All sports were not created equal; each sport has its own specialized machinations, gadgets, tools, outfits, accessories and experts. When you go out looking for your team jersey, running shoes, helmet or skate deck, visit one of these five Chicago sporting goods stores for all of your fun and games needs.
Fleet Feet Sports
1620 N Wells St
Whether you haven’t run since you were a toddler trying to get away from your evil older sibling, or you’re Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, Fleet Feet is a runner’s Valhalla full of knowing staff, the latest shoes and all of the gear and accessories you might need to run like the wind. Merchandise is by no means cheap, but it’s your body pounding away on concrete, so cheap may not be the best route. Look into Fleet Feet’s rewards program that can snag you some cash off of future purchases.
3551 N Southport Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
The subtitle is “The Great Outdoor Store” and you’ll find anything you might need for outdoor activities. Stock up for your next hike, swim, skate, bike ride or other time getting active outside. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable about its respective areas, whether you’re looking for the best hiking shoes for your next camping trip or the warmest gloves before you hit the slopes. Uncle Dan’s is a Chicago sports staple.
Kickflip it over to Uprise to completely outfit yourself in skate culture and needs. The flashiest decks, understated shoes, sweet shirts and necessary gear to repair or upgrade your board are all stocked in the small shop. With a staff this genuinely friendly and passionate about skating, everyone should want to be a part of the independent sport.
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959 W. Addison St.
Chicago, IL 60613
The fastest service for anything “Cubs,” Wrigleyville Sports offers caps, tees, sweatshirts, knickknacks and customized jerseys in a matter of days. Proving that green trumps blue, white and red, the sizable store also stocks merchandise emblazoned with Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks and White Sox logos. There’s even Chicago Fire gear for those who have discovered the other kind of football during the World Cup. Staff is expert at servicing the onslaught of consumers that pour in right after the ninth inning wraps up.
600 W 35th St
Chicago, IL 60616
We have to give the south side some love and Grandstand Limited is a fine place for a Sox sort of assignation. The Bridgeport store offers on-street and out-back parking so you can spend as much time as you’d like perusing hoodies, tees, jerseys, hats and everything else on which you can slap a Sox logo from keychains to sox, er…socks. The family-run business also stocks plenty of Blackhawks’, Bulls’ and Bears’ paraphernalia, so it’s an equal opportunity shop. There’s even a section of Cubs accouterments – a true sign of inclusiveness. The staff is helpful without sales pressure.
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Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.