Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Where to Get your Gear

One of the fun things about being a football fan is wearing your favorite clubs’ gear around, especially the teams’ shirts and scarves. In Europe, as you can imagine, it is very easy to get football gear; virtually every corner store in Italy or England (for instance) sells some sort of soccer memorabilia. In the U.S. it is a little trickier, so I thought I would provide a quick guide of the best places for American’s to shop for all of the footie needs.


Most people in the states (and especially in rural areas) don’t live near a brick-and-mortar store that sells soccer goods. So, for most Americans, buying on-line is the best option. Here is a brief list of some of the best places to get your stuff:


For me, World Soccer Shop is probably the best place to get all you current soccer gear. Their big, easy-to-navigate website breaks up their products by country, club, or price, so finding your favorite teams are easy. They have the current shirts of most of the big clubs around the world, and are particularly strong with gear from premiership, MLS, and national clubs. Whenever I want a shirt of a current player or team, I get it from World Soccer Shop. In addition, it is a big, professional company of generally very nice people, and everything is shipped very quickly. Two bonus points: they do jersey personalizations on-site, and they are located in the U.S., so you don’t get killed on shipping from Europe. The first place you should look for your gear.


Like World Soccer Shop, Subside is sort of a football ‘superstore’ located in England. Has all of the new stuff like WSS, but a much, much larger selection. Has many more club teams in Europe, including some pretty obscure teams. Subside also sells some absolutely sweet throwback jerseys that I think are very cool. The downside? Subside is very expensive (especially the throwbacks, for which they charge an arm and a leg), partially because of the weakness of the dollar against the British pound. Americans also get killed on the shipping prices, as all the stuff comes from England, and some of my experiences with Subside suggest they don’t exactly knock themselves out getting your orders shipped quickly. In short, great stuff you can’t find anywhere else, but you have to pay (a lot) for it.



Both UK Soccer Shop and Kitbag are two more soccer shops located in England. Both offer the same selection of new gear as the other websites, but less selection. Again, American’s end up paying more to order from these shops because of excessive shipping costs, etc. It is worth it to check these sites occasionally as they do have pretty big sales; otherwise, I would stick with WSS and Subside.


Toffs is a very interesting company that makes reproductions of vintage jerseys. Most of the reproductions are made in cotton (as jerseys were made at the time) and most are repros of pre-1990s shirts, so there are no advertising on the shirts. Most of these shirts look quite different from what they players wear today, and many of the items the company sells are very, very interesting. I strongly recommend Toffs.

Club Sites

Virtually every club these days has a website (even little Series B clubs in Italy) and virtually all of these websites have an online store. If you want an obscure shirt from an obscure club in, say, France, you can always Google the club and buy the shirt directly from them. A word of caution: it is not cheap to buy shirts and memorabilia directly from the clubs.

Used, Rare and “Classic” Shirts


There are also a number of dealers on the internet selling old football shirts, which range from “never-been-worn classics that were bought and stored for twenty years” to “stained and ripped.” Regardless, old-school football shirts are fun. By far my favorite dealer in classic football shirts is Footballnotmuggybonehead. Hundreds of great shirts at competitive prices. I bought a 1990 Pisa FC and love it: the shirt was in brand-new condition and the price and shipping were fine. Also, if you ask nicely, proprietor Paul might even explain what “footballnotmuggybonehead” means.


Another fun site that has lots of pictures of classic shirts. Good products that are a bit on the expensive side.


Yet another used football website from England, run by very nice people, with prices that are a bit more competitive.


At this point, pretty much everybody knows (and seems to use) eBay. There are still bargains to be found here, but there are also outrageous prices sometimes spent on very ordinary shirts. (Just this week I was astounded by the prices fetched by Eric Cantona shirts from the mid-1990s.) Anyway, when doing a search for football gear, be sure to include in that search sellers from other countries. While there are not many people in the U.S. selling football shirts, there are obviously many in Europe and the U. K.

Brick-and-Mortar Shops

I am lucky to live in Southeastern Massachusetts, as the place is virtually a hotbed of soccer-themed stores here in America. The unfortunately named We Got Soccer is only a few miles from my home and bills itself as the largest soccer store in America. (It can be found, unsurprisingly, at www.wegotsoccer.com.) There are also multiple stores of the Soccerworld chain in Massachusetts, including Dartmouth, Seekonk, Hingham, and also in Warwick, Rhode Island. Nationally, there are many well-known soccer shops that have been in business a long time, including Chicago Soccer in the Windy City (located at http://www.chicagosoccer.net/) and Soccer Shop USA in Los Angeles (at http://www.soccershopusa.com/update/index.html). I encourage everyone to visit a local shop if you have one; pawing through the merchandise is much more fun than looking at it online, and we can, at the very least, support someone who love the same sport we do.

1 comment:

Azulcrema said...

You forgot the best shop in the US. The Onion Bag Soccer Shop in North Bergen, NJ. Check out http://www.onionbag.com