Q&A with Catalog Cover Artist, Destyni Swoope

Q&A with Catalog Cover Artist, Destyni Swoope

It’s 2020. You’d think by now we’d have flying cars, alien best friends, and gender equality, but before those dreams come true, science has more to discover, and we’ve got more to conqHER.

In the meantime, Eastbay continues making history of its own. For Women’s History Month, Destyni Swoope designed our March catalog cover, becoming the first external artist to do so. If you’re on our catalog mailing list, you’ll be able to see her cool art in person, but her inspiration and her story are equally amazing, so we decided to talk with her about Eastbay, her art, and women’s empowerment. Here’s what she had to say:

Destyni Swoope, artist, leans against a graffit wall.

Q: What was your experience with Eastbay growing up?

A: Growing up as a young athlete, I anticipated getting the Eastbay catalogs in the mail. It was like the sneaker bible! Back then, my brother and I would circle and star all the things we wanted and leave it out on the table in hopes that our mom would feel generous and buy us something. Haha! It was fun to see the gear that our favorite players wore and then be able to copy their swag. Eastbay catalogs have always been a huge part of the culture; I don’t know too many people who didn’t love flipping through them as a kid.

Q: You said you were a young athlete, what sports did you play growing up?

A: My love for basketball began when my older brother introduced it to me. We shared a room most of our younger years, so I naturally took after him and embraced hoop culture. I started playing with the kids on my block, and eventually my family signed me up at the rec center where I played through high school. I had coaches, but my father was the one who really pushed and supported my desire to play – we practiced and worked on my game constantly. When I got older, he even took me to the gym to play games of 21 with grown men on the courts to really put me to the test. That’s where my drive and love for basketball flourished.

Q: So, as a former youth athlete to now being an artist, what life advice would you give to young Eastbay athletes?

A: I’d say, always let the passion you have for your craft lead the way. Be open to learning experiences and remain a student of the game, because, outside of the game, you’re a student of life. The fundamentals and skills you learn in your craft follow you into life. Embrace your inner beast and constantly reach for perfection. A great high school coach of mine drilled this into my head saying, “MTXE,” which stands for “Mental Toughness, Extra Effort.” I found that this follows me outside of athletics in my journey as an artist. I strive to always reach higher and put my all into each opportunity.

Cold-Weather Gear

Cold-Weather Gear

For many fall sports athletes, the intensity is building as you enter the most important part of the season. But as you prepare for your most high-pressure games, meets, or matches, you’re going to face a different kind of challenge: cold weather. As fall turns into winter, training outdoors gets increasingly more difficult. But don’t worry, we’ve done the heavy lifting and researched all the top products to bring you our top recommendations of cold-weather training gear designed to withstand anything Mother Nature throws your way. So no matter what sport you’re training for this winter, you can keep warm outdoors with the right cold-weather gear.

Nike Aerolayer

Nike Aerolayer is another essential piece of training gear, especially when the rain, sleet, and foggy mist come around. Water-repellent and warm, Aerolayer technology puts a layer of lightweight polyester insulation in between a water-resistant shell and inner lining to provide warmth without feeling too bulky to move. And precisely cut holes in the insulation layer allow heat to escape ensuring you don’t get too hot or too cold while you train.

A man and woman, wearing Nike gear, stretch before their run on wet pavement with fallen leaves on the ground.
Male model wearing: Nike Aerolayer Vest.

Nike Shield

If you’re fighting both wind and rain, Nike Shield is the winning technology you need to shield you from the elements. The fabric, which remains soft on the inside, is weather-resistant against wind and water, so that even in the meanest storms, you can keep going strong.

Man, outfitted in Nike gear, running outdoors with trees in the background and fallen leaves on the path.
Model wearing: Nike Wild Run Aerolayer Vest and Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Shield.

Nike AeroShield

Nike AeroShield provides protection against wind and rain without sacrificing breathability. With sealed seams to create waterproof clothing and vents to promote airflow, you can stay dry and comfortable while fighting the elements.

Woman and man, outfitted in Nike gear, running on an outdoors trail with fallen leaves around them.
Female model wearing: Nike Thermasphere Element Hood 2.0 and Nike Zonal AeroShield HD Jacket.
Male model wearing: Nike Therma Sphere Element 1/2-Zip Top 3.0, Nike Shield Warm Jacket, and Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Shield.

Nike Therma

Nike Therma is thicker to keep you up and running through the windy winter months. Ideal for layering, it’s soft and comfortable while remaining lightweight and breathable. But the true technology in Nike Therma is that certain threads in the fabric trap the heat emitted by your body providing lasting warmth while the garment construction allows air flow in and out to prevent your body from overheating.

Woman doing lunges on pavement outside while wearing Under Armour ColdGear tights and jacket.
Model wearing: Under Armour ColdGear Armour Colorblock 1/2-Zip and Under Armour ColdGear Armour Tights.

Under Armour ColdGear

For optimal mobility during sports, Under Armour ColdGear is made from a lightweight fabric that allows you to stay warm without wearing bulky layers. The material is designed to adapt to the cold by trapping your body heat and quickly wicking away sweat so you stay dry and avoid chaffing and chills from damp clothing.

Under Armour Armour Fleece®

Light enough to wear under another layer or by itself (depending on how low the mercury drops), Armour Fleece® provides warmth and comfort during winter. The inside of the fabric is brushed for ultimate softness and layered to trap your body heat.

Man stretching outdoors on pavement while wearing black Under Armour Fleece® pants.
Model wearing: Under Armour CG Armour Compression Fitted Mock and Under Armour Armour Fleece Jogger Pants.

So those are our top picks for cold-weather gear to help you conquer outdoor training this season. Whether you’re training for football, soccer or cross country, make sure you grab the clothing you need to stay ahead of your peers. And if you’re looking for a more casual but equally warm outfit, check out our cold weather style guide for this year’s best winter wear.

Best Gifts for Soccer Players

Best Gifts for Soccer Players

Kick off your holiday shopping with Eastbay this year. Browse our Best Gifts for Soccer Players guide below to find all the top gear that’s perfect for the pitch.

Nike Phantom Vision Elite Dynamic Fit

Built with fierce precision in mind, the Nike Phantom Vision Elite Dynamic Fit cleat features a foot-hugging quadfit mesh bootie concealed in a flyknit-constructed outer layer. This boot was created to provide the most consistent finish in the game.

Nike Mercurial Superfly 7 Elite MDS IC

Soccer season never stops. Elevate your indoor game with the Nike Mercurial Superfly 7 Elite built for court or inside surfaces. Based on the Nike Sports Research Lab’s analysis of play movements, the bottom rubber sole is designed to provide multidirectional traction on any surface. Worn by pros Sam Kerr, Kylian Mbappé, and Cristiano Ronaldo, the limited edition Mercurial Dream Speed model is made for players with speed in their DNA.

adidas Predator 19.3 IN

Another solid indoor choice is the adidas Predator 19.3. This soccer shoe provides a sock-like fit to securely lock you in, even during quick cuts. Grooves on the forefoot of the shoe grip the ball to add control to your passes and shots.

adidas Tango Training Jersey – Men’s

Three-stripe streetwear style meets adidas performance technology. The adidas Tango Training Jersey is designed with a pixelated camouflage print and is made from lightweight, sweat-wicking fabric to keep you looking – and playing – your best.

Nike Strike Soccer Ball

Chock-full of new technology, the Nike Strike Soccer Ball is the perfect gift for the serious soccer player. The 12-panel design provides true and accurate ball flight while the machine stitching enhances durability so you’ll be able to use this ball for years to come.

adidas X Pro Shin Guards

Premium protection that doesn’t slow you down – the adidas X Pro Shin Guards are lightweight and have a low-profile silhouette for a minimal feel and great flexibility.

Nike Mercurial Backpack

The Nike Mercurial Backpack transports all your gear in style. This backpack offers an elastic front pouch that holds a soccer ball, a ventilated side pocket that keeps your shoes separate, and a large compartment for whatever else you need on game day.

Shopping for other sports or styles? Check out our full list of gift guides here.

Best Soccer Kits: Support Your Squad In Style

Best Soccer Kits: Support Your Squad In Style

All over the globe, the world’s best soccer players are gearing up for another exciting season of professional fútbol. Of course, a new season brings new and improved kit designs for all the top clubs in the top leagues, and Eastbay is your one-stop shop for everything soccer and beyond. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite kits and the inspiration behind the new designs.

Barcelona

Barcelona

The new Barcelona home kits are a modern take on their classic colors. They feature a checkerboard print, replacing the iconic vertical line design. The print is inspired by the streetscape of the city’s Eixample district, which the residents call the creative hub and building blocks of Barcelona’s future. For the away kits, the famous club pulls inspiration from an older generation. Barcelona’s away jersey is a tribute to the 40-year anniversary of La Masia, a youth soccer academy that trains the country’s future stars. The all-maize kit is decorated with a bold blue and maroon diagonal sash, and the stripes on the back neckline are the colors of the Catalan flag.

Paris Saint-Germain

PSG

As the official kit supplier for Paris Saint-Germain over the last 30 years, Nike agreed to extend its partnership until 2032. To celebrate the long-term contract, Nike decided to honor tradition with a contemporary take on PSG’s classic look for its home kits. The all-navy jersey includes a bold stripe at the center formed by red and white bars and is broken up by the new Accor Live Limitless sponsor logo. On the other hand, PSG’s away kits are nothing like we’ve ever seen before. Last year, the team decided to rock the iconic Jumpman logo on its alternate kits for the first time in soccer history. This year, PSG is upping the ante by donning the Jordan Brand logo on its bright infrared shaded away kit. The bright red color is inspired by the infrared 23 color from the Jordan 6 and is symbolic of Paris’ influence on contemporary culture. These trendsetting jerseys are going fast, so make sure to pick up yours today from eastbay.com.

Chelsea

Chelsea

If you’re a Chelsea fan, then you know how important its iconic Stamford Bridge stadium is. So, it’s only fitting that the club’s home kits feature an architecture-inspired navy print, comprised of imagery from the stadium and southwest London. The new home jerseys also kept the classic royal base and feature a lion borrowed from the club’s crest on the inside. Chelsea’s all-white away kits are inspired by the Chelsea Smart dress and the Mod culture that thrived on the King’s Road. These clean jerseys also feature a white collar with blue and red striping to mix off-field fashion with peak performance.

Tottenham

Tottenham

While Chelsea honors the past and tradition, Tottenham looks forward to what’s ahead. Inspired by the optimism around the club’s recent success, Tottenham’s home and away kits are a modern take on their classic look. The home jersey is solid white with blue trim around the V-neck and sleeves. Inside the shirt is the club motto, “To Dare Is To Do,” a fitting ode to the team’s identity. The away kit also features the club motto but in Latin — a tribute to Tottenham’s previous crests that used to include the language. The bold navy away look features a purple graphic formed by type lines that read “Spurs.” As a nod to the club’s rise, the word “Spurs” only moves forward and upward within the graphic.

In addition to these top clubs, we also carry kits from Inter Milan, Roma, and Club America and offer logo T-shirts, training tops, and hoodies for all the same teams. To shop our selection of club soccer jerseys and apparel, visit eastbay.com.

This Year’s Best Soccer Gear: A position-by-position breakdown

This Year’s Best Soccer Gear: A position-by-position breakdown

Soccer Gear Guide Featured Image

The grass has been cut. The lines have been painted. It’s time to head back to the soccer field. Eastbay is here to help make this your best season yet. We’ve got a massive collection of the best soccer gear from the biggest brands, so you’re sure to find the perfect fit. And, to make it easy on you, we even divided our soccer cleats by player type, so you can make sure you lace up the right way. Check it out below:

TOP CLEATS

Players looking for speed

Nike Mercurial Superfly 7 Elite

Nike Mercurial Superfly 7

After bursting onto the scene in 2009, Nike’s Superfly line became a staple of speed at the professional level. Worn by some of the best players in the game, the newest Mercurial Superfly has improved traction with a slightly stiffer chassis and the Nike Aerow Trac zone in the forefoot. These boots also feature a 360-degree Flyknit Dynamic Fit collar that wraps your foot for a comfortable, second-skin fit.

adidas X 19.1

adidas X 19.1

Show off your speed with the perfect lightweight boot from the brand with the three stripes. The adidas X 19.1 cleats offer a thin SpeedMesh upper for a lightning-quick look and feel. These cleats also utilize a SpeedFrame outsole for traction and stability that doesn’t weigh your foot down.

Nike Mercurial Vapor 12 Elite

Nike Mercurial Vapor 12

Looking to burn past the back four with devastating explosiveness? Look no further than the Nike Mercurial Vapor 12 cleats. The elite version of these boots provides Flyknit technology that is lightweight and flexible for agile comfort. They also feature a two-part podular plate system that flexes with your foot for responsive speed with every step.

Players looking for striking and ball-handling

adidas Nemeziz 19.1

If your game revolves around displaying flashy footwork and finding the back of the net, you have to check out the adidas Nemeziz 19.1 cleats. The durable, textile upper and torsion system provide a comfortable, locked-down fit while the TPU-injected outsole keeps you stable when striking the ball. These boots will adapt to your foot for customizable style that stands out on the pitch.

adidas Predator 19.1

adidas Predator 19.1

Is precision the name of your game? Then you need to take a look at the adidas Predator 19.1 cleats. These boots offer a textured control skin coating for a confident touch when dancing around an opponent or hitting top corner on a strike. They also have a stretchy collar that wraps around your foot to provide a snug fit without sacrificing ankle movement.

Nike Phantom Venom Elite

Nike Phantom Venom Elite

Take control of your strikes with the Nike Phantom Venom Elite cleats. These innovative boots include blades on the instep to help create spin and direct the flight of the ball. They also feature flywire cables that offer better lockdown to keep your foot securely in place when making that game-winning kick.

Nike Phantom Vision Elite

Nike Phantom Vision Elite

Block out all distractions and make the precise play with Phantom Vision cleats. With an innovative Ghost Lacing system, these cleats feature a flat surface placed over the laces for clean strikes every time. They also utilize premier Quadfit mesh construction that fits to your foot like a sock, offering a comfortable, stable feel.

Players looking for touch and comfort

Nike Tiempo Legend 8 Elite

Nike Tiempo Legend 8 Elite

Nike’s legendary Tiempo cleats continue to be one of the most reliable choices on the market. The Tiempo Legend 8 Elite cleats feature soft, premium kangaroo leather that delivers unrivaled touch and control. They also utilize a flyknit tongue and quad-fit mesh lining for a supportive, comfortable feel all game long.

adidas Copa 19.1

adidas Copa 19.1

Lace up a pair of adidas Copa 19.1 cleats and instantly improve your first touch. These boots also feature super soft kangaroo leather that helps you orchestrate in comfort while a molded vamp brings you closer to the ball for confident control.

But to dominate on the soccer field, you’ll need more than just the best cleats – you’ll need the latest apparel and equipment too. Here’s a quick rundown of the added pieces you can grab to complete your game.

TOP APPAREL

soccer apparel

Maximize your potential by training in Nike Strike Apparel. Made with lightweight, breathable Dri-FIT material, Strike apparel is engineered to keep you cool and comfortable throughout a day on the pitch. The Nike Strike Shorts are a top choice for the serious soccer player. Featuring zippered pockets for secure storage space and an elastic waistband with a flat drawcord for a snug fit, these shorts are a must-have. To shop the rest of our Strike collection, visit eastbay.com.

We also carry a variety of Nike Academy apparel, available in men’s, women’s, and kids’ sizes. Two of our hottest items from the Academy line are the Women’s Knit Tank and the Men’s Knit Hoodie. The tank features a racerback design that allows a natural range of motion while the hoodie is constructed of Dri-FIT fabric and a multipanel hood for warmth and comfort in less-than-ideal weather conditions.

Finally, if you’re team adidas, we recommend shopping our selection of Tango apparel. Designed to be the perfect combination of style and performance, adidas Tango apparel is built for the soccer obsessed. One of our favorite items is the Tango Logo Jersey T-shirt because it combines the iconic adidas look with comfortable, lightweight fabric so you can look good and play even better.

TOP EQUIPMENT

Get the protection you need with the Nike Flylite Shin Guards. These guards are lightweight and flexible, so they won’t get in the way when making plays. Geometric columns and webbing replace traditional foam, holding the guard up off your leg to keep you dry and comfortable. For added protection when heading a volley or just playing physical, we recommend checking out the Storelli Sports ExoShield Head Guard. Weighing only eight ounces, this head guard is built with combat-grade viscoelastic foam that conforms to your head for maximum security and fit.

We didn’t forget about goalies! When it comes to gloves, we suggest one of the two following options. The Nike Vapor Grip 3 Gloves feature Grip3 technology that helps you make tough saves from anywhere in the box. On the other hand, the Storelli Sports Exoshield Gladiator Legend 2.0 Gloves are chock-full of padding and support for game-long, stable protection.

Of course, there is no soccer game without a soccer ball. The Nike Magia Soccer Ball is the perfect choice for any surface in any conditions. The Nike Aerowtac grooves provide a perfect flight pattern while a textured casing gives this ball incredible touch and feel. Another solid choice is the adidas Context 19 ball. The thermally bonded, seamless surface gives the player complete control and reliable performance with every kick.

Julie Ertz: Attacking Adversity

Julie Ertz: Attacking Adversity

Julie Ertz can’t remember a time when she wasn’t completely enthralled by soccer. For the 27-year-old midfielder, it’s not just a game, it’s a way of life.

“Growing up, I just fell in love with the sport right away,” Ertz said. “I felt the most me when I was out there playing on the field.”

In 2017, she was named U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, and going into this summer, Ertz is expected to be a key component of the 2019 national team. She’s known for her ferocious tackling skills and uncanny ability to find the back of the net on set pieces.

But Ertz wasn’t always an international superstar. In fact, only a couple of years ago she was playing a completely different position.

Nearly a year after she burst onto the scene as a 23-year-old center back for the 2015 national team, Ertz was benched, forcing her to make a decision — she could either sulk about her demotion or put in the hard work to mentally and physically overcome the obstacles in her way.

“As an athlete, you see adversity all the time and those are the challenges that either make you or break you,” Ertz said. “For me, that was through injuries, not playing, and being benched. What I learned from that experience was that adversity can be your best friend if you allow it to test your character and who you really want to be.”

Ertz didn’t just battle back to regain her spot on the team, she completely reinvented her game and became one of the best defensive midfielders in the sport today. That willingness to change her position and the grind she went through to achieve greatness is a testament to her reputation as a teammate and fan favorite.

“I always wanted to be a versatile player because I loved the sport so much and thought each position could teach me something different,” Ertz said. “I want to be the best teammate I can be and so, for me, versatility means being reliable for my teammates. Whatever they ask of me, I want to do.”

Ertz also knows that being a successful female athlete comes with extra challenges and obstacles. She credits the generation of female soccer stars who came before her and recognizes that they helped lay the foundation for players like her to become national icons.

“As I got older, it was huge to watch the women who paved the way for me,” Ertz said. “Seeing those women push boundaries allowed me to dream and that’s the biggest thing I want to thank them for.”

Now that Ertz and her teammates are the face of a new era of women’s soccer, she’s embracing the opportunity to continue the legacy of being a role model for the next generation.

“I just want to let every young, aspiring athlete or person know that whatever your dream is, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t go for it,” Ertz said. “Any boundary can be a new boundary, and it’s important to know that we’re behind you and that you’re not alone.”