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The Best Sporting Goods Stores

Where is the Best Place to Buy Sporting Goods Online Today?

Sports, a significant part of our culture, come in various forms, appealing to a wide range of enthusiasts. These activities have produced iconic athletes who've left their mark on the sporting world, inspiring countless individuals. Over the years, sports have garnered immense popularity, with millions participating either as players or passionate supporters.

Thanks to the convenience of online shopping, acquiring the perfect sporting goods has become more accessible than ever before. Numerous online retailers offer not only convenience but also access to the latest and most innovative sports gear and apparel, empowering athletes to perform at their peak levels. Furthermore, customers sometimes have the option to customize items like equipment, providing a personalized touch to their sporting experience.

Friday, February 23rd

2024 Sporting Goods Store Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Scheels Review 5 Star Rating

Scheels

5 Star Rating
  • Prices range from $1.49 to $21,000
  • Thousands of items on sale
  • Kids' and adults' gear
  • Casual and pro gear
  • Practice gear
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Returns at any time
  • Price match guarantee
  • "A-" rating from the BBB
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Scheels has a fascinating origin that traces back to Friedrich A. Scheele, a German immigrant who initially planted potatoes in Minnesota. Using the proceeds from his potato farm he established a small hardware and general merchandise store, which would later become the Scheels we know today.

Retails stores with nationwide reach

Now, Scheels operates 30 stores across 13 states. It offers a diverse array of sporting goods, apparel, footwear, and more, featuring renowned brands. What sets Scheels apart is their unwavering commitment to people and the communities they serve. The company donates 8-10% of its profits to showcase its dedication to giving back.

Amazing UI for product searches

Scheels offers a highly user-friendly website featuring a modern design and a streamlined user interface. The navigation bar is hidden under a drop-down which keeps the site from looking over-cluttered. The sports gear is separated from the rest of the wide variety of inventory in the "Sports and Outdoors" section. From there, customers can choose either to shop by general sports or outdoor activities or to narrow their search by a particular sport type that they're interested in. Once you get into the browsing window, the site provides a convenient set of filters to help you refine your search by price, gender, size, color, and brand among other filters. Our favorite part? The sports types are organized alphabetically so you can find what you need at a glance.

Best Sporting Goods Stores

Huge inventory with pricing for everyone

With such a huge inventory, we were excited to get into the pricing at Scheels. In this review, we checked out the pricing for three key sports to see how the Scheels pricing stacks up against other sports retailers.

  • Starting with football gear, Scheels has 543 items in stock. These range in price from $1.49 for a mouth guard to $595 for a pro-level helmet. We love that these prices are highly competitive as they include tons of pro-level gear including shoulder pads and other must-haves for pro footballers.
  • For golf players, Scheels has an impressive 2,231 items in stock. The prices range from $1.99 for ball markers to a $21,000 launch monitor. There are items at Scheels that we haven't seen at other retailers, with a wide range of prices for pro golfers who need full sets of clubs and practice gear to just the basics for casual players.
  • Finally, we checked out the soccer section at Scheels. There are 302 different items for sale for soccer with prices ranging from $3.99 for youth armbands to $589.99 for a goal net. Again, the price range is reasonable considering the number of items available for pro players and casual or youth soccer items.

Checklists for pros

One of the features we loved at Scheels was their checklist options. For example, on the football page, Scheels has a clickable link that offers "Expert Content: Football Checklist" . Clicking on this opens a page with a full gear list that has clickable links to different parts of the Scheels website, so customers can see where to buy the essentials for gear at the pro level. They offer this in each sport category, exemplifying Scheels' commitment to a seamless shopping experience as well as supporting pro players with their merchandise.

100% satisfaction guarantee

Scheels offers a customer-oriented 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you're not completely satisfied with your purchase, you have the option to either exchange your item or receive a refund from Scheels. Unlike some rival retailers' strict return policies, there's no time limit imposed because the primary aim is to accommodate customers' needs effectively. So, you can change your mind about Scheels' products at any time. However, it's important to note that while returns are encouraged, shipping costs are non-refundable, and items must be returned in their original condition.

Price matching pros

Another bonus of shopping at Scheels is the company is dedicated to matching prices if customers find that a competitor is selling an item at a lower cost. To qualify for a price match, the item in question must be the exact same brand, model/style, size, and color as the one found on Scheels' site. The customer service team at Scheels will do all the verification work for you, and ensure that the competing retailer is authorized to sell the particular sporting gear you want to price match.

Best Sporting Goods Stores

Rebates available

Scheels offers money-saving rebates on specific items, a helpful initiative considering the potentially high costs of sports equipment. These rebate opportunities can be located on Scheels' dedicated rebate page, and these offers change periodically. To maximize your savings, make sure you check this page for any new rebates. As an example, at the time of this review, Scheels was providing rebates of up to $200 on certain archery and hunting items.

Top scores from BBB and reviewers

Scheels boasts a stellar reputation, earning accolades from the Better Business Bureau and third-party review platforms. The BBB has granted Scheels an impressive rating of "A-," surpassing many competitors in this review. And, when we checked out the reviews, we found that Scheels enjoys an average star rating of 4.3 out of 5, as reported by verified customers. Shoppers particularly laud Scheels for its competitive pricing and commendable customer service. Even when complications with orders arise, Scheels consistently exhibits efficient and effective resolutions, leaving customers thoroughly satisfied.

Top sporting retailer in this review

Bottom line? Scheels has it all. They cater to casual players, fans, and pros all in one easy-to-navigate website. It receives impressive ratings and reviews from customers, prices are competitive, and with tons of special features like checklists for pro players and a 100% satisfaction guarantee, shopping at Scheels is a no-brainer. For these reasons, it scores the top spot in this review for the best place to find sporting goods online today.

Anthem Sports Review 4.5 Star Rating

Anthem Sports

4.5 Star Rating
  • Prices from $10.95 to $9,612.95
  • Thousands of items in inventory
  • Family-owned business
  • Kids' and adults' gear
  • Casual and pro gear
  • Practice and field gear
  • Offers 30-day return policy
  • "A+" rating from the BBB

We love family-focused businesses, and Anthem Sports stands out as exactly that. Founded by Mark Ferrara, a Boston University graduate and former BU Terriers football player, this family-owned business is deeply rooted in a love for sports. Mark, alongside his wife Carolyn and their three daughters - Grace, Olivia, and Madeline - has nurtured a passion for athletics that transcends generations. With Mark's dedication to his alma mater, Boston University, and his family's strong sports background, Anthem Sports embodies a genuine appreciation for all sports (not just football).

Easy to use, but lots of scrolling

If you're on the hunt for an extensive selection of sports equipment, Anthem Sports has got you covered. This user-friendly website boasts a well-organized catalog that seems to encompass almost every conceivable sports product, and then some. With their intuitive navigation system, finding your desired items is a breeze. You can select from specific sports by using the top navigation bar. Plus, once you're inside the tabs for your particular sport, you can effortlessly refine your search by filtering results based on price, brand, product size, and type. The only downside? There is a lot of scrolling since there are so many options to look through. But, for those who'd rather not scroll through endless lists, the handy search bar is your shortcut to finding precisely what you need.

Inventory covers every aspect of sports

Anthem Sports isn't just a store, it's a massive one-stop shop. They offer an impressive array of sports equipment that spans a multitude of categories, including apparel, training gear, balls, bags, nets, and bats. You can find almost any sport here including but not limited to:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Tennis
  • Street and Field Hockey
  • Wrestling
  • Gymnastics
  • Golf Training

You can also find more unique sports like swimming, cheerleading, and yoga on top of the more standard varsity-style sports. Plus, you can find generic sporting items like industrial bleachers, scoreboards, floor mats, and even U.S. flags.

30-day returns for all items

Anthem Sports believes in customer satisfaction, and its 30-day return policy is a testament to this commitment. While this isn't as long as some other return windows in this review, it's still competitive. To qualify for a full refund, product tags and packaging should be in like-new condition, which might be less helpful for customers who need to open or try on items. It's important to note that larger items may incur a 20% restocking fee during the return process.

Best Sporting Goods Stores

Huge price range includes training gear

While Anthem Sports offers an impressive array of name-brand products, they also understand the need for affordability. They provide lower-end equipment options that won't break the bank, making sporting gear accessible to a broader audience. To compare the prices at Anthem Sports to other companies in this review, we checked out the price ranges for three sports: football, golf, and soccer.

  • For football, there are 675 items in stock and the prices range from $13.95 for socks to $9,612.95 for blocking sleds.
  • For golf gear, the selection is more limited. There are only 29 items total and the prices range from $12.71 for a grip trainer to $182.95 for a home golf training net.
  • Finally, for soccer, there are 817 items in stock and the prices range from $10.95 for a soccer ball to $1,160.95 for a soccer bleacher bench.

Sky-high ratings

Anthem Sports has garnered a solid reputation with the Better Business Bureau, which has gone up even further in recent years. The company now holds the highest rating of "A+" from the BBB. Beyond this, glowing reviews from third-party sources further validate Anthem Sports as a reliable destination for all your sporting goods needs. The company has an average of 4.7 stars out of 5 across different review sites. Customers agree that whether you're an athlete, coach, or part of a sports team, the store has exactly what you're searching for and great prices to boot.

Top competitor for sports gear

Anthem Sports really is a complete one-stop shop. With gear for athletes, fans, coaches, and even sports venues or schools, you can find everything you need for your sport all in one place. With benefits like competitive pricing and 30-day returns as well as top-notch ratings from customers and professional review sites, we can easily say we recommend that you check out Anthem Sports.

Dick's Sporting Goods Review 3.5 Star Rating

Dick's Sporting Goods

3.5 Star Rating
  • Prices range from $7.99 to $2499.99
  • Thousands of items on sale
  • Kids' and adults' gear
  • Casual and pro gear
  • One-stop shop
  • Price match guarantee
  • 90-days for returns

DICK'S Sporting Goods, with nearly four decades of experience, has been a go-to destination for fitness and sports enthusiasts. The company's journey traces back to a young entrepreneur, Dick Stack, who transformed a small Army surplus store in New York into the thriving business we know today. DICK'S Sporting Goods is dedicated to inspiring and equipping athletes of all skill levels, offering a diverse range of sporting goods, outdoor gear, and pro and beginner gear. With both physical stores and its online platform, customers can choose between in-person shopping or a fully online shopping experience.

Solid website design

DICK'S Sporting Goods' website is well-designed and easy to navigate. The sales and discounts are displayed right on the landing page, making it super easy to get what you need at lower costs. The best thing about DICK'S is that it offers a wide range of sports gear, making it a convenient one-stop shop for families with diverse sporting interests. There are clear buttons to help you find what you need, whether that's sport-specific gear, outdoor gear, gender- or age-specific gear, or even stuff just for exercising. The only complaint we had about the UI was that the listings under the sports tab weren't alphabetized. This isn't a huge deal, but it does make it harder to find a specific sport when you're searching for one. Once you get to the items you need, though, there are plenty of filters to narrow down what you need by color, size, price, and many more options.

Huge inventory with competitive rates

The mix of regular and pro items is really solid at DICK'S Sporting Goods. You can find competitive pricing here for sports players at any level, which is a feature that really makes DICK'S Sporting Goods stand out. To accurately compare prices at DICK'S Sporting Goods, we examined DICK'S offerings for three essential sport types: football, golf, and soccer.

  • For football gear, DICK'S Sporting Goods has items that range in price from $7.99 for a mouthguard to $559.99 for football pads.
  • In terms of golf items, DICK'S Sporting Goods has products that range from $9.97 for a golf glove to $2499.99 for a single iron club.
  • Finally, for soccer gear, you can find prices from $13.99 for a soccer ball to $324.99 for pro soccer cleats.

90-day returns

DICK'S Sporting Goods has an accommodating return policy for most products. The return window is 90 days from the date of purchase as long as you have proof of your original purchase. It's important to keep in mind that if you purchased any items from the DICK'S Sporting Goods Warehouse locations, these items can only be returned within 45 days. The best part about the DICK'S Sporting Goods' return policy is the convenience of trying out your items. Unlike other retailers which require all returns to be in "like-new" or unused condition, DICK'S Sporting Goods allows for hassle-free returns even for items that have already been opened.

Best Sporting Goods Stores

Price match guarantee available

DICK'S Sporting Goods claims to go the extra mile to ensure its customers enjoy the best prices by offering a convenient price-matching service. If a customer discovers the identical product being sold at a lower price by another retailer, they can simply reach out to customer service to request a price match. For eligibility, the product must be an exact match in terms of brand, model number, color, and size, and must be available at a qualifying store or website. It's worth noting that there are a few exceptions to this policy, such as markdowns during special daily and hourly sales, which unfortunately do not qualify for the price match.

"F" rating for services

Despite DICK'S Sporting Goods having a wide selection of sports equipment, there are some concerns about the company's reputation. Due to numerous customer complaints and their low rating from the Better Business Bureau, we hesitate to recommend them higher than 3.5 stars in this review. The company received a very low "F" rating, which was a huge red flag for us during our research. Such negative feedback raises concerns about potential issues with the company. Many customers at various review sites gave DICK'S a 1-star rating for expensive shipping rates and a complicated return process (despite 90-day return promises).

Best choice for in-person one-stop shop

While DICK'S Sporting Goods offers an extensive selection of sports equipment, including pro gear, and competitive pricing, it regrettably falls short of our expectations due to recurring customer service issues reported by shoppers. Nevertheless, if you value the convenience of having a brick-and-mortar store to support your online orders, DICK'S Sporting Goods remains an option, particularly for trying on gloves and cleats, which can be advantageous.

Academy Sports Review 3 Star Rating

Academy Sports

3 Star Rating
  • Prices range from $1.98 to $1,499.99
  • 9,300 items in inventory
  • Kids' and adults' gear
  • Casual and pro gear
  • Offers a price match guarantee to reduce prices by 5%
  • Offers 60-day return policy

Academy Sports has certainly come a long way since its inception in 1938 as a tire-selling company. Today, it's firmly established in the realm of sports and outdoor gear, demonstrating its evolution and adaptability. With an impressive catalog featuring baseball, lacrosse, golf, football, and basketball, Academy Sports has firmly established itself as a reputable supplier of sports and outdoor gear.

More than 250 retail stores

It's evident that they've moved well beyond their tire-selling origins to cater comprehensively to the needs of athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to its online retail presence, Academy Sports boasts a network of more than 250 physical stores strategically scattered across the United States. This dual approach allows customers the convenience of online shopping while also providing the option to pick up their purchases at a nearby brick-and-mortar store if they need to try something on.

Huge inventory and good browsing filters

Academy Sports offers a user-friendly website with effortless navigation for all visitors. Within their expansive inventory, you can find an impressive array of 9,300 products, encompassing everything from sports-specific items like baseball bats or golf clubs, protective gear like helmets and gloves, to basic sportswear like cleats, clothing, and essential training gear. Academy Sports leaves no player behind, catering to both adults and kids. When it comes to browsing, the experience is a breeze. The website provides clear-cut categories for essential sports products, simplifying the search process. Furthermore, extra filters for brand, price, rating, deals, and color allow you to fine-tune your quest for the perfect sports gear.

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Competitive prices for all sports

In order to get a clear cost comparison at Academy Sports, it's important to look at their price ranges for a few different sports. So, to make sure we compared the same sports across different sites, we checked out football gear, golf gear, and soccer gear.

  • At Academy Sports, the price range for football gear goes as low as $1.98 for a pair of football socks up to $499.99 for full adult shoulder pads.
  • For the golf items offered by Academy Sports, the prices range from $1.98 for golf tees up to $1,499.99 for a full set of clubs with a golf bag.
  • Finally, for the selection of soccer items at Academy Sports, the company sells options between $1.98 for socks to $259.99 for soccer cleats.

5% off if competitors offer a better price

Academy Sports prides itself on its commitment to price integrity, offering customers a price match guarantee to ensure they receive the best value for their purchases. The process is straightforward: if you happen to come across an identical product on a competitor's website, Academy Sports will give you 5% off their listed price to compete. To be eligible for this price match, a few basic conditions must be met. First, the item in question should be in stock on both Academy Sports' website and the competitor's platform at the time of your purchase. While it may not guarantee the absolute lowest price, it is good that Academy Sports is willing to work with customers to bring down prices.

Hassle-free returns within 60 days

Academy Sports offers a generous 60-day return window. Customers have the flexibility to initiate exchanges or return items with ease. For purchases made using cash or check, you'll receive a cash refund, putting your money back in your pocket. If your transaction was conducted through debit or credit cards, the refund will be credited back to the same card. Even in cases where the original receipt or packing slip is absent, Academy Sports has you covered, offering merchandise credit for your return. It's worth noting, however, that cash refunds require customers to show proof of the original purchase.

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Low ratings due to "used items" problem

Unfortunately, according to shopper ratings and reviews, Academy Sports has some room for improvement. As indicated by the Academy Sports listing on the Better Business Bureau, there is a cautionary note associated with the company. According to BBB reports, Academy Sports has encountered disputes stemming from dissatisfied customers who have raised questions about the company's practices. For example, shoppers have complained about misleading and deceptive sales tactics, with instances where customers have received used items instead of new ones. With these complaints, BBB has assigned Academy Sports a "C+" rating. After further research into the reviews left for Academy Sports, we found a bunch of other complaints too, like negative customer service encounters and hostile interactions with staff members.

Red flags bring down their rating

Although offerings like 60-day returns and a 5% discount may initially sound amazing, it's important to factor in the company's standing. Basically, there are some huge red flags at Academy Sports to watch out for. First, the company only holds a "C+" rating from the BBB. Second, customers have complained that they received items that were used previously, even though they were sold as new. This lack of transparency, in particular, was one of the main reasons for Academy Sports' lower rating. It may be safer to explore alternative, well-established sporting goods stores that prioritize customer satisfaction and make sure you get new items.

Paragon Sports Review 2.5 Star Rating

Paragon Sports

2.5 Star Rating
  • Priced from $16.99 to $699.99
  • Hundreds of items on sale
  • Kids' and adults' gear
  • Casual gear
  • 30-days for returns
  • Free shipping for orders $49+

Paragon Sports, a family-owned business since 1908, is renowned among sports enthusiasts worldwide for its top-notch sports equipment and apparel. They pride themselves on featuring well-known brands alongside unique and exceptional merchandise.

Seamless online shopping experience

Located at 18th Street and Broadway in New York City, their expansive store offers a "Specialty Shop" atmosphere. Paragon Sports is a destination where rugged functionality seamlessly marries elegance. While it's true that you'll invest a bit more in the apparel and gear available here, the payoff is a high-end product. And for those who aren't in or near the Big Apple, don't worry-Paragon Sports' online store provides a seamless shopping experience.

Clean UI makes shopping a breeze

Their website, a testament to professionalism and user-friendliness, ensures your virtual shopping expedition is a breeze. The clean design and easy-to-read tabs make it simple to find what you need at a glance. You can either start your initial browsing experience by choosing by gender or age or you can choose by sport. The sports are organized into helpful categories such as winter sports, training, outdoor, team sports, club sports, and wheels.

Tons of helpful filters

Once you decide what you want to shop for, you can use the helpful filters on the left-side navigation bar to limit your choices by gender, age, sport, brand, gear type, footwear type, or size. There are tons more filters to choose from too, so you can easily narrow down the gear no matter what you're looking for. However, there is one thing to look out for at Paragon Sports: some of the links are a little wonky. For example, the soccer link doesn't open up a page for all soccer gear like some of the other links do, leaving customers to scroll through hundreds of "sports" gear items in general while searching for soccer specifically.

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Inventory covers all the bases

Paragon Sports is dedicated to delivering the latest innovations in sports and outdoor gear. At Paragon Sports, the spotlight shines brightly on athletic and outdoor apparel in particular. While they do offer some gear specific to various sports and activities, their real strength lies in outfitting athletes in style. The apparel selection caters to men, women, and children, featuring name-brand offerings that span the alphabet from A to Z. Whether you're seeking performance attire or simply outfitting your family for your next adventure, Paragon Sports has something to suit every athlete's tastes and needs. Their categories extend beyond mere fashion to encompass sports, ensuring that every activity and season finds its perfect match. However, they do also have essential gear items like bats, balls, and clubs for actually playing different sports, which is impressive given the company's overall focus on apparel.

Competitive prices but missing some pro gear

To compare the pricing on sports gear at Paragon Sports to other companies in this review, we checked out the same three sports sections at each site.

  • Starting with football gear, at Paragon Sports there are 86 items in the inventory, which is much lower than other competitors in this review. The prices start at $16.99 for men's protective gear and go up to $199.99 for a football. However, items like shoulder pads are notably missing.
  • For golf gear, you can find 178 items in stock. The prices range from $15.99 for a golf glove to a $699.99 golf watch.
  • Finally for soccer gear, Paragon Sports offers plenty of items that work for soccer, but the site glitches when you click "soccer" specifically, so you see all of the sports gear in one place instead. This made it difficult to find an accurate price range for soccer gear specifically at Paragon Sports, which may frustrate customers who need gear for that sport.

30-day returns

In the event that your purchase doesn't align with your expectations - perhaps it doesn't fit quite right or doesn't meet your specific needs - Paragon Sports has you covered. Their customer-centric approach includes a competitive 30-day return policy. While this isn't as robust as some return policies in this review, it does fit with the industry standard. Plus, given the caliber of their products, quality concerns are unlikely to surface, as Paragon Sports exclusively stocks high-quality, name-brand items.

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Free shipping on $49+

One way to elevate your shopping experience with Paragon Sports further is by taking advantage of its free shipping offer. On orders over $49, customers can score totally free shipping for their sports gear. Given the quality and craftsmanship of their products, reaching this threshold is a breeze, as you'll likely find yourself investing around $50 or more per item.

Lower-than average ratings

While high-end products sound nice, there are some problems with Paragon Sports' reputation. According to the company's page on the Better Business Bureau, Paragon Sports only has a "C-" rating. This lower-than-average score from the BBB doesn't bode well for a place where expensive items are their top sellers. Further, when researching the company on verified review sites, there were tons of warnings from customers who shopped in person and online. Customers specifically complained about their return policy being "misleading" and Paragon Sports refusing to issue refunds or telling customers to return defective items to the manufacturer for repair instead of replacing them for the customer.

Missing key items for pros

Paragon Sports undoubtedly offers a slice of luxury within the realm of sporting goods. However, they do lean more towards apparel than sport-specific gear. While you can find some key sports items like bats or golf clubs, some of the big ticket or pro items are missing. If your sporting journey calls for a more specialized approach, we recommend exploring our top-rated sporting goods stores, which cater to the specific equipment needs of athletes. Plus, with Paragon Sports' lower-than-average ratings from customers and a low BBB score, it's definitely safer to pick a spot with more reliable returns and feedback.

Champs Sports Review 2 Star Rating

Champs Sports

2 Star Rating
  • Pricing from $6.99 to $260
  • Thousands of items in inventory
  • Kids' and adults' gear
  • Casual gear
  • Offers 45-day return policy
  • Student discount
  • "B-" rating from the BBB

Champs Sports is one of 5 companies that fall under the umbrella of Foot Locker, Inc. The parent company stands as a prominent footwear and apparel retailer known for awakening the inner sneaker enthusiast in people. With an international reach in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, alongside franchised stores in the Middle East and Asia, Foot Locker, Inc. boasts an impressive track record as a sneaker authority. Champs Sports is a broader retailer under the Foot Locker brand that carries a wide array of sporting goods rather than just footwear.

Tons of info that needs more organization

Overall the website is pretty easy to use. There are just a few things they could do to make it less clunky. First, the main page has a LOT of options to look through. You can organize your shopping by gender, brands, or even new releases, or you can click on those headers and delve into even more ways to start browsing. If you click on sports, for example, this opens a dropdown menu with pretty much every major sport out there and the gear associated with it. The only problem is, there's a lot of information and none of it is alphabetized, making it difficult to skim for what you need right away.

Wide sporting variety but no pro gear

Thankfully, one benefit of a slightly cluttered homepage is the fact that there's tons of inventory at Champs Sports. There are hundreds of items in each sport category, though it does appear to be missing some of the pro-level gear like padding for football players or even golf clubs. The focus of Champ Spots seems heavily focused on footwear which makes sense given Champs Sports' connection to Foot Locker. However, they've got tons of jerseys and fan gear as well as other game-day necessities for players of all different sports.

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Prices are fair, but inventory is missing key items

To compare prices between Champs Sports and the other retailers in this review, we checked the price ranges of three different sports gear types. For this review, we looked at the prices for football gear, golf gear, and soccer gear.

  • Starting with football items, there are 562 items available at Champs Sports. The prices range from $6.99 for bicep bands to $200 for cleats.
  • For golf gear, there are 334 items in stock. The prices range from $12 for a golf glove to $260 for Oakley golf sunglasses.
  • Finally, for soccer gear, there are 324 items in stock and the prices range from $12 for a pair of soccer socks to $275 for soccer cleats. While there are plenty of items in here that are unique, it is missing some pro-level gear and notably Champs Sports doesn't have any golf clubs, which is a disappointment.

Returns within 45 days

Customers who find that their Champs Sports purchases don't quite live up to expectations have options for returns and exchanges. If the original payment method was credit, debit, or a gift card, they can return items to a store for a refund or exchange, with store locator assistance provided. However, if PayPal or Klarna was used for payment, returns must be handled by mail. The return window is 45 days from the purchase date, and items should be in new condition with original packaging and tags. On top of that, Champs Sports offers a guarantee regarding fit, promising free exchanges if your items don't fit you properly.

Student discount available

One bonus of shopping at Champs Sports is that they offer a solid student discount. For those with current student IDs or student emails, they can sign up with StudentBeans and get 20% off any purchases that cost more than $99. For students who are also athletes, this can be a great way to get more affordable sports gear, especially shoes.

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Customers complain about every aspect of the site

Unfortunately, reviews are pretty mixed for Champs Sports. The Better Business Bureau has rated the company with a just-okay "B-" rating, but when we checked out the customer reviews on verified third-party review sites, it was much worse. The average star rating is 2.5 stars out of 5. Customers are complaining about getting incomplete orders, problems with the website, technical issues across the board, and frequent comments about "horrible customer service." Overall, the consensus is that Champs Sports isn't a place you want to trust with your money, and based on our research we tend to agree.

Not enough pros to recommend

While prices are solid at Champs Sports and they have a student discount, those are pretty much the only upsides to shopping here. With no pro gear and the inventory missing some major items like padding or even basic golf clubs, there's a lot to be desired with Champs Sports. So, when we add the poor reviews and less-than-stellar reputation of the company to the inventory problems, Champs Sports starts to stand out as one of the worst sporting goods companies in this review - though if you really need shoes for your sport or casual clothes, you might still find what you need in a pinch.

Big 5 Sporting Goods Review 2 Star Rating

Big 5 Sporting Goods

2 Star Rating
  • Prices from $2.99 to $319.99
  • 1,545 items in inventory
  • Family-owned business
  • Kids' and adults' gear
  • Casual gear
  • Offers 90-day return policy

Big 5 Sporting Goods balances online sales and in-person locations. With a sprawling network of 431 stores across 11 western states, finding a conveniently located Big 5 Sporting Goods location is part of their charm.

Over 60 years in the business

The company was founded in 1955 and stands out as one of the oldest retailers in this review. Offering itself as a one-stop shop for different sports enthusiasts, the store is a unique blend of specialty gear and name-brand items for sports fans around the country. However, if you're a pro looking to replace top-notch gear, this might not be the retailer for you.

Modern site with some slow loading times

Using Big 5 Sporting Goods' website is super easy. Despite being one of the oldest companies in this review, their web presence hasn't fallen behind. The design is streamlined and easy to use. You can either shop by categories like "apparel" or "outdoors" or check out specific sports from the left-hand menu. The only concern we had about the site was that loading times were a little long, and while we were browsing the site some of the photos for merchandise never loaded at all. However, this could be due to internet traffic rather than an error on Big 5's part.

Best Sporting Goods Stores

1,545 items in stock

The company offers a comprehensive array of sporting goods, including everything from athletic shoes, apparel, and accessories to a diverse selection of outdoor and athletic equipment, catering to fans of team sports, fitness, camping, hunting, fishing, tennis, golf, and year-round recreational activities, including winter and summer sports. The company has an impressive 1,545 items in stock. Though this is a smaller inventory than some of the heavy-hitters in this review, it's still a respectable selection, especially for major varsity sports.

Lower prices, but missing pro inventory

To compare pricing at different retailers in this review, we decided to look at the range of prices for three of the same sports at each company. These are football, golf, and soccer.

  • At Big 5 Sporting Goods, there are 205 items available for football gear. The prices range from $2.99 for a mouthguard to $85 for cleats. Customers will instantly notice that some big ticket items for pro sports players are missing (like helmets or shoulder pads), so this might be where the smaller inventory at Big 5 Sporting Goods falls behind.
  • For golf, there are 151 items in stock. The prices range from $2.99 for tub inserts for golf bags to $319.99 for an adult golf set. Here too, Big 5 Sporting Goods is missing some major pro items.
  • Finally, for soccer, there are 154 items in stock with prices ranging from $4.99 for a whistle and lanyard combo to $100 for cleats.

Returns within 90 days

Big 5 Sporting Goods offers two convenient methods for returns. Customers can return their online purchases either in person at any Big 5 store location or by mail. It's important to note that shipping charges for the delivery of the package are not refundable if you choose to return the item or items. In the case of in-store returns, customers will need the original packaging slip that comes with the order. For mail-in returns, customers have 90 days from the date of delivery to send back the unwanted items.

Best Sporting Goods Stores

Low-rated for "dishonest" pricing

While we have already noticed some low inventory problems, apparently the issues don't end there. Both customers and professional sites like the Better Business Bureau see problems at Big 5 Sporting Goods. First, with the BBB, Big 5 Sporting Goods holds a worrisome "NR'' rating. And, with customers who've left verified reviews on third-party sites, the average rating is just 2.4 stars out of 5. Customers complain about the employees regularly in the reviews, and others complain about receiving "deceptive" ads and emails and the company not honoring promised discounts or sale prices.

Not trustworthy enough

While the prices here are lower than other competitors, customers are saying that Big 5 Sporting Goods may not honor low or sale prices during the final checkout, which takes that upside out of the equation. Plus, if you're looking at their inventory, the low prices are due to the fact that Big 5 doesn't offer any pro items like football pads or even pro-level golf clubs. Although their return window is longer than most, that isn't quite enough to pull up its fairly low rating. Honestly? It might be safer to browse a sporting goods store where there aren't any long loading times or worries about price honesty.

Online Sports Review 1.5 Star Rating

Online Sports

1.5 Star Rating
  • Prices from $7.38 to $11,001.33
  • Thousands of items on sale
  • Kids' and adults' gear
  • Casual and pro gear
  • Unique items and paraphernalia
  • Price match guarantee
  • 90-days for returns
  • "A+" rating from the BBB

Online Sports claims to have one of the oldest online platforms for selling sports equipment in the online market. Based out of California, the company has been around since 1995.

Scan through the suppliers

The company offers a wide variety of items for sale, but it's a little different than other sites in this review. Instead of offering all new stock, the company is designed to work more like a database. Suppliers list their offerings, and you can easily compare prices, specifications, and business terms (such as shipping and warranties) for similar products from different suppliers. There are even items that look like old heirlooms or family trinkets related to sports that seem to be sold almost auction-style, though the site isn't super clear on where the different paraphernalia come from.

Site is confusing and hard to shop

One of the most intriguing aspects of this store is both its strength and its challenge: it presents you with sports-related products you might not have known you wanted or needed. However, for those who come with specific items in mind, the eclectic assortment of sporting goods may present a more challenging shopping experience as it's difficult to hunt down precisely what you need on this site. Exploring product categories on the Online Sports website can be akin to embarking on a treasure hunt through an antique shop. When you click on a category, be prepared to encounter tons of products, even those only peripherally related to the sport in question. For instance, selecting "golf" may yield results ranging from clubs and golf apparel to golf ball-shaped coffee mugs or keychains. In general, the site strikes us as confusing and difficult to use, which isn't ideal for customers who know what they want right away.

Best Sporting Goods Stores

Good variety but better for fans

Online Sports offers a diverse and extensive collection of sports apparel, paraphernalia, and equipment, making it a true treasure trove for sports enthusiasts. However, due to the confusing interface and the large number of items that are only loosely related to the sport you search for, it's harder to find pro gear or sometimes even gear you can play the sport with. In general, the site seems to cater more to fans than to sports players. For example, you have the option to search by specific sports teams, unveiling an eclectic collection of merchandise dedicated to your favorite team. This expansive range includes jerseys, rugs, balls, display cases, and an array of other sports-related collectibles.

Huge price range due to practice gear

Online Sports has a wide range of items, but it's hard to say how well all of them relate to a sport specifically. However, using the sports categories on the site we checked out the pricing to give you a ballpark idea of what items at Online Sports might cost.

  • First, we checked out football items. There were 3,075 items in the site inventory when we checked. The prices ran from $7.38 for a pair of sweatpants to $11,001.33 for a set of bleachers.
  • For golf, there were 803 total items and the prices ranged from $7.38 for a women's golf shirt to $3,081.33 for a net cage for practicing golf.
  • Finally, for soccer, we found there were 1,059 items in stock and the prices ranged from $7.38 for the same pair of sweatpants that showed up in the football section to $11,001.33 for the same bleachers too. So, on top of items being all over the place, you may find repeats in different sections where things only partially connect to a particular sport.

90-day returns for any reason

Online Sports demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction through its generous 3-month return policy, which allows customers to complete exchanges and full refunds. This 90-day guarantee is a no-questions-asked policy which is one of the better return options in this review.

Best Sporting Goods Stores

Price match guarantee option

Furthermore, they stand behind their products with a price match promise. Basically, Online Sports pledges to match or beat competitors' offerings. If you require assistance with returns or price matching, Online Sports notes that you can call them or use their online contact form and live chat.

Reviews warn of scams

In terms of reputation, Online Sports has mixed reviews. According to its page on the Better Business Bureau, Online Sports has a top-notch "A+" rating from the BBB. However, when we dug into reviews we found the polar opposite reputation from customers. One review site only showed a 1 star out of 5 average while others had a more balanced (but still somewhat low) 3.4 star average out of 5. Multiple reviews from recent years use the word "scammer" which is a huge red flag. You might want to skip shopping here, just to stay safe.

Not safe for sports

Online Sports has been around for a while, but it isn't one of the top contenders. With a confusing online interface, and difficulty finding particular items or gear, Online Sports isn't a great place for shoppers who need something specific or want to find something fast. While the 90-day return policy and price matching are good features, there are other more trustworthy sites that also offer those benefits. Plus, with customers warning of scams in verified reviews, we don't feel great about recommending Online Sports to you. So, check out one of our more highly-rated options and keep to the safer sporting goods side of the internet.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

However, not every retailer has the same stuff. Whether you're looking for gear to spruce up your pro game, or if you're just getting into a new sport and need the essentials, different retailers focus on different types of players (or even some for just fans). There are even retailers that focus more on one sport than the other, which is why there are so many retailers out there in the modern marketplace. But this can also be a good thing. It means there's a sporting goods store out there for everyone.

From casual neighborhood games to professional leagues, there's a sport for everyone. According to data from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), approximately 9.6 million children aged 6 to 17 and around 12.5 million adults aged 18 and above engage in sports each year. From youth leagues to collegiate competitions and national leagues, sports cater to people of all ages.

Whether you're a parent supporting a youth league, a member of a local sports team, or someone aspiring to excel professionally, you recognize that athletes require more than just skill and dedication - they need top-quality equipment tailored to their chosen sport. A well-crafted set of gear, from the appropriate sporting equipment to the right apparel, plays a crucial role in enhancing a player's confidence and performance.

With the abundance of online options for sporting goods, it can be overwhelming to make a decision. If you're unsure where to begin, we've got you covered. Here are some key considerations to help you determine the best online sporting goods store for your needs:

  • Price: Comparing prices across retailers ensures you're getting the best value for your money. Some sites offer price matching, while others offer rebates or sales. So, keeping your budget in mind and which sites cater to that budget can help you make the best decision for sports gear.
  • Returns: Most companies have completely different return policies. Keeping in mind how long you want to be able to decide on new sporting goods or whether you can try out items before returning them can help you narrow down options for those that best serve your sporting needs.
  • Selection: A wide range of options is a winning strategy when looking for a sporting goods retailer. Options that offer inventory for casual players, fans, and pros are ideal. Or, if you're looking for specialized practice equipment, that might change where you need to look.
  • Reputation: Finally, check out the customer reviews if you're still not sure where to shop. Scores from the Better Business Bureau and verified reviews from customers just like you can help you stay in the know about which retailers best service sports players and fans just like you.

To enhance your sporting experience, Top Consumer Reviews has evaluated and rated the best options for purchasing sporting goods today. Our aim is to simplify your online shopping journey, allowing you to focus on enjoying your favorite sports activities to the fullest!

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Sporting Goods Store FAQ

That's easy: if you need it to play or practice a sport, it's considered "sporting goods" ! Think of it as all the equipment involved in activities like baseball, lacrosse, or even yoga, from bats and balls to protective gear and uniforms.
Selection, availability and pricing. You'll have a hard time finding a local retailer that can beat online stores in all three of those aspects. Especially at the peak of the season, when inventory near you is at an all-time low, shopping online makes it easy to get what you need.
Choose a store that has what you need in stock and that has a great reputation for quality and customer service. You can also look for customer-friendly perks like a rewards program, free shipping, or frequent promotions and discounts. You may want to consider buying from a retailer that has a brick-and-mortar store near you, for simple returns and the ability to order online and get same-day pickup.
Many stores will give you free shipping on orders that meet a minimum amount (like $50). Given how spendy sporting goods can be, you should be able to qualify with most purchases.
If you're in a rush, you might have the option of paying for expedited shipping to get next-day or 2-day delivery. Otherwise, expect your order to take about a week to arrive.
Most online sporting goods stores offer a 30-day return policy on new, unused items. Some retailers go the extra mile and let you return your purchase with no time limit, as long as you have the receipt. Be aware that returns may incur a restocking fee and/or shipping fees to send the items back to the store.
Yes! Some sporting goods stores will give you a generous discount if you're buying equipment for a team. Look for that information in the links at the bottom of the retailers' websites, or reach out to their customer service team before placing an order.
Sometimes. You can usually see those options after you add an item to your cart (e.g. monogramming), or you may need to work with a customer service rep to place a manual order (e.g. putting team logos on shirts).
The Best Reviews of Sporting Goods Stores