All you need to know about buying sports equipment

March 7, 2015

Here’s a roundup of all the bonuses and few drawbacks of buying sports equipment from a speciality sporting goods rather than a big-box store.

All you need to know about buying sports equipment

A specialist for every sport

Whether you love to run, play golf or do yoga, almost every sport has a specialized outfitter for your favourite activity.

What are the bonuses of specialty shops?

Variety of choice

You can find basic gear and accessories at a big-box store, but you won’t have a huge selection to choose from. Sporting goods stores offer different equipment in various models from all the top brands.


Equipment sold in specialty stores are most often, if not always, much better quality than anything found in a superstore. Although low prices are attractive, cheaper quality rackets and tennis shoes won’t live up to their task if used more than just a couple of times a year. This means you’ll have to spend money to replace them more frequently.

It’s important that gear and accessories perform as they should. Quality and function are a priority for anyone passionate about their sport and plays it on a regular basis. Gear must be long-lasting and durable for maximum enjoyment.

Pro tips

Owners and staff at specialty stores love the outdoors and are usually athletes themselves. Beyond all the equipment you need, experts will help you choose the best gear and will advise you on how to use and maintain it.Some specialty stores even offer lessons to either learn a sport or improve your technique.

So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, you’ll get answers to your questions and expert advice — for free!



It’s pretty clear that quality and durability come at a cost. A variety of factors influence prices in speciality sports like manufactures’ recommended pricing, as well as the competition associated with the volume and purchasing power of superstore franchises.

Fewer shops

Depending on where you live, you may have trouble finding a store specializing in your sport. Outfitters may be a neighbourhood boutique or an outlet store. Unfortunately they tend to be less visible, and fewer and far between. Accessibility also depends on the sport. The more popular your sport, the more likely you are to find a specialty shop catering to it.

Pre-owned equipment to buy or rent

Have you thought about buying or renting used equipment? These are good options if you want quality gear but are operating on a small budget. If you buy, you’ll save a lot of money in the long run. On the other hand, leasing is perfect for anyone just starting out. It’s the best way to practice without investing in a sport before you know if you'll enjoy it.

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