The hint of spring is in the air, and it’s just enough to give you cabin fever and think maybe it’s time to get back outside and become active again. Or maybe the basketball tournaments have you amped up and you aren’t quite ready to pull out your beloved beer and salsa stained jersey from your alma mater in front of your new honey just yet. Maybe you are a dedicated Detroit fan who wants the latest in sportswear to show off. Not to worry, we have you covered.
Hours: Mon to Sat—10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun hours for home Tiger Day games: 10 a.m. to game time
Fan owned and operated for three decades, this athletic sportswear shop is located near the historic Tigers’ Stadium. It carries authentic Detroit sports apparel and gifts from the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings, Lions and Pistons. Detroit Athletic Co. also has the largest selection of Detroit-based sportswear, throwback products and souvenirs in the area. Those looking for a personal gift or unique gear can take advantage of the store’s customizing services and a wide range of products that include youth and women’s wear as well. For added depth, the company even has a healthy blog community that discusses topics like the “Top 50 Detroit Athletes of All Time” and “Toughest Players in Red Wing History.” The blog is definitely worth checking out.
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Hours: Mon to Sat—10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun—11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Open Sundays when there is a home game
Garden City is the flagship store and has been around the longest, but Fanatic U also has three other locations in Southfield, Fraser and Taylor. There are ongoing specials and events and the store has a strong social networking presence on Facebook. Fantastic U boasts longer hours and a wealth of Detroit sportswear as well as University of Michigan and Michigan State University apparel. So when basketball tournament season rolls around, this is the place to be for all your college gear.
Hours: Mon to Sat—10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Pure Detroit is not strictly an athletic wear shop, but was included for its style and uniquely Detroit flair. It has T-shirts and outerwear that make great workout clothes and that display city landmarks and hint at its history as the car capital of the U.S. What makes Pure Detroit truly remarkable is that it is more than just a shop. There are three stores, each located in a Detroit landmark: The Guardian Building, The Fisher Building, and the GM Renaissance Center. For 12 years with the community’s support, the store has taken the profits and reinvested them back into the community in the form of other businesses. The company is also heavily involved in residential, neighborhood and community development projects. The website is designed with the idea of creating a sense of vitality through social networking and an online arts community. If you are interested in a shop that does more than sell you athletic wear, than Pure Detroit is it.
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Hours: Mon, Thurs—10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tues, Wed, Fri to Sat—10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For die-hard runners, now is the time to start breaking in a new set of shoes before the last of the snow melts away and spring comes in full throttle. For those who are new to running, just ask The Shoe Guy. Who is the Shoe Guy? You will just have to go in to find out, but a good guess would be Paul Aufdemberge who was named Masters Roadrunner of the Year by USATF National Convention and also a manages the shop. A man who runs that much probably knows a thing or two about shoes.
Hours: Mon to Fri—10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sat—10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun—12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
If you are the outdoorsy type, Backcountry is the place to go for camping and hiking gear. There are three locations in total, two in Traverse City in the midst of the North Country filled with national parks, camping, and hiking; and one location convenient for city dwellers in Birmingham just outside of Detroit. One of the store’s points of pride is carrying many items that are made in America; some are even made in Michigan. Backcountry also hosts events and classes. Another hot item that seems to fly off the shelves is Vibram Five Fingers. These are shoes that conform to your feet and are supposed to be more comfortable and more supportive than regular shoes. Find them in men’s, women’s and even children’s sizes.
Marci Savage has recently adopted Detroit as her new hometown. Besides writing for online news publications, she has been an executive director for a disability advocacy organization, a small business owner, a financial adviser, a licensed personal banker, an expert quilt teacher, a model and a published author. Her interests include fashion, politics, art, theater, storm chasing, Sci-Fi, and technology. Her expertise is on shopping and style. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.