Top sports stores: Where to shop for fitness gear
These sports stores will cater to all your fitness-gear needs, from hiking the Himalayas to flirting at the gym.
Tue Sep 11 2012
Want to get fit? Our complete personal fitness guide has you covered with dance-inspired workouts that will make you sweat while improving strength and balance (and upping your dance-floor cred). Whether you're a twinkle-toes, a yogi, a sporty type or an outdoorsperson, make sure you have the right fitness gear by visiting these top sports stores.
RECOMMENDED: See Personal Fitness guide
Best for bikers: Bicycle Renaissance
This bicycle and gear shop opened in 1972, long before vintage cruisers and fixies were the au courant modes of transportation. Four decades later, it still caters to both hard-core cyclists and novices who just want to cruise around on weekends. On the first floor, you’ll find rows of bikes organized by riding style. Lifestyle riders—including a Biria cruiser with a leather seat and handlebars ($500) and a Breezer fold-up ($500)—are closer to the ground, while road bikes such as a Cannondale Synapse carbon model ($2,000) and more specialized styles such as a Felt Curbside fixed gear ($700) hang on racks attached to the walls. The second floor can supply you with all the other gear you need to get rolling, including Gore padded bike leggings ($100), Castelli jerseys ($100), Bell helmets ($100), and a selection of clip-in shoes by brands such as Sidi, Specialized and Shimano ($90–$400). The shop also does repairs and tune-ups, from tire changes ($15) to major overhauls ($225). • (212-724-2350, bicyclerenaissance.com)
- 430 Columbus Ave at 81st St
Best for yogis: Lululemon
Yoga is all about achieving Zen, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look fly while doing it. This Canadian yoga-wear chain specializes in ultrafashionable and highly functional gear for when you’re downward-dogging it. At any of the city’s seven locations, super fit salespeople can help you pick out clothes that will keep you comfortable during class, but that you won’t mind wearing post-shavasana either, including cropped yoga pants with a hidden waist pocket and flat seams to prevent chafing ($78), draped tank tops with built-in bras ($64) and breathable wrap sweaters ($138). The brand’s accessories selection, featuring mat bags that come with removable straps ($48), sweat-wicking undies ($14), slip-proof headbands ($12) and a selection of yoga mats ($48–$68), provides the finishing touches. Visit lululemon.com for more info.
- Locations throughout the city
Best for fitness fashionistas: Adidas Originals
For the truly style-obsessed, the average gym shorts and tanks won’t cut it for a workout. At this depot of the high-performance sports brand, you can find athletic gear that references vintage Adidas styles, as well as designer collaboration lines. Inside the warehouselike space, which has a large garage door and graffiti on the walls, choose from rhinestone-logo hoodies ($75), nautical canvas gym bags ($40), Opening Ceremony for Adidas ruffled workout tees ($160) and Jeremy Scott Hawaiian printed track jackets ($375). There’s also a huge selection of footwear, from leather high-tops ($90) to neon running sneakers ($130) and even the brand’s classic three-stripe low-tops ($60). 212-673-0398, adidas.com
- 136 Wooster St between W Houston and Prince Sts
Best for runners: The Running Company
Whether you’re training for the New York City Marathon or just looking to improve your weekly jog, this shop has you covered. At either of the city’s two locations, the main attraction is the gait analyzer, a treadmill that videotapes a portion of your run. Salespeople then evaluate how your foot hits the ground and recommend a shoe (or even insoles or stretches) to improve your stride and posture. The expansive footwear collection includes styles for men and women, such as Asics DS for racing ($100), Newton Distancia sneaks for distance running ($155) and Brooks Adrenaline all-purpose trainers ($110). This New Jersey-based company also has a large selection of attire—all with low cotton contents to keep you dry when running—such as Nike built-in bra tanks ($50), Asics super-lightweight running shorts ($36) and Feetures high-performance socks ($10). The shop also leads free weekly group runs from both locations, and offers cubbies to store your bags if you want to hotfoot it in nearby Central Park. 1059 Third Ave between 62nd and 63rd Sts (212-233-8109) • 10 Columbus Circle at 59th St, second floor (212-823-9626) • run.com
- 1059 Third Ave or 10 Columbus Circle
- Price band: 2/4
This Seattle import, which opened its first New York location in December 2011, has virtually everything you need for an outdoor adventure. On the first floor of the tri-level space, snowboards ($299–$700), ski equipment ($230–$1200) and all manner of bicycles ($239–$2,999) greet you at the door. Upon further exploration, you’ll find swimwear such as Pearl Izumi triathlon swimsuits ($101) and Aqua Sphere goggles ($28), plus running, yoga and cycling gear. The large back room holds a plethora of camping and hiking equipment, with tents ($100–$800), sleeping bags ($60–$420), compasses including the Suunto Leader ($34) and backpacks such as REI’s lightweight hiking pack ($189). Travel one floor down to find clothing and footwear for both sexes, such as Asolo hiking boots ($289), Patagonia hooded down jackets ($279) and REI hiking pants that convert to shorts ($65). Beginner campers or those short on storage space should head to the basement, where you can rent anything from tents (first day $25 plus $10 for each additional day) and backpacks (first day $20 plus $5 for each additional day) to cooking stoves (first day $15 plus $5 for each additional day). 212-680-1938, rei.com
- 303 Lafayette St at E Houston St
Best all-around gear: Athleta
Part of Gap’s growing empire of clothing brands, this athletic-wear–focused shop carries women’s clothing and accessories for nearly any workout niche. The earthy store, styled with rustic wood tables and wicker baskets, is organized by sport. The yoga corner is dominated by flared leggings ($79) and printed lightweight tanks ($52), while the running and gym section is filled with colorful athletic wear, such as sporty two-piece swimsuits (tops $54, bottoms $46), featherweight track jackets ($98) and SPF 50 training tees ($46). Hiking apparel is nestled at the back of the store, where you’ll find slim puffer vests ($118), flared stretch-cotton cargo pants ($79) and layerable waffle-knit henleys ($69). Check out each store’s schedule of weekly classes, when the fixtures are pushed aside and teachers offer gratis yoga, Zumba and kickboxing sessions. 216 Columbus Ave at 70th St (212-787-5602) • 1517 Third Ave between 85th and 86th Sts (212-249-2072) • athleta.com
- 216 Columbus Ave or 1517 Third Ave