sporting goods online toronto

The top 10 online stores for sporting goods in Toronto

Sporting goods stores in Toronto manage to cater to virtually every kind of athlete, offering a level of service, quality and product depth the big-box stores can't quite touch. What the big guys do offer, however, is convenience - which makes it all the better that many of Toronto's top sporting goods retailers have moved their businesses online.

Though you might still prefer to go and pick out your stuff in person (and remember, in-store pickup is often an option), these stores make it easy for shoppers to compare prices and hunt for hard-to-find specialty pieces while still buying local. With this level of choice, there's a Toronto-based online store likely to have everything you need to hit the ground running (or swimming, or biking, or kitesurfing).

Here are the top 10 sites in Toronto for buying sporting goods.

Sporting Life
They might be approaching massive chain status at this point, but until not that long ago, this sporting goods store, which also boasts locations in Etobicoke, Collingwood and Ottawa, was mostly focused on two uptown Toronto stores. Clothing and footwear are a huge focus, with all the necessary threads for your next race / yoga retreat / hike / tennis match represented, but they also deal in skis and snowboards, snowshoes, racquets, and a respectable mix of bikes (from Specialized carbon-fibre rides to Linus step-throughs). They also offer free ground shipping over $99.

Brown's Sports & Cycle
If you're looking for a good, old-fashioned, everything-and-the-kitchen-sink sporting goods store, Brown's has what you need. That could be anything from squash, badminton and tennis racquets and team-sports gear to bikes and home gym equipment. (It's so comprehensive, I learned that pickleball existed just by browsing their site.) Shipping is free over $100; if you're buying a bike, pick it up locally and they'll assemble it for you.

Running Free
This Toronto mini-chain of running stores has everything you need to train for your next race. Seriously, everything - clothing and triathlon gear, performance-gauging electronics and safety headlamps, hydration belts and nutritional items, and a selection of over 600 shoes categorized by running style. Regular shipping is $6 within the GTA (free over $100).

Enduro Sport
Iron men (and women) will dig Enduro Sport, a Leaside shop geared toward triathletes. They've repeatedly been dubbed one of North America's best tri stores, and that shows in their online selection: There's clothing for men and women for each leg of the race, as well as road and tri bikes from Cannondale and Cervelo and specialized gear like one-piece tri suits. If you're chasing deals, they have a separate page for their eBay auctions, where you can score last pairs of Adidas and Saucony runners for as low as $44.

Silent Sports
In a city saturated with bike shops, Thornhill's Silent Sports still has a loyal following for their mountain and road bikes and performance hybrids - but it's their wider focus on kiteboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, cross-country skiing and surfing that really sets them apart. On their website, there's a comprehensive selection of everything you need to do both, including bikes and boards, apparel, maintenance items, and roof racks to tote your gear to the trail or beach. (The store adds that if you find a lower price on the item you're hunting for, give them a call and they'll try to cut you a deal.)

Cycle Solutions
This duo of Toronto bike stores, with locations in Cabbagetown and the Beaches, also features a robust online lineup of bikes and gear. Every riding style is covered, with zippy Electra cruisers right alongside trail and road bikes from Trek, Norco and Specialized. The accessories lineup is equally varied - you can kit out your bike with bells, lights, bags and baby seats, or grab everything you need to do at-home repairs.

Sanction Skate & Snow
In addition to stores in the Junction and Thornhill, Sanction operates an admittedly-gorgeous webstore stocked with a healthy range of snowboard gear for men and women, a full range of skate decks and add-ons, and all the clothing and gear you need to look the part. They hold frequent online sales - follow them on Facebook to keep tabs.

Merchant of Tennis
Our No. 1 pick for Toronto's top tennis store also has a killer e-tail component, serving up a comprehensive array of gear. They've got a racquet for every player, with offerings from Dunlop, Wilson and Babolat, as well as the tape, vibration dampeners and accessories that will tailor that racquet to your exact needs. There's also footwear and clothing for men and women from the usual heavy-hitting sportswear brands - is that Adidas by Stella McCartney tennis gear we spy? As a bonus, they dock $15 off shipping for orders over $100.

Boardsports Canada
Another board-oriented specialty store, Yonge and Eglinton's Boardsports specializes in surf, snow, skate, and SUP, windsurfing, wakeboarding, and waterskiing. (Oh, and kiteboarding.) Some, including hardcore skaters, may not find everything they want, but if you're looking to do your shopping for a year's worth of board sports all in one go, this is the spot. (Bonus: They'll hand-deliver items more than two metres long within the GTA.)

Gallant Bicycles
Gallant's Koreatown shop cranks out (ha!) custom rides. Half the appeal of their site is the custom bike visualizer window - I challenge you to not spend half an hour making multicoloured Frankenbikes. If you're willing to commit to a brand-new custom ride, shipping is free over $100. Or check out the rest of their webstore, which features a small but choice smattering of parts (from basic components to upgrades like coloured bike chains) and accessories (including bags from sister company YNOT).

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Did I miss any? Leave your favourite Toronto-based online sporting goods store in the comments.

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