words // Taylor Scharfenberg
Our first Fielder’s Choice catalog of the year is hitting mailboxes, and our cover athletes are bringing a double dose of knowledge to Eastbay’s Field Tested program. Now baseball is getting the same position-specific reviews and professional advice that has already helped so many Eastbay athletes prepare to win.
Atlanta outfielders and brothers Justin and B.J. Upton are leading off for Eastbay’s baseball season and excited about being Field Testers for one big reason: helping young athletes get a head start on their game. As Justin explains, “Field Tested is an advantage because you’re able to get a feel for each shoe before you order it. If you have certain qualities you like in a shoe, you are able to find out which one can give you those qualities.”
Having customized gear is key, even for pro athletes. For the 2014 baseball season, Justin and B.J. each picked a different cleat that reflects their strengths. For Justin, it’s the adidas Poweralley Mid, a cleat designed for powerful rotation and comfort. “As a player, I’m explosive. I hit for power and go hard at all times. The first things I look for in a cleat are stability, a light weight, and traction. In baseball, you’re constantly rotating, so anything that makes it easier is a benefit anywhere on the field.”
To maximize his Poweralley cleats at the plate, he also looks for very specific things in a batting glove. “I love a tight batting glove. I want something that fits the hand well, that’s not going to stretch out on you, and is durable. Your batting gloves are for feel and grip, but at the same time, you want them to protect your hands from getting beat up.”
B.J., however, went with the adidas adiZero 5-Tool 2.5 for a lightweight speed cleat that’ll help him get around the bases in no time. He says, “The spikes help my game, especially with speed. Being a centerfielder, you have to be able to run pretty well. Since they’re such light shoes, and speed is a big part of my game, they’re a big part of what I do out there.” Eastbay’s got this cleat in eight colors, including exclusives like black/orange and white/navy.
In addition to his speed, B.J.’s fielding glove is also a key to his game. He told us, “When I look for a fielding glove, I look for size, color, how the leather holds up, and how it feels on my hand. Right now, I’m sticking with a trapeze web in the outfield.”
For more feedback on picking the right cleats, batting gloves, fielding gloves, and more, take a look at our reviews from other elite baseball players. Eastbay Field Testers are constantly providing information on product performance, including attributes like comfort, grip, break in, and more. Once you’ve found the gear that’ll help you dominate the season, fill out your own review to let other players know what you think.
For more on the Upton brothers, go to eastbay.com/JustinUpton and eastbay.com/BJUpton. You can also start finding your gear for the season at eastbay.com/FieldTested. Baseball gear for 2014 has been arriving like crazy lately, so there are tons of new styles and colors to choose from at Eastbay!
Available: adidas Poweralley Mid