“We’ve got what’s hot for fall,” read the caption on the front cover of the August 1999 Eastbay catalog. Looking back, that was actually a massive understatement. It was always sad to realize that school was just around the corner, but it was also exciting because fall sports were here. For the pros, MLB playoff races were heating up, and the NFL season was kicking off. Plus, college football was starting as well. For us kids, we were perusing the pages for our Back to School pair of sneakers, apparel, and soccer or football cleats. There were way too many kicks to choose from, as the August ‘99 Eastbay catalog was packed with a ton of new styles for the fall. Plus, they had their website up and running with over 17,000 products online. Here’s a look back at some of the classic kicks from that season.
This particular Eastbay issue kicked right off with Trail Running, which was a little random for them. Typically we saw Basketball, Running or Football first. I was totally fine with the change, as all the big brands were cranking out some dope trail runners. adidas was leading the charge with the Response Trail and Incision. They both featured adiPRENE cushioning in the heel and forefoot. Nike was close behind with some great trail runners as well, including the all new Air Terra Goatek. The Goatek had a super-grippy outsole that worked like a goat’s hoof. If Goatek, aka G-Tek sounds familiar, it’s because rapper Drake’s new sneaker also uses this OG technology. And don’t forget about the New Balance 802 – back when I worked at Foot Locker in high school, I remember selling a ton of these.
Nike was churning out crazy technological cushioning advances, including visible Zoom Air in the Air Zoom Citizen, a heel Tuned Air unit in the Air Max Plus, and a full-length Tuned Air unit in the Air Tuned Max. The Tuned Max and Air Max Plus have retroed, but we’re still waiting patiently for the return of the Citizen. The Air Zoom Citizen was developed by Rick Lower, who had some challenges designing it with the new visible Zoom Air cushioning. Over time, it has become a cult favorite, however. adidas was dropping plenty of popular runners as well, including the Response, Ozweego, Supernova, Equipment Ride, and Universal. All had super-clean looks with great adiPRENE cushioning inside.
This was back when Jordan Brand was becoming its own entity apart from Nike. Jordan Brand had their own section in Eastbay, leading off the basketball part of the catalog. There was plenty of apparel, and some shoes that might look familiar including the Air Jordan XIV Low, the 3 Percent (MJ’s body fat percentage at the time), the Trunner, and the Quick 6 (for Eddie Jones). Interestingly, that UNC-themed AJ XIV was a sample pair – the pair that released to the public had perforations on the upper instead of the smooth leather. The Nike Basketball pages were full of unique silhouettes, including the debut of the Air Flightposite (dropped 8/18/1999), the Vroomlicious, the Air Tuned Uptempo, and the Air Pippen III. Allen Iverson’s Reebok Questions were still going strong 3 years after they originally dropped, with low-cut versions taking off for the warmer months.
Some great tennis models were available, including Andre Agassi’s Air Zoom Beyond (designed by Wilson Smith) and Air Court Motion (designed by Peter Hudson). The Air Zoom Sterling for women also featured visible Zoom Air like the Beyond. The GTS Lo, which stands for “Great Tennis Shoe” as the story goes, was a very popular casual model. I personally owned both the Air Zoom Beyond to play in for matches, and the Air Duration II to practice in.
Nike was putting out some incredibly high-quality soccer boots, including the Mercurial R9, which was designed for Brazilian football superstar Ronaldo. There was also a women’s version called the Air Zoom M9, which was made for American women’s star Mia Hamm. Along with the Mercurial and M9, there was also the Air Rio Zoom, which featured a full-length Zoom Air sockliner. adidas was obviously no slouch in the football department, and dropped the Equipment Predator Accelerator for a whopping $164.99. adidas also made the Equipment Maneeta – the first Predator shoe designed for women.
The Cross Training section was packed with trainers that don’t get enough love, including the Total Air Griffey Max, the Air Max 120, and the Air 90. This was also when the Air Sunder Max was making big waves. Nike trainers in general were getting very bright and colorful, and utilized all sorts of cushioning, from Zoom Air, to Tuned Air, to Air Max.
Think Eastbay shoppers loved football? This issue had 9 pages dedicated just to the cleats alone. That’s not even counting additional pages featuring plenty more football equipment and jerseys. Stars like Keyshawn Johnson, Peyton Manning, Chris Slade, Howard Griffeth, Antonio Freeman, Doug Flutie, Barry Sanders, John Randle all made cameo appearances on those pages. Cleats like the Air Zoom Apocalypse, Pro Shark Stove, and Reebok Pro Shroud gave players of all ages and levels great options to choose from.
Want to see more of Drew’s classic Eastbay catalog collection? Make sure you check out all of his Look Back stories.
Drew is the creator of @nikestories on Instagram. Growing up in the ’90s, Drew loved playing soccer, basketball, tennis, and even dabbled in cross country running. He ended up focusing on tennis in high school and helped lead his team to multiple state titles. His favorite athletes growing up include Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Andre Agassi, and Ken Griffey, Jr. He was smart enough to save all his old Eastbay catalogs from the ’90s and loves sharing them with the sneaker community. Follow him at @nikestories or read more of his work here.
Buying a new pair of football cleats is an investment. You need a dependable pair that can weather the wear and tear of a long, grueling season. But you also want to pick out a cleat that fits your style of play and looks good while you’re out there on the field. Finding all these qualifications in one pair of cleats can be tricky, so let us guide you through some of our top-selling football cleats and make your job a little bit easier.
White on white on white. This Adizero’s classic and clean colorway meshes perfectly with the aerodynamic and textured look adidas created for this cleat model. A stable and strong cleat plate combined with the lightweight, EVA midsole gives you the perfect feeling of fast underneath your feet. With the minimalist design and clear white look, this cleats pairs well with almost any team color scheme so you can play well and look even better doing it.
The Nike Football design lab has been consistently churning out good looking cleats for years now, but there’s something about the Vapor Untouchable that goes above and beyond the brand’s norm. This Game Royal colorway instantly captures your attention with the speckled, optical illusion-like pattern plastered across the front of the cleat. The cleat also boasts silver accents around the midfoot and on the Nike ‘Swoosh’ while the one-piece bootie construction gives off a modern and practical look. Built for dynamic players, this cleat ensures that you will stand out from the rest on game day.
A cleat as flashy as it is fast. This golden Adizero Burner gives off big trophy vibes and is specially designed to allow for superior traction without overly weighing you down with cleat pressure. The reflective heel offers premier support and is sure to turn heads as you streak down the field. This cleat also utilizes a snug lace closure system to provide an excellent fit and has an ironskin toe cap that’s abrasion-resistant for long-lasting use.
The Jordan brand needs no introduction. The sneaker giant has dominated the basketball and casual shoe world for decades, but only recently transitioned over to the gridiron, creating classic Jordan Retro looks in cleat form. This Game Royal/Steel Grey colorway of the famous Retro 10 instantly gathered praise from casual culture observers to avid readers of hypebeast.com. This cleat not only looks fresh, it’s also super practical on the field. The mid-high fit sleeve contained in durable, synthetic leather makes it one of the most comfortable cleats in the game.
For fans of the all black everything look, you have to check out this Under Armour Spotlight Select cleat. Haptic Printing overlays combined with mid-cut construction mesh give this model the prototypical Under Armour design, accompanied by the advanced tech that the brand always provides. This cleat also features strategically placed bladed and conical studs for improved braking along with quick, multidirectional movements so you’ll never get caught slipping on grass or turf.
Take I-95 north from Miami for about 30 minutes and you’ll come across a sign for Hollywood, Florida. Located in Broward County, the heart of South Florida, Hollywood is a football town in the heart of football country. Over the years some of the league’s best have come from this area. Lamar Jackson, T.Y. Hilton, and Antonio Brown are just a couple of the players that have made their way to the top. Now there is a new rising star looking to make a name for himself, and prove he is the next great deep threat. It’s time for Marquise Brown to show what he is capable of.
When it comes to football in South Florida, playing is less an option, and more an expectation. Brown began playing when he was 6 and quickly realized what football meant to his neighborhood.
“You’re not just playing for yourself, you’re also playing for your family and the community that you come from. As you grow older and move through college and the pros, you still have a bond with guys from the same area as you. Everyone is competing and wants to be the best, but you also like to see other guys from your area be successful.”
When Brown first began playing football, he was primarily a running back. Then when he turned 11 his coaches switched him to slot receiver. That was when Brown realized he had one undeniable attribute that no one else had – He was fast as hell.
“I would score on about 90% of the jet sweeps they called, and I realized I was faster than anyone who was trying to tackle me.”
The nickname “Jet” was born.
That speed would become Brown’s calling card as he made his way through high school, starring on the football field where he would run the 100-meter dash in 11.03. No one could catch him. If Brown got in the open field, it was easier if the defense simply started walking toward the sideline rather than try and run him down.
Despite his world-class speed and productive high school career, Brown was not offered a single D-1 scholarship. He chose to attend the College of the Canyons, a junior college in California.
His coaches there had seen his speed on tape, but witnessing it up close was an entirely different experience.
Ted Iacenda, his coach at College of the Canyons said, “He has a gear that maybe five or six human beings in the world have right now. There’s fast, there’s world-class fast. And that is Marquise Brown.”
Brown racked up 50 catches for 754 yards and 10 touchdowns that season. Suddenly, the kid from Hollywood, FL, who had minimal D-1 interest out of high school, was getting looks from powerhouse schools like USC, WVU, and Oklahoma.
Brown chose to head to Norman, Oklahoma, where, during his two years, he caught passes from Heisman winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. He became a highlight machine, regularly catching 40-, 50-, 60-yard touchdown passes. Every time he lined up, the entire defense was forced to shift to account for that speed. It was after a big game against Kansas State that announcer Gus Johnson learned Marquise was from Hollywood, Florida. Two games later, in a barn burner at Stillwater, Brown streaked down the sideline and hauled in a 77-yard touchdown as Johnson howled “Hollywooooooooood!!!”
Despite having more speed than anyone on the field, Brown has learned that the most important thing is learning when to use it. Getting open at the college and professional level is more about gaining leverage and manipulating defensive backs rather than running by them.
Brown said, “It’s not always about being the fastest, it’s also having your body under control and learning when to turn it on.”
“Sometimes I’ll only be running 70% down the field and let the DB stay with me and save the extra gear for when I need to create separation and go make a play.”
As Brown enters his second season, he’s looking to build on a productive rookie year where he had 46 catches for 584 yards and seven touchdowns. After offseason surgery to remove a screw from his foot, Brown will be fully healthy and ready to help Baltimore take the next step. With offseason team activities halted due to COVID-19, players around the league have stepped up individual workouts to get ready for the season.
Brown said, “I’m always working on getting stronger, route running, and speed. I’m making sure I’m 100% healthy when they let us back on the field and I’ve been watching a lot of film. Can’t divulge too many secrets right now, but I’m working hard to have a big second year.”
It’s no surprise that when Brown takes the field this season, he will be lacing up the adidas ADIZERO cleats. Since their initial release ten years ago, the ADIZERO has been associated with one thing: speed. Designed to keep you flying all over the field, it’s the lightest cleat in football, weighing in at 9.1 ounces.
The ADIZERO is built for more than just speed. It’s built for comfort too. The mesh upper with a TPU overlay allows air to flow through the cleat as you race up and down the field and keeps your feet cool and comfortable all game long.
A Sprintframe plate and Sprintstuds help support Brown when he makes those quick cuts on slant and dig routes by providing consistent, reliable traction and giving him a responsive feel, so he’s in control at all times.
You can find the ADIZERO at eastbay.com as well as plenty of other gear to help you train in the offseason and thrive on gameday.
UPDATES & CORRECTIONS
In this month’s catalog featuring Marquise “Hollywood” Brown there are two mistakes in the inside story. We stated that Marquise received the nickname “Hollywood” in his junior year. He actually received it his sophomore year at Oklahoma. The second error is an infographic showing off Marquise Brown’s speed in miles-per-hour. That should have been replaced with the one below.
Like oil and water, it was once believed that sport facilities and environmentally friendly regulations just don’t mix. With all the water, fertilizer, and energy spent on upkeep, it seemed near impossible to limit unrecycled waste. But one brand made a commitment to fight that stereotype and is already making promising strides in the fight against unrecycled waste in sports.
Early this year, adidas announced it was opening the brand’s first sustainable football field, made with Parley Ocean Plastic, at Miami Edison Senior High School in Miami, FL.
Parley Ocean Plastic is created from upcycled plastic waste, which is intercepted and collected from remote islands, beaches, coastal communities, and shorelines to prevent it from polluting our oceans. adidas wants that plastic to be reused and they announced that approximately 1.8 million recycled plastic bottles were utilized to help create the field that will serve not only Edison High, but the wider Liberty City community.
“We believe that, through sport, we have the power to change lives, and this field is a demonstration of our taking action on that belief,” said Cameron Collins, Director of Football, adidas North America. “(It’s) more than a place for these young athletes to play, it’s a reminder of our collective responsibility to end plastic waste.”
The multipurpose field will be officially unveiled with a celebratory 7-on-7 football tournament for high school athletes, who will also get the opportunity to debut the environmentally friendly adidas Adizero x Parley cleats, made with Parley Ocean Plastic.
Along with introducing new, eco-friendly products, adidas has pledged to continue to be a driving force in the fight against ending plastic waste. Here is what the brand plans to roll out over the next decade plus:
2020: more than 50 percent of all the polyester adidas uses in products will be recycled.
2021: adidas will work with key US sports partners (MLS, NHL, USA Volleyball, and the Power 5 NCAA football programs) to transition to more sustainable uniforms.
2024: adidas will use only recycled polyester in all adidas products across the business – aided by the introduction of PRIMEBLUE and PRIMEGREEN performance fabrics where 100% of the polyester used is recycled.
2030: adidas will reduce the company’s carbon footprint by 30 percent (as compared to 2017) as part of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.
2050: achieve climate neutrality. In Germany, the company already sources almost all its electricity from renewable sources.
“Since 1998, we’ve been developing and introducing innovations to end plastic waste,” said James Carnes, VP Brand Strategy. “Our commitment to eliminate the use of virgin polyester in our products by 2024 helps us get one step closer to being a more circular company.”
One-handed catches, highlight-reel jukes, and in-your-face
celebrations – the non-stop action of 7-on-7 football is back. Eastbay knows
that 7-on-7 football comes down to two things, speed and style, so we’re here
to highlight some top-tier gear that’ll look and feel as good as you do after
burning that cornerback or making the game-winning interception.
Built for the dynamic playmaker, the Nike Vapor Untouchable combines
mesh and synthetic skins that let your foot breathe while still maintaining the
durability you need. Its sleek design comes in a variety of colorways,
showcasing the cleat’s electric speed on the field. Finally, the one-piece
bootie has a tongueless construction, creating a sock-like fit that wraps
around your ankle for comfort and control. If you’re the playmaker on offense
or the chasedown artist on defense, then the Vapor Untouchable is the cleat for
The adidas adiZero 8.0 was made for players meant to stand
out. From the stimulating Snowcone Pack colorways to the zebra-like 3-stripe
life design, the adiZero 8.0 prioritizes uniqueness over all. Along with the
personality this cleat brings to the gridiron, it was also specifically built
with one thing in mind – speed. The knitted bootie upper reduces weight and the
Sprintframe plate propels you forward with every step. For the player looking
to make plays with speed and style, the adiZero 8.0 is right up your alley.
True to its name, this cleat was constructed for athletes
who crave the spotlight and live for the big moment. The Under Armour Spotlight
MC is one of the most comfortable and lightweight cleats on the market. It
features a SuperFoam insole that absorbs shock and utilizes the combination of
bladed and conical studs to enhance your sprints, cuts, and stop with sharp
acceleration. For game-long comfort and the ability to stop on a dime, you have
to grab a pair of Spotlights.
These gloves are the epitome of cool and comfortable. The Nike
Vapor Knit 3.0 features a high-quality knit back that ensures airflow and snug
support. They also have a modern, layered overlay design that’s stylish and
practical, increasing durability and fit. This receiver glove will fit and feel
like a second skin on the field.
The most famous glove in football just got a little better.
The Nike Vapor Jet 5.0 features lightweight padding around the thumb for
protection from defenders while utilizing Nike’s classic magnigrip palm
material that top players trust. These gloves were built to make the impossible
Looking for the stickiest gloves in the game? Look no
further than the adiZero 5-Star 8.0. These gloves emphasize adidas’ famous GRIPTACK palm
technology, providing the ultimate grip while catching the football. The
stylish design on the gloves complements the unique colorways adidias showcases
on their cleats. So, if you’re rocking the adiZero 8.0s on the feet, then you must
get the gloves to match.
Last but not least, Under Armour has created a pair of
gloves chock-full of technology to help you make the tough catch in traffic.
The Under Armour Spotlight gloves are made with high-compression HeatGear
fabric that provides ventilation, while the mircoknit fabric allows for stretch
and recovery. UA GlueGrip technology keeps the ball in your palms, and Power
Catch panels limit distractions so you can make the precise play. These
receiver gloves are lab tested and battle ready.