A Look Back: Fall Sports ’99

A Look Back: Fall Sports ’99

“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.

A Look Back Eastbay Catalog Fall '99 Trail Running

Trail Running

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.

A Look Back Eastbay Catalog Fall Sports '99 Running

Running

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.

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Fall Sports '99 Basketball

Basketball

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.

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Fall Sports '99 Tennis

Tennis

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.

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Fall Sports '99 Soccer

Soccer

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.

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Fall Sports '99 Training

Sport Training

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.

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Fall Sports '99 Football

Football

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 Hammell A Look Back

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.

Top 10 Back-to-School Shoes

Top 10 Back-to-School Shoes

It’s time to go from jumping in the pool to diving into the books, from swimsuits to school gear, and bike rides to backpacks. Starting a new grade provides the opportunity to express who you are and sport the brands you love through your clothing and more importantly your shoes! We’ve put together a list of the top 10 back-to-school shoes for this fall so you can look good and feel good all while rocking the latest trends.

Get ready to walk the walk this school year.

Women's adidas Originals Stan Smith -- White and Green

adidas Originals Stan Smith

True fashion never goes out of style, which is why the Stan Smith sneakers, though originally a favorite of tennis pros in the ’70s, are now a closet staple for everyone. A leather upper and rubber outsole provide durable comfort to last the whole school year.

Men's Nike Cortez -- White, Varsity Royal, and Varsity Red

Nike Cortez

Bill Bowerman’s first masterpiece – the Cortez – is a retro style perfect for your back-to-school look. The upper and outsole were built for traction and durability, while the midsole keeps your feet supported with a lightweight feel.

Men's Jordan Retro AJ1 Mid -- All White

Jordan Retro AJ1 Mid

The first AJ1 dropped in the ’80s with full-grain leather and the “Air Jordan Wings” stamped on the side. Since then, it’s kept the timeless look we love, but updated the rubber outsole with flex grooves to give you the durability and flexibility you need.

Men's Nike Air Force 1 Low -- All White

Nike Air Force 1 Low

The Air Force 1 has been a staple since it debuted as a basketball sneaker in 1982. Over the years, the shoe has stayed on-trend through various colorways and cuts, but one thing that’s remained the same is the iconic court style that’s built for a premium fit and feel.

Men's Nike Air Max 90 -- University Red and White

Nike Air Max 90

The running shoe created by Tinker Hatfield has evolved into one of the most iconic streetwear classics. Updated for modern style, the Air Max 90 is the perfect back-to-school sneaker. A padded ankle collar provides optimal comfort and support while a Max Air unit in the heel absorbs impact and makes you stand out among your classmates.

Men's Nike Air Max 97 -- White, Dynamic Yellow and Evergreen

Nike Air Max 97

The Air Max 97, inspired by earlier models, took the Air Max line to a whole new level. As Nike’s first shoe with a full-length Max Air unit, the 97 keeps your feet cushioned while the layered colors keep your shoe game strong.

Men's Vans Old Skool -- Black and White

Vans Old Skool

Step into the school year with style in this true throwback. Originally designed for skateboarding, the Old Skool quickly turned into a mainstream shoe. Its classic canvas-and-suede upper and the trademark side stripe complete your back-to-school look while giving your feet all-day comfort.

Men's Nike Air Max Plus -- White and Cool Grey

Nike Air Max Plus

If you’re looking for a shoe that’s all about the details, look no further. The Air Max Plus started as an experimental design in 1998 and has since changed the shoe game forever. This sneaker is wrapped with ribs for an edgy look and injected with Air technology for supportive cushioning.

Men's Nike Air Max 270 -- White, University Red and Vast Grey

Nike Air Max 270

The design of the Air Max 270 pays tribute to the original ’91 Air Max 180 with the exaggerated tongue and logo, but still brings a modern vibe with an updated look and elevated comfort. As the first Air Max shoe designed to be worn casually instead of for performance, the Air Max 270 is the perfect choice for an everyday sneaker.

Men's adidas Originals NMD R1 -- Black, Silver, White and Yellow

adidas Originals NMD R1

A breathable, flexible, and stylish shoe perfect for everyday wear, the NMD R1 was born from an inspired past and built for the future. This shoe has a tried-and-true silhouette and is the first lifestyle sneaker from adidas featuring the bouncy Boost midsole. Confidently stride into school with this popular Three-Stripe sneaker.

A Look Back: The Air Max 95 and Air Max Plus

A Look Back: The Air Max 95 and Air Max Plus

Nike Stories September 2018

I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on an Eastbay catalog. I was in middle school back in 1996. My buddy brought the newest issue into the cafeteria for lunch one day, and my friends and I just sat there flipping through the pages, drooling over the latest Nike basketball shoes and runners. I couldn’t believe how much information was in these catalogs. Sneakers, clothing, and all the technical info to go along with it. I was hooked. From then on, I signed up to get an Eastbay in the mail every month. I treasured them so much that I saved every catalog in my room through high school. And, thanks to my mom and her tendency to save everything “just in case something becomes valuable someday,” they are still preserved. I still own almost every catalog from 1996 through 2003.

Looking back, it’s interesting to see how influential the Air Max 95 and Air Max Plus were back then. Unfortunately, I don’t own any of the catalogs from 1995 (which first showcased the Air Max 95), but Nike continued to churn out new colorways for years after that. This was not the norm for Nike back then. The Air Max 93 was not made in ’94 or ’95. Nor was the Air Max 94 made in ’95 or ’96. But the Air Max 95 was so gorgeous and in such high demand, companies like Eastbay continued to sell them into the late ’90s.

The same goes for the Air Max Plus. Originally debuting late in 1998, the silhouette quickly gained popularity, and Nike continued to release more and more colorways into 1999 and 2000. Since both models are still popular today, I decided to flip through every Eastbay I own from 1996 through 2000 to look back at all the different colorways available for the Air Max 95 and Air Max Plus.

One of the great things about Eastbay catalogs is the ability to pinpoint exactly when a model was released. Typically, in the lower right or top right corner next to the page number is a code for the month or season. For example, “MR98” is March 1998, “0898” is August 1998, “HH98” is Holiday 1998, “BS99” is Back to School 1999, and “SS29” is Spring Sports 2 1999, etc. With that in mind, take a look back at the Air Max 95 and Air Max Plus models through the years:

 

Top 10 Best Selling Air Max Shoes

Top 10 Best Selling Air Max Shoes

March is Air Max Month—let’s celebrate in style! As your year-round, go-to spot for Nike Air Max, we’ve got sweet, new kicks dropping all month long. Check out our top Air Max shoes, pick your favorite, and sport them for Air Max Day on March 26.

 

Nike Air Max Plus
This experimental design debuted in 1998, and it’s just as mesmerizing today. With in-your-face features like injected ribs that wrap around the upper, this kick is a must-have for your Air collection.

Nike Air Max 95
Throwback look, modern comfort, timeless style. This shoe keeps the classic lines of the 1995 original, and delivers that iconic Max Air cushioning. Get the Air Max 95 today and add some swagger to your step.

 

Nike Air Max 97 Ultra
Ladies, nothing is more luxurious than suede and velvet. This shoe provides you with a sleek, sophisticated design, and the full-length, visible Max Air unit will leave you feeling like you’re walking on air.

 

Nike Air Vapormax Plus
Tech from the Air Max Plus of ’98 teams up with modern VaporMax Air features to bring you the VaporMax Plus. This powerful hybrid sneaker provides superior, lightweight cushioning, and innovative bootie construction for a snug, comfortable fit.

 

Nike Air Max 90
Rock retro style while enjoying modern comfort with the Air Max 90. Extra cushioning at the collar sets this kick apart from the rest, and flex grooves let your foot move naturally. Step into this brilliant addition to your sneaker rotation today.

 

Nike Air Max Speed Turf
This shoe takes you from the field to the streets with a football-inspired look. Featuring a leather upper, high-top design, and classic cleat silhouette, the Air Max Speed Turf gives you durable materials, premium comfort, and maximum style.

 

Nike Air Vapormax Flyknit
Flyknit upper. Flywire cables. Fly style. As the lightest and most flexible Max Air design to date, the VaporMax Flyknit is a must-have for runners and trendsetters alike.

 

Nike Air Max Sequent
Runners, the Air Max Sequent 3 combines performance, comfort, and plenty of style for an enhanced ride. Flywire cables lock down your foot, and the flex grooves in the sole give you an extended range of motion that you’re sure to love.

 

Nike Air Vapormax Flyknit Moc
Stand out from the crowd and go laceless! The adjustable gore strap of the VaporMax Flyknit Moc lets you adjust your fit while still enjoying the modern, no-lace look. The Flyknit upper gives you seamless, supportive style and comfort, and no-sew overlays at the toe provide structure and durability.

 

Nike Air Max 270
Get even more Air! Step into the Nike Air Max 270 and experience the most cushioning yet. Seriously, this tallest-ever Max Air Unit clocks in at 32mm and gives you 270 degrees of visible Air. Inspired by the 1991 Air Max 180, this sweet kick has been updated for modern style and comfort. Get excited for this groundbreaking new release, and click here to learn more! Happy Air Max Month!