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It’s Personal

Since 1949, it’s been personal.

1949, Our first storefront at 212 Scott Street.

1970’s store front, 324 Scott Street

With competition at every turn, an economy we all struggle in, an historic building to keep healthy, and only 24 hours in a day, running a mom and pop outdoor store is hard.  Is it worth it?    We can’t answer for anyone else, but because ours is basically a toy store for grown-ups in a community that values integrity, family and the environment, the answer is Yes! We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Our home. Historic rennovation completed in 1989.

Who wouldn’t love our job?  We offer the coolest gear for outdoor enthusiasts, the manufacturers we work with believe in the things that matter, the events we host and support make a difference, the community we work in appreciates the effort, and most importantly the customers we serve are our friends.

The presidents and CEOs of the most respected manufacturers in sport are our friends, not just names on a database. These relationships help us to know the ins and outs of the industry like no one else you might shop with.

Robb and Steve Poulin, President and CEO of Swix Sport USA

Theresa and Klaus Obermeyer, founder of Obermeyer Sports.

We don’t just sell, we shop. We personally select the products we offer, compare them, test them, inspect them and help you choose them. It’s a difference we enjoy when we shop locally ourselves and we’re told it’s meaningful to you here at Sheps. Even if it is old fashioned, it’s been personal to us since 1949.

Our Ski Demo at Granite Peak. Our entire staff gets out on the gear you see on our shelves before they recommend it to you.

The best part of what we do is watch excited customers head out with new gear that is just what they wanted, knowing we took care of all the steps necessary to bring those products to them.  We love hearing stories of adventure and family when folks come back to share.  (Join us during Christmas break – Shep’s is a gathering place for friends who can’t wait to reconnect!)

Hanging with coaches and ski patrol during a break in the action at a high school alpine race at Granite Peak. These folks make it happen.

When dad, Allen Shepherd, coined the shop tag line “It pays to play” he didn’t mean we’d get rich working this hard. He meant it is critical to invest in exercise and plan relaxation. We agree, and we feel fortunate to have 69 years of experience to guide us. So while there are moments of craziness in every day, we’re not crazy. We honestly enjoy being an independent retailer.

NSSRA Elects Robb Shepherd, Director

Robb Shepherd, President of Shepherd & Schaller, was elected
Director of the National Ski & Snowboard Retailers Association

At its annual meeting during the January 2019 National Outdoor Retailer Snow Show in Denver, the NSSRA Board of Directors elected three Officers and four new Directors, including our fearless leader, Robb Shepherd.

NSSRA, founded in 1987, represents specialty snow sports retailers and advocates on their behalf on issues affecting their businesses. Their mission is to support specialty snow sports retailers, to promote the sports of skiing and snowboarding, and to compile and distribute to its members relevant snow sports industry research.

Robb previously served the ski industry for Nations Best Sports of Ft. Worth, Texas as a member of their hardgoods vendor screening committee. 

“The ability to discuss, face-to-face with brand officers, what matters most to Wisconsin skiers has made a huge impact on our ability to give a big mountain experience to our customers.”  Shepherd says.  “Specialty retail is about expertise, passion, emerging trends and engaging in unique ways and I appreciate the opportunity to be a voice for our customers and others in our industry.”

Learn more about NSSRA here.

Shepherd & Schaller is a 70-year-old outdoor specialty store in Downtown Wausau, WI.  Presenting premium gear, heritage clothing and footwear, the product mix evolves with community passions in an historic, character-filled building.  Repairs and rentals.  

To learn more visit shepssports.com or call 715-845-5432

It’s All Good Weather To Us

Wausau’s Favorite Outdoor Store can help you enjoy the outdoors in any weather.

Snow, Sun, Rain, Cold, Heat. None of these is a good enough reason to stay indoors when there’s work to be done or fun to be had.

Dressing for the occasion and using the right gear can make the great outdoors comfortable. Wausau’s favorite outdoor store can help.

Give it a Try!

We’ve been playing outside in North Central Wisconsin since 1949. We’re not only experts on the gear we sell and service, but where to use it and how to dress for success.

Granite Peak Ski Area in Wausau is Wisconsin’s favorite. Just minutes from Shepherd & Schaller.

Are you looking to try skiing for the first time? Shep’s rents, sells used ski and snowboard gear and of course offers the latest new styles (our ski and boot selection is the largest in Wisconsin.) All the clothing and accessories we present make any excuse void. Seriously, try downhill skiing! Still not convinced? Anyone can snow shoe and like it, Cross Country skiing is a really inexpensive way to get great exercise and enjoy the quiet trails and woods. Snowboarding is as fun as you think it is. Honestly. Dressing for snow sports isn’t as complicated as you might think, and doing it right makes a big difference in your comfort for a full day on the slopes and trails. Get our dressing for success tips here.

What length rope? How fast to drive? The answers to these questions make a difference in your safety and performance. Ask us!

Making the most of hot weather? How about kayaking or a stand-up paddle board for one of our beautiful local water ways, along with sunscreen, a waterproof hat and the appropriate life jacket this is a fabulous way to make the most of any day. Access to a motor boat means you can try wake skates, water skis, wake boards and tow tubes. Want to get in the water and explore? We can recommend and fit snorkels – all these categories are available in kid’s sizes at Shep’s. Playing on and in the water is one of our favorite pastimes.

We all love mild weather!

Biking — fat tire, mountain, commuter, and more — we recommend and repair all of them. While the “pros” seek us out to fine tune their adventure, helping beginners is our specialty. Come ask your dummest question. We promise, no one is born knowing how to make biking a favorite activity in all kinds of weather. But we know the secrets and want to share. Let’s talk!

Shepherd & Schaller in downtown Wausau is where you can learn how to dress and select gear that’s right for you, in all kinds of weather. Visit us across from Wausau’s 400 Block park. Parking on site.


Maybe not the best party tune, but it was #1 that year:

Born in 1949, Shepherd & Schaller Sporting Goods has grown up through all kinds of trends, survived challenges and met colorful characters.

70 years is something to celebrate. 2019 is our year!

Shepherd & Schaller Sporting Goods, 212 Scott Street, Wausau, WI. 1949. Founded by Allen Shepherd and Stan Schaller.

We’ll celebrate trends – from in-line skates to fat tire bikes, all-wood skis to ABS top sheets.

We’ll celebrate brands – old to new, hard goods to apparel.

We’ll celebrate characters – we’ve known quite a few over the last 70 years here in Wausau, WI.

There have been changes to be sure, but one thing remains constant – our love for the outdoors. We play in the outdoors, we work in the outdoors, we care for the outdoors.

Stay tuned for details and upcoming events. Help us celebrate 70 years.

1949 Sporting Trivia. Boxing and baseball were hugely popular sports. The Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League merged to form the National Basketball Association (NBA), the NASCAR stock car racing series was inaugurated and of course there was hunting, fishing and camping with the family.

Winter Dressing for Comfort in the Cold: How To

We’ve been doing Winter in Wausau since 1949 (Happy 70th Anniversary to us!) and we’re here to help you make the best of it.

Need help with the fine art of dressing in layers? Want to know why your feet are cold, even in your warmest boots? Some of your best memories can be made on the snow and in the cold so scroll down for Winter Dressing 101 and learn how the fabrics and layers you choose make a real difference in how you feel. Then visit us at 324 Scott Street, across from the 400 Block in Downtown Wausau, for personalized service and great winter gear. We love winter and we know you can too!

Dressing in Winter 101

You know that chill you get, the one that hangs on even when you’ve gone inside? We know why that happens and how to fix it! Let’s talk about the differences various fabrics make, and how to make them work together to keep you cozy, warm and dry.

Think about dressing for winter like you’d choose a dwelling. What do you need to keep you comfortable?

Your clothes protect you from the elements, like a house. Is a tent all you need for comfort or does your environment call for something built for severe weather? What kind of insulation is between you and the elements? Just a sleeping bag or something between the walls and siding? Should you build with wood or brick? How do the other layers inside your home affect your comfort, like carpet and curtains? You get the idea.

Waterproof-Breathable fabrics are achieved with technically advanced membranes, laminates and coatings. The fabric these are adhered to affects the durability and wind resistance of your garment, as well as the warmth.

The key for warmth in winter weather is to stay dry. Outerwear should be labeled Waterproof-Breathable. (Not just waterproof) This is really important. Think about it: a plastic bag is waterproof, but it’s not breathable. If you wear a plastic bag as an emergency rain cover it’s only a few minutes before you feel clammy underneath. That’s because it’s trapping your body vapor or perspiration underneath. Over time you’ll be as wet on the inside as the outside. Instead, Waterproof-Breathable fabrics keep snow and rain out while letting your personal humidity evaporate. (Gortex is one brand.) A waterproof-breathable jacket or pant may or may not be insulated so what you wear underneath is just as important. Hint: shop an Outdoor Store for these technical garments.

Cotton holds moisture. This makes cotton the enemy of winter dressing. Sorry cotton! Save it for hot weather when you want to feel cooler.

Fabrics next to your skin must be moisture managers for warmth in winter. The number one problem-causing fabric in your closet is cotton. Successful winter dressers know this: NO COTTON! That means no denim. Leave those great jeans in the closet when you venture outside, and never wear jeans under snow pants. Why? Cotton holds moisture, liquid and vapor. When you get cotton wet, it stays wet. When it becomes damp, it stays damp. Our bodies create moisture in a vapor state, even if we’re not actively exercising and perspiring. Have you ever rolled a cotton sock off your foot after a day in shoes, ending up with a damp, icky sock donut? Vapor + cotton is the problem. You don’t want that in winter because even if it doesn’t feel wet, cotton is holding moisture against your skin, which disperses body heat and makes you cold.

Base Layer fabrics range from silk to merino wool, polyester to bamboo. What they have in common is moisture-management. Today’s base layers look good enough to wear in public.

Step 1: Base Layer. We call what you wear next-to-skin Base Layer, but you may know it as long underwear. It needs to wick moisture and provide insulation, appropriate to your activity. For example, if you’re cross country skiing you can expect to sweat (there’s that moisture problem again!) A light-weight, stretch polyester or bamboo fabric that moves moisture quickly is a great way to go. Ice fishing? That requires a highly insulating fiber of course. Merino wool is our favorite because it insulates while it’s moving moisture and is flexible enough to wear year-round. In fact, it’s a miracle fiber in our opinion. Read more from the experts at Smartwool here. Socks are part of your base layer.

Your Mid Layer might be a fleece or wool sweater, synthetic or down-filled jacket, or even both. What mid-layers have in common is that they insulate but don’t necessarily protect you from the elements.

Step 2: Mid Layer. This is your insulation. It might be a lightweight fleece sweater, a thick wool sweater grandma made, or a buddy down-filled jacket. Wicking and insulation continue in the mid layer. Ideally, the fabric you choose here will work with your base layer. Wool, polyester fleece, natural down are all great choices for different reasons. They are all mid-layers if they are not built to keep out wind and water. This is where our great brands have come up with some awesome advancements in recent years. We can show you when you visit us!

Outerwear is the exterior siding of your home in the weather. It might be a “shell” or it it could be insulated. It often has vents and special features.

Step 3: Outer Layer. Your winter jacket. We finally got to it! Here you have a multitude of choices, obviously. A winter jacket, parka or pant is the garment that must help you withstand the wind, and snow or rain, and often the cold too. Many contain heat-trapping insulation so your body stays warm even when not in motion. This layer must also have that waterproof/ breathable membrane/laminate we described to really keep you comfortable. You can choose a “Hard Shell” jacket, which is not insulated at all. Think rain jacket. You’ll wear different layers underneath depending on the temperature outdoors, making it really flexible and a good investment. However, most of us in Wisconsin use these in mild temperatures – 30s-50s and prefer an insulated jacket when it’s below freezing, even when we are employing the layering philosophy described here.

So come see us. Let’s talk about winter dressing, and all the great places to enjoy the outdoors in Central Wisconsin.

Discover Wisconsin thinks Winter in Wausau is the Best!

Do it This Year!

  • “If you don’t do it this year, you will be one year older when you do.” – Warren Miller.

What are you waiting for? Why not give skiing a try? If you live near Wausau, Wisconsin, why on earth would you miss the chance to experience Mother Nature’s gift of Rib Mountain?

Granite Peak Ski Area is a treasure in Marathon County, and skiing there is world class, with a host of recently installed amenities. Shepherd & Schaller is Wisconsin’s favorite ski store, only a few miles away from the chairlifts that will whisk you to the top. With 70 years of experience, we’ve created a variety of ways to make you a skier, and we’re here to keep your ski gear healthy and working well.

Rent. Shep’s rents downhill ski packages, cross country packages, snow shoes and ice skates. Call us for info. 715-845-5432

Buy used. Shep’s sells used ski equipment on consignment. It’s perfect for growing families and skiers who like to upgrade. Learn more here.

Buy new. The latest engineering and technology make it so very easy to become a good skier quickly. Shep’s offers the largest selection of skis, boots, bindings, poles, helmets and goggles in Wisconsin. Outerwear, gloves, long underwear and everything you could possibly need to be comfortable outdoors in winter, wherever you like to play. Visit our website for a taste of the choices you’ll find in store.

Let’s go skiing!