While New York City is synonymous with great shopping, sporting goods are not usually the first thing that comes to mind, but there are an incredible number of sport stores in every neighborhood of the city. Fall is a great time of year for outdoor activ-ites and with the mixed weather weekend ahead its the perfect opportunity to go shop for some new gear.
With that I give you another regular STYLE OF SPORT feature… The Best Sports Stores review. While these all have the goods, they also have the style. So whether you’re into sports and just want to look like you are, here are five stores you must check out.
NIKE RUNNING (above)
Located in the Flatiron district, this spacious new Nike Running store carries shoes, gear and apparel for that one sport only. The goal, I was told, is to remind people that’s how Nike began. The store has every running shoe Nike makes, from super hi-tech flats like the Nike Flyknit for elite runners, to reissued vintage Air Max models for the “sneakerheads”. For the recreational runner in between, the store offers gait analysis and group runs where new gear can be tested.
The design of the store features that same juxtaposition of old and new. There is recycled gymnasium flooring, industrial lighting and a giant flat screen heat map highlighing the functionality of the gps sportwatches. One of the design highlights is a wall covered in sketches of the Nike Free Run drawn on the spot by the designer of the shoe, Mark Minor. 156 Fifth Ave.
Down in the lower east side is the mecca for longboard skateboarders called The Longboard Loft. Longboarding is the hot new subculture of skateboarding and has taken hold with skateboarders looking for a smoother ride and an alternative to the bicycle as a way to get around town.
The store feels like a skateboard gallery with wheels in every color and decks featuring the hottest graphics covering the walls,. They stock everything from the most basic cruisers to the most advanced and technical downhill race boards. You can buy the boards as is or customize as you like. Combine that inventory with a knowledgeable and friendly staff of skaters and all your longboard needs are covered. 132 Allen St.
Part clubhouse, part art gallery, part memorablia and souvenir shop, for you baseball fans this is one cool spot. Located off Union Square in the landmark Cast Iron Building, they sell both vintage and replica t-shirts, baseball hats, baseballs as well as specialty items like ballpark cufflinks made from old seats and vintage baseballs, and game-used uniform wallets.67 East 11 St.
Located on the upper upper east side, on one of the less attractive blocks of town, this insider soccer store is worth the trek. Family run and open since 1933, it is the recognized go to spot for all your soccer needs. And for all you soccer fans out there, this place has all your favorite team jerseys from Mancester United to Nike Barcelona. 1745 First Ave.
When I stumbled upon this store in the West Village, I wasn’t sure if it was a flea market, art installation, junkyard or crazy bicycle store. Turns out it’s a bit of it all but mostly the latter. HUB Cycles, which stands for Hudson Urban Bicycles, sells and rents virtually every bike you can imagine, new and vintage, with an emphasis on the hipster European touring bikes that are so popular right now. 139 Charles St.