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Though the doors weren't supposed to open to the public until 9am, dozens of shoppers had piled into the Paragon Sports warehouse sale well before then, clamoring for activewear, sneakers, and athletic gear that covers nearly every sport you can think of — seriously, this is one of the most comprehensive sales out there. And with discounts going as high as 80% off retail prices in most of these categories, it's a must for casual gym-goers and hardcore athletes alike, maybe even warranting a couple of visits over its 12-day run.
Shoppers are directed to the store's side entrance a block up from the northwest corner of Union Square. It's impossible to miss, since plenty of signs (and even a sign-holding guy) are directing locals and tourists alike to the discounts. The first thing you'll see is the shoes, bundled together and organized by signs and gender. Athletes will find styles for running, cross-training, hiking, and more all mixed together. There's even a few clip-in cycling shoes in there, but expect those to go fast.
The size range is wide, with women's going up to 12 and men's going up to 15, as well as plenty for kids. Our favorite styles were bright pairs from Nike and Adidas that could go straight from the track to a Fashion Week show — check out the gallery above for an idea of pricing (everything is at least half-off its original price) and styles.
After shoes, make your way to the back of the main sale space for activewear, which again covers everything from yoga to golf to tennis to running. Discounts hovered at slightly more than half-off for most of the items we picked up, and though there's a full range of sizes available, not everything is available in every size. It was also difficult to tell whether the merchandise was organized by size, so you might want to dedicate a good chunk of time carefully browsing for the best deals.
Sports enthusiasts can also find plenty of team gear, from replica jerseys and tee-shirts to shorts and hats, and not just from New York teams. The most abundant items here were New York Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul jerseys (team fans will know why) and soccer jerseys from British and European leagues. Most of these were geared toward men in larger sizes.
Compared to last year, this sale has really amped up its selection of sports gear, with a full section dedicated to tennis rackets (brands like Head, Prince, and Dunlop start around $90), golf bags, luggage for sports equipment, and more. Bikers can pick up accessories like $15 helmets and lights for 50% off. And, in a bit of an identity crisis, surfboards and boogie boards are lumped together with snowboards, skis, and ski boots in a back room.
The biggest problem with today's sale was the crowds. It was difficult to browse a section without having to make way for another shopper to pass through, and the shoe area was littered with people struggling to try on sneakers without taking up too much space. Luckily, many of the people here were knowledgeable sales staff members (recognizable by their red shirts), helping customers double-check prices and giving recommendations on sports gear.
This sale runs through September 20th, so the mad rush is sure to die down in the coming days. But on the flip side, even though new styles will be replenished each day in all categories, there's no guarantee that you'll have as good of a selection in your sizes than you will right now. Check out the Dealfeed below for the sale's hours, and be sure to follow Paragon's Twitter account for updates on price cuts and daily flash sales.