Which Fitness Gear Gives You the Biggest Bang for Your Buck?

by Allen Gil June 15, 2015

Which Fitness Gear Gives You the Biggest Bang for Your Buck?

You’re fit and healthy and part of a community that supports your excellent lifestyle. In addition to a new diet, which doesn’t have to be costly, there is now a new array of gadgets, fitness gear and goodies on your radar for consumption.

It seems like every day there is a hot piece of gear that gymgoers are sporting or a brand new superfood cited in healthy recipes. There are so many items vying for our attention and our hard-earned dollars that it’s difficult to discern which ones are worth investing in.

Is it Worth Your Money? Do the Math!

While for some it might be easy to justify purchases of items that promise to improve your diet or fitness, this is not the case in our household. As a prolifically frugal family, no purchase goes unscrutinized, even if it is something that can contribute to our fitness routine or our healthy lifestyle.

One of the key factors in any purchase decision is the expected ROI, or return on investment.

Below I’ve broken down my top three picks for gear and gadgets that have had the highest ROI in our household.


As a runner, I can easily put in 20 miles of running each week. Having run a half-marathon in April, my sneakers were starting to wear thin, so I decided it was time for a new pair.

After two months of researching, I found a pair of sneakers from my favorite brand that had all the features I was looking for and they came in fun colors!

A photo posted by Mary Kate (@marykool58) on

But the best part was that the shoes, originally $130, were marked down to $73. Even if I run only 10 miles a week, within seven weeks I am down to a $1 cost per mile. These shoes will easily last me through my next half-marathon, which is seven months away.

The durability, accompanied with the necessity of a well built shoe to prevent injury put them high on my ROI list. The long-term benefit of proper shoe support and reduced wear-and-tear on knees is not factored into this ROI, but the connection is undeniable.


Our trusty blender has been around for so many years we can’t even remember when we bought it, or for how much. It’s just your average run-of-the-mill blender, not anything like the fancier options available today.

Assuming we paid today’s market value for a regular blender (anywhere between $20-$40) we would be at a $1 per smoothie ratio in 10 weeks. Factoring in our daily post-workout protein shakes, our trusty blender has earned its place on our countertop.

Knee Brace

I decided to buy a knee brace six days before my half-marathon after feeling a subtle tightness in my knee that hurt when I descended any stairs.

I decided it would be worth spending money on a brace so that months of training wouldn’t be wasted. Prior to stopping at the local pharmacy to peruse its knee braces we happened into a dollar store. They had a compression sleeve for knees that cost only $1.

I was able to continue my taper and race that following weekend without any pain and the brace paid for itself within minutes of starting the race. Best ROI in my fitness closet!

Allen Gil
Allen Gil


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