I’m a big fan of wearing sportswear as casual wear; I guess it’s a guilty pleasure of mine. In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with matching your chinos with a lightly-branded Nike hoodie or a rugby shirt with jeans; function and comfort can be found by combining sports & casual wear. I occasionally play sport, but not enough to explain the high amount of sporting wear to be found in my wardrobe!
I’ve noticed some differences in the use of sportswear as casual wear here in the Czech Republic. Compare the suburban streets of the UK to the bohemian ulices of the ČR and you’re likley to find different sports/outerwear worn in slightly different ways. I’ve decided to compose this article to steer you through the possible pitfalls when picking your sportswear in the Czech Republic. A little helping hand if you don‘t know your Hudy from your Helly or your Rejoice from your Rockport. Fear not: after reading this article you’ll be fully functional and sporty at the same time!
Jindřišská 30, Prague 1
These guys are the purveyors of “those trousers”. You know the ones; they come in a variety of colours with patches strategically placed on the knees. These are the ultimate in sporting/functional wear. Rejoice is the name of the company; they’ve been on the scene since 1998, and it would seem that Czechs absolutely love them. Popping out for some milk? Throw on your Rejoice trousers. Weekending at the family cottage? Rejoice trousers. Out walking with the family? Rejoice trousers. Or maybe a few drinks with the guys from your Fantasy War reenactment club? You guessed it, Rejoice trousers.
In fairness, they must be extremely comfortable in a jogging bottom kind of way. They are also available in a wide variety of colours. Check out the Rejoice website and you can even customize your strides. Rejoice trousers are (for many) a staple item of clothing, particularly in the summer. Rejoice has its own shop on Jindřišská (off Wenceslas Square), which is well worth a visit if you’re a fan of the brand. The shop has a pleasant feel with a logical lay out, allowing the customer to browse the goods easily. Rejoice produces t-shirts (starting from 490 CZK) and other (non-patchwork) trousers; prices start at 1140 CZK. The staff was pleasant and spoke English. Rejoice also offer strange five-toed footwear from the Vibram brand. Not my cup of tea, but definitely worth checking for the more adventurous shopper!
Key words: Rustic, popular, fairly priced, friendly atmosphere
Vinohradská 18, Prague 2
With a fairly central location, The Revolution Sports store has a nice balance of useful, practical equipment and functional clothing. The staff was a bit stand-offish and seemed slightly puzzled as to why I entered and began browsing around the single-leveled store. The shop opened with a focus on importing the Italian sunglasses brand Salice. These days, they have branched out into the skiing, camping, climbing and cycling areas.
The store feels jam packed with stock, floor to ceiling goods everywhere in such a way that makes ‘calm browsing’ a little difficult. That said, they do have a number of great brands. Prices are standard and there didn’t seem to be any bargains leaping out at me as I browsed. They specialize in ski and snowboarding equipment, but have plenty of garments and accessories for other outdoor sports too, including outdoor jackets from Swedish brand Blänkås (starting from the 2000 CZK mark) and soft cell garments from 2117, also of Sweden, (starting at 1290 CZK).
Key words: Packed with stock, not so friendly, wide range
Korunní 16, Prague 2
A little way up from Náměstí Míru, you’ll find the outdoor wear treasure trove that is Hanibal Sport. The slightly unassuming entrance opens into a well-stocked store full of quality products. The staff is very friendly and fluent in English, able to explain the ins and outs of waterproofing and breathable outerwear in perfect English. It almost felt like I was shopping in a branch of Millets or Blacks back in the UK.
Hanibal stock a number of Czech brands like Tilak, the high-quality brand who specialize in GORE-TEX garments for outdoor sports, and High Point, a similar, lesser-known brand specializing in outdoor wear and equipment. The prices at Hanibal are slightly high, but it has to be said that they provide nothing but high-quality goods. Other brands include Berghaus; the well-known, pricey, but high-quality English brand as well as Columbia and DirectAlpine, the slightly cheaper Czech brand; Pinguin, similar to DirectAlpine, a mid-ranged Czech brand, and Sir Joseph, the good-quality Czech brand with good price points, too.
Hanibal ticked all the boxes for me. As a relative newcomer to this field, with an average amount of background knowledge, the assistant made me feel at ease and explained my options clearly and logically. They have a wide range of stock for men, women and children, all in a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere. I highly recommend making this your first port of call outside of the city centre.
Key words: Friendly, attentive, excellent English, slightly higher prices
Alpine Pro Store/Sport Town
Václavské náměstí 22, Prague 1
Monday- Saturday: 10:00- 20:00
I couldn’t help feeling that this was no more than a tourist trap. If you happen to be passing through Prague and your much-loved pair of New Balance give in on you, perhaps the less discerning shopper would head straight for the most centrally-located outdoor clothing store, and don’t these guys know it. During my time in Prague I feel like I have seen the same stock rotated continuously, with the price rarely changing regardless of the misleading AKCE!! (SALE!!) labels. Ultimately, this means old stock at high prices.
The store changes its set-up. Sometimes the stock is over four floors, and sometimes two. The higher up you go, it seems the less sporting/technical the goods are. They currently only have the ground floor and the first floor open to the public. So sticking to the first two floors you’ll find walking & camping accessories and clothing on the ground floor, with more street and surf on the first floor. Alpine Pro sells its own branded garments, which seem of a standard quality and price. They are the official sponsors of the Czech Olympic team, so a lot of the store was full of Olympic promo. They stock a wide selection of their own branded shoes & walking boots, with prices starting at 2000 CZK and up.
Key words: Tourists, stagnant stock, non-existent sale
Vinohradská 151 (Palác Flóra), Prague 3
Monday- Friday: 9:00-21:00
The Bushman brand has fully understood and embraced the ‘outdoor sportswear as leisure wear’ habit, and they’re pushing this relatively new concept to its limits. Bushman has very cleverly accommodated a very large group of customers (especially in the Czech Republic) with good quality garments. They produce clothing that can be worn while chilling fireside ‘in the nature’ and/or to the office. Who’d have thought that that it would be possible? On Friday afternoon you can leave the office and head straight for the hills without a costume change needed!
It all sounds too good? Alas, the designers or the powers that be at Bushman HQ seem to have a fondness for beige. True, the colour is practical. It’s easy to match when wearing with other colours, it dirt doesn’t show up so much on it, and it will keep the wearer cool in the summer months. But it seems that the whole collection (and many of the previous year’s collections) have followed the same style. Prices range from 1890 CZK for their outdoor shirting (long-sleeved), with jackets going up to 3600 CZK. Bushman t shirts go for a slightly price 790 CZK. Bushman is a well-developed brand which is gathering momentum quickly. They have also recently branched out into ladies’ outdoor wear. Check out their store located in the Palác Flóra shopping mall. The suitably faux-rustic interior should help you get into that outdoor mind state while shopping.
Key words: Faux rustic, suitable for the office, overpriced
Rock Point Experts
Martinská 2, Prague 1
Rock Point Experts have a very nice and spacious store located close to the Národní třída metro station. The staff is welcoming and knowledgeable, and seemed at ease with me casually wandering around the 3-leveled store, browsing the wide variety of quality items. Rock Point offer many big, well-known brands: The North Face (Jackets start at the 6000 CZK mark), Mamut (5500 CZK), and HANNAH (jackets from 4000 CZK). The prices at Rock Point seem very competitive with lots of popular, branded items going into the sale section. This is the place to go to find bargains among the wide selection of garments on offer for men, woman, and children. Their website is also worth visiting. Once translated (using online automatic services) I was able to navigate around the site with ease and locate many of the items I saw in-store and purchase without problems.
Key Words: Great store interior, Friendly staff, good website.
Other notable mentions:
HUDY Sport – In the proximity of RockPoint at Na Perštýně, one may stumble upon Hudy Sport, which has been the first port of call for many outdoor clothing shoppers for some time. Its offering is very similar to that of RockPoint and it focuses primarily on sport and adventure wear. It also has multiple locations around Prague and is definitely worth a visit. For more information, see the website. Very friendly and accommodating staff.
Humi Outdoor – the large store located on Myslíkova 32 sells a number of brands for good prices; they seem to specialize in equipment and accessories, but have a wide range of garments, too.
Where do you shop for your outdoor clothing needs?