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10 Best Sporting Goods Stores

Searching For The Best Sporting Goods Stores

10 Best Sporting Goods Stores

No matter what time of year it is, or how old you are, there’s nothing like getting outside and playing. Of course, you’ll need the right gear to do it. The best sporting goods stores have what you need to get the game started.

In this list, you’ll get to know our top 10 picks for the best sporting goods stores out there. You’ll find a mix of trusted, hard-hitting names you know and love. Some offer just a signature line, while others carry a range of options. Ready, get set, let’s go.

10 Best Sporting Goods Stores

#1: Champs Sports

Champs Sports

Champs is chosen time and time again because of its top-of-the-line shoe collection. Though it also carries a select amount of clothing and accessories, people love this store for its sneakers—you’ll find on-trend colors, the latest styles, and all-time classics in its collection.

The brand was founded by Bill Robinson in 1984 but is now a part of the Foot Locker family. It carries only the most popular sports brands out there, so expect higher-ranging prices for styles from Jordan, Nike, and adidas. You may get some lower-cost shoes as well from Converse, so it depends on what you’re looking for.

With a great variety, its styles for men, women, and kids range from mid to high level, with sneakers $100+. Clothing starts at $30 for simple tees and heads up to $130 for fleece jackets.

Highlights

  • Sneakers for men, women, and kids
  • Wide variety of clothing and accessories
  • Carries tons of popular brands

#2: DICK’S Sporting Goods

DICK’S Sporting Goods

DICK’S Sporting Goods is one of the most successful stores on this planet. Why is that, you ask? The brand’s reputation, quality, selection, and customer service are all top-notch.

As a family-friendly store, DICK’S is known for its stellar staff, and it’s a reputation that’s lasted the brand 75 years. Founded in 1948 by Richard (Dick) Stack, the company blossomed after Dick (then, an 18-year-old man who loved to fish) put together a list of fishing supplies at the request of his boss.

Today, the brand deals with more than just fishing supplies. It has 720+ store locations across the US, stocked with tons of popular brands like Nike, Hydroflask, and Saucony—along with many, many more.

Its collections include tons of variety in apparel, footwear, and gear for men, women, and kids, with a great supply of outdoor equipment, yard games, and camping gear. It’s a true one-stop shop for all of your sporting and outdoor needs.

You can expect mid-high range prices at DICK’S depending on what you buy. Jerseys are $130, running shoes are above $100. Tents start at $50 and go up to $400.

Highlights

  • 100+ brands
  • Carries sports and exercise equipment
  • Gear and apparel for all ages
  • Tons of variety 
  • 720+ store locations in the US

#3: Decathlon

Decathlon

Decathlon‘s motto is “Sport for all. All for sport.” It’s a simple phrase that tells the world that no matter your fitness or experience level, you can get into sports, and this brand can help.

Its collection of sports apparel and shoes for men, women, and kids spans sport-specific lines like martial arts, skateboarding, and hockey. Concerned with making sports accessible, the French brand is known for its family-like attitude that welcomes people from all walks of life.

Michel Leclercq founded Decathlon in 1976, and today, it has 1,697 stores across 60 countries. The company makes pretty much all that’s within its collections itself, offering incredibly low prices like $20 for a fleece jacket and $55 for running shoes.

Highlights

  • Range of apparel, shoes, and accessories
  • For men, women, and kids
  • Affordable prices
  • International brand (1,697 stores across 60 countries)

#4: Nike

Nike

Nike is one of those brands that needs no introduction. It has always been a popular brand, but in the last 20 years, the company has seen serious growth.

Bill Bowerman, a track and friend coach, founded the brand in 1964 to offer running gear, but it wasn’t until 1972 that it started making shoes. Today, Nike is best known for its footwear, and you’ll find an array of casual and performance runners in its collection ranging from $65 to $550 for a collab with Givenchy’s creative director Matthew M Williams.

Known for blurring the lines between athletics and casual daywear, Nike is a fashion-forward sportswear brand loved for its on-trend colors, patterns, and styles. Leggings and pants cost around $80, while tracksuits are $170.

Highlights

  • Sustainability goals
  • Array of apparel, shoes, and accessories
  • For men, women, and kids
  • Designer collabs
  • International locations

#5: Big 5 Sporting Goods

Big 5 Sporting Goods

Big 5 Sporting Goods has a good rep for affordable sportswear, chosen by those who want popular brands but love a good sale. Founded in 1995 by Maurie Liff, Harry Liff, and Robert Miller, the brand is a part of the parent company, United Merchandising Corp, and gets its name from the five stores it originally launched in California.

Its selection is huge. The brand carries big names like Skechers and Asics within its footwear collection, along with a hefty number of others throughout its apparel, fitness, outdoor, sports, and games lines.

With 429 locations across the western USA, Big 5 Sporting Goods stocks gear for a range of activities like hunting, fishing, tennis, and golf. Shop the $25-and-under section for deals or grab a pair of sneakers for $40-$60.

Highlights

  • Range of popular brands
  • Tons of gear and sports equipment 
  • For the whole family
  • Great deals
  • US locations only (429 locations)

#6: Bass Pro Shops

Bass Pro Shops

Known for its hefty collection of fishing and hunting gear, Bass Pro is the place to go for all things outdoors. The wide, warehouse-like store is decked out with impressive, nature-inspired decor and filled with quality clothing from trusted brands like Patagonia, Columbia, and Carhartt.

You can find some great deals at Bass Pro Shops, but it carries top-of-the-line equipment and gear that doesn’t always come with a low price tag. The brand has been dedicated to quality since it got its start in 1972 when Johnny Morris started selling tackle out of the back of his dad’s liquor store.

Starting with just 8 feet of space, Bass Pro Shops has grown into an internationally-recognized brand with 177 locations across the US and Canada. Fishing rods typically range from $60-$1,000, though you will find one $4,000 model in the collection. Athletic shoes start at $70 and go up to $200.

Highlights

  • Carries a range of quality brands
  • Specializes in hunting, fishing, and boating gear
  • Conservation leader
  • Affordable options

#7: REI

REI

REI stands for Recreational Equipment Inc. and started carving out a name for itself since its inception in 1938. Known for its high-caliber gear and apparel, the brand is one that outdoor enthusiasts go to for advice and rental equipment for their next adventure.

Its collection is heavily focused on outdoor activities like climbing, camping, and hiking, but you’ll find everyday apparel and shoes for running and walking in its collection too. So who’s the face behind the brand? It was Lloyd and Mary Anderson—a husband and wife team who needed a more convenient way to buy climbing gear.

With a sustainability-focused approach to production, it offers a completely eco-friendly line with bio-based shoes and conscious fabrics. Brands range from REI’s signature line to Arc’teryx, Patagonia, and North Face. Climbing shoes clock in between $80-$200, while running jackets are $100-$200.

Highlights

  • Specializes in outdoor and climbing gear
  • For men, women, and kids
  • Sustainable brand and collections
  • Co-op-like feel
  • US locations only

#8: Sport Chek

Sport Chek

Sport Check was founded in 1974 by John Forzani and the Forzani Group Ltd. Acquired by Canadian Tire in 2017, the sports store has always been and still is Canadian owned and run.

It carries well-known brands like Nike, adidas, Under Armour, and North Face, with a collection for men, women, and kids that spans apparel, electronics, gear, jerseys, and nutrition products.

Sport Chek is chosen for its great variety and accessibility, with a physical shop located in pretty much every mall across Canada. Since it’s a Canadian store, it’s got a reputation for quality outdoor winter gear. Ice skates are in the $100-$200 range while running shoes start at $50 for Reebok and go up to $365 for Nike.

Highlights

  • Wide range of popular brands
  • Tons of sports gear and equipment
  • Offers apparel and accessories for adults and kids
  • Affordable options
  • Only Canadian locations

#9: Atmosphere

Atmosphere

Head to Canada and anyone will tell you that one of the best sporting goods stores to shop for outdoor gear is Atmosphere. With a great selection of top-of-the-line brands like YETI, Osprey, and Marmot, it carries tons of camping, climbing, and paddling gear for all kinds of outdoor adventures.

Atmosphere was founded back in 2001 by the Forzani Group but was bought in 2011 by Canadian Tire. Still a Canadian-owned and operated company, its product range includes apparel, gear, and tech for adventurers big and small.

With popular and small private label brands, its selection is quite varied, though a common thread of high-quality runs throughout it. You can get footwear for $75-$300 and jackets for $100-$300.

Highlights

  • Big and small brands
  • For men, women, and kids
  • Apparel, gear, and electronics
  • Online and in-store shop
  • Canada only

#10: adidas

adidas

The iconic acronym for “all day I dream about sports” isn’t actually an acronym at all. It’s the combination of the brand’s founder Adi Dassler’s first and last name.

Starting in his mom’s wash kitchen in Bavaria Germany in 1924, Dassler set out to create amazing equipment for professional athletes. For the last 40 years, adidas has been at the pinnacle of tech-forward gear for soccer, but its selection caters to other sports like basketball and golf too.

adidas designs the bulk of its own apparel and shoes for women, men, and kids, but it’s also well known for its collaborations with top designers like Yeezy, Ivy Park, Stella McCartney, and Stan Smith. You can get a pair of adidas kicks for $90-$150 or a pair of classic track pants for $60.

Highlights

  • Soccer, basketball, and golf apparel and shoes
  • Designs for men, women, and kids
  • Collabs with top designers
  • Online and in-store shop
  • Stores around the world

How To Look For The Best Sporting Goods Store

10 Best Sporting Goods Stores

You’ve met the best sporting goods stores, now what? A few have probably caught your eye, but there’s a little more investigation that needs to happen before you make your final pick. We’ll take you through a few points to consider below to make your decision a little clearer.

Selection of Brands

Most of the best sporting goods stores carry a selection of brands. There are only a few that don’t, and that includes Decathlon, adidas, and Nike—though, the latter two do offer collaborations with other well-known designers.

If it’s the variety you’re looking for, then you’re better off choosing a brand with tons of it. You’ll also notice that certain names on this list carry more gear, equipment, and tech, while others specialize in accessories and clothing. Depending on what you’re looking for, you’ll opt for one over another.

Accessibility

All of the best sporting goods stores offer both online and in-person shopping, so no matter who you wish to shop with, you’ll have the option to do both. What may sway your design if you prefer in-person shopping, is if your preferred store has a shop in your area.

If you live in the US and love Sport Chek’s selection, you’ll be out of luck since the company only has stores in Canada. This holds true for a few names on this list, so be sure to look into store locations and shipping policies to make sure it’s available in your country.

Niche

A few of the best sporting goods stores listed here specialize in a certain type of activity. For instance, adidas primarily designs its collections for soccer, basketball, and golf. On the other hand, REI is all about the outdoors, but more specifically, climbing and camping.

What kind of gear you’re looking for will determine who you shop with. It doesn’t make sense to shop with Nike if you’re into ice hockey. Opt for Sport Chek instead.

Sustainability

A lot of the best sporting goods stores are pushing for sustainability—some more than others. If sustainability is high on your list of priorities, pay attention to the efforts each brand makes. Stores like REI are highly concerned with sustainable practices, but brand giants like Nike are putting in work too.

You won’t find any names on this list that aren’t making at least some effort to incorporate sustainability into either their own production or sourcing from brands that do.

Budget

Since we’re dealing with the best sporting goods stores here, you can expect quite a few of them to have premium prices. With that said, many of our picks carry a wide variety of brands, and that means a great variety of prices.

Certain stores like Big 5 Sporting Goods specialize in budget-friendly sports gear, whereas others like Atmosphere are known for having higher costing equipment. Identify what your budget is and then go from there. It can be fun to splurge on a high-cost item, but it’s also nice to eat.

Which Country Produces The Most Sports Equipment?

Walmart, Nike, and DICK’S Sporting Goods make up three of the top four largest sporting equipment stores in the world. They’re all based in the USA. However, these sports stores don’t manufacture their equipment in the USA, the majority of it is made in China, Indonesia, and Vietnam (for Nike).

According to stats for the largest exporter of sports equipment in 2020, China is the leading producer of sports equipment, followed by the USA and Germany.

Which Athletic Brand Is The Best?

That’s a question that may come down to personal opinion, but if we look at the numbers, Nike is the most popular athletic brand in the world. With $44.5 billion of reported sales, its following competitor is adidas with $23.5 billion.

Why is Nike so popular? Take a peek at its collection. With trendy colors, figure-flattering styles for women, and collaborations with top designers, choosing Nike is less about performance and more about style.

Alongside its streetwear collection, the brand still kills it with its designs specifically for sports. It’s this mix of accessible and comfortable casual, fashion-forward, and performance wear that may make it such a winner.

Final Thoughts

10 Best Sporting Goods Stores

Whether the sun is shining or the lake is frozen, if you’re longing to get outside and get moving, the best sporting goods stores have you covered. We’ve brought together the top names in sports on this list so no matter what your favorite activity is, everything you need to get outside is right at your fingertips.

Since you’ve reached the end of this list, we hope you’ve already started your shopping basket for the season’s games ahead.


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