Tag Archives: shoes

Gear Up!

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

Clothing Your Kids Without Breaking the Bank

The French really know how to do children’s clothes.   The cuts, the fabrics, the craftsmanship:  it’s all incredible.  But pretty quick ly you will realize, as darling as your little girl might look in that Bonpoint coat, there’s no way that you can afford to pay that much and still have cash left over for groceries.    So where do you shop for decent quality children’s clothes at a reasonable price?  Moms in the know suggest the following:

C&A:  This large department store reminds me of J.C. Penney’s.  Rock bottom prices but not much selection or style.  Still you can get lucky, especially if you are in the market for basics like t-shirts, leggings, and pajamas.  Multiple locations in Paris and the suburbs.

Du Pareil au Meme:  Fun fabrics, European styling, and great prices make this French chain a winner.  They even carry shoes.   There are dozens of locations in Ile de France so there’s probably one near you.  A few of the stores are for babies only; most offer cute clothes for boys and girls up to age 12 or 14.

H&M:  This Swedish department store has made its name by offering trendy clothes at bargain basement prices.  The merchandise changes frequently but you can pretty much always find a good range of jeans, shirts, sweaters, skirts, and basics like underwear and socks.  Plan ahead:  not every H&M outlet has a kids’ section.  In the city of Paris, kids’ clothes can be found only at the rue de Rivoli, rue Lafayette, and Les Halles locations.  Suburban locations include La Defense, Issy Les Moulineaux, Vélizy, and Le Kremlin Bicentre.

Monoprix:  Not every Monoprix carries clothes.  But if the one near you does, take a look at the kids’ department the next time you are doing your grocery shopping and you’ll find great prices, sweet styling, and probably some darling baby clothes you’ll want to send back home for shower gifts.  You never quite know what you’ll find at Monoprix (in other words, don’t go looking for something as specific as a navy blue t-shirt) as the stock is small and rotates frequently.   But you’re going there anyway, right?

Okaidi:  Another chain with super cute clothes for ages 0-14 at prices you’ll like (including shoes.)   You tweens will particularly appreciate that the larger sizes don’t look too babyish.  There are at least a dozen locations in the city of Paris and more than that throughout Ile de France.

Petit Bateau:  With dozens of outlets in Ile de France, Petit Bateau offers beautiful knit basics:  tops, bottoms, pajamas, underwear, plus seasonal items like sweaters and sundresses.  The regular prices are a bit steep (although not by Paris standards) but there are frequent promotions, even outside the twice yearly sales.

And if Grandma’s in town and you want to spring for something extra special, head on over to the Web site, Babyccino Kids, for recommendations on Paris boutiques for children.