canceling. The audio comes through clear and crisp, and the Bluetooth connectivity is quick and reliable. The little details are great as well – the wear detection mode is brilliant. Each earbud has a sensor that detects when you take a bud out and pauses whatever you’re listening to, then starts playback again when you put the bud back in.
If you’re looking for a GPS, it’s hard to beat the Suunto 7. This watch comes so loaded with features that it’s hard to narrow down which one we like best. It has settings for over 70 sports, precise GPS tracking, a wrist-mounted heart rate monitor, and free offline outdoor maps. For everyday use, the watch sports features from Google’s Wear OS, including Google Pay, Google Assistant, and Google Fit.
I’ve tracked trail runs, my heart rate during CrossFit workouts, and I’ve found out that I log about 1,200 steps every time I coach a CrossFit class. The 7 works great as a fitness tracker, but it also works well with everyday use, thanks to the myriad face displays, Google Pay, and connectivity with my phone for instant access to emails, calls, and texts.
One of the best weightlifting gifts is a home gym. And adjustable dumbbells go a long way. These made-to-order adjustable dumbbells are not only adjustable but are also beautiful. Each set of these American-made dumbbells is lathe-turned by machinists, which not only ensures a precision weight and feel, but they also look way better than the prison-yard dumbbells that we’re used to seeing in our garage.
Available in 50- or 70-pound sets, these dumbbells are adjustable in 5-pound increments and sealed with an included hex key and steel shaft collar. The plates are machined steel with a durable black coating, and the handle is chromed with light-medium knurling for grip.
This is categorized as a bike bottle, but we’ve been using the Bivo One for everything from cycling to runs, hikes, and running to the gym. Designed in part by Bivo’s in-house ex-NASA engineer, the company has developed a bike cage-friendly stainless-steel insulated water bottle that offers a high-flow sports nozzle.
That high-flow nozzle means you get a free-flowing water delivery that requires zero squeezing. The bottle is coated with a matte silicone exterior that minimizes rattling and helps you grip it with sweaty hands.
Why You Can Trust This Guide
With one or two exceptions, every piece of gear in this guide has been tested by the author or a member of his test team in real-life settings.
The author and head tester for this article has over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry and has tested and reviewed countless pieces of fitness gear. Our testers have run ultra-distances, broken powerlifting records, and competed in a variety of fitness competitions.
We enjoyed the best gear, suffered through the worst, and came out with the best gifts for fitness lovers on the market.
How We Chose
We tried to find gear that's accessible for a wide range of athletes, from runners to powerlifters, in various price ranges. This list's gear covers different sports and aspects of training, from running to lifting, pre- to post-workout, and meal prep.
We researched hundreds of pieces, tested dozens of pieces, and narrowed the list down to the options below.
How We Tested
We put our gear and our testers through hundreds of hours of workouts, from running to CrossFit to powerlifting and even the occasional plyometrics class.
We tried different pre-workouts to test the energy-spike-to-jitters ratio and how hard the comedowns were, put mile after mile on running shoes, and suffered endless whips while testing jump ropes for double-under efficiency.
We tested recovery gear to evaluate pain relief both immediately after workouts and in the following days.
- TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) - NHS
- Strenuous Workouts: Try These 6 Best Recovery Tips - Cleveland Clinic