Whether you're outfitting yourself or getting the kids ready for soccer or baseball, where you shop for sports gear can make a big difference.

Consumer Reports surveyed 26,000 readers to find some winners.

"We asked readers what mattered most, things like selection, service and value," said Consumer Reports' Tod Marks.

The most popular stores to shop, according to the survey, were Dick's Sporting Goods and Sports Authority. But, that doesn't mean they were home runs.

"When it came to value, when it came to selection, when it came to the knowledge and the helpfulness of the service, it was kind of middle of the road.

Walmart and Sam's Club scored even lower for service and checkout.

Academy Sports and Outdoors got good marks for value and quality.

Costco did, too, but not for selection and service.

Outdoor stores REI and  Cabela's rated high for things like service and quality.

Consumer Reports found your best bet, however, is local independent stores.

"Eighty percent of readers were highly satisfied with their experiences at local independent sporting goods stores and pro shops."

For a list of recent stories Marilyn Moritz has done, click here.