Best store for sporting goods
Given its extensive selection of sporting gear for athletic endeavors of all types, City Sports would perhaps be more aptly named "Wide World of Sports." The store has equipment and sportswear for all sports and pastimes, including soccer, swimming, running, tennis, biking, softball, and yoga. You'll also find shirts, baseball caps, and other clothes bearing Boston-team logos. And with racks of flattering Puma, Adidas, and Danskin apparel, it's the place to shop if you associate "pick-up" as much with the gym as with a game of basketball.
Eastern Mountain Sports, on the other hand, is devoted to those who prefer their endorphins accompanied by fresh air and the elements. Heavy-duty backpacks, kayaks, sleeping bags, and hiking poles are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the gear on display. EMS also has its own line of products, many of which are evaluated on Mount Washington, home to some of the world's worst weather. Whether you're the outdoorsy type or just like to dress like one, you'll be impressed by the store's large selection of North Face, Patagonia, and Columbia apparel.
City Sports, various locations. EMS, 1041 Comm Ave, Boston, (617) 254-4250; 855 Boylston Street, Boston, (617) 236-1518; 1 Brattle Square, Cambridge, (617) 864-1540.