Eastbay Memory Lane // 1996 Road Racing Flats

Eastbay Memory Lane // 1996 Road Racing Flats

words // Zack Schlemmer

For today’s Eastbay Memory Lane entry, we go back to 1996 for a footwear category that only the most hardcore running shoe collectors may get excited about, road racing flats. The road racers have been overlooked by the majority of sneaker collectors, but as you can see from this page, there are at least a few worth taking a look at.

The first highlight of this page – and probably the only shoe on this page that most casual running shoe fans know about – is the Nike Air Rift.  Long before the Free sole was conceived, Nike was experimenting with the barefoot running concept on the Rift.  You can probably go as far back the mid-80’s for the Nike Sock Racer if you want to talk about a barefoot experience, but the Air Rift took it to the next level with a minimalist sandal-like upper and split toe.  The Air Rift still comes back every now and then, but there’s many a collector still looking for an original pair like the ones seen on this page.

Elsewhere from Nike, you’ll also see the racing version of the always-popular Air Huarache Light, the original Air Max Racer, the ultra-lightweight Niobe weighing in at 5.5 ounces, and the incredibly dope Air Streak and Air Streak Light racers.  AVIA has an eyecatcher with the Mantis, while Reebok, ASICS, New Balance, Mizuno, Etonic and PUMA all had racer offerings of their own.  (I actually had the Reebok Marathon Racer in middle school!)  Without further delay, let’s take it back to ’96 and revisit some of the coolest road racing flats ever.

Eastbay Memory Lane: ASICS Running 1999

Eastbay Memory Lane: ASICS Running 1999

words // Zack Schlemmer

ASICS has long been one of the most respected brands in the running shoe market.  While many hardcore runners consider ASICS their go-to brand, in sneaker collecting circles it’s not quite the same.  However, ASICS has recently received significant more buzz in the sneaker head community, as their classic early-1990’s running models like the Gel-Lyte III and Gel Saga seem to be returning in limited edition and premium versions almost every month.   Later this year we’ll also see classic models like the Gel-Lyte V and GT-Cool come back, giving the new generation of sneaker collectors a further introduction to ASICS’ rich history of quality runners.

Although I’m talking about the early 90’s ASICS models so far, this edition of Memory Lane is actually about the late-90’s.  On this page we see some 1999 ASICS runners including the Gel Kayano, the brand’s flagship runner which will see its 20th version release later this year.  The 1999 version of the Gel-Lyte is also present here, along with the intriguing Gel DS Trainer.

If the current popularity of the early 90’s ASICS models is any indication, it may be another ten years before sneaker heads are interested in these 1999 models.  Nonetheless, they’re still worth taking a look at right now.

Eastbay Memory Lane: ASICS Running 1999

 

Eastbay Memory Lane // 1997 Nike Baseball Turf Trainers

Eastbay Memory Lane // 1997 Nike Baseball Turf Trainers

words // Zack Schlemmer

The 2013 MLB season is officially here, as baseball fans across the nation hit the parks to watch their favorite teams back in action.  To celebrate the start of the baseball season, Eastbay Memory Lane goes back to 1997 to check out some classic Nike Baseball turf trainers.

Headlining this page is the Air Nomo Max, star pitcher Hideo Nomo’s signature shoe.  Of course he had a cleated on-field version, but here we see the Air Max cushioned trainer version.  This shoe is one of Nike’s most memorable baseball training models with its bold and aggressive “tooth” design and jeweled Swoosh.

The great turf trainers from this page continue with Kenny Lofton’s Zoom Diamond, the Air Diamond Thief, Air Diamond Elite and Air Zoom Fly.  Which is your favorite Nike diamond trainer from 1997?

Eastbay Memory Lane: 1997 Nike Baseball Turf Trainers

Eastbay Memory Lane: FILA Grant Hill II and Apparel

Eastbay Memory Lane: FILA Grant Hill II and Apparel

words // Zack Schlemmer

To the delight of many 1990’s sneaker fans, FILA is making a comeback this Spring starting with the return of Grant Hill’s second signature model, the Grant Hill II.  Also known as the GH2 and now the 96 since Hill isn’t officially signed on with the brand anymore, the Grant Hill II is one of FILA’s all-time greatest basketball sneakers.  From young Grant Hill (who, of course, is actually still in the NBA) doing work on the court in them to Tupac rocking a pair in a photo from one of his album CD booklets, the Grant Hill II is probably the most recognizable shoe from the brand’s glory days in the mid-90’s.

The shoe’s fairly simple design features a tumbled leather upper with a patent leather (depending on the colorway) piping which forms a triangular shape around the shoe and mirrored with the shape of the FILA logos at the heel and tongue. A strap at the ankle adds a finishing touch to this classic design. On this Eastbay page from the Fall of 1996 we see the shoe in three original colorways, including the white/navy pair set to re-release from select FILA retailers this week.  Along with some other FILA basketball models like the also soon-to-return Stackhouse, you’ll also see a full apparel line for the GH2 including t-shirts, shorts, tanks, socks, and even a polo.

Who is excited for the return of the Grant Hill II and other classic FILA models this year?

 

Eastbay Memory Lane // Chris Webber’s Dada CDubbz

Eastbay Memory Lane // Chris Webber’s Dada CDubbz

words // Zack Schlemmer

From the NCAA’s legendary Fab Five from Michigan University to his Rookie of the Year season with the Golden State Warriors and electrifying All Star years with the Sacramento Kings, Chris Webber will go down as one of the best power forwards to ever play the game of basketball.  C-Webb was notoriously one of the most journeyed players ever when it came to sneaker sponsors, wearing everything from Nike to adidas to FILA to name the major ones…but one of his most memorable sneakers came from Dada with the chromed-out CDubbz.

Along with the infamous Spinners from Latrell Sprewell, the CDubbz were the urban wear label Dada’s most successful dip into the athletic sneaker market.  Originally released in 2002, the CDubbz were one of the loudest and most eye-catching shoes of the time, sporting a patent leather upper complete with metallic “wing” design.  As you can see on this page, they came in a number of colorways including a “Wood Kit” option, but the most notorious of them all were the all-chrome-everything pair Webber wore in the 2002 NBA All Star game, unfortunately unavailable from this Eastbay catalog.

Check out the CDubbz along with another Dada signature shoe for Webber, the C4, and take a trip down memory lane with one of the most memorable basketball shoes from the early 2000’s.

Eastbay Memory Lane // Chris Webber's Dada CDubbz