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The ten best sports shops in Paris

From the high-tech to the low-key, the city's best sport shops have everything you need to ace your favourite hobby

@ Gabriel Albold

Whether it's the post-Christmas health kick, a September resolution or the big push before summer, there's never a bad time to start investing in your workout gear. And Paris, with its abundant pools and parks, is the ideal city for smashing your chosen sport. From pedometers to push-bikes, our list of the best sports shops has it all.

Marathon

26 rue Léon Jost, 17eme

Set up in 1979 by Raymond Cornou, marathon champion of the eighties, this boutique has all the running gear imaginable: Nike, Asics, New Balance or Puma for trainers (€60-180), and clothes by Adidas, Salomon, Raidlight, Mizuno or Ronhill. Not to mention the huge range of accessories – gloves, sports watches and even headphones. A must visit for anyone about to tread the honoured 26 miles.

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17th arrondissement

Budo Store

34 rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, 5eme

For anyone who likes to wander, the 5th arrondissement is full of little surprises. Behind this elegant double door at 34 rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, is a famous haunt among martial arts aficionados: Budo Store. It also happens to be the birthplace of French karate, which developed under the masterful eye of Henry Plée, the famous 'mountain'.

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Jussieu

Cycles Alex Singer

Recommended

53 rue Victor Hugo, Levallois-Perret

Alex Singer’s established his Levallois-Perret store in 1938 and is still making some of the best bikes you can find on French roads. And although it’s changed hands over the years, the quality has remained excellent.

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Hauts-de-Seine
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Boxing Shop

7 rue Beaurepaire, 10eme

There are very few spaces in Paris dedicated purely to combat sports. At Boxing Shop, it’s nothing but combat sports; Krav Maga, Thai, English, French boxing – among others. There's a staggering range of equipment and clothing for novices and professionals, including hanging and inflatable punch bags. And because this sort of thing involves a fair bit of protection, they all sell shields and padding for both men and women.

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République

Lolë

9 rue des Blancs-Manteaux, 4eme

The Canadian ready-to-wear brand Lolë (founded by Bernard Mariette, formerly of Quicksilver) makes chic, environmentally responsible sportswear for women. The light-filled wooden space showcases collections made from breathable materials with sustainable origins – organic cotton, bamboo fibre, recycled plastic. While the prices aren’t exactly Sports Direct (€45 for a pair of shorts, €60 for a yoga top), the pieces are elegant and durable. They also organise meet-ups and free sports classes (yoga, Pilates, tai chi etc.) several times a week.

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4th arrondissement

Passage des étoiles

Recommended

82 rue des Haies, 20eme

If the words ‘roller derby’ still mean nothing to you, get your skates on and catch up. A recent addition to the Buzenval area, niche boutique Passage des étoiles is a shrine to this increasingly popular sport-on-wheels. On its freshly painted shelves you’ll find the all-important component: ‘quad’ rollerskates, specially designed with eight small wheels to keep you perpetually upright (pretty essential for a sport like this). 

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20th arrondissement
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Nike Lab P75

12 rue des Hospitalières Saint-Gervais, 4eme

They’ve taken Tokyo and conquered New York – now, Nike Lab’s first European outpost has landed in Paris. Located in a former Marais book shop, the store offers a range of beautiful, specialised sportswear, like the Gyakusou line for runners (€80-€300), as well as a wide choice of sports trainers – the light and feminine Flynit model for example (€170). And bonus feature – all 40m2 of the first floor is dedicated to the innovative ‘NikeID’ concept, allowing you to create and customise your own Air Force 1 or Air Max 1 trainers.

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The Marais

Nomade Shop

37 boulevard Bourdon, 4eme

Nomade Shop has been Paris’s temple to roller-skating, skateboarding and scootering for several years now. Located in Bastille – right by the starting point of weekly rollerblading excursion ‘Rollers & Coquillages’ - the store offers a very handy ‘skate-hiring service as well as a superb range of accessories and protective gear, from helmets (€35) to ‘anti-vibration soles’ (€20). Get your elbow pads, wrist pads and kneepads here too – they’re all of a much better quality than you’ll find in mainstream sportswear chains. 

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4th arrondissement

En selle Marcel

Recommended

40 rue Tiquetonne, 2eme

You can grow a moustache, get a topknot and buy all the flannel shirts in the world, but you won’t be a true Parisian hipster without your own trendy bicycle. Head to En selle Marcel for the latest must-have models, from the classic Peugeot 1981 to the more recent – and completely foldable – ‘Brompton’.

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2nd arrondissement
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Au Vieux Campeur

30 shops around 48 rue des Ecoles, 5eme

This Aladdin’s cave for lovers of the outdoors is perfect for fearless explorers and casual weekend walkers alike. From walking shoes and swimming costumes to spear-fishing equipment and caving apparatus, Au Vieux Campeur has everything you need to survive on land, in snow and underwater. It’s spread out around a ‘village’ comprising of thirty-odd shops so check out their website to make sure of where you’re going, or be prepared to spend the entire afternoon wandering Maubert-Mutualité…

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5th arrondissement

You've got the gear. Now get the lowdown on the city's best pools

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