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August 26, 2011

Athletic Adventures in Union Square

When you think of Union Square you probably don’t think of sportswear and outdoors gear, but there are many sides to the Square! We’re not just luxury boutiques and department stores. While those are great when you need some new work clothes or an outfit for a night out on the town, sometimes you want to get in shape and look good doing it! Today, we explore the sporty side of Union Square, where we offer flagship outdoors stores and many other options to get you in gear and ready to conquer your athletic goals.

If you’re the outdoorsy type and want top quality gear that will keep you warm and comfortable for anything from an afternoon hike to a backpacking trip, a stop by Marmot on Post Street is definitely in order. Marmot was created in 1971 by two U.C. Santa Cruz students who loved to climb mountains and needed a way to stay warm. The pair made prototypes of down vests and sleeping bags in their dorm room, and the rest is history. Today, the store carries all manner of outdoors gear from jackets to tents to hiking backpacks that last for years and keep wearers warm and toasty. If that’s not enough selection, you can walk just across the street to our giant North Face store! They carry men’s and women’s active wear for yoga, running, hiking and more. The North Face also offers accessories like luggage and laptop bags, backpacks and yoga mats. For those with an all-around sporty lifestyle they have many items that walk the line between casual wear and exercise clothes. Perhaps, you’re more into traditional outdoorsmanship like fishing and hunting? If that’s the case, you’ll need to check out Orvis. They have everything from outerwear to fly fishing equipment, and the staff is eager to help you find all the stuff you’ll need for your next venture into the great outdoors.  

If you’re looking to do something a little more urban, there are several stores with stylish and functional athletic gear to get you working out and looking good doing it. Gap Body, located in the Flood Building at the cable car turnaround and on Post Street, carries a nice selection of yoga pants, sporty tops, tennis skirts and running shorts that are as cute as they are functional. More serious runners and yogis may want to take it to the next level by exploring the offerings at Lululemon Athletica. Lululemon specializes in what they call “technical” athletic apparel for running, yoga and dance, made from stretchy, sweat wicking, breathable fabrics. As a bonus, these clothes are actually super stylish!They include trendy colors and cuts, many of which can take you from a casual lunch to a yoga class without skipping a beat. The store on Grant Street has a particularly great selection of sports bras and athletic capris. Lululemon prides itself on being a part of the community, and every week on Thursday night the Union Square location offers the SF Run Club where guests choose from a 3, 4.5 or 6 mile run, followed by yoga for runners at the Hotel Triton. Did we mention this is free? Pretty cool deal, eh?

Since you’ll be all set to run, jump, dance and climb your way around the Bay Area, you’ll need something to put on your feet. And that something should be both attractive and practical. Luckily, there are several spots to serve those needs in Union Square. Niketown really needs no introduction. They have sections of shoes for every sport whether it be tennis, basketball or running. A trip to the Post Street location is an event in itself with their sporty décor and three floors full of all things Nike. They also offer a run club called Nike+ Run Club every Wednesday night (at this rate, who needs the gym) where you can choose your level and distance and run with part of the world’s largest run club. Puma is another great option with their sleek, signature walking tennis and their sporty athletic shoes, jackets and apparel. If you’re more of an Adidas fan (we know there’s a longstanding rivalry – we’ll let you decide your favorite), we have that too. Adidas started as a soccer shoe company and has grown to provide fashionable, brightly colored shoes for many other sports and everyday wear.

With all these choices, we know you’ll find what you need for your next tennis match, soccer game, marathon or bike ride right here in Union Square. We all know that exercise and time spent outdoors is good for you, and it doesn’t hurt if it also helps you fit into that next pair of designer jeans either.