Workout Clothes and Sneakers and Team Sports Oh My! The Authentic Athlete


When I found out that The Authentic Athlete, the new sporting goods store in Fairfield, wanted one of our bloggers to check out their new store, I said, “pick me, pick me!” Unlike many women who love to go shopping for the season’s latest fashions, I despise shopping, except when it comes to workout and fitness gear. The feel of just the right sneaker, the perfect top that is so comfortable (and cute!)… The right gear (and the right layering) can make the difference between “What an amazing workout” and “My feet hurt,” “I’m so cold,” or “these sneakers are NOT for me.” 

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In these days of online shopping with little to no personal guidance, The Authentic Athlete, just off 95 exit 21 in Fairfield, is a welcome respite. The store, which opened in August, is clean and family-friendly (I left my toddler at home but saw I could easily have brought him since there were several other little cuties around). My main goals were to find new running sneakers that I love as much as my overly worn Pearl Izumi’s (the model I have is discontinued) and seek out some tops for fall/winter layering.

It’s Personal

The staff was patient and friendly. Owner Chris Sanford listened to all the details of my athletic and foot history (don’t worry, I’ll spare you!). He shared his advice, clarifying what he could tell me about the best options with his 16 years of experience in the industry, but that he is not a doctor, physical therapist, or similar. I appreciated his insight and honesty, as I have experienced staff at other stores “diagnosing” me in the past, which immediately made me walk out the door. After measuring my feet (when is the last time you did that?) and trying on a variety of shoes Chris recommended, walking, and then running around the store, I found a pair I am excited to work out in.


What’s in Store?

Chris explained that The Authentic Athlete sells a wide range of quality clothes and equipment, focusing on top-notch products and brands, including Nike, Moving Comfort, Brooks, Mountain Hardware (great for cold weather gear), UnderAmour, Hoka One One, and more. The store provides individual sport and workout needs, including shoes, clothes, sports watches, mouth guards, sports bags, etc. Also, it provides shirts/outfits/uniforms for school sports teams, club/corporate teams, or any group (including mom’s groups) looking for team/group shirts. 

Owners Chris Sanford and Steve Seelert are both Fairfield County natives. Chris and his wife (Fairfield County Mom owner, Michelle) have newborn twins and a two ½-year-old boy. I asked him how busy being a new store owner and a dad of three is. He gave me that look (i.e., yes, it’s crazy), but he seems to be taking it all in stride (no pun intended, seriously!).

The Authentic Athlete

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 The Authentic Athlete sponsored this post, but the opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting our sponsors.

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Elysa Cruse is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, Certified Personal Trainer and is the Manager of the Corporate Wellness Program for Pitney Bowes ( She moved to Fairfield County after college and has been enjoying great ways to be active and eat well in the area ever since, including teaching exercise classes such as Stroller Strides, Pilates and Boot Camp. She is mom to an adorable 3 year old boy and loves getting outdoors whether hiking, biking, or running (really anything as long as it's not weeding). Elysa is still working on the ultimate in work life balance and she's okay if she never quite finds it. Connect with Elysa on Twitter @ElysaCruseRD



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