14 Great Gift Ideas for the Boutique Fitness Class Lover

You know you have that friend—the one who starts his day with an outdoor boot camp, spends lunch at a group cycling studio, then gets loose at night with hot yoga. This friend is also the one who spends her weekends testing the latest fitness classes, trying everything from 9Round Boxing and OrangeTheory Fitness to Physique57, just to keep life interesting.

In other words, this friend lives for boutique fitness classes, and can't wait to try the next exciting trend. Which, lucky for you, makes him particularly easy to shop for. All you have to do is find a gift or two that supports her active lifestyle—just like these killer gift ideas.


The Perfect Bag

perfect gym bag
Rule #5 / Quilted Koala

The perfect gym bag can be hard to find, but the right bag stands out by offering stellar features, plenty of space, and details you can't find anywhere else.

Take, for instance, the Rule #5 Run Backpack. This bag is perfect for the active athlete who wants to transition from work-to-travel-to-gym in style. It offers a dedicated laptop sleeve, a labeled passport pocket, an expandable shoe compartment, and plenty of space for gear.

Plus, every detail has been considered, including the waterproof waxed canvas exterior, the interior muddy shoe print fabric, and the reflective striping to increase visibility. 

For the tough chick who prefers a purse-like gym bag, consider the ultra-cool camouflage Kanvas Camo Upright Bag from Quilted Koala. It features an expansive interior with a water-resistant lining, and lots of pockets for keys, headphones, and other accessories. 


Gym-Friendly Toiletries

gym toiletries
Rule #5 / Squeeze Pod / Holster Brands

Know what's no fun at all? Toting mini (or full-size!) bottles of shampoo, conditioner, face wash and location to and from the gym. Not only do the bottles get slick and gross, but they also take up valuable space in a gym bag and are at risk of busting open. Squeeze Pods are the perfect solution.

These natural, leak-proof, single-use toiletries come in tiny pod packs you can throw in a pocket of your gym bag or cosmetics case. They're sized for one use only, so you use them when you need them, then throw the empty pack away.

While you're at it, go ahead and treat your favorite gym goer to a great set of cosmetics cases. The Rule #5 Women's Run Cosmetic Case Set features two separate bags, one with custom printing of a woman running and an interior patch stating, "Nobody Ever Drowned in Her Own Sweat," with the smaller bag made of pebbled leather, perfect for mini toiletries, jewelry, and hair bands. 

Finally, if you've spent any time in boutique studio bathrooms, you know counter space is limited. Anyone who has to get ready for work in these bathrooms needs a safe way to manage hot hair tools, like blow dryers, curling irons, or flat irons.

The Hot Iron Holster is a heat-resistant silicone pouch that holds hot styling tools, making them easily accessible while preventing burn marks or disastrous (and potentially painful!) mid-styling counter falls. The holster naturally clings to any smooth, non-porous surface, so it has no problem gripping sinks and counters, even in small spaces. Plus, it's bendy, so it packs away easily in a gym bag or one of the Rule #5 Cosmetics Cases. 


Hydration Help

Customizable Water Bottles
Hydro Flask

All that exercise leads to a lot of fluid loss, so help your bud shore up her hydration needs by supplying her with a customized water bottle from Hydro Flask. Using the MyHydro website, you can select the size of the bottle, the type of lid it uses, and the colors of the lid, strap, bottle, and boot, giving you the chance to create a gift that's truly unique.


Boutique Workouts...At Home

Sporty woman doing plank in front of her laptop
filadendron / Getty Images

With the power of the Internet, you don't even have to leave your home to enjoy a serious workout. In fact, apps and streaming services make it possible to access some of the hottest workouts directly from your living room.

Take, for instance, Booya Fitness. This service features curated online workout videos from some of the most popular fitness studios and instructors in the country. You can gift membership for just $10 or less (depending on how many months you purchase) per month, providing your fit friend with access to streaming workouts he or she can do anywhere.

That said, if your best bud is a group cycling junkie, you're better off looking for a service that caters directly to cyclists. Sufferfest provides an incredible cycling app that features licensed footage from professional races, including the Tour de France and UCI World Championships.

Workouts can be played on practically any device, and if your friend uses a trainer, the app can be synced with the trainer to provide customized feedback. In addition to cycling workouts, the app offers 20 yoga for cyclists workouts and a series of workouts designed to build mental toughness.

At $10-15 a month, the service is more affordable than most group cycling studio memberships.


Specialty Workout Accessories

boutique fitness gifts
Garneau / Yoga Design Lab

Of course, boutique fitness buffs don't want to spend all their time at home—they take pleasure in hitting the gym with friends. For this reason, you can't go wrong by buying high-quality accessories they may not splurge on for themselves.

Take, for instance, the Garneau Actifly cycling shoes that were made specifically for indoor cycling workouts. The focus of these shoes is breathability, with moisture-wicking, antibacterial features to help keep them dry and to keep feet from taking on a certain sweaty stench.

They're compatible with most road and indoor cycling cleats, making them perfect for the rider who values outdoor cycling as much as the indoor variety. They also come in men's and women's styles, so you're sure to find a pair that's perfect for your friend.

Likewise, if your friend's been using the same yoga mat for years, it may be time for an upgrade. Don't go for something basic—give her something functional and beautiful, like one of the Yoga Design Lab Combo Mats

These machine-washable yoga mats combine the cushioning of a standard mat with the grippy, sweat-absorbent feel of a yoga towel. It's the perfect solution for everything from basic vinyasa flow to a sweaty Bikram class


Post-Workout Recovery

Post-Workout Recovery

Post-workout recovery is key for maintaining an active life, a fact that's particularly important if your friend is constantly complaining of nagging aches and pains.

Help support a full recovery by gifting your friend tools for self-myofascial release, like the Rollga foam roller and the Rollga Activator 3-in-1 Helo Massage Ball. These tools help massage out the knots found in muscle fascia to help maintain a full range of motion and reduce chronic pain.


Men's Workout Apparel

mens fitness apparel
Ridge / Yoga Outlet

Guys' workout apparel doesn't tend to be as flashy or eye-catching as women's apparel, but even basic blacks and greys become something special when you use high-quality technical fabrics. Take, for instance, the PrAna Vaha Pants.

These pants made from recycled hemp feature four-way stretch and a lightweight fit to comfortably support any activity. Pair them with the Alo Yoga Men's Dharma Mesh Tee, which provides a wide mesh inlay at the hem for increased breathability and a touch of style.

Then, on days when outdoor winter workouts are on your guys' schedule, help keep him warm with a Ridge Merino's Men's Inversion Midweight Crew Baselayer.

These products feature Merino wool—a naturally absorbent, antimicrobial, moisture-wicking fabric—that helps maintain climate control, allowing heat to escape when it's hot, but that insulates naturally when temperatures drop.

Whether he's wearing them during an outdoor boot camp or on a low-key hike, he's practically guaranteed to stay comfortable and dry.


Women's Workout Apparel

Women's Workout Apparel
Six:02 / Crane & Lion / RBX Active

When it comes to workout duds, ladies get to have all the fun, which makes gifting workout gear an easy choice for the fitness fanatic. But given the practically endless number of styles, colors, and designs to choose from, it can be hard to narrow your options.

The winter-friendly color palette of gunmetal grey and wan blue makes for an icy and eye-catching combination. Crane & Lion's Racerback Tank is the workout staple your friend will want to wear everywhere, and it pairs perfectly with KORAL's Lustrous Hi Rise Leggings, featuring an almost leather-like sheen. 

To spice things up and keep life interesting, add RBX Leggings. Keep things interesting with a more brazen design.

Choose a simple color palette that you can easily mix-and-match, then choose one or two flashy designs to complement the basics.


Performance Undergarments

Performance Undergarments
SAXX/Knockout Panties

Make the day (or year!) of your favorite athlete by splurging on a couple of great pairs of performance undies designed to be worn during workouts. Knockout's patented sweatproof panties designed to keep you cool, dry, and fresh no matter what workout you throw at them.

The guys aren't left out of the action. SAXX Underwear was listed by Nat Geo Adventure as the "best adventure underwear" because they're literally built for fitness. They feature patented mesh panels to keep everything in place while preventing unwanted friction and chafing.


Workout-Friendly Bling

fitness jewelry
Nashelle / Reija Eden Jewelry

These days, jewelry isn't reserved for the office or date night. In fact, jewelers understanding the growing fitness market have targeted fitness buffs as consumers, creating jewelry designed to promote mindfulness or jewelry designed to be worn during workouts.

While there are lots of brands on the market, consider the simple, yet beautiful, Nashelle Yogi Bar Necklace to make your favorite yogi stand out from the crowd. It comes in sterling silver, 14k rose gold fill or 14k gold fill for any taste or style.

Another perfect option is a handmade bracelet from Reija Eden Jewelry. The Lotus and Breathe versions each feature hand-stamped gold-plated charms and black lava beads that make them perfect for essential oil diffusing and all-day stress relief.

The Lotus bracelet is made of matte black onyx beads, considered the stone of protection—perfect for the friend going through a hard time, while the Breathe bracelet offers a simple reminder for your go-go-go friend to take an occasional break


Workout Technology

Workout Technology

Fitness tracking is practically its own sport, with wearables offering metrics for everything from steps counting to swim-tracking to muscle activation. If your best bud's in the market for a new tracker, consider gifting him the Samsung Gear Sport.

This slick watch is waterproof, allows you to track your calorie intake directly from its touchscreen, offers workouts you can follow from your phone, and functions as a smartwatch, providing text, email, and call notifications.

The watch also integrates with the Spotify and Speedo apps.

Pair the Gear Sport with Samsung's new Gear IconX earbuds—the ultimate in music playback. In addition to offering truly wireless Bluetooth technology, these earbuds can store up to four gigs of music, or roughly 1,000 songs so you can listen to your favorite tunes without carrying your phone.

They also feature a built-in running coach to automatically track time, distance, and pace, and they have up to seven hours of playback time for marathon workout sessions.


Stocking Stuffers

workout stocking stuffers
Plum & Punch / Buff / Feetures! / Icebreaker

Don't overlook the little things when it comes to giving gifts to a fitness buff. The perfect pair of socks, a new sports bra, or a headband may not seem like much, but they're the staples that keep your best bud churning away at the gym. The trick is finding the best possible gear.

Feetures! socks are hands-down the most comfortable workout socks on the market, and the Elite Merino+ Cushion No-Show Tab offer stay-put fit and breathability that ensure comfort even during the sweatiest workouts.

Likewise, Buff Fastwick Headbands provide superior comfort and fit while absorbing sweat and keeping odor at bay.

To stay cool and fresh during medium-intensity workouts or sweat-inducing hot yoga sessions, the Merino wool and Tencel Cool-Lite Tiki Bra from Icebreaker is the perfect fit. It provides support and style while wicking sweat away from your body to keep you cool, dry, and stink-free.


Post-Workout Transitional Apparel

Post-Workout Gear
Toad & Co / Rockport / Aventura

Transitioning from the gym to everyday life doesn't have to pose a challenge. In fact, it's easy to layer leggings and a tank top with a skirt or wrap to instantly take your look from studio to street.

The trick, of course, is to choose the right items. Flashy, color-blocked leggings probably won't do, so if you know your friend often heads straight from Pilates to afterschool pick-ups, give her a pair of leggings designed to blend in, like the Toad&Co Timehop Tights. The brand actually guarantees that if you don't get a compliment within three wearings, they'll take them back and "make it right." 

Then, with the right tights, just gift an easy-wear, pull-on skirt, like the Aventura Ivana skirt and a beautiful, go-anywhere jacket, like the long, Toad&Co Merino Merritt Hoodie.

Finally, encourage your friend to ditch her workout shoes for a casual and supportive boot, like Rockport's Cobb Hill Brunswick Boot. They pull on easily over tights or jeans and are designed for comfort and walkability. Just like that, workout wear transitions to street-appropriate duds.


Athleisure & Go Anywhere Apparel

Post-Workout Gear
Crane & Lion / Yoga Outlet / Rockport / Icebreaker

Post-workout apparel and athleisure apparel often go hand-in-hand, as they can be mixed-and-matched as needed, but many fitness buffs stock their wardrobes with everyday items that look like gym wear, but are actually worn almost exclusively as casual clothing. If your favorite friend takes her sporty style with her wherever she goes, it makes sense to give her more of what she loves.

For instance, the Alo Yoga Ripped Warrior Shredded Yoga Leggingsmay technically work at the studio, but they're styled perfectly for streetwear and a night out on the town.

Likewise, the Icebreaker Merino Loft Helix Skirt may be warm enough to wear on the slopes, but its short, close-fitting style is perfect for running errands.

The beautiful Crane & Lion Wrap Sweater may be ideal for throwing on after a yoga session, but it's equally appropriate for work or a casual evening out with friends.

Finally, the Rockport Cobb Hill Beth boots provide the waterproof warmth any outdoor hike requires, but their clean lines and low profile look great when dressed up or down.

By Laura Williams, MSEd, ASCM-CEP
Laura Williams is a fitness expert and advocate with certifications from the American Council on Exercise and the American College of Sports Medicine.