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Gift Guide: The Best Wellness and Fitness Presents to Give This Year

November 2, 2019, 11:00 AM UTC
Amazfit GTR smartwatch
Amazfit

Much like how Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, the day after Halloween seems to be the opening day of the holiday season. (Despite whenever pumpkin spice lattes hit the market.)

Thus, ye olde holiday shopping time is here, and some retailers trot out blockbuster deals as soon as Nov. 1. (In this digital day and age, if you’re waiting until the day after Thanksgiving, you’re doing it wrong.)

However, not everyone has time to shop around (IRL, in stores, no less) and look for the newest items on the market that could appeal to the loved ones and colleagues on their gift-giving lists. (Or for themselves, because let’s be honest, we look at holiday gift guides and deals for ourselves just as much as for others.)

With that in mind, here is a helpful list of suggestions for the runners, yogis, and other fitness enthusiasts in your life.

Footwear

The Fresh Foam Roav running shoes
New Balance

New Balance: Available in sizes for both men and women, the New Balance Fresh Foam Roav shoe is ideal for avid runners. The shoes hardly take any time to break in and nearly immediately feel like they’re propelling you to run easier and faster. This is thanks to the plush, cradle-like structure of the shoe, engineered with a modern ultra heel construction for seamless comfort and a full-ground contact rubber outsole for a great underfoot feel. SRP: $79.99.  

Tiem Slipstream Cycling Shoes
Tiem

Tiem: The Slipstream is a performance cycling shoe designed to embrace both style and comfort. (Perfect for the SoulCycle and Flywheel friends on your gift lists.) These slip-ons sport a breathable mesh toe box and a single-strap closure system. Note that cycling shoes should fit slightly tighter than your everyday sneakers, so it is recommended you size down a half size from your normal shoe size. (For example, if you typically wear a size 8 in sneakers, you’ll want to take a size 7.5 in the Slipstream.) Detachable cleats are sold separately for $20. SRP: $130.

Activewear

Summersalt’s Beyond the Lounge Chair shorts and windbreaker set.
Summersalt

Summersalt: They might be billed as lounge shorts (official name:
the Beyond the Lounge Chair shorts), but these shorts are incredibly comfortable and versatile—and dare I say one of the best pairs of running shorts I’ve ever used in almost a decade. The pockets—there are three of them—are game changers because they’re all secured by zippers (so many running shorts seem to have only one or two pockets at best, and no closures) and the side pockets are large enough to comfortably fit an iPhone 11 or Pixel 4. Best of all, the moisture-wicking material is so light that it doesn’t feel like you’re running with anything in your pockets at all. SRP: $65.

The mix-and-match OV Kits for women and men.
Outdoor Voices

Outdoor Voices: Austin–based Outdoor Voices prides itself as the maker of aesthetically appealing athletic wear for casual recreational activities, ranging from walking your dog to spin class. You may or may not break a sweat, but you’re going to look good and remain comfortable either way. Gift sets are always a popular sell during the holidays, and OV’s entries are the OV Kits, a way to bundle as well as mix and match its bestselling pieces at a lower cost with customizable “tech” and “rec” kits for both men and women. SRP: Ranges from $85 to $95.

The Exercise Dress in Evergreen
Outdoor Voices

Outdoor Voices is subtly blurring the lines even further for athleisure with one of its most popular releases, the Exercise Dress. Available in six shades, the sporty dress is made from OV’s LightSpeed breathable fabric, featuring a built-in shorts liner and phone pocket. So now you really can go from the gym to lunch, or vice versa, in the same outfit. SRP: $100.

Men’s Mercury Intelligent Heated Jacket
Ministry of Supply

Outerwear

Ministry of Supply: Smartwatch. Smart glasses. Smartphone. Now smart jacket. But it’s not just a buzz term here. Like a sartorial accessory out of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, this jacket’s smartness stems from a relationship with the wearer. Powered by a detachable battery, it intuits the wearer’s body temperature and adjusts accordingly. For example, it’s warmer when you’re walking, but it cools down when you’re on a packed train.

A smart thermostat reacts to your body and environment, providing up to 10 watts of heating power nearly instantaneously.
Ministry of Supply

Even without the heat function, the Mercury jacket is ideal for winter activity thanks to a double-layer waterproof breathable membrane designed to keep you dry in harsh conditions, whether that be rain, snow, or harsh wind. SRP: $495.

Amazfit Active Series
Amazfit

Smartwatch

Amazfit: There is no shortage of smartwatches on the market these days—but finding the right one for you has become just as complicated as if you were looking for an analog timepiece. Buyers no longer have to sacrifice style for function to count their steps while also getting notifications (and, you know, the time) on their wrists. Amazfit has a catalog that runs the gamut from rugged, athletic smartwatches along with competitors for Fitbit and Apple Watch to smart timepieces with more professional, classic, and even avant-garde aesthetics. (Get a glimpse of the Moon Beam and Equator wristbands.) SRP: $49.99–$179.99.

Oak and Reed’s stainless steel bottles
Oak and Reed

Water Bottle

Oak and Reed: Nothing is more important to staying in shape than staying hydrated. And as many people try to cut back on plastic, having a single, reusable water bottle is essential. This 550-milliliter stainless steel bottle from fashion-forward fitness brand Oak and Reed features a double wall and vacuum seal, meaning it can keep liquids cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours. The wide mouth design fits more ice, and a condensation-free exterior prevents sweating. SRP: $20.99.

The Body Kit by Nécessaire.
Nécessaire

Skin care

Nécessaire: As the name implies, Nécessaire is all about the basic necessities—but done right and done well. Founded by Estée Lauder vet Randi Christiansen and Nick Axelrod (cofounder of Into the Gloss and former editor at WWD and Elle), Nécessaire consists of a handful of products touted to be clean and nontoxic but also sexy and indulgent at the same time. Less is more all around: There are only the basics (body wash, body lotion, etc.), and customers have three scents to choose from: eucalyptus, sandalwood, and fragrance-free. And the brand leans into the “self-care” mantra of the year, as described on the brand’s website: “We believe your skin care should only contain clean, effective and high-quality ingredients that actually support your skin health and elevate your self-care routine.” SRP: $60 for the Body Kit.

“The Lot” by Go-To Skin Care
Go-To Skin Care

Go-To Skin Care: Also following a “less is more” style…but with a little more in the portfolio is Go-To Skin Care, founded by former beauty editor Zoe Foster Blake. The Australian native says she launched her own line of skin care products after years of testing and reviewing “bazillions” of products, and she wanted to create something simpler and less stressful for consumers. The brand has since developed a cult following in the United States, offering a facial care lineup from start to finish, including a cleanser, moisturizer, face oil, exfoliator, sunscreen, sheet masks, and lip balm. SRP: $121 for the Daily Essentials set or $321 for the whole lot.

The “No Brainer” set by The Ordinary
Deciem

The Ordinary by Deciem: Consumers are looking at the labels of their skin care products more closely than ever, and while many brands will tout themselves as clean and free of this and that, some shoppers want to know exactly what is in each tiny bottle and applicator. The Ordinary takes a much more clinical approach to hawking its skin care products—so much so that with a cursory glance, you might wonder if you need a prescription. (Frankly, the most revealing and honest part about it is that no matter how many brands say they have only a few ingredients, there is always so much more that goes into them.) But it’s almost certain you know exactly what you’re getting with The Ordinary, whose products are designed especially for hydration and antiaging effects. A good place to start would be the No Brainer set, which does reduce the amount of thinking done although there is no shortage of valuable information on the packaging worth reading. The set includes Natural Moisturizing Factors (a direct topical lotion with 11 amino acids), the Buffet (a serum with hyaluronic acid), and the Retinoid 2% Emulsion (another serum, this one packed with retinol—the most tried and trusted ingredient for any and all antiaging skin care products). SRP: $29.

The CBD-Infused Brightening Collection
Sagely Naturals

CBD

Sagely Naturals: If you’ve read about CBD, surely you’ve seen this next disclaimer before. CBD is touted to be a wonder drug, but studies are not conclusive yet as to just how life-changing or miraculous its health benefits might be. CBD (cannabidiol) is an active ingredient in cannabis, but it is not psychoactive. (That would be THC, another active ingredient in cannabis.) For this reason, CBD products are now legal in many (but not all) states. Experienced effects might be different for everyone, but CBD has been found to be effective in treating pain, insomnia, and anxiety.

It’s also been quite revolutionary for skin care in helping acne, redness, and wrinkles, as CBD can be a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient when added to topical products. Sagely Naturals, the largest female-founded CBD wellness brand on the market, just expanded into skin care with a new luxury line developed to soothe, hydrate, and brighten skin.

The Brightening collection will consist of three hero products: a serum (250 milligrams CBD) with an oil-based formula filled with vitamins A and C to help stimulate cell turnover and increase collagen; an eye cream (150 milligrams CBD) for reducing dark circles and puffiness while targeting dryness through amino acids and hyaluronic acid; and a night cream (150 milligrams CBD), a heavier dose of antioxidants and moisture to refresh skin by morning. The entire line is vegan and free of synthetic compounds such as parabens, artificial colors and dyes, and sulfates. SRP: $49 for the eye cream; $64 for the night cream; $89 for the serum.

Tea Forte’s Ceremonial Matcha Tea gift set
Tea Forte

Provisions

Tea Forté: Green tea—especially matcha, a finely ground Japanese-style green tea—is renowned for its benefits for your health, whether it be related to energy, lower cholesterol, weight management, clear skin, and helping your heart. Tea Forté produces delicious packets of powered matcha teas in a variety of flavors, including classic matcha but also chocolate matcha, chai matcha, and coconut matcha. (And they are all divine when served as a latte with frothy almond milk.) Packets are available as a gift set on their own, but Tea Forté also has plenty of modern tea sets that are giftable, including the Ceremonial Matcha Tea set, which comes with a handmade bamboo whisk, tea bowl, and measuring ladle. SRP: $50.

Spring Miso bowl with dressing
Thistle

Thistle: In theory, one would think that after money, food might be the most welcome gift. After all—like money—it’s something we all need. Well, we all have our own preferences when it comes to food—but that doesn’t mean it’s not a prime gifting option. Although there has been some consolidation in the wake of the Blue Apron IPO, there are still dozens upon dozens of meal kit delivery services on the market—many of them offering healthy options that are versatile, ready to cook at home, or ready to eat upon delivery. Thistle, for example, offers plant-based and meat protein options with plans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meals are designed by nutritionists and chefs, and all meals are 100% gluten- and dairy-free, with vegan options available. Examples of recent menu items include an autumn-spiced muesli with dried fruit and seeds, a roasted veggie chickpea polenta scramble, and a jerk-spiced veggie and rice bowl. SRP: Plans start at $42 per week or $11.50 per meal.

A plant-forward food subscription service.
Hungryroot

Hungryroot: For those who want more control, more choices, and more chances to cook at home, Hungryroot is a personalized grocery service touting itself as a method to get customers to eat healthier. Shoppers fill out a profile, and Hungryroot sends a curated delivery of healthy foods with recipes and suggestions of how to mix and match the various salad mixes, spiralized plant-based noodles or Banza chickpea noodles, and Beyond Meat sausages and patties. But customers can customize their boxes as well based on taste and dietary preferences. Hungryroot might offer the most inclusive program, allowing customers to set up their profiles to accommodate the following diets: dairy-free, peanut-free, tree nut–free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, and gluten-free. SRP: Plans start at $69, to make three or more meals.

One 11-ounce Marathon Map Rocks Glass etched with the route and surrounding map of Philadelphia’s 26.2-mile race.
Well Told Design

Drinkware

Well Told Design: If you want to buy something more…celebratory that the receiver might be able to use everyday (depending on the beverage), Well Told Design makes an extensive collection of delicately engraved whiskey glasses with etched maps in 22-karat gold. You can choose among famous cities and even airports—but also detailed maps of famous marathon routes, engraved in crisp detail around the entire glass. A unique and special gift for any marathon runner or someone who likes to watch marathons. SRP: $16 per glass.

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