Best Athlete Products 2021: Whether you’re training for the Olympics or just keeping in shape at home, there are a number of athlete-endorsed fitness products these days that you should consider adding to your workout routine — and recovery routine too.
Used by some of the top athletes in the world — including a number of Olympic hopefuls — these products and services won’t guarantee a gold medal, but they’re designed to help boost performance, get you pumped up before a big meet, and help you wind down hours after you’ve crossed the finish line.
From shoes and sunglasses to online courses, here are some of the best products used and endorsed by athletes that you can pick up online right now.
1. Oakley Sunglasses
Oakley says more than 1000 athletes in Tokyo will be sporting their new “Kato” sunglasses, which were unveiled just ahead of the Olympics. Developed with the help of the brand’s Team Oakley athletes, the wrap-style shades are designed to provide a wider frame of view, while contouring to the natural shape of the face. An adjustable rake system and multiple nosepads further help to create a more customized fit.
The lightweight frame sits close to the face without adding extra weight, and it’s extra durable too. The Prizm lenses, meantime, not only block out glare and UV, they also help bring out more clarity and detail in what you’re seeing, whether you’re fielding a pitch on the softball field, or spiking a volleyball on the beachfront court.
Oakley’s group of athlete ambassadors include Patrick Mahomes, Mark Cavendish, Nigel Sylvester and Joseph Newgarden, who were all invited to test out a prototype of the frame for durability and performance. Oakley says the feedback shared by these athletes helped create the final product.
2. Nike Sneakers
Hundreds of athletes will be rocking Nike sneakers on the court and on the field for their respective Olympic events this summer. Among the sports where Nike footwear will be featured: track and field, basketball, soccer and skateboarding, which is being introduced as an Olympic sport for the first time.
Nike has created an exclusive “Rawdacious” collection for the Summer Games, with a mix of white, neon pink, orange and bright crimson showing up on the company’s new kicks.
The “Rawdacious” lineup of sneakers includes the popular Air Zoom Pegasus 38, designed for casual running, while the Air Zoom GT Run ($175, Nike.com) is one of three all-new basketball sneakers Nike has introduced this year.
In addition to sneakers, the Nike “Rawdacious” pack includes men’s and women’s T-shirts, shorts and accessories. And they’re not just for sports and working out either — with the fashion-forward colorway, the sneakers, sunglasses, caps and tees are worth mixing into your everyday outfits too. See the full “Rawdacious” collection on Nike.com.
3. Lululemon Running Shorts
Lululemon helped to outfit beach volleyball athletes at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, and the brand teamed up with U.S. track star Colleen Quigley for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. Quigley says she’s a fan of Lululemon’s “Hotty Hot” shorts, which feature a lightweight, roomy fit and a regular four-inch length or a “low-rise” 2.5-inch length. The sweat-wicking material keeps you cool, while the dozens of colors and prints let you find a pair of shorts as unique as your running style.
Sadly, Quigley had to pull out of the recent 2020 Olympic Trials with an injury, though the 3,000-meter steeplechase runner will continue working with Lululemon as an ambassador as she works towards her comeback on the track.
Looking for men’s running shorts from Lululemon? The company’s “Surge Shorts” are specially-designed for runners, with a sweat-wicking and quick-drying mesh fabric, and a “3D-shaped” pouch for support as you move.
Choose from a four-inch or six-inch inseam, and choose from shorts with a built-in liner, or unlined. Multiple colors and patterns available too.
4. Nixon Watch
As surfing and skateboarding make their debut in Tokyo, a number of athletes will be rocking Nixon’s new “The Heat: Team Edition” watch. The limited-edition watch was created just for the Olympics and will be gifted to athletes heading to Japan. But fans and watch collectors alike can also pick up the watch for themselves on Nixon.com.
A favorite of surfers like two-time world champion, John John Florence, Nixon watches are known for their lightweight, slim profile and flexible, breathable straps. The Heat: Team Edition is the world’s thinnest digital watch and waterproof up to 100 meters. We love the aqua and gold medal-inspired colorway, which contrasts handsomely with the 38mm stainless steel case.
Great for training and performance, Nixon says the watch can hold up to the most punishing of conditions, from sweat to downpours and yes, the ocean too. Athletes like Florence use the watch for its multiple timer options, which help them track progress in the gym, water, mountains or track.
5. Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds
All eyes will be on tennis star Naomi Osaka in Tokyo, as she makes her return to the court after withdrawing from the French Open earlier this summer, in an effort to take care of her mental health. The hometown favorite will be competing at the Olympics for the first time, and is a favorite to take home the gold medal.
One of the most successful — and highest-earning — players on tour, Osaka already boasts collaborations with everyone from Nike (shop their collaborative hoodie here) and Yonex, whose tennis rackets have been in her rotation for years.
Last fall, Osaka teamed up with Beats to be part of their campaign for the Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds. The sporty buds are great for a run or a gym session, or to help pump you up before a big match. A single charge gets you up to 12 hours of playtime, and the use of Apple’s Class 1 Bluetooth means you get fewer dropouts. What we like: this set comes with four eartip options, so you can find your most comfortable fit.
6. Prive Revaux Sunglasses
Skateboarder Nyjah Huston somehow found the time to design a capsule collection for Privé Revaux Eyewear this year, all while training for the Olympics (where skateboarding makes its debut). The new collection features sunglasses and optical frames that are designed specifically for action sports: think polarized, scratch-resistant lenses, extra-secure screws and magnets to hold the frame together, and Prive Revaux’s “HoldTight” technology, which keeps the glasses on your face — and off the ground.
Choose from three unisex styles available in multiple colorways. They’re not just for sports either — these stylish frames hold court on their own, as a modern twist on classic sunglass silhouettes.
7. Therabody Recovery Tools
Therabody launched with their popular Theragun massager, but the company has since expanded to include a range of recovery and fitness tools too, from their “RecoveryAir” compression system, to their Theraone line of organic CBD topicals for pain relief and relaxation.
Investors in Therabody include everyone from Maria Sharapova and James Harden, to World Series champ Cody Bellinger and NFL quarterback Josh Allen. NBA star Paul George even partnered with the brand to promote its Theragun PRO and Theragun Mini massagers as he got ready to return to the court during the pandemic last year.
The brand has also built up a host of support from the music space, with names like Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Shawn Mendes and Jay-Z, all investing in the Therabody company.
The latest buzzed-about product from Therabody is their RecoveryAir system, which uses four “chambers” of compression technology around your legs to help reduce muscle fatigue, soreness, swelling and inflammation. The company says just a few minutes, three to four times a week, can aid with recovery while boosting overall circulation.
It’s not just for athletes either – Therabody says RecoveryAir is great for travelers, rehab patients, people sitting for long periods of time at the office, and the opposite too — workers who stand on their feet all day.
8. Vuori Joggers
Football stars Eric Decker, Jalen Hurts and Trevor Lawrence are all fans of Cali-based sportswear brand, Vuori. With the perfect balance between performance and casual wear, Vuori applies the athleisure trend to everyday staples, like buttery-soft tees, just-the-right-length shorts, and these “Sunday Performance Joggers,” which have been seen on Hurts and Lawrence.
The joggers are made from a comfy, moisture-wicking material, with just enough stretch to not feel tight around your legs. Like the classic jogger style, the pants taper at the ankle with elastic cuffs. These pants are great for light training, a casual run or hike, or to throw on after a sweaty gym session. They’re tailored enough to wear to brunch or on the plane too.
Originally inspired by surfing, Vuori is also a go-to brand for surfing legends like Rob Machado and Taylor Knox.
9. The Skills
The Skills is a new video instruction platform specializing in high-quality wellness and sports courses taught by professionals. And when we say professionals, we really mean the pros: Shaun White, Michael Phelps and Kerri Walsh Jennings are just a few of the teachers you’ll find on The Skills. Soccer icon Megan Rapinoe, who’s competing in Tokyo, just joined the all-star roster of instructors this past February.
Sign up for a course to learn a new sport, start a new training routine, or get wellness tips from the people who do it better than anyone in the world. The site currently boasts a library of 200+ lessons that range from three to ten minutes, letting you take a “class,” learn a new trick or skillset at your own pace.
MasterClass is one of the best e-learning platforms on the market, with online courses taught by some of the most accomplished athletes in the world, including Simone Biles, Serena Williams and Steph Curry. Learn motivation tips from Biles, get down to drills with Williams, and perfect your three-point shot with Curry. There are dozens of other athletes among the hundreds of MasterClass instructors, which also includes everyone from Christina Aguilera to Anna Wintour.
The site has more than 100 courses in total and its celebrity instructors are all “masters” in their field. Each class is designed for beginners, and presented as a series of videos. There’s no set class schedule, and you can learn at your own pace. MasterClass delivers incredible value too, with pricing starting at just $15/month (about the same as a Netflix subscription). Take the video instruction classes on your own time, and start and stop as many times as you want. New classes are constantly added, so we recommend signing up for an annual pass at $180 to get unlimited access.