Every mom needs a go-to list of the best online sporting goods stores. From prior posts, you’ve probably gathered I’m a sports fan — but it’s one thing to catch a game here and there on the weekend, and quite another to be living and breathing (and smelling) it everyday and night of your life. My kids are just entering the world of Mini Mites and Little League, but we’re visiting family this week, spending time with my pre-teen and teen nephews and nieces, and I’m getting a real taste of what life will be like for the next decade. There are so many aspects of sports parenting to explore, but I’ll leave the psychological examinations and positive reinforcement to others and focus my list on the most shallow (but essential) aspect — finding the best online sporting goods stores.
Let’s admit it, half the fun of playing tennis is wearing the cute outfit and swinging the new racket. So I wholeheartedly embraced this new shopping assignment. But it quickly became apparent that buying 10 pieces of hockey equipment was not nearly as much fun and way more expensive than buying a cute tennis outfit. And that’s 10 pieces multiplied by the number of kids you have playing, multiplied by the number of growth spurts. Yes, baseball and soccer and other sports are less, but at minimum, you are looking at three purchases. Where can you get a good deal on these? My girlfriends send me slews of websites for designer bags at bargain prices, but not a single one for marked down shin guards. So I decided to go straight to the source — my 13-year-old nephew and his friends. Here are their best online sporting goods stores to find “cool stuff” at great prices.
We actually bought a car once on Ebay, so you would think I might be somewhat of an expert on this site. The truth is I’ve only conducted a handful of searches for furniture and home décor items, submitted a few low-ball offers, and would have never thought to look for sporting equipment. But one of the teens told me he was about to get an Easton Stealth XL (that’s a baseball bat) for $100 off the retail store price on Ebay. Now, you understand what I mean about the $$$. But you can also get lots of equipment for every sport for under $50.
I actually had the pleasure of going into a Pure Hockey store this week (did I mention I was in New England?) so I got to see first-hand the large inventory of equipment and all of the other kids’ excitement trying on new skates and helmets… right before my kids knocked over a huge display of sticks playing tag. For those of us that live in more moderate climates, but still choose to spend our time in arctic environments like hockey rinks, you won’t find a Pure Hockey store near you so you’ll need to go online. The site also has an extensive catalog and good deals. One of the teens got a Bauer Total One for 20% off on the site, and he hadn’t been able to find this stick with “the right curve” in the store.
Home Run Monkey.
There is also Lacrosse Monkey and Hockey Monkey, but my mini-focus group was uber-focused on baseball bats, and had purchased an Exogrid 2 and Easton Stealth Surge from Home Run Monkey. The site not only has a good selection of bats, but they have a product video on each bat. Of course, my eye goes immediately to “clearance” on any shopping site—even if I don’t know what I’m shopping for, I know I’ll find it there—and this was no disappointment. I found batting helmets for less than $12.
Dick’s Sporting Goods.
I haven’t forgotten about you, soccer moms. Or swim moms. Or basketball and football moms (which I hope to be one day). I don’t know as much about specialty sites for these sports (yet), but I do know that Dick’s has almost everything you need for any sport. I mean, they offer more than 20 items for wake boarding! Going online does not provide the same rush as walking in the store, but you’ll be able to avoid an adrenaline-induced purchase of fishing rods for the whole family, and still be able to buy the exact mouth guard your child’s coach recommends.
Let me just say from the get-go that you will not save money on this site, but it is so cool that I had to include it. This is the site where your child can design a pair of Nike shoes to his or her specifications. He/she selects the shoes and its sockliner, midsole, heel ID, overlay, base, laces, and of course, the Swoosh. The shoes begin at $120, but here’s the thing, you don’t have to actually buy them, the kids (and/or you) can just design them for fun. Eventually, they may want to own a pair but at least they’ll know from the get-go how many lawns they need to mow or why they’re only getting one birthday or Christmas gift this year.