Best of 2023: Shop TODAY Wellness Awards as seen on TODAY
Jul 08, 2023
Start TODAY and Shop TODAY have teamed up for our first-ever Start TODAY x Shop TODAY Wellness Awards.
Through rigorous trials and over weeks of testing, our reviewers — of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels — along with fitness trainers, medical professionals and more experts reviewed a list of over 300 products to select our winners. Now, we’ve identified the very best workout gear, athletic clothing, shoes and more that can help you make real progress toward your goals.
Shop TODAY editorial director Adrianna Brach stopped by TODAY to share some of the standout winners to jumpstart the next leg of your fitness and wellness journey.
Use code TODAY30 at checkout at Nutribullet's website for 30% off.
Award: Best Overall Blender | Category: Kitchen
A good day starts with the proper fuel, and this bullet blender makes it easy to get your nutrients in. Brach says it's really simple to operate — all you have to do is push the cup into the base and it turns on. Clean-up is also a breeze, since the cups and pieces (with the exception of the blade) are dishwasher-safe, according to the brand. Editor Evan Siegel was among our reviewers who were really impressed by this tiny-but-mighty appliance.
"It chopped through all the fruit I threw at it in under a minute, making it perfect for smoothies," Siegel reports.
To make things even sweeter, we've secured an exclusive discount for TODAY viewers. You can snag a nutribullet Pro through the brand's website for 30% off with code TODAY30 through 9/5.
Award: Best Budget Walking Shoes | Category: Walking Shoes
At under $40 this walking shoe is a smart option for anyone looking for a versatile, stylish and comfy shoe that you can truly wear all day.
Senior partnerships editor Francesca Cocchi says they're so comfortable, she sometimes forgot she was wearing shoes when trying these out. She said that there was no break-in period, either — they were comfortable right off the bat.
Award: Best Lightweight Running Shoes | Category: Running Shoes
On makes some of the best running shoes in the game, according to our team of reviewers — their men's and women's sneakers both picked up awards. The women's style we tried out is called the Cloud X3, and reviewers all agreed that these have plenty of arch support and never made their feet hurt.
Senior photo editor Becca Delman put these shoes through the wringer, wearing them for multiple workouts and through being on her feet on set for upwards of 10 hours. She said these "felt like walking on air."
Award: Best Overall Men's Running Shoes | Category: Men's Running Shoes
The men's style that impressed us is the On Cloud 5. Brach says it was a favorite among our reviewers in part because of the elastic laces, which made them easy to slip on and go.
"I never wanted to take them off," one reviewer shared. "Start TODAY walkers... you need to try these out!"
Use code TODAY20 at checkout at Bombas' website for 20% off.
Award: Best for Everyday Wear | Category: Socks
The Shop TODAY team has long been a fan of Bombas. These tri-block ankle socks have a seamless toe (so they won't bunch up in your shoes), support on the arch and a cushioned footbed. Reviewers also called out the socks' breathability and smart tab design on the heel, which provides extra cushioning where runners and walkers are most prone to blisters.
To help you put your best foot forward, we've secured an exclusive code just for TODAY viewers. Using code TODAY20 through Sept. 5, you can score 20% off sitewide (that'll give you a discount on more than just socks — the brand makes super comfy tanks, t-shirts and even underwear, too).
Award: Best Shoe Deodorizer | Category: Other Accessories
Our shoes, especially walking and running shoes, get put through a lot. If it shows — er, smells — we found just the thing. These sneaker deodorizer balls come in a pack of two or six and start at just under $7. The brand explains that they work to kind of "eat" the odors in your shoes, neutralizing any stink and keeping them smelling fresh.
Intern Bella Druckman said that these completely mask the smell of her shoes. When she opens her shoe closet these days, it actually smells good — which is saying a lot for a space shared among five college students!
They're great not only for your sneakers, but can also work their magic in your gym bag, locker or other go-to shoes that might need a little freshening up, like boots and slippers. There are four scents to pick from, and according to the brand, they have a shelf life of two years.
Award: Best for Runners | Category: Jackets/Outer Layer
Fall is right around the corner, and we want to keep the momentum of summer activity heading into cooler weather. This affordable jacket we found keeps you warm for walks and other activities outside. It has thumbholes at the cuff, so the sleeves won't ride up when you're working out, and overall has a lightweight material that commerce writer Jannely Espinal says sustained well after a few washes. Espinal says it’s fitted to the body in a really flattering way and worked to warm her up quickly when working out.
Award: Best Splurge Massage Gun | Category: Massage Guns
At the end of a tough workout or just a long day, who doesn't want to unwind with a little at-home massage? This gadget from Theragun took home the award for best splurge massage gun, and our reviewers think it's worth every penny.
Though it's quite small in size, this massage gun doesn't compromise on vibration strength or power. Weekend TODAY reporter and editor Becca Wood, who has also used the traditional size Theragun, thought that the mini one was actually the perfect size and weight to use and have on the go. She didn't feel like it was any less effective, and even says it helped get into those hard-to-reach spots a little better than the larger size.
Award: Best Overall Sports Bra
This longline sports bra beat out all the rest in the inaugural Start TODAY x Shop TODAY Wellness Awards. Reviewers love that the silhouette extends all the way to the waist for extra coverage and support, and associate editor Emma Stessman likes it so much that she owns it in multiple colors.
"It seriously checks all of the boxes," Stessman gushes. "It’s supportive for my B-cup chest, even while running or jumping and it’s flattering and comfortable. I had my first one for about a year before I decided I needed another, because I was always sad when it was in the laundry basket. And now I think I need another, because two just aren’t enough!"
Award: Best Overall Men's Shirt
This short sleeve athletic top earned a perfect score among our male reviewers, who had absolutely nothing negative to say about it. The soft, sweat-wicking top runs true to size and comes in a ton of colors. Plus, it has UPF50+ protection against the sun and is made with the brand's signature anti-odor technology.
Award: Best Overall Pants
Reviewers say these joggers are wildly comfortable and love the pockets and slim, but relaxed, fit. Senior evening editor Samantha Kubota especially praises the versatility of the joggers, saying they're actually suited to many activities beyond working out.
"Listen, I live in LA so this meets the dress code just about everywhere," Kubota admits. "Coffee? Gym? Brunch? Dinner? These will work... These are also VERY comfortable and breathable — key for, say, flights or sitting all day and working. Overall, would buy again and wear extensively."
Award: Best Overall Men's Pants
These Lululemon joggers took the top spot in our men's pants category. According to the brand, the quick-drying, sweat-wicking, four-way stretch material is designed for maximum comfort and performance, whether you're working out or lounging. Our reviewers were a tough crowd, but this impressed even the pickiest among us.
"I don't often wear athleisure," admits one Shop TODAY contributor. "But I get the hype. I really liked the fabric — it was super soft and stretchy."
Award: Best Overall Water Bottle
The Shop TODAY team has a special love for what we call our "emotional support water bottle." You know, the drinking vessel you can't seem to leave the house without (and probably aren't cleaning enough). This is the newest addition to the list of our favorite buzzy reusable water bottles. In fact, art director Jen Prandanto couldn't think of a single thing she disliked about it.
"I loved that it kept my water SO cold — I’d put ice cubes in it in the morning before I left at 6 am and they’d still be there keeping my water cold all throughout the day," Prandato raves. "The absolute best part about this product is the way the cap screws off. It comes off in two parts — a larger one to fill it up and a smaller one for easily drinking without spilling all over yourself."
Award: Best Overall Foam Roller
If you experience some occasional muscle soreness, you might benefit from incorporating a foam roller into your routine. There are a lot of options out there, but this one won over our reviewers as the best overall pick.
"The texture was really nice," notes editorial assistant Lauren Biggerstaff. "It felt a lot easier to use than other foam rollers. The size made it great for using on my back and shoulders especially."
Award: Best Overall Yoga Mat
Whether you're a well-practiced yogi or just looking for a mat to stretch out on, this option is up for the task and comes with all of the accessories you might need. It's extra-cushy at 1/2-inch thick, has a detachable carrying strap for easy transportation and even includes two yoga blocks. The best part? According to our reviewers, it's the knee pad.
"I especially loved the knee pad that it came with, this is such an added bonus," says Commerce Partnerships Associate Victoria Herlocker. "This made putting pressure on my knees so much more comfortable. It also easily rolled up with the rest of the mat."
Award: Best Travel Bag
Whether you're heading out on a walk, running errands or going to a concert, a hands-free crossbody bag is a must. This option with an adjustable and detachable strap from Aerie is super compact but deceptively spacious, making it the ideal bag for storing all of the essentials.
"If you’re not into the belt bag trend, it’s a good alternative to a sport bag," says associate editor Shannon Garlin. "It holds A LOT. I had my house keys, wallet, pepper spray, earbuds, chapstick in one pocket, and stored my phone and metro card in the front pocket. It even has an interior zip so you can stick your cards/ID in there and not even carry a wallet."
Shop TODAY is editorially independent and our team of editors and writers work hard to pick the best products to share with our readers and viewers. We may license our logo to brands or products that have been featured on Shop TODAY. Click here if you’re interested in licensing your inclusion in Shop TODAY content or to learn more from our licensing partner, Wrights Media.
Start TODAY is the destination and community to help you become a healthier, happier and better you. Powered by community, expert health advice, walking challenges, fitness routines, nutrition guides, meal plans and mindfulness techniques, Start TODAY gives you the tools to be the best version of yourself! Learn more.
Shop TODAY covers all things shopping, from expert-approved recommendations to online deals and sales, your favorite TODAY segments and streaming shows, gift guides for everyone in your life and much more. As shopping enthusiasts, we seek out what’s new and great in style, beauty, home, tech and more to empower our audience to find products that will make their lives rewarding, easier and more fun. Learn more. Award: Best Overall Blender | Category: KitchenTODAY30Award: Best Budget Walking Shoes | Category: Walking ShoesAward: Best Lightweight Running Shoes | Category: Running ShoesAward: Best Overall Men's Running Shoes | Category: Men's Running ShoesAward: Best for Everyday Wear | Category: SocksTODAY20Award: Best Shoe Deodorizer | Category: Other AccessoriesAward: Best for Runners | Category: Jackets/Outer LayerAward: Best Splurge Massage Gun | Category: Massage GunsAward: Best Overall Sports BraAward: Best Overall Men's ShirtAward: Best Overall PantsAward: Best Overall Men's PantsAward: Best Overall Water BottleAward: Best Overall Foam RollerAward: Best Overall Yoga MatAward: Best Travel BagHas your product been featured?