Interior of Neptune Mountaineering. Courtesy Photo.

First-Rate Outdoor and Athletic Stores

In Health & Wellness, Shopping, Things to do by Aimee HeckelLeave a Comment

There’s so much adventure waiting in Boulder, you couldn’t possibly pack for it all.

Luckily, you don’t have to. Boulder has a great selection of top-notch outdoor and athletic stores. Find quirky apparel, bike experts, cheap ski gear and custom-measured everythings made right in town.

Here are some of our favorite locally owned stores to help outfit you for your next active adventure in Boulder.

Boulder’s Ultimate Guide to Shopping

This article is part of a larger series. To see all the articles in this Ultimate Guide, click here.


Skirt Sports

The Skirt Sports flagship store. Photo courtesy Jen Allen

Skirts Sports, 2795 Pearl St., Unit 102

Skirt Sports was started by local pro triathlete, Nicole DeBoom, who wanted to wear something flattering and fashionable yet high-performance during her training. She wore her first design in an Ironman in 2004 and has been selling Skirt Sports ever since.

The shop sells women’s activewear from sizes zero to 22. Skirt Sports has a new brick-and-mortar storefront on Pearl Street that’s totally worth a visit. While you can buy Skirt Sports online, this is currently the only place to shop in person.

Outdoor Divas

Outdoor Divas. Courtesy Photo

Outdoor Divas, Crossroad Commons, 2317 30th St.

Another local women’s apparel and gear shop is Outdoor Divas. This Boulder store (now with a second branch in Vail) claims to be the nation’s first women’s-only ski shop. It’s a local fave. In addition to ski gear, you can also find shoes, yoga stuff and running togs, plus sections for cycling, hiking and walking.

Budget and Discount

Boulder Sports Recycler Inc, 4949 Broadway

This is the oldest gear consignment shop in Boulder where you can find premier and brand name products at way reduced prices. The Sports Recycler has a whopping 19,000 consignors, including sponsored athletes and industry reps. This means it’s the best place in town to score the coolest gear and clothes for the best prices. The 22-plus-year-old shop itself was founded by accomplished athletes.  

The Pro’s Closet, 2845 29th St., Unit C

The Pro’s Closet started with a local resident living in a Volkswagen Bus (so Boulder) with the goal of minimizing his life. He began selling his possessions online, which grew to become an eBay store for used bikes, gear and sports clothes. In fact, the eBay store specializing in selling cycling gear. The founder eventually opened up a storefront, where you can shop in person today. You never know what you’re going to find.

General Sports

Climbing ropes at Neptune Mountaineering

Climbing ropes at Neptune Mountaineering. Courtesy Photo

Neptune Mountaineering, 633 S. Broadway

Neptune is arguably Boulder’s favorite locally owned outdoor equipment shop; it’s been a city staple since 1973. Neptune sells gear for rock climbing, mountaineering, skiing and camping. It’s only fitting that it’s located with a close view of the Flatiron Mountains in the background. Neptune isn’t trendy or flashy. It’s the real deal and has a longstanding reputation to back that up.

Boulder Ski Deals is now Epic Mountain Gear, Village Shopping Center, 2525 Arapahoe Ave.

Looking to buy or rent ski or snowboard gear? This is your home. Boulder Ski Deals has been around for a long time (since even before snowboarding was popular, they claim!). You can also find kids’ equipment here, get fitted and get tips, all with a guarantee for the best price. Nothing here is full retail price.

Local tip: Instead of renting your ski gear at a ski resort, rent it here instead and bring it up with you. You’ll save bank.

Two-Wheeled Sports

Full Cycle

A bike insider Full Cycle in Boulder. Courtesy photo

Full Cycle, 1211 13th St. and  1795 Pearl St.

Boulder loves bikes and boasts a great selection of local bike specialty shops. Full Cycle is one of the locals’ favorites. Full Cycle, which actually has two locations in Boulder, has been a staple in town since the early ‘80s. It sells every kind of bike from road to mountain, to electric and racing. You can repair and rent bikes here and enroll in classes and group rides, too.

Full Cycle is a relaxed, friendly shop (complete with shop dogs). The Pearl Street Location is installing a bar, an invitation to come in, have a beer, coffee and snacks and chat with the staff and other bike-lovers.

“Just come in and hang out a bit, especially with the bar going in,” says Nolan Brady, with the shop. “Everyone here is really down-to-earth and friendly. Regardless of who you are or what you need, there is someone here who would be stoked to do everything they can to help.”

Local tip: Full Cycle posts all of its deals and discounts on Facebook, on its website and in its newsletter.

Sports Garage Cycling, 2705 Spruce St., Boulder

Sports Garage claims to be Boulder’s only “full-service, high-end bike retailer dedicated to alternative surface cycling.” That’s dirt roads, gravel, “bikepacking.” Get off the common road and take cycling to a new level. Sports Garage attracts serious bike nerds, mechanics and people who get excited about gear. As Sports Garage puts it, where the pavement ends is where the shop’s passion begins.

Boulder Cycle Sport, 4580 Broadway, Unit B

Boulder Cycle Sport has a long list of awards and rankings. Just a few: One of the top bike shops in America (multiple times,  multiple publications), one of the top 10 bike shops in America (Complex, 2011) and one of the world’s coolest bike shops (CyclingTips, 2013).

It was created by a physiology research scientist and a nationally ranked professional mountain bike racer, who have the reputation for some of the best custom bike fits in the state.

Boulder Cycle Sport also fixes bikes and is active in the community.


A Vecchio’s bike near Lyons. Courtesy photo

Vecchio’s Bicicletteria, 1833 Pearl St.

Vecchio’s (pronounced veck-ee-ohs) has a strong reputation for repairing and fitting road bikes. Custom fitting is big here; all bikes are built to order, with components selected a la carte and assembled in house with hand-built wheels. Vecchio’s only sells U.S.-made steel and titanium bikes. Got an old bike that needs serviced? This is your place. After all, “vecchio” means “old” in Italian.

Foot Sports

Boulder has a long list of running stores. Boulder Running Co. used to lead the pack as the first running store in the country to offer video gait analysis for shoe-fittings, but the shop has since been sold to the chain JackRabbit.

Here are a few of the other local running stores, all that offer community events for people who want to get out and get active:

  • Flatirons Running, 629 S. Broadway, Suite E, Check out the New Balance Run Hub with a coffee bar and group runs Wednesday nights.
  • Fleet Feet Sports, 2624 Broadway, Join the group run on Monday evenings.
  • Newton Running Lab, 1222 Pearl St., Fun runs on Tuesday nights and various running clinics are some highlights here.
  • Shoes and Brews, 63 S. Pratt Parkway, Longmont, This shop is not in Boulder, but it’s worth the drive east. This is a nanobrewery and shoe store in one. Many beers have running-related names. Every Thursday, there’s a free fun run, followed by half-priced drinks. These are wildly popular in the warmer months. Plus, any day you visit, try the 800-Meter Road Challenge. However fast you run the 800 meters is how much your beers will cost. The faster you run, the cheaper your brew.

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