Updated September 2013
Need new soccer cleats? Going skiing for the first time? Your kid decides to take up tennis? Here’s where to go.
For the serious outdoorsy type, head to Au Vieux Campeur in the Latin Quarter. This store, actually a collection of stores scattered in and around rue des Ecoles, has everything you’ll need for hiking, camping, skiing, water sports, plus tons of maps and guides. The only trick is that each department is in a different location (with 26 in all) so you’ll want to check the Web site before you go.
If you are on a budget or buying gear for a first timer, a better bet is Decathlon. Relatively few consumer goods in France can be described as bargains when compared with North America, but Decathlon is definitely the exception. Where else can you find a sleeping bag for under 10 euros or a fleece pullover for under 8? This gear won’t last a lifetime and certainly won’t work in extreme conditions, but it will get you through. There are four locations in the city of Paris: avenue de Wagram, near L’Etoile; Madeleine; Aquaboulevard (in the 15th) and Avenue de France (in the 13th) plus multiple others around Ile de France.
Another multipurpose address for the budget conscious is Go Sport which has multiple locations in or close to Paris including Italie 2, La Defense, Les Halles, Montparnasse, Porte de St. Cloud, and Republique.
Other options include:
Adidas: One store at 51 rue de Rivoli in the 1st
Courir: mostly shoes (many locations in Paris and Ile de France)
Foot Locker (shoes only; seven stores in Paris and more elsewhere in Ile de France)
Golf Plus: 2 locations in Paris; others in Orgeval, Pontault Combault, Saint Cloud and Versailles