Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts Under $250

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Get gifting for the entire family! From ski essentials to outdoor apparel, athleticwear to footwear, classic gifts to the newest and greatest, we’ve got you covered from top to bottom of your list this Holiday season.

Our buyers have rounded up the best gifts for every budget; today we are sharing some of our favourite picks under $250. Find the perfect “wow” gift with brand name clothes, high quality winter accessories, or unique statement pieces (we’re looking at you, Herschel Velvet Backpack…)

Shop for him or for her, and find more great gifts for everyone else at Sporting Life!

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1. Sanctuary Plaid Boyfriend Shirt, $139
2. Mackage Pom Pom Toque, $165
3. UGG Dakota Moccasin, $135
4. Patagonia Better Sweater® Fleece Jacket, $169
5. Woolrich Sherpa Rough Rider Blanket, $155
6. UGG Bronte Glove, $175
7. Barbour Tartan Betty Vest, $195
8. Herschel Supply Dawson Velvet Backpack, $129.99

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1. Old Time Hockey Toronto Maple Leafs Vintage Sweater, $130
2. Tubbs Xpedition 25 Snowshoe, $249.99
3. Canada Goose Pendleton Down-Filled Wool Scarf, $225
4. BOSS Signature Leather Watch, $239.99
5. Barbour Harvard Fairisle Sweater, $245
6. The North Face Nuptse Vest, $199.99
7. Kamik William Boot, $189.99
8. Kombi Patroller Down Mitten, $150

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The Best Reflective Gear

We love seeing so many people running and cycling at this time of year. Just because temperatures drop doesn’t mean your activity level has to! While it’s great to get out and be active all year round, it’s more important than ever to stay safe at this time of year – fewer hours of daylight means more opportunity for exercising in low-light conditions.

Our favourite athleticwear brands have added a wide variety of reflective pieces to their collections to keep their customers safe. Whether out for an early morning jog, cycling to work, walking home from school or taking the dog for a stroll, it is so important to maximize visibility at this time of year. We’ve gathered 12 of the best reflective pieces on the market that will illuminate you at any time of night.

Add one (or all!) of these pieces to your wardrobe in order to be seen this winter, and shop more reflective pieces here.Reflective Runningwear

1. Women’s Sugoi Zap Bike Jacket, $160
2. Women’s Nike Power Flash Epic Tight, $150
3. Men’s Asics GEL-Kayano 23 Lite-Show Running Shoe, $229.99
4. Women’s Nike Element 2.0 Running Glove, $35
5. Herschel Supply Packable Daypack, $49.99
6. Men’s New Balance Go 2 Short Sleeve Shirt, $35
7. Women’s Asics GEL-Kayano 23 Lite-Show Running Shoe, $229.99
8. Men’s Asics Lite-Show™ Jacket, $180
9. Women’s The North Face Isotherm Jacket, $159.99
10. Men’s Asics Lite-Show™ Winter Tight, $120
11. Men’s Polo Sport Printed Baseline Hat, $45

#12 comes in the form of Albedo 100, a reflective spray aimed at keeping you safe.  It is perfect for backpacks, running & cyclewear or helmets, especially as the days get shorter with less than ideal visibility. It comes in two forms, a permanent paint and a washable version for application on clothes and backpacks. Find this product at Sporting Life retail locations!

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Brand New Basics

Although there are plenty of beautiful coats to bundle up in this season, there’s more to winter fashion than outerwear! The time has finally come for cozy knits, layers and neutrals to take over ladies sportswear. Two of the newest brands to Sporting Life this season make us excited to go shopping for winter clothes. Although they come from completely different backgrounds, these two sportswear brands take simple silhouettes and turn them into something spectacular. For an updated version of your favourite basics, look no further than Zadig & Voltaire and Six Crisp Days.

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Zadig & Voltaire was founded in 1997 by Thierry Gillier and is what we consider to be the female counterpart to menswear brand John Varvatos. Featuring fabrics such as cashmere, silk and leather, Zadig’s signature style mixes luxury with playful, rock ‘n’ roll styles in basic silhouettes. The brand’s goal is to provide a more affordable, stylish and laid-back luxury. We love brands that put a new spin on basics!

What appears to be a plain Henley from afar proves to be a unique and edgy piece to add to your closet. The Strass Henley features raw edges and a leopard print, studded skull on the back, giving it just enough attitude to make your outfit unique. Another favourite is Zadig’s take on the simple black blazer; perfectly fitted and professional, a skull detail at the collar and asymmetrical pockets make this blazer a fashion forward addition to your closet.

For the woman who wants to add a little rock ‘n’ roll to her wardrobe, Zadig & Voltaire’s revisited classics offer a refreshing take on must-have basics.

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Unlike the European Zadig & Voltaire, Six Crisp Days is a women’s clothing line designed in Los Angeles, California. The line focuses on combining comfort and sophistication in modern clothing, all constructed with luxurious-feeling fabrics that move with the body. We love that Six Crisp Days turns simple silhouettes into modern looks that any fashionable woman can feel comfortable in.

While varied styles can be found in Sporting Life stores, our favourite pieces by Six Crisp Days are their turtlenecks. Who doesn’t love a big, cozy sweater? With side-slit hems, knit construction and incredibly soft fabrics, these sweaters will look and feel effortless with a pair of jeans and boots this winter.

Suitable for any age or style preference, luxurious yet affordable sweaters by Six Crisp Days would make for the perfect gift this holiday season.

 

 

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Brand Spotlight: Salomon

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“I’m fascinated by what I’ll do tomorrow.” – Georges Salomon

Whether you are a lifelong ski buff or a newbie to the slopes, Salomon is a universally recognized name. After decades of producing quality skis, ski boots, apparel, and gear, Salomon has solidified itself as a global ski equipment brand. In the words of co-founder Georges Salomon: “we enable people to play, progress and connect with nature.” Born in the French Alps in 1947, Salomon’s passion for outdoor sports, new technologies and craftsmanship has driven them – and still does – to create progressive gear to enable customers to freely enjoy and challenge themselves in the great outdoors.

Salomon’s 2017 line of skis and ski equipment continues the legacy of quality and performance for both men and women. The ski line-up is headed by the Women’s Astra Skis, Men’s X-Drive X8.3 Skis, and Men’s QST 92 Skis. The sporty Astra women’s skis with Lithium 10 Bindings are designed to take you wherever you want with control and comfort. This is a result of Semi Sandwich sidewall construction that offers easy turning and enough power for all terrain types. The Woodcore enables stability and rebound with an extra level of forgiveness and weight savings, while the Basalt fiber layer runs through the length of the ski to provide outstanding dampening and vibration absorption. The Men’s X-Drive X8.3 Skis with Xt 12 Bindings are designed for incredible speed on the mountain. In addition to excellent terrain absorption and intuitive turn initiation, the slight twin rocker also allows the ski to pivot much easier when ski is flat, increasing control and maneuverability in all conditions. Lastly, the new Men’s QST 92 Skis will help you dominate your winter playground. Achieve on-piste confidence with new all-mountain experiences with features like the All-Terrain Rocker that allows for floatation in soft snow with precise steering and manoeuvrability for maximum quickness and agility. Spaceframe is made out of an Inverted 3D Woodcore inserted with Carbon Flax and Power Transfer Platform for superior ski to snow contact.

In terms of boots, you can’t go wrong with the Women’s Quest Access Custom Heat Boot, Men’s X Pro 100 Ski Boot, or the Men’s QST Pro 100 Boot. For women, those looking for ample stiffness and a medium to wide fit should look no further than the Quest Access boot. The cuff has a ratchet buckle that can be adjusted to match just about every leg shape, especially women’s calves. If you are looking for a wide fit, with a boot that has some power to it, the Salomon Quest Access Custom Heat will be a great boot for you. For your next alpine adventure, try the Men’s X Pro 100 Boot; it allows you to experience the ultimate in personalized fit and foot hold. For all mountain skiers, the X Pro helps you put your best ski forward. The new boot this season comes in the form of the Men’s QST Pro 100. With both liner and shell personalization options, this boot fits, skis, and walks better than any boot in its class thanks to the revolutionary Endofit tongue design and the Custom Shell technology.

Upgrade your gear at Sporting Life and think like Georges Salomon: What will you do tomorrow?

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Astra Skis, Lithium 10 Bindings

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Men’s X-Drive X8.3 Skis, t 12 Bindings

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QST 92 Skis

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Women’s Quest Access Custom Heat Ski Boot [2016]

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Men’s X Pro 100 Ski Boot [2017]

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Men’s QST Pro 100 Ski Boot [2017]

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Stay Warm at the Santa Claus Parade

1972460_10152247201797241_209509369_nThe Santa Claus Parade is coming up, and Torontonians are looking at some real winter weather this weekend! Cold temperatures with a mix of rain and snow are in the forecast, but that shouldn’t stop you from bringing the whole family to watch the parade. We’ve put together our best selection of warm, stylish clothes for the whole family to take you from the chilly, festive streets to your favourite Toronto restaurant for a post-Parade lunch

 

FOR MOM

Moms, you can look fashionable AND stay warm while enjoying the Parade with your family! The Parajumpers Long Bear Coat is designed to give you an impeccable amount of comfort and warmth for the fall and winter months. Women who like random accents will enjoy that the outer of the hood is lined in real fur and the large pockets on either side of the jacket that offer storage room – perfect for storing extra mittens or snacks during the parade. Underneath, a seasonal mohair sweater by Woolrich makes for a warm but lightweight layer. The Sherpa lining in Prana’s Diva Skirt allow you to sit for hours without getting cold. This skirt is doubly useful for hockey moms! Functional accessories are another must for a long morning spent at the parade: the Woolrich Serenity Hat is warm but chic with it’s furry pompom; the Sorel Wool Crossbody Bag’s multiple slip pockets give you space to carry the day’s essentials; and the Kamik Redford Boot offers the perfect balance of outdoorsy fashion. A soft faux fur lining combined with waterproof bottoms will allow you to participate in all of the day’s activities with your youngsters. Even better – check out our ultimate round-up of casual winter boots!

FOR DAD

Plaid and cozy fabrics are the name of the game for Dad at the Santa Claus Parade! The North Face McMurdo Parka is one of our favourite men’s parkas; it will keep you warm, dry and looking stylish all day long! Whether underneath the parka or on its own, the Burton Bower Fleece Jacket is another favourite this season. Built with a rugged nylon overlay, multiple pockets and heavyweight Sherpa fabric, this utility fleece is made ready for any riding or adventure situation…or a day spent with your family on the streets of Toronto! Feel the holiday spirit with a classic plaid shirt – the Tall Pine Flannel by Woolrich is an ideal second layer with simple, uncluttered styling. Accessorizing isn’t just for Mom! The Men’s Woolrich Melton Trapper hat features classic plaid wool outer earflaps create the perfect Northern look, a wind-blocking fleece crown and an adjustable chinstrap. For the trendier Dad, this scarf by Aquascutum offers the perfect blend of warmth and style. Lastly, keep those toes warm with a pair of Winter Blundstones. The added Thinsulate and genuine sheepskin insoles will provide maximum comfort for a cold day spent outside.

FOR THE KIDS

Babies, Boys and Girls alike can be festive and warm for the Parade. One of our favourite items for girls and boys comes in the form of Mommy/Daddy-and-me style: coats for Mom and Dad come in mini-me form! The Girls Parajumpers Long Bear Coat and Boys TNF McMurdo Down Parka mirror the fashionable yet toasty warm styles made for adults. Just like their parents, kids can dress festively in cozy plaid shirts by Dex or Billabong and accessorize for the weather in Canadiana HBC Mittens or a funky reversible Spyder Hat.

Is there anything more adorable than tiny winter clothes? Babies can join in the plaid trend too with the Hatley Swiss Wilderness One-Piece, and even the coldest Winter days are no match for the adorable (yet well insulated!) Canada Goose One-Piece Lamb Snowsuit. Top it all off  with a TNF Faroe Beanie, and baby is all set to take in their first Santa Claus Parade!

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Brand Spotlight: Norrona

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Cold weather is here, which opens the door to a whole new world of outdoor activities. It’s time to dust off the skis and snowboards and get ready for winter! Whether you’re hitting the slopes for an intensive ride or simply exploring nature on a winter hike, it’s important to remember your functional apparel. We live in Canada, so staying warm and dry is priority number one when embarking on an outdoor adventure. Luckily, Sporting Life carries a brand that can do it all.

Meet Norrona.

Born in 1929 in Norway, Norrona has emerged as a leader in high quality outdoor apparel. A brief history lesson on the brand reveals roots in leather goods, backpacks and tents. Who knew that this outdoor brand would explode into a fashionable yet functional line of outerwear? Norrona features lines- or “concepts”- named after some of the most beautiful Norwegian locations.

For example, the Lofoten island chain is famous for its beauty and harsh contrasting weathers, and its extreme elements represent the heart & soul of Norway’s outdoor life. The Lofoten concept was launched in 2004 and took freeride skiing in a radical new direction. This line is technical, durable, and practical – design and quality come first! Bright coloured Gore-Tex jackets and baggy ski pants will help you stand out on the slopes and enhance any mountain experience. The Lofoten Gore-Tex Jacket (available for both men and women) offers breathable, versatile protection on the mountain. The women’s jacket is the brand’s warmest waterproof freeride jacket. Featuring PrimaLoft® Sport insulation, this season offers a more light weight jacket with a quieter face fabric, improved hood, and no underarm zipper for a softer, lighter and more compressible insulated jacket. The men’s jacket offers all the critical details you need for demanding conditions. It is light and highly breathable with superior ventilation, and weather-protective with a high level of comfort.

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Women’s Lofoten Gore-Tex Primaloft Jacket – $650

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Men’s Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Jacket
$750

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Men’s Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Pants
$700

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Looking for something a little more versatile? Falketind has got you covered: this line is made to function 365 days a year. Falketind is Norway’s most beautiful peak. While it appears inaccessible, the mountain in fact offers varied activities all year round. The outerwear line modelled after the mountain is equally as versatile. The Falketind Warm1 Jacket’s soft, pill-resistant fleece is made of durable recycled Polartec® fabric with excellent warmth-to-weight ratio, while the LW Polartec® Power Stretch® areas are perfect for fit and flexibility. The jacket collar is high and warm, and your hip belt or harness won’t hinder pocket access. When you wear Falketind, you’re ready for any outdoor challenge in any weather. Bring it on!

The Lyngen Alps, on the other hand, are popular with experienced mountain skiers, climbers and hikers. With several glaciers and the highest peak in the region, this mountain range was the perfect inspiration for the Lyngen concept. These pieces are totally windproof, breathable, and have flexible venting, allowing you to ascend with ease and descend with speed. The Lyngen Down 750 Jacket is Norrona’s lightest and most packable down jacket yet. A warm and comfortable insulation garment that can be worn by itself or in combination with an outer jacket, the Lyngen Down Jacket boasts a very high warmth-to-weight ratio – ideal for the travelling outdoorsman!

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Men’s Falketind Warm1 Jacket
$150

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Unisex /29 Reversible Beanie
$55

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Men’s Lyngen Down 750 Jacket
$440

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Conquer the mountain with new styles from Norrona. Styles are designed to protect you against the elements and are available in a wide range of colours. Shop jackets, pants, fleece tops and accessories for the whole family.

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Brand Spotlight: L.A.M.B x Burton

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“Drastically different than everything else you see during winter, each piece speaks for itself. Fierce and edgy—but fun—and always laced with punk rock, this is the bold street style of Gwen Stefani backed by Burton’s top-shelf outerwear technology.” – Burton Blog

 
L.A.M.B. and Burton are back with a brand new collection for Winter ’17 featuring Gwen Stefani’s always-original style. The Winter 2017 L.A.M.B. x Burton collection features bold patchwork prints that offer women a fun and edgy twist on classic staples.

In true Burton fashion, each piece seamlessly blends fashion and function. The Warmest Mittens offer touch screen-friendly Screen Grab® technology on the thumb, just in case you want to post a, “no really, I’m totally warm out here,” selfie. The Freddie Hoodie is quick-drying and highly breathable, making it an awesome middle layer or the perfect stand-alone for those warmer rides. The drop-tail styling provides plenty of coverage near the waist while the fixed hood and added thumbholes keep the Freddie firmly in place. The Johnny Slim Snowboard Pant draws from Gwen Stefani’s own style on stage. Waterproof and breathable DRYRIDE Durashell™ 2-layer fabric stays dry all day, inside and out, and features a removable back skirt panel that covers your assets while on the lift or when strapping in.

Ride like a rockstar in L.A.M.B x Burton, available at Sporting Life.

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Warmest Mitten
 

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Riff Parka
 

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Freddie Hoodie
 

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Johnny Slim Pant
 

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Buju Cargo Pant
 

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Lydon Beanie
 

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Fall Re-Boot: The Best Casual Boots

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When it comes to casual boots for fall and winter, we love styles in which fashion meets function. Whether you’re looking for street-ready styles, weather-proof durability or a little bit of both, we’ve got everything you’ll need to be ready for this cold weather season.

Weather Ready

Rain or snow, Mother Nature’s got nothing on these boots. These casual weatherproof boots are the perfect transitional footwear to take you from fall to winter. We particularly love the blue laces on both men’s and women’s Merrell Sugarbrush boots; they add the perfect pop of colour to the gloomiest fall days! Each of these boots features rubber soles to help you navigate slippery conditions, and are fully waterproof to keep your toes warm and dry as the weather starts to change.

Fashion Meets Function

Who says you have to sacrifice fashion for function? Some of our favourite footwear doubles as both stylish and weatherproof! Timberland in particular offers sleek alternatives to their classic workboot without losing the all-weather rugged rubber outsole. Blundstone also offers a winterized version of their comfortable boot that includes sheepskin insoles; perfect for the chilliest fall day! Why give up your tried and true winter footwear for a weatherproof version when you can have the best of both worlds?

Street Style

Put your best foot forward this fall with some of our warmest street style boots. Converse and Vans each offer a seemingly identical version to their summer shoes, however with added Thinsulate and heat retention layers. Sorel’s Conquest Wedge Boot allows women to maintain ankle support and comfort while still adding a bit of height to their look. Your toes will never be anything but toasty warm in these fashion-first casual boots.

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