Nine cheaper places to buy sports kit
My guest, personal trainer James Hardy, reveals some great places to buy cheap sports clothing and equipment. Some are more obvious, some are far less so.
One thing about taking up a new sport is that it can be expensive. Even if you aren’t deciding to invest in pricey sports such as sailing or abseiling, getting involved in football, cycling, or marathon running can still have a substantial price tag. A standard pair of football boots and shin guards can cost upwards of £100, so here are some tips on cutting down those costs.
Improvise: A rugby playing friend of mine once sheepishly admitted that instead of wearing proper sports shop half-tights under his regular shorts, he wears women’s leotards from Move Dancewear and simply cuts the legs to fit him. Because they were breathable and thicker than regular tights, they work just as well and for a snip of the price. They could also be used to reduce abrasion under regular shorts when cycling or running.
eBay: It still surprises me how many people don’t utilise eBay when clothes shopping. If you know your sizes within a particular brand name, you can find exactly the same clothes, sometimes with the tags still on, but at a lower price. New football boots can be bought from people who were given them but found they didn’t fit. Deals on second-hand bicycles are legendary. eBay is also a good resource because you can discover if the seller is reputable or not.
Victoria’s Secret: This may come as a surprise but Victoria’s Secret sells sportswear and it is very reasonably priced. Their sports bras are modern and effective. They provide maximum support while at the same time keeping you comfortable and looking good. There are many designs and colours available and they can retail online for around £16.
Decathlon: This is a sports store that offers a superb range of clothing at different price levels. So they sell, for example, sports t-shirts from a fiver up to £45. The basic t-shirts will still do a good job of keeping you sweat-free and comfortable. As you move up the price levels, the sports tops gain extra features and become more technical. You can buy at whatever level you want but the cheaper ranges are still mostly very good.
Local sports clubs: You can easily find local sports club that have members exchanging experiences of a particular sports and also selling second-hand equipment at reasonable prices. Also check out these groups and clubs on Facebook and other social platforms.
Local markets: A treasure trove of all kinds of items, a good local market may also sell sports clothes such as football shirts, tracksuits and t-shirts. A trip to my local markets, Portobello and Camden, often reveals some great bargains.
When on holiday: Whenever you go travelling outside of the UK, keep a look out for bargain-priced clothing/sports equipment. Last year it was better to pick up bike parts in Germany than in the UK because of the Euro devaluing by around 15% and creating a price slump. Everyone knows how cheap clothing can be in India, and if you buy clothes while in a country like this more of the money is likely to end up with the workers anyway.
Gumtree: Another great local resource, you’ll often find some excellent deals on second-hand bikes and other sports equipment. Make sure you carefully check over the item you are buying and try a bit of haggling with the seller to ensure you get the best price.
Not wanted anymore: Check out websites such as freecycle.org, preloved.co.uk, preownedcycles.co.uk and bikesoup.co.uk for second-hand bikes and other sports items.
Tell us your top tips for buying cheap sports kit.