NEW YORK — Three sporting goods chains crossed the second-quarter finish line with improved earnings and sales, but all conceded that recent sluggishness had them limping as the fall season began.

Like their counterparts in apparel specialty retailing, Foot Locker and Galyan’s noted that there had been softness in their businesses since July. While others dealt with clouds on the horizon, Gart, based in Denver, also had to cope with smoke as forest fires impeded the summer’s results.

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