14 Gifts That Swimmers of Any Level Will Actually Use

Written By: Chevron

Looking for gifts that swimmers will actually use this year? The good news is that it’s somewhat easy to shop for a swimmer. Avoid the hassle of getting the wrong gift with these 14 ideas for gifts that your swimmer will actually use. 

Want more gift guides or ideas for swimmers (along with coaches and parents)? 

Be sure to check out our other articles: 6 Last-Minute Gifts for Swimmers, Best Pride Gifts for LGBTQ+ Swimmers, 8 Awesome Gift Ideas for Swim Coaches, and, 9 Amazing Gift Ideas for Swim Parents

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Best Gifts for Competitive Swimmers

Fin Socks

For those swimmers who are prone to blisters or sores when using fins, consider the gift of fin socks that will actually work. Neoprene fins socks are the best option when it comes to saving feet from blisters brought on by fins. Two good brands are:

  • Sporti Neoprene Socks: Sporti offers two types of fin socks: a swim fin sock, and a bodyboard fin sock. Both can be used interchangeably for swimming. At 2.5 mm in thickness, they’ll help keep the blisters away when using fins. Note that they run small and tight
  • Dakine Fin Socks: The fin socks from Dakine are 3 mm in thickness and I’ve found them to be just the right padding for my boney feet. They’re very similar to the Sporti Bodyboard Fin Socks, but just a touch thicker. The Dakine socks also run small and tight.

Related articles:

Swim Gear

Caps, goggles, and goggle straps (bungee or silicone) are always in high demand. They might seem like an easy gift, but remember that swimmers like certain brands. If you want to give a gift that swimmers will actually use, ask which brand they prefer.

Other gear that swimmers usually frequently are swim fins (Arena Pro Swim Fins is my pick!), gear bags, or swim bags.

Related articles: A Swimmer’s Review of Arena Pro Swim Fins and Arena Teamster Swim Bag


Giving the gift of a suit is something every swimmer appreciates. Making sure it’s the right suit will make your gift much more appreciated. Ask your swimmer which brand they prefer. Whether that’s Speedo, Arena, Jolyn, Nike, TYR, or something else!

Along with the brand, ask about the style, size, and color. Sizes vary by brand and every swimmer has a certain style suit they prefer. Get as much detail about the suit that you can before buying it.

Even better, let your swimmer pick the exact suit they want and send you the link. You can’t go wrong that way!

Open Water Gifts

Swim Buoy

Swim buoys can be the difference between life and death for an open water swimmer. They help boaters, lifeguards, and other people out in the water spot them when they’re swimming. If you know someone swimming in a lake or the ocean and they don’t have a swim buoy, get them one!

As a bonus, most swim buoys offer some storage for phones, keys, and gel packs. 

  • Buddy Bag: From BlueSeventy, this swim buoy comes in a bright orange to make swimmers easily noticeable. The Buddy Bag comes with a dry compartment and is fully waterproof (if sealed correctly)
  • New Wave Swim Bubble: These swim buoys come in several different colors and sizes to fit each swimmer. While they come with a dry compartment, too, it’s not 100% waterproof. Wrap anything you don’t want wet in an extra plastic bag!

Thermal Swim Gear

Swimming outside, even during the summer, can be cold if you’re in a lake or ocean. Staying warm is important in open water swimming. Especially as people start to train more in the winter months.

  • Neoprene Thermal Socks: These are different from the neoprene fin socks. While they’re the same 3 mm thickness, they come up much higher around the calf for a better fit.
  • Neoprene Thermal Gloves: These gloves are designed for keeping hands warm in the water without creating too much drag. They also come up high and past the wrist.
  • Swim Cap: Open water swimmers should look at two types of caps. A neoprene swim cap for warmth and a brightly colored latex cap for safety.

If you’re looking to give the gift of warmth to your open water swimmer, consider a wetsuit. Again, know that each swimmer has their preferred brand and wetsuits aren’t a one size fits all!


Fitness Trackers

Please note that fitness trackers aren’t for every swimmer. Make sure your swimmer will wear them first before giving one as a gift 🙂

Swimmo is a waterproof fitness tracker that is designed for swimmers. It currently comes in three different colors as of this writing. It does more than just count laps, it also considers your pace/speed, distance, and time in the water. All this information, in addition to your biometrics, syncs up to an app.

Related article: 8 Best Waterproof Fitness Trackers for Swimming

Other fitness apps can track your laps as you swim, such as the Garmin Forerunner 935 and the Fitbit Versa 2. Just keep in mind that each fitness tracker has different features that may or may not work best for you. 


Recently, companies have come out with waterproof headphones so swimmers can finally enjoy music while swimming. Some options to consider are:

  • XTrainerz by Aftershokz and FINIS DUO: Both these products are bone conducting headphones that can be used while you swim. And because they use bone conduction, you can hear your music without the use of earbuds. These work great if you swim with earplugs and can’t wear earbuds.
  • Syryn MP3: This product comes with headphones and the MP3 device, and hook up neatly behind the head. The headphone cable is short enough that it doesn’t tangle when you swim and the MP3 can hold up to 8GB of music. Plenty to get through practice!
  • H2O Audio Surge S: H2O Audio offers a waterproof case for your iPod Shuffle (4th Gen) that also sits behind the head. Pair them with H2O waterproof headphones and listen to music as you swim. They’ve also recently come out with a Bluetooth version that allows you to stream your playlists.
  • Delphin Micro-Tablet: The Delphin tablet is a touchscreen super mini-tablet that lets you listen to music the way you want. Download your favorite music or podcast apps and listen away as you swim.

Related article: 7 Best Waterproof MP3 Players for Swimmers

New Swimmers 

Learn to Swim 

Learning to swim is a life-saving activity not just for kids, but also for adults. Check with local pools and learn-to-swim programs to see what options they offer. Most offer a variety of classes based on age and swim ability. 

For adults, consider working with a Masters team for lessons. Masters Swimming is specific for adults and within the US, certain individuals are certified to teach adults to swim. It’s never too late to learn how to swim and if know someone who wants to learn, I highly encourage you to help them along!

Related articles:

Swim Lesson Journal

Individuals just learning to swim or starting out in swim lessons can track their progress with a swim lesson journal from H2OSociety. This journal allows swimmers to record their various memories at each lesson and what they learned that day/week.

There are also sections to track milestones, goals that they might have for the year, along with pages for parents to help stay organized. Having a swim planner for new swimmers helps them see how far they’ve come during the year and gets them into the habit of making goals for themselves.

Masters Swimming

Gift of Time

Masters Swimmers balance work, family, and swim life. Finding time between work and family to hit the pool isn’t always the easiest. For those wanting to train but can’t due to childcare needs or even just house chores, consider the gift of time.

Offer your services as a babysitter or see if there’s something else you can do to help your swimmer get more time at the pool. It’s a gift that’ll appreciate and will use for sure!


Ear Drops

Every swimmer (in my humble opinion) should have ear drops. Ear drops help prevent swimmer’s ears, which in turn, keeps swimmers in the water longer. Use it after every practice, whether that’s at a pool or in a lake. 

Related article: 7 Things Every Swimmer Should Have

Gift Cards

One gift swimmers will actually use? A gift card

Yes, it seems like a simple and cheap way out of gift-giving, but it’s the best way to help your swimmer get what they want. Swimmers know what they need and what they like. Instead of asking a hundred questions or getting the wrong gift, let them pick it out themselves with their own gift card.

Swimming Themed Cards 

Most cards are geared towards the more mainstream sports and swimming seems to fall to the wayside. Surprise your swimmer with some swimming themed cards for various occasions. It can be a birthday, holiday, motivational, or even funny related. 

Check out some cards at H2OSociety! And maybe pick up some for your swim coach along the way 😉

Related article: 8 Awesome Gift Ideas for Swim Coaches

In Closing

Swimmers might not be the easiest bunch to shop for, but there are options! And remember that you know your swimmer best. Some swimmers would rather not get anything swimming related at all as a gift.

If you’re ever in doubt about what to get your swimmer, don’t be afraid to ask them. This ensures that they get what they want and you don’t have to stress about finding a gift. 

As always, to happy swimming!


Bonus Gift Content:

Best Gifts for Swimmers in 2020: Shopping for gifts for swimmers this year? Find inspiration with our 10 gift ideas for swimmers. They’re perfect for any occasion!

6 Last-Minute Gifts for Swimmers: Need some last-minute gifts for a swimmer you know? Check out these 6 last-minute gifts that will help get you exactly what you need.

9 Amazing Gift Ideas for Swim Parents: Swim parents are one of the unsung heroes in the sport of swimming. And they deserve some wonderful gifts throughout the year as thanks for sticking with us! 

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Image of a swimmer diving into the water

Chevron is a current competitive swimmer with almost 20 years of experience at the local, national and international level. A current USA Swimming and US Masters Swimming athlete, she’s committed to providing guidance to all levels of swimmers and believes that everyone should know how to swim.

3 thoughts on “14 Gifts That Swimmers of Any Level Will Actually Use”

  1. headphones..
    You are missing the XTrainerz by Aftershokz. They are amazing for swiming. They don’t hurt my ears since they are bone conducting

    1. wanderingswimmer

      Thank you for the suggestion! I just recently discovered bone conducting headphones and they’re amazing! I’ll need to update this to reflect them 🙂

  2. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and also the rest of the website is very good.

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