Best fitness/gear shops
RECOMMENDED: Fitness guide to NYC
This 9,000-square-foot, bi-level spot is dedicated to cardio enthusiasts and is the first of its kind in NYC. The space features a wall with high-definition screens playing videos about sponsored athletes, a custom graphic on the stairwell sketched by Nike Free shoe designer Mark Miner and a wood floor made out of reclaimed bleachers from a local college. There are tons of free extras for workout fiends: If you’re looking for some electronic juice mid-run, stop by to recharge your iPod and nab a digital gait analysis on an iPad. New products include Nike+ polyurethane watches ($149) that track your run and heart rate, and long-distance-friendly colorful kicks ($110). Ladies can improve their workout wardrobes with breathable racerback sports bras ($40), formfitting tanks ($42) and low-rise shorts ($35). We especially dig that you can drop off old sneakers for donation, and they’ll be recycled into sport courts and new Nike shoes.
- 156 Fifth Ave , (at 20th St )
Three floors of equipment and clothing for almost every activity, from the niche (badminton and kayaking, for example) to the everyday (they offer a slew of gym gear, plus essentials like sunglasses), make this the prime sports-gear spot in the city. Beyond the Parks Department, Paragon is the only place in the city where you can purchase permits to use public tennis courts (they have an extensive range of rackets and court-appropriate outfits). -Molly Eichel
- 867 Broadway, (between 17th and 18th Sts)
Founded in Boston by “a couple of local joes,” this haven for athletic paraphernalia introduces the world of exercise to the urbanite, with gear aplenty for both the indoor champ and the marathon dreamer. Those brave enough to weather the cold can accessorize their jog with Polar heart-rate monitors ($60–$800) to match with Mizuno’s new Wave Creation 9 running shoe ($130). The homebody can bulk up and tone with York dumbbells ($4 and up) while watching one of the many DVDs including Kettlebell training, a workout with cannon balls by Sarah Lurie ($15).
- 390 Fifth Ave, (at 36th St)
While the brand has come a long way since its iconic three-striped shoe, the 29,500-square-foot flagship pays homage to its signature style through black-and-white striped walls and furniture. Packed with high-end goods for every athletic endeavor, the shop stocks vegan Adidas by Stella McCartney and Mi Adidas technology, which allows customers to customize footwear.
- 610 Broadway, (at Houston St)
Sure, the Swoosh’s massive flagship is usually clogged with tourists, but where else will space-age chutes deliver your sneakers? Five floors brim with inspiring quotes by coaches (“If you have a body, you’re an athlete”), top-notch athlete’s clothing for both genders and iPod-friendly shoes ($85–$140). Its top floor also hosts the freshly minted NIKEiD studio, where you can customize your kicks.
- 6 E 57th St, (between Fifth and Madison Aves)
This popular Canadian company—whose clothing is designed in part by working yoga and fitness instructors—may be a bit upscale, but innovative ideas, such as reversible pants and zipper pulls that double as hair ties, justify the hefty price tags. The company employs extremely durable fabrics like Silverescent (which inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria and fungus) to create pieces that you’ll be inclined to wear outside of the yoga studio, too.
- 1928 Broadway, (at 64th St)
Neatly organized to outfit runners, cyclists and swimmers alike, this depot offers a well-edited selection of clothing, shoes and gear for triathletes, with a secondary focus on yoga clothes. Jack Rabbit's knowledgable staff can point you to the right items for your needs, many of which boast the latest technologies to keep you dry, comfortable and moving swiftly.
- 1255 Lexington Ave, (between 84th and 85th Sts)
Get your old-school kicks while you can, because this joint, frequented by Spike Lee, burns through stock of Michael Jordan retro sneakers ($99.99–$185). Also known for its fan gear, the 5,500-square-foot emporium in Times Square outfits every game in the book. With a dozen leagues to choose from, it’s easy to play defense by supporting your team—Yankee jerseys start at $100 and Mets baseball caps start at $18.
- 50 Times Sq, (at Seventh Ave and 42nd St)