Track and Field Gear Guide

Track and Field Gear Guide

Track and field stars, it’s time to start gearing up for the upcoming outdoor season. Eastbay has what you need to succeed, so out with the old and in with the new. This gear guide was created to help you figure out which qualities to look for in competition shoes, based on your event, and provide you with our top recommendations.

If you’re not sure how your spikes should fit, check out this blog post, to learn how to shop track and field shoes.

Jump To: Sprint Spikes, Mid-Distance & Distance Spikes, Throwing Shoes, Jumping Shoes

Woman sprinting in tank top with trees in the background.

When choosing a sprint spike, you should focus on two things : light weight and aggressive traction. You’re used to speeding through and relying on instinct when you’re on the track, but when it comes to deciding on sprint spikes, make sure to take your time. Look for a snug fit on the upper and a strategic spike plate to keep your feet stable in the blocks and help you grip the track with every stride.

Eastbay’s Turkey Trot: A Decade of Making a Difference

Eastbay’s Turkey Trot: A Decade of Making a Difference

In 2010, Eastbay’s marketing team presented the idea of beginning a charity turkey trot in Wausau – for a company with roots in running and community, this seemed like a perfect combination.

“The turkey trot originally started as a marketing initiative to keep the Eastbay name relevant in Marathon County,” said Carrie Sann, former vice president of Human Resources for Eastbay. “As it continued to grow, it became so much bigger than just brand awareness. It’s become about families coming together and supporting those in the community who are less fortunate.”

Ten years later, Eastbay’s Turkey Trot is still going strong. This success wouldn’t be possible without participants, so whether you plan to run, walk, or volunteer for this year’s 5K, know that you make a difference. Because what you see as just a registration fee is actually the start of a donation process that changes lives in the community.

Eastbay Turkey Trot signage outside in the snow.


1. From Eastbay to the Hunger Coalition

When Eastbay began planning for the event, the goal was to give back to the community, and United Way of Marathon County had just started their initiative to battle hunger. The perfect match between Eastbay and the Marathon County Hunger Coalition (MCHC) was born.

“When Eastbay discussed which cause we wanted to support, we thought about Thanksgiving and the people who didn’t have food, and it just made sense to give back to the newly formed Marathon Country Hunger Coalition,” said Carrie.

“The goal of the Hunger Coalition, in a nutshell, is to eliminate hunger in Marathon County,” said Dave Eisenreich, chair of the MCHC. “It’s an ambitious goal, but that’s what we’re trying to do.”

When participants register for Eastbay’s Turkey Trot, 100% of the registration fee is donated to the MCHC. To date, Eastbay has donated over $318,000.

“While the Turkey Trot only takes place over the course of two hours, it actually impacts the community throughout the year as we use those funds to purchase food for participating pantries in our community,” said Ben Lee, Director of Community Impact, Health & Financial Stability at United Way.

When the tradition began in 2010, there were 450 runners, and each year since, the attendance has increased.Last year, there were 1,830 participants who raised a total of $58,000.

But as the attendance has continuously grown through the years, so have the number of requests the MCHC receives for food assistance.

“Ten years ago, we served 75,000 people. Today, it’s 170,000 people,” Dave said.

Eastbay’s Turkey Trot is one of the biggest fundraising events for the MCHC allowing them to keep up with the increasing number of people in need. Which is why, according to Amanda Sahr, Employment Brand Strategist for Eastbay, they hope to set a record this year with a grand total of 2,000 participants.

If the Turkey Trot went away, unless we found something else to replace it, we couldn’t do what we do.

Dave Eisenreich, chair of the Marathon County Hunger Coalition
Group of Eastbay employees and Dave Eisenreich from the Hunger Coalition take photo with large donation check.
Dave Eisenreich (center) accepts check for the Marathon County Hunger Coalition.


2. From the Hunger Coalition to the Pantries

The MCHC is not a centralized food pantry, but it works with local food pantries to provide opportunities for collaboration and teamwork.

“We don’t want to take over or replace the food pantries,” Dave said. “That’s not realistic or practical for our county. They continue to focus on getting donations on their own, but we supplement what they’re doing and make it easier for them to succeed.”

One of the pantries that’s been a part of the MCHC since the beginning is The Neighbors’ Place (TNP) run by Executive Director Tom Rau.

“Cooperating with the Marathon County Hunger Coalition, and other local pantries, we make food stretch in ways we never thought possible,” Tom said. “I don’t think you’ll find an organization within the Hunger Coalition that would say it isn’t better than before it joined.”

The money that the MCHC receives from Eastbay’s Turkey Trot helps food pantries in two specific ways.

The first is purchasing monthly groceries for the food pantries within the coalition.

“We buy roughly $6,000 worth of food per month,” Dave said. “We have a list of staples that we buy through a local grocery store, and every month the Hunger Coalition truck will pick up the food and bring it to The Neighbors’ Place. Then it’s divided up by food pantry.”

The other way the donations help is with rural food delivery.

“The rural food delivery started years ago when we thought, ‘We’re the Marathon County Hunger Coalition, not the Wausau Hunger Coalition,’” said Dave. “So once or twice a year I’ll go as far as Edgar, Colby, and Spencer with a truckload of groceries and deliver to the smaller pantries.”

The Marathon County Hunger Coalition truck parked.


3. From the Pantries to the People

After the MCHC drops off their monthly truckload of groceries at TNP, volunteers divvy it up among the 11 food pantries. From there, each pantry operates a little differently depending on what works best for them, yet the result is always the same: people leave with more food than they arrived with. But food distribution is just the tip of the iceberg. When people visit food pantries, it allows them to save their grocery money for other expenses.

“It’s not always about people starving,” Tom said. “The money saved can go to heating a house in winter or fixing a car that unexpectedly broke down. Or, as we come up to Christmas, maybe by going to a food pantry, families can afford one or two more gifts under the tree.”

“Food pantries do so much more than just feed the starving.”

Tom Rau, Executive Director of The Neighbors’ Place

A child of the ’60s, Tom thought by this time in his life the fight against hunger would no longer exist. But he remains optimistic, saying that, as long as everybody keeps asking the right questions, they’re headed in the right direction.

“It’s ‘What will happen to me if I stop?’ versus ‘What will happen to them if I don’t stop?’” Tom said, referencing Martin Luther King Jr.’s Mountaintop speech. “The Hunger Coalition and the people who formed The Neighbors’ Place asked that second question: ‘What’s going to happen in our community if we don’t help?’ And every year, Eastbay asks itself, ‘What’s going to happen to the Hunger Coalition if we don’t do the Turkey Trot?’ That question makes all the difference.”

Current executive director of The Neighbors’ Place, Tom Rau (right) running in the Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving is the holiday most commonly associated with two things: food and gratitude. So how fitting that Eastbay along with the people of Marathon County spend a couple hours of their holiday giving back to their community and ensuring no one goes hungry.


We look forward to seeing you on Nov. 28 to celebrate a successful 10 years of trotting. Share your favorite memory from Eastbay’s Turkey Trot in the comments below.

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 Runners

Best Gifts for Runners

If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you’re either a runner looking to treat yourself or you know a runner and are looking for the best gear to gift them. (If running isn’t the sport you’re looking for, check out all our other gift guides.) Below you’ll find our top picks for runners – comfortable and durable gear made to withstand mile after mile of running.

Under Armour ColdGear Reactor Insulated Vest

Under Armour ColdGear Reactor Insulated Vest in Halo Grey colorway with reflective details.

This running vest is anything but ordinary. ColdGear® Reactor insulation helps your body adapt to the cold by providing both warmth and breathability. If that’s not enough to convince you, it also has quick-drying material, reflective details, and pockets for your necessary bring-alongs.

Though the model above is only available in men’s sizes, we do have a women’s fleece vest from Under Armour that’s worth checking out! (Don’t worry; it still has pockets!)

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36

Women's Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 in University Red colorway with black Swoosh outlined in gold sequins.

All the shoes in the Nike Zoom family are pretty great, but the Air Zoom Pegasus 36 is one of the most popular models and for good reason! The mesh-and-synthetic upper features more perforations across the high-heat areas of your feet to increase breathability, and exposed Flywire cables add a secure fit. Last but not least, iconic Zoom Air runs throughout the entire length of the shoes providing smooth comfort to your stride.

Available in both women’s and men’s sizes, these shoes are definitely a winning gift to either give or get.

Nike Wild Run Shield Jacket

Defy the weather in style with the Nike Shield Jacket. Weather-resistant fabric blocks out wind and rain so that you can keep after it even in stormy weather, and reflective graphics on the front and back pop when hit by the light, helping you stand out during low-light runs.

The Nike Shield Jacket is available in styles for both men and women.

Nike Joyride Run Flyknit

Nike Joyride Run Flyknit shoe in Dark Grey, Bright Crimson, Pure Platinum colorway.

The Nike Joyride shoes are one of a kind in both look and feel, making them a great gift option. They’re described as having small bean bags under your feet, and when you lace ‘em up for your first run, you’ll understand why. They’re so comfortable, and the four “bean bags” are filled with tiny foam beads that move and conform around your foot as pressure is dispersed during your stride.

These unique and innovative running shoes are available for both men and women.

Nike Glam Shorts

The Glam Shorts feature many of the same great features as other Nike running shorts including the quick drying Dri-FIT technology and 3” inseam for ultimate mobility. But what makes these shorts special is the design. Taking inspiration from the sport of basketball, these running shorts have wide mesh panels near the bottom for even more breathability and a slightly thicker waistband.

Sorry, men, these Glam shorts are only available in women’s sizes, but if you’re looking for a new pair of running shorts consider these 5” Challenger Brief Shorts from Nike.

adidas Ultraboost 19

Women's adidas Ultraboost 19 in an all white colorway.

The Ultraboost 19 running shoes have 20% more Boost (adidas’ most responsive midsole cushioning) than the previous model. But that’s not the only reason to buy these running shoes. Take the upper for example: It’s made from a seamless Primeknit material, so you know you have breathable and durable comfort. And the outsole is made from Continental™ Rubber to provide phenomenal traction in all weather and on all surfaces.

These ultra-responsive running shoes are available in men’s and women’s sizes and are sure to give your running the boost you need to hit that new PR.

Nike Wild Run Midlayer Long-Sleeve Top

Men's Nike Wild Run Midlayer Long-Sleeve Top in Pale Ivory/Game Royal/Black colorway.

As the weather turns cooler, you start considering putting on another layer before heading out the door for your run. Which sounds like an easy enough decision, but what can you wear that won’t cause your body to overheat, won’t weigh you down, and won’t hinder your movements? This Dri-FIT midlayer top from Nike checks all those boxes offering safety and warmth from wind and rain. The front and back panels are water and wind resistant while the knit sleeves provide added warmth.

The Nike Glam Midlayer Long Sleeve Top for women is a little different but still helps you run comfortably in cool weather with mesh panels for ventilation and a brushed knit fabric for warmth.

Brooks Revel 3

Men's Brooks Revel 3 running shoes in the Green, Red, Silver colorway.

Meet the newest running shoes from Brooks – the Revel 3. The sleek design on the upper gives it a more versatile look from the traditional running shoe silhouette, so that even before or after running you can wear it around enjoying the casual look. Not only will they look great with whatever you pair it with, but it feels great on your foot with an inner bootie designed to provide a secure fit. The last level of comfort is found in the midsole cushioning that adapts to your specific running stride to provide the perfect amount of protection.

These neutral, road-running shoes are available for men and women.

HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 6

Women's HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 6 in the Poppy Red/Cactus Flower colorway.

As with previous Clifton models that have come before it, the 6 continues to provide a lightweight and comfortable fit with the signature midsole cushioning, full-ground contact, and zones of high-abrasion rubber on the outsole. Plus, this new update features an embroidered design on the outside of the mesh upper to provide a secure fit without any added weight and bulk.

Perfect for road runs, these shoes can be found in both men’s and women’s sizes.

Nike Tempo UNI PR Shorts

These shorts are a staple for female runners. Made with Dri-FIT technology throughout and mesh fabric on the sides, you’ll stay cool and dry during your entire run. And with built-in briefs and a 3” inseam you’ll experience a full range of mobility so that you can run with ease.

Although the Tempo UNI PR Shorts are only available in women’s sizes, we do offer plenty of Nike running shorts for men!

4 Reasons to Buy the Brooks Ghost 12

4 Reasons to Buy the Brooks Ghost 12

Brooks Ghost 12 running shoes placed on rocks outside.

Colors: Navy and Deep Water

If you’re going to buy a new pair of running shoes, it’s best to get an expert’s opinion, which is why we talked with David Ribich and Katie Mackey, two members of the Brooks Beasts Track Club, to get their thoughts on the new Ghost 12. As professional athletes, these two know what they’re talking about, so without further ado, here’s four reasons to buy the new Brooks Ghost 12 running shoes.

1. There’s no break-in time required.

If you’ve done your fair share of running, you’re familiar with the break-in process of shoes. It usually takes a couple days of wearing them around the house before they feel comfortable enough to run in. Right out of the box, shoes can often be stiff and harsh on your feet but not the Ghost 12s. This is because of the unique upper made from engineered mesh and Brooks 3D Fit Print which uses a screen-printing process to add strategic stretch for a seamless structure.

“They form to your foot,” David said. “They’re one of those shoes you put on and don’t have to get the blisters or the sore feet. They feel good right off the rip.”

2. It has a perfect balance of cushioning.

As mid-distance runners, both Katie and David want some cushioned comfort but also want structure to keep their paces up. With durable cushion near the heel and a more responsive layer near the forefoot, the Ghost 12’s dual cushioning gives runners a just-right feel.

“The Ghost is the shoe I do the majority of my training miles in because it’s a good, cushioned, neutral running shoe,” Katie said. “It gives protection to my feet when I’m pounding out all my base miles.”

3. It’s versatile for miles.

Designed with traction pads for durability, lightweight mesh for speed, and responsive cushioning for comfort – these shoes are ready for anything, and both Katie and David testify to this point.

“Whether it’s for a 40-minute run, or a 16-mile run, the Ghosts are my shoes,” David said.

“It’s lightweight enough that I can hop into a hill workout on the roads or do a quality long run in it,” Katie said. “And sometimes I use it in place of a training flat.”

4. It’s got a good record.

The Ghost shoes have been renewed 12 times with slight changes throughout the years to make each rendition better than the last. So, if you liked a previous version of the Ghost, chances are you’ll love the Ghost 12. In a sport where minimal gear is required, it’s best to know that you can count on your shoes to be the best at what they do – enhancing your run and protecting your feet. The Ghost 12s will do just that.

“The Ghosts have come a long way. I remember running in the Ghost 10 in college,” David said. “They’ve gotten incrementally better.”

To shop all other Brooks running shoes, check out eastbay.com.

Best Cross Country Shoes for Practice and Competition

Best Cross Country Shoes for Practice and Competition

As you head back to the course this cross country season, not just any shoes will do. You need the best gear possible to help you leave your legacy in the record books. That’s why we’ve created this list of the best cross country shoes of the season. So, whether you compete in spikes or flats or just need a new pair of shoes for practice, eastbay.com has the best gear from top brands. So, get ready for your best season yet!

COMPETITION SPIKES AND FLATS:

When it comes to shoes for race day, you want to make sure they’re light as can be with ultimate traction to grip the surface of the cross country course, whether you’re running on grass, gravel, or dirt.

1. Nike Zoom Victory XC 5

Colors: Black, Metallic Silver, Black

Take on tough courses with these cross country shoes. Multilayered, translucent mesh provides a lightweight, breathable, and water-resistant upper that stays snug on your foot throughout the race. The spiked version has a carbon fiber plate in the midfoot to enhance stability and support and features rubber heel pods, extra lugs, and six spike pins on the outsole to give you multisurface durability and aggressive traction. The waffle version of these shoes sports a CushIon midsole for lightweight, responsive cushioning and an all-rubber outsole for gripping traction.

2. Saucony Havok XC2

Colors: Black and Green

These cross country shoes are a great option for varsity runners. Both versions are made with a seamless sock-like upper with FLEXFILM overlays to provide an enhanced fit without adding extra bulk. While both versions feature a full carbon rubber outsole, the spiked version also features a six-pin Pebax® plate to keep you leading the pack on aggressive terrain.

3. New Balance XC Seven V2

Colors: Black and White

These shoes combine the lightweight cushioning of elite racing shoes with a more traditional fit and extra protection, making them a perfect choice for new racers. An engineered knit upper provides lightweight structure while unique midsole cushioning gives a responsive feel underfoot. Finished off with a lugged rubber outsole and six removable spikes, these shoes provide superior traction on every type of course.

4. Nike Zoom Rival XC

Colors: White, Black and Atmosphere Grey

These shoes look as fast as they feel with a multilayered mesh upper featuring striped skin overlays. Both versions are great, affordable options for cross country shoes with lightweight, responsive cushioning in the midsole and an anatomical rounded heel to roll with the ground. The spiked version has strategically placed lugs on the perimeter of the outsole to enhance grip in all conditions, while the spikeless version features a waffle plate with a rubber outsole for traction.

5. Saucony Carrera XC4

Colors: Black and Slime

Even the best can get better, and these racing shoes are proof of that. A fully engineered mesh upper features ISOFIT that adapts to the shape and motion of your foot for a secure fit. The midsole is made from a super light, high-abrasion foam to increase durability without weighing you down. The spiked version features a durable rubber outsole with a six-pin Pebax® spike plate that provides unrelenting grip for your fastest race yet.

PRACTICE FLATS:

Built for training, preparing for race day, and beating your PR, these shoes are guaranteed to get you closer to annihilating your goals.

1. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36

Colors: Phantom, Riderock, Electric Green and Moon Particle

These running shoes are exactly what you need to get your practice miles in throughout the week. They feature a slimmer design than the last Pegasus model with less weight in the tongue and heel collar. The upper is made from engineered mesh, and the midsole features a full-length Zoom Air unit along with CushIon foam to provide responsive cushioning.

2. Saucony Type A8

Colors: White, Black and Citron

These versatile running shoes have an engineered mesh upper with FLEXFILM overlays to provide a seamless sock-like fit. A super light midsole gives rebound while you run, and a carbon rubber outsole provides durable traction so that you can comfortably put in many practice miles before the big race.

3. New Balance 1500 V5

Colors: White and Neon Emerald

Designed for aggressive road runs, these shoes promise speed and support. The upper is made of breathable mesh to keep your feet feeling fresh, and the midsole sports responsive cushioning to keep your steps light and springy.