Don’t know where to start when it comes to sporting goods stores? NYC has plenty of options, whether you’re a longtime runner or didn’t even know that free kayaking in NYC is a thing. Workouts at fitness classes and gyms are easier, more comfortable and a lot more fun when you have the right gear, and these shops have all you need to look the part for your current exercise obsession or outfit you for your next one. Afterward, swing by the best sports bars in NYC—you’ll fit right in.
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Best sporting goods stores in NYC
Can’t decide which sport to commit to? Paragon has you covered: This superstore stocks gear for specialized activities like badminton and darts, seasonal ones like baseball and snowboarding, and year-round favorites like running and yoga. While the sales staff can actually be a little too attentive at times, camping and hiking novices will appreciate the help when trying to decide which sleeping bag works best for an impromptu weekend getaway out in the wild.
The chain store that’s actually good
With five Manhattan locations and another in Brooklyn, this store provides everything that new and aspiring runners need for training safely and looking like pros on race day. Staffed by running enthusiasts who won’t make you feel weird if you’re lacing up for the first time, they’ll analyze your gait on a treadmill and recommend the perfect fit. Once you’ve got shoes, pick up some new clothes: There’s a good selection of shirts, shorts and chafe-free sports bras that will make your next run so comfortable, that mythical thing called a runner’s high could become a reality.
Best for yogis
Aspiring and dedicated yogis will appreciate the affordable, comfortable and sexy threads that can be found at any of this brand's four NYC locations, which carry sizing for everyone from petite to plus-size women. The best part: The Flatiron location offers on-site classes taught by boutique fitness instructors (for free!), so you can save that extra cash...or pick out another cute outfit for your next session.
Best for convincing you to commute by bike
It’s hard to believe that at one time, NYC was no place for the urban cyclist. But if it weren’t for the founder and owner of this shop (and the tireless advocacy of thousands of like-minded riders back in the ’70s), the Queensboro and Manhattan Bridge bike paths might not exist. If you’ve never considered commuting by bike, now’s the time to start: You’ll save money, fight climate change and spare yourself the agony of trying to squeeze yourself into subway cars during rush hour.
The most unexpectedly helpful staff
Roll your eyes all you want at the happy chalkboard messages outside this athleisure chain’s shops and the feel-good messaging on its shopping bags: It’s the place to go if you want cute gear that transitions seamlessly from working out to running weekend errands. Popular sizes tend to be sold out online, so stop by in person: The cheerful staff will help you out without pressuring you to get something you don’t need.
Best for runners
Take a look at your foot: It has 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. So why would you squeeze it into any old pair of sneakers? (Especially the ones you’ve kept in your closet for years for when you might go running.) With seven locations in the city, seasoned and novice runners alike can find kicks that fit like a glove, er, sneaker.
Best for extreme-sports fanatics
Started by climbers and surfers with a passion for minimalism and a desire to save the wild places they love exploring, a portion of anything you buy at Patagonia’s stores (or online) will be donated to grassroots environmental groups that have the planet’s best interests at heart. You can find what you need for solo sports like skiing, snowboarding, fly fishing, paddling or trail running at any store, but if you’re looking specifically for climbing gear, head to the Meatpacking location, which has the best selection.
Best for the outdoorsy crowd
If your idea of outdoor preparedness involves little more than throwing a hand-me-down sleeping bag and some snacks into a bag and hitting the trail, it’s time to step it up. The knowledgeable staff here will help you pick out the gadgets and gear you need to have a comfortable night under the stars. (Hint: A sleeping pad is essential!)
Best for newbie kayakers
Kayak season officially starts in May, and you have an entire summer’s worth of fun in front of you: Taught by certified American Canoe Association instructors, the NYKC offers traditional kayak and stand up paddleboard classes. You’ll need the intro class to get the hang of paddling (or standing), but once you do, you’ll want to keep practicing for one of the tours, which range from three-and-a-half to 28 miles. The store on Pier 40 has all the gear you need to make the trip a success.
Best for finding a cute outfit
If you’re looking for chic activewear, you’ll love what’s offered at Tory Burch’s two Manhattan stores. Stocked with retro-colorful, coordinated pieces for running, tennis and golf, it’s perfect for those who want to head straight from their workout to lunch to show off that post-workout glow.