I love giving gifts, but nothing beats the stocking. I think it's the fun, playful part of gift giving! It's a bunch of stuff, so it doesn't all have to be perfect. It can be silly or loving or utilitarian, and chocolate is always involved. It usually means items under $30.00 which takes a load of pressure off to find that ONE SINGLE MOST PERFECT GIFT.
I asked my Instagram family what they loved, and pulled my list together between them and myself for what your fitness enthusiast would love to see in his or her stocking this year! Requirements were that they needed to be under $30 and actually FIT in the stocking (because, duh).
Please note: I have received some of these items from the companies as gifts in the past. That said, I owe no allegiance to any, nor have I been paid/gifted to include them in this list. This is of personal preference and IG polls.
Why: This is the resounding win of my Instagram story poll. Runners, triathletes, OCRers seems to agree that socks are wanted and loved during the holidays. Remember when you were a teenager and socks/undies for Christmas received an eye-roll? Yeah, you know you're old now for your sock excitement.
This is the only sock I've never had a blister in, even when my feet are soaking wet from puddles or the swim portion of a race, they are happy. I prefer the zero and one heights, but if yours is a cyclist, they may like the seven.
Cost: $13.99-29.99, depending on the height.
Where: Online/Amazon, in stores like REI and bike shops
Runner Up: Balega was an Instagram favorite, but I have never worn them so I cannot speak to their greatness and runner love.
2. Face/Neck Wrap
Trail Wrap Apparel
Why: They are a small, newer company with some fun and beautiful designs out of Halifax, NS (but they do ship worldwide). The neck wrap accessory is a great one for windy or chilly spring/fall runs. They can be worn numerous ways and are a great item to have multiple of, since usually your runner will want to wash them after one or two wears.
Runner Up: Buff is a more global company, easy to find in stores, and makes different levels of warm/cool wraps.
3. Kinesiology Tape
Why: Super strong, hypoallergenic, water resistant. I've used a couple different brands, but always come back to Rocktape. This stuff comes in handy for cuts as well as muscle relief. I keep it in all my first aid kits, purse, and gym bag because it never ceases to surprise me when it comes in handy!
Cost: $24 per roll
Where: Online/Amazon, in stores like Target, REI
4. Muscle recovery/mobility tools
Acumobility Mobility Ball
Why: Runners love the torture tools that are foam rollers and mobility balls, but don't enjoy buying them ourselves. This is a unique design compared to most balls, allowing it to stay put and give your sweaty enthusiast and easier, more controlled time in the recovery pain cave.
Runner Up: Trigger point is a beloved brand that makes different sizes for rolling. Their ball does the job, and can be found in stores like REI and Target more easily than Acumobility.
5. Heat/cold Packs
Why: Winter and spring running can be wet and cold. This is a great addition to a jacket pocket for your runner to keep warm hands. There are plenty of single-use brands out there and easier to find in store; but this option is the gift that keeps on giving.
Cost: $13.99-19.99 for a 4 pack
6. Food Storage
Why: What we pack in, we pack out, so why make it trash? Sandwiches and snacks are always needed on trails, but containers can be a pain. Lunchskins is an easy way to pack stuff with zero waste. Since you would be packing out a plastic baggy regardless, by not make it a reusable one? These can be tossed in the dishwasher for cleaning, come in super fun patterns, and have multiple size options.
Where: Online/Amazon, sometimes Winners
Runner up: Blenderbottle GoStak is a great option for stuff you worry about squishing. Not something I take on trail, but great for the gym bag or car.
7. Favorite Fuels
Why: It caters to most dietary restrictions, has the option of caffeine or no, and are great for the gym bag, backpack, or pocket. Runners go through gels faster than anything else, so this is a great stocking stuffer. Most have a favorite brand, but if you don't know it then I highly rec Hüma, as they have great flavors and are one of the easiest gels on the digestive tract (trust me).
Cost: Build your own starts at $2.25, a 2 pack runs $4.50, and the mixed packs are $19-28.
Where: Online/Amazon, REI, Walmart
Runner Up: Skratch Labs makes a sport energy chew that I haven't gotten to try yet. They are a well-liked company among triathletes, gluten free, and vegetarian.
Hallmark, Ironman, Target, etc. all have fun fitness oriented ornaments.
Ironman actually allows you to customize, so if you're triathlete raced this year, you can give them a neat, personal gift that you're almost certain they didn't get for themselves.
Why: BECAUSE WE LIKE THEM AND IT'S FESTIVE
Cost: $8.00-19.99, depending because ornaments vary, people.
Where: Online, Hallmark, any place that sells happiness.