Golfsmith's online and in-store showrooms house an almost endless list of golf gear for men, women, and children alike. Clubs, balls, and accessories from brands such as TaylorMade, MacGregor, and Callaway give players precise control over their game, and polos and long-sleeved shirts from Nike and Snake Eyes garb players in course-appropriate attire now that tuxedo T-shirts no longer qualify. Along with the extensive collection of equipment and golf bags, Golfsmith also carries GPS systems to give players a high-tech edge.
A regular fixture on the top-50 running-stores list published annually by Running Insight, Potomac River Running is a family-owned business of running enthusiasts and professional coaches who aim to spread a joy of running and walking around the Washington, DC, area. Focused on providing a fun and welcoming environment for people of all fitness levels, Potomac offers brand-name footwear and apparel for feet and the bodies attached to them. The custom shoe-fitting process begins with an iStep foot scan and a video gait analysis to analyze your step and the shoe that would best complement it. Once toe-holders have been measured and monitored, slide them into a pair of running or walking shoes ($80–$180), and then top off your lower half with running shorts ($25–$40) or cloak your supra-belt region in a shirt ($20–$120).
Located in a quaint, powder blue house on downtown Main Street, Oasis is a bike repair shop dedicated to pampering both commuter and recreational wheelmobiles. The experienced team of wheel whisperers will have your pedal pusher running as smoothly as it did in its training wheel days after a basic tune-up. The bike makeover begins with basic shifting and brake tuning, ensuring riders can stop on a dime, pick it up, and buy a Chiclet without ever dismounting. Then the team will adjust the hubs, headset, and bottom bracket before they true the wheels and clean and lube dirty chains. The bike folks will also check that all cables are in good shape, giving you a full evaluation before recommending a replacement at an additional charge.
Owner Greg Klein first learned the art of customer service as a child, watching his father found the store that, 37 years later, would continue to bear his name. Greg remembers, "My father would close a sale and say, 'My name is Willi Klein. If you ever have any problems, you find me⎯I'll make it right.' It is still our motto today." This commitment to customer care is passed along to the sales staff at five locations, helping them pair outdoors enthusiasts with name brand gear from Burton, Nordica, Oakley, and Ride Snowboards. Team members take pride in helping boarders and skiers find boots that conform to their feet, a seemingly small detail that can make an enormous difference in staying comfortable on the slopes, performing on halfpipes, and attaining top speed while running off with a friend’s poles.
The passionate bike enthusiasts at Bikenetic are biased and they know it. They love bicycles, considering them to be the most efficient mode of transportation on the planet, and work painstakingly to connect each customer with the right ride. Carrying a host of name-brand bikes, staff members point customers to available models that match one's riding style, size, and propensity to wear clown shoes. Customers can take bikes for a test ride, then bring their feedback to sales reps who can make adjustments and send bikers out to test the bike again or to pick up some snacks. Any bike bought at Bikenetic also falls under the protective umbrella of the shop's free lifetime-maintenance policy, which covers services such as brake adjustments, wheel truing, and bearing adjustments. Technicians restore and care for bikes that they haven't sold, as well, offering prompt and expert advice from behind the counter of their shop's service desk. The staff also leads their rallying cry of biker solidarity every Tuesday evening in Wakefield Park, where they lead mountain-biking night rides.
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.