Whatever your sport, chances are there’s a box for it.
Subscription deliveries of health and fitness apparel, supplements and sports gear have taken off recently, with big brands such as Adidas even jumping into the fray recently to reach its time-starved customers.
For consumers, subscription boxes are a convenient way to discover new products, try on sports-specific clothes, or simply find the motivation to get moving.
“They are a positive reminder every month to be healthy and exercise more,” says Liz Cadman, founder of MySubscriptionAddiction, a directory that reviews the more than 2,000 subscription boxes currently on the market.
But not every box is worth the price. It’s important to look at online reviews and scope out the contents of past month’s boxes on a site to see if they are a good value and contain items you’d actually use. (And don't forget to read the fine print about returning items you don't want.)
Here are some of the top subscription picks for each type of fitness fan:
1. THE STUDIO FASHIONISTA
Three years ago actress Kate Hudson’s Fabletics was among the first to begin offering monthly deliveries of fitness apparel for women, eventually adding a men’s line, FL2, to deliver shorts, pants and sweat-wicking tops for the guys.
Now, a newcomer, FYTSO, has tweaked this delivery model, offering its clients the option of receiving hand-picked recommendations each month from a stylist. After filling out a short quiz about your sizes and preferences, you receive an email each month with images of five pieces of stylish apparel, shoes or accessories from a variety of major brands from Under Armour to Prana. You can request alternate products or colors, or decline items or any purchase that month, says founder Jules Muller. You are billed for the items that you choose to have shipped to you and return items that don’t work for a refund.
Price: No fee for service or shipping. Prices vary by the garments or shoes shipped. fytso.com
2. THE RUNNER
If marathon training is your passion, Runnerbox has the fuel you need to keep going. Each monthly box contains samples of products designed to enhance your performance, such as energy gels, protein bars, supplements for sore joints, and accessories like magnetic lights to clip on so you can train safely in the dark. It’s not really for the recreational jogger with its plethora of caffeinated performance enhancers, but if you have a 26.2 sticker on your car, it might just be for you.
Price: Starting at $20 every two months, depending on subscription length. Shipping adds $6.95. therunnerbox.com
3. THE TREND STARTER
For female runners who cross-train in other sports, fitness giant Adidas launched quarterly subscription box Avenue A last month filled with apparel, shoes and gear curated each season by celebrities and popular fitness trainers. At $150 a box, it’s one of the most expensive, but you receive at least three items in each box – some limited-edition. One drawback: At this point, you can exchange a product in the box for a different size; you can’t return something simply because you don’t like it.
Price: $150 every three months, with free shipping. adidasavenuea.com
4. THE CROSSFIT DIE-HARD
CrossFit is more than a hobby, to many it’s a religion. The gain[z] box, curated monthly by CrossFit coaches, includes WOD gear such as lifting straps or tape, shirts, socks and Paleo-friendly snacks and supplements. It also contains help for you to recover from these intense workouts, including unexpected items such as a callus shaver and muscle-easing balms to deal with the byproducts of heavy lifting.
Price: From $29 to $32 a month, depending on the length of the subscription. Shipping adds $6. thegainzbox.com
5. THE YOGA LOVER
For yogis who embrace the lifestyle as much as the practice, the monthly Yogi Surprise themed box delivers a little bit of everything. Each box contains a card with a short yoga sequence and natural goods such as aromatherapy mat cleaner, vegetarian snacks, tea, essential oils and skin care, and even books such as "The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom" that was in the March box. The six to eight items have a retail value of more than $70. yogisurprise.com
Price: $44.95 a month, with free shipping.
6. THE HEALTHY INDULGER
For busy women interested in a healthy lifestyle, but not necessarily more time at the gym, there’s FabFitFun’s quarterly box. This box delivers a selection of full-size healthy items to treat yourself. Subscribers might get an infuser water bottle, a DIY herb garden kit with growing tips, or a portable speaker for your workout tunes in each box, as well as beauty and fashion items and workout accessories such as this spring’s double-duty yoga strap and mat carrier.
Price: $49.99 every three months, with free shipping. fabfitfun.com
Did we miss your favorite subscription box? Let us know in the comments section, and we might include it in an upcoming story.