Best Sporting Goods Store

Sports Basement

At long last, the Gods of Looking Good While Sweating have decided to bless East Bay hikers, bikers, yogis, and gym rats with an outpost of this ten-year-old San Francisco-based mini-chain. While it’s the smallest of the bunch, the selection of mostly discounted goods is still vast, running the gamut from $1 protein bars to premium mountain bikes. But the real draw is that it’s impeccably curated, featuring only the most wearable styles both from tried-and-true brands and some new kids on the block, and top-notch equipment for a bevy of athletic endeavors. The selection of footwear in the loft-like second floor is particularly primo, with a staff that’s happy to evaluate your strut and guide you to the perfect sneaker or sandal. They’re also quite content to leave you alone as you yank shoeboxes off the shelves and try pairs on yourself — Sports Basement is definitely a no-pressure zone. A few tips for newbies: Don’t leave your pooch in the car — pups are welcome inside. Be sure to explore the sale section in the far reaches of the store, where you can snap up clothes in sample sizes for a pittance. And if jogging’s your thing (or if you’d like it to be), a free trail running group meets Mondays at 6 p.m.

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