Sports and dads go hand-in-hand, like a fist pounding a catcher’s mitt during a game of catch. If your old man keeps himself young by working up a sweat, the best way to show him that you care is to gear him up right.
These seven gift ideas combine the latest in technology with the greatest of athletic gear, ensuring that his glory days are still ahead of him.
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Withings Steel HR ($144)
Full-color touchscreen with animated graphics? That’s hardly a selling point to get the old man on board with a smartwatch. Withings’ approach is suitably subtler — something that works with a suit as well as with his golf getup.
In fact, to look at the Withings Steel HR, you’d hardly know it was a wearable heartrate monitor at all. Able to automatically track activities like swimming and running, the waterproof activity tracker has a battery that lasts 25 days before a recharge. Alerts? It’s got those, too, with a discreet screen that can relay notifications including texts, calls, and events from both Android and iOS smartphones.
Buy Now: Withings Steel HR, $144, Amazon
Old Hickory Smart Bat ($145+)
The ping of your ceramic bat might drive the old man batty, but baseball has always been a numbers game, — so don’t expect him to pass on taking rips with the Old Hickory Smart Bat.
Featuring a Zepp sensor embedded in the knob, this lumber is the same model swung by big leaguers like Mike Trout (only his sounds a lot louder.) But with extra tech loaded into the handle, dad can keep his own stats and critique his own swing — a nice feature for everyone from Sunday softball leaguers to batting cagers looking to blow off a little post-work steam.
Buy now: Old Hickory Smart Bat, $150, Walmart
Zepp Golf 2 ($150)
If golf is a good walk spoiled, Zepp’s reboot of its swing-analyzing sensor will make it…well, probably still pretty bad. But there’s always the hope that your game will improve, and for most golfers, that’s what hitting the links is all about.
Measuring club speed, tempo, backswing and other mechanics, this glove-worn training module can provide instant analysis and smart coaching. Then, at the nineteenth hole, dad can enjoy a couple of Arnold Palmers while watching animations of his strokes to see all the hitches he’s got in his giddy-ups.
Buy now: Zepp Golf 2, $150, Amazon
Up for a game of horse? Okay, horses. No matter how many shots your dad needs to sink to win, ShotTracker has him covered.
A wearable to help dad dominate his pickup basketball league, this gadget tracks shot attempts, makes, and misses. Paired with a smartphone app that can track progress over time and offer drills and workouts, this wrist-worn sensor slips right under a sweatband so it doesn’t interfere with the game. There’s also a net sensor that registers the shot to tell if it’s an airball or a swish.
Buy now: ShotTracker, $150, ShotTracker
Coros Linx Smart Cycling Helmet ($200)
Dad’s got a lot of great advice and experience packed between his ears, so when heading out on his bike, he best protect those brains with a solid helmet.
The Coros Linx Smart Cycling Helmet is the lid worthy of his gray matter. Featuring bone induction speakers, the helmet can link to his smartphone and relay music, phone calls, and even turn-by-turn directions, all while keeping his ears open to listen for oncoming traffic. A handlebar-mounted remote lets him control his phone without taking it out, and an accompanying app monitors all sorts of metrics with GPS tracking. Just make sure he doesn’t ride too far, and comes back before dinner.
Altra Torin IQ Running Shoes ($220)
Running might seem like the easiest sport to get a handle on, but when the rubber hits the road, there can actually be a lot to think about.
These Altra Torin smart sneakers sport a footbed full of sensors that help measure everything from foot strike and contact time to cadence and impact rate. Paired with the Altra IQ app, the Torin can give runners all sorts of data, including where their foot is landing, how hard it’s hitting the pavement and more. Great for helping to diagnose injuries (or just fending off the impact of running on joints), these runners can help make dad a real marathon man.
Vi AI Personal Trainer Headphones ($250)
Kids these days, with their smartphones. They’ve got their noses in screens all day long. Do I sound like dear old dad? The old man has a point, but data-tracking athletes do, too.
Vi headphones come with an embedded voice activated trainer that can take your fitness to the next level. The cloud-based technology comes with an accompanying app that integrates with platforms like Apple Health and music services like Spotify, which make this both a smart and fun gift. But the hardware itself is even slicker. The touch aware earbuds are attached to a sweat-proof, flexible neckband that’s comfortable yet rugged. Able to capture data like heart rate, elevation, speed and location, the assistant responds to commands as well as personalizes workouts. And with Harmon Kardon audio, Vi sounds good doing it, too.