Rise Up & Release Your Inner Strength

Rise Up & Release Your Inner Strength

Finding the perfect basketball shoe is about more than just picking which one looks the coolest. It’s about finding a shoe that’s tailored for your game. Whether you’re a shifty guard who requires a lot of grip for cutting and exploding or you’re a bruising big who needs more stability and support there’s a shoe out there that’s perfect for you. Eastbay recently sat down some of the top athletes in the WNBA to discuss a variety of topics including what shoes they wear on the court and why they feel those shoes go best with their style of play.

Sue Bird And The Kyrie 4

Sue Bird continues to put on a show every night even at the age of 38. A three-time champion who is the all-time leader in assists, Bird is a living legend. Her ability to manipulate defenders with a series of hesitations and ball fakes is similar to her friend Kyrie Irving. The two became friends during a Team USA autograph session, and when Irving discovered Bird was wearing his shoes on the court, he went to Nike and told them to give her whatever she wanted. Bird said, “I’m just a huge fan and a subscriber to look good, feel good, play good. Whenever I put on the Kyries, that’s how I feel.”

Sue Bird is a tornado on the court

While the shoes are stylish they’re also designed for Bird’s style of play. She needs a shoe that has incredible grip so she can accelerate and cut without any fear of slipping. “There’s so much start and stop that’s part of my game, so the shoe fits my style in that regard,” she said. The Kyrie 4’s outsole has a zigzag cutout along the bottom that enhances traction while still allowing for flexibility. Under the heel, there’s Nike Zoom Air cushioning to help provide a responsive feel with every move. “They’re obviously made for somebody who’s out there doing spin moves, going left, going right over here over there.” Wrapped around the midfoot of the shoe, Flywire cables provide support for quick cuts and tough drives. All these features allow Bird to focus on the things that make her incredible without worrying about whether her shoe will hold up.

Bird compares herself to a tornado on the court. “My game is the type where I’m trying to help my teammates out by being the leader on the floor and trying to organize things,” she said “As it pertains to attacking the other team, I think before you know it, things are happening around you and you’re spinning around and suddenly we’ve scored.” This up-tempo style of play that encourages attacking early in the shot clock, constant movement, and pinging the ball around the court suits Bird’s style of play, and the Kyries help maximize her game so she is consistently at her absolute peak.

Sue Bird and the Kyrie 4

In addition to excellent performance, the 4’s also feature several spectacular colorways that draw inspiration from previous decades, paying homage to the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. You can check out these styles and more at Eastbay.

Diana Taurasi And The LeBron 16

There is no more accomplished player in the WNBA than Diana Taurasi. An MVP with three championships, four Olympic gold medals, nine All-Star appearances, and nine All-WNBA selections, she is a force on the court. In order to stay on top of her game, Taurasi competes in another GOAT’s signature shoe: the LeBrons.

Taurasi signed with Nike coming out of college and has been an avid supporter of the LeBron 10, which she says is her favorite pair ever made. Taurasi competed in the 10s for about five years before stepping into the LeBron 15s this past season. When talking about the Lebron series Taurasi said, “I think they have suited the way I play the most, you know for one I like to wear a basketball shoe that is comfortable, that’s got some girth to it.”

Nike WNBA Diana Taurasi

Taurasi is known as one of the fiercest competitors in all of basketball, a gunslinger from three who hits 38% on over eight attempts per game, who also has the ability to get into the lane, draw contact, and still finish. “I think LeBron’s shoes always symbolized the way he plays, going downhill, very powerful. Those are things I try to bring to the court too, so it’s kind of mirrored the way I play.” The recently released LeBron 16s have combine Max Air and Zoom Air in order to help absorb impact from tough landings while staying flexible. It’s also made with Flyknit material which means it’s lightweight, ultra-strong, and provides excellent support.

Diana Taurasi and the Lebron 15

Having played in Phoenix her entire career, Taurasi compares herself to a sandstorm. During the season, she loves to “sweep into a city, cause some havoc, and get on out.” This take-no-prisoners mentality is what has allowed her to dominate the league as long as she has. It’s a competitive spirit that has been recognized by The King himself who sent her multiple colorways of the 15’s including the Metallic Gold and Graffiti styles. Right now, the Multicolor and Fresh Bred colorways for the LeBron 16 are available at Eastbay so you too can become a force on the court.

Breanna Stewart And The KD 11

Breanna Stewart has dominated the hardwood at every level. In high school, she was a McDonald’s All-American and the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. At the University of Connecticut (UConn) she was a four-time National Champion, three-time Naismith College Player of the Year, and finished as the all-time leader in blocks in UConn history. She left UConn as one of the greatest players in program history, which, given the players that have come before her, is an incredible accomplishment. In just three seasons in the WNBA she’s already a two-time All-Star, MVP, and Champion.

Her game is defined by her versatility. She’s a forward who has the ability to dominate in the post with a litany of moves, step out and knock down the long ball, and take her defender off the dribble. That’s why Stewart compares herself to a tsunami hitting the court. “I’m dangerous on offense,” she said. “I’m powerful, and I wipe out every defense I’m up against.” There is perhaps no other player who can impose their will as well as she can. It’s impossible to stop her. Smaller defenders don’t have the strength to handle her down low and have no hope of blocking her shot, while bigger players are often too slow to keep up with her on the perimeter. She has drawn comparisons to another versatile forward in the NBA, Kevin Durant. Both players can impact the game from anywhere on the floor, and both wear the KD 11s.

Diana Taurasi is a tsunami on the court

“I think the KD 11s fit me because KD’s style of play is similar to mine. It’s a comfortable shoe, very compact, light, and I think it’s his best one yet,” Stewart said. The KD 11 has Flyknit material that covers your foot for flexibility and incredible support, while still allowing your foot to breathe. A rubber sole extends up the sides of the shoe to provide stability as you move and cut. Nike React foam and Zoom Air provide responsive cushioning, allowing you to explode into the air.

Breanna Stewart and the KD 11

The KD 11 is the ideal shoe for players who prefer to rock a low-cut on the court, and features a unique style that you can check out at Eastbay.

Jewell Loyd And The Kobe AD

Jewell Loyd only knows how to play basketball one way: attacking full throttle. Never stopping until the whistle blows. It’s the same mentality that has pushed her from the small town of Lincolnwood, Illinois to starring for Notre Dame, to being the No.1 overall draft for Seattle where she averaged 16 points and 5 rebounds per game to help secure a third championship for the franchise. Her willingness to attack the rim and take tough shots is what turned her into a star.

Loyd likes to think of herself as an earthquake because, “When I enter the game, I have a tendency to shake things up and keep opponents on their heels.” With a penchant for taking and making tough shots – fadeaways, stepbacks, and stepthroughs – she is the ultimate game changer. Those shots leave defenders shook because they quickly realize that even their best defense is no match for Loyd. Watching her work magic from the mid-range is reminiscent of another star and the inspiration behind her shoe choice: Kobe.

Jewell Loyd is an earthquak on the court

Loyd has always worn the Kobe series. “The whole concept of the lower-cut shoe, how it completely grips your foot giving you complete control. The pattern on the bottom, the way you cut and shoot, it feels like the shoe is part of your foot,” she said. This mix of comfort and grip is vital for Loyd to play her game. As she blows by defenders weaving her way into the lane, Loyd knows her shoes won’t let her down. “The grip is phenomenal and it’s super light.” The Kobe AD has a micro-blade outsole pattern allowing Loyd to explode in any direction without slipping. It also features a hidden lacing system that lets you to lock in by simply pulling a cord.

Jewell Loyd and the Kobe AD

The Kobe AD features some of the brightest colorways of any shoe with its fluorescent purples, greens, and yellows. Those and others are available at Eastbay.

Elena Delle Donne And The Hyperdunk X

Elena Delle Donne has overcome a lot in her career to make it to this point. She’s weathered multiple injuries and has been fighting an ongoing battle with Lyme disease since she was a sophomore at University of Delaware. Her incredible perseverance and belief in herself is the reason she has become the superstar she is. After playing volleyball her freshman year, she switched to basketball and became a force, eclipsing 2,000 career points and helping Delaware advance to the Elite Eight her senior year. She was drafted No. 2 overall, helped lead Chicago and Washington to the Finals, and was an MVP in 2015.

Delle Donne describes her game as being like a hurricane. “Hurricanes might bring a ton of wind, a ton of rain, a lot of force, or all three,” she said. “They’re versatile, and you really never know what you’re going to get.” It’s pretty clear that defenders never know what they’re getting with her either. One minute she’s pulling down a rebound and going coast to coast for a layup, the next she’s pulling up off the dribble for three, or she’s posting up picking out open shooters or taking it herself. Her ability to do whatever she wants on the court has turned her into an offensive wrecking crew capable of tearing through defenses in any way she wants.

WNBA Elena Delle Donne

When deciding which shoe she wants to wear, Delle Donne takes several factors into consideration. “I definitely look for it to fit like a glove. I want it to be light, and then grip. It’s super important.” Delle Donne is a modern day point forward who can comfortably run the break, shut down opposing guards, and knock down shots from anywhere on the floor. Having a shoe that doesn’t weigh her down and allows her to cut smoothly is a must.

One shoe that fits this mold is the Nike Hyperdunk X which just celebrated its 10th anniversary. You can find a plethora of Hyperdunks both mid- and low-cut at Eastbay.

 

 

 

1.24 Release Report: New Jordan Retro 10s + fresh Nike signature shoes + the Nike Air Vapormax Plus

1.24 Release Report: New Jordan Retro 10s + fresh Nike signature shoes + the Nike Air Vapormax Plus

Each week, we’ll showcase the most popular upcoming shoe drops. We’ll give you the lowdown on the prices and sizes, break down the history of each shoe, and fill you in on the newest tech features. Check back every week for the hottest shoe drops. If it’s hyped, it’s here. You can check out the full list of releases on Eastbay’s Release Calendar. Here’s what you have to look forward to this week:

JORDAN RETRO 10 – JAN. 27 AT 10 AM ET

1.24 Release Report Jordan Retro 10

Back in 2014, Jordan dropped a cool grey colorway of their Retro 10s that became a favorite of sneakerheads everywhere. That cool grey theme is back this weekend, but with a fresh update. This time around, the upper features no black, as the grey color continues across the tongue, lining, laces, and midsole. The coolest touch is definitely the multi-color outsole though — each line across the bottom calls out a specific career highlight during MJ’s extraordinary career. Lace up in your own pair and you’ll truly be taking history with you everywhere you go. Men’s $190.00.

NIKE BASKETBALL ‘CITY’ RELEASES – JAN. 24 AT 10 AM ET

12.20 Release Report: Jordan Retro 13 ‘Altitude’ Shoes Are Here As Well As The Nike Kyrie 4!

12.20 Release Report: Jordan Retro 13 ‘Altitude’ Shoes Are Here As Well As The Nike Kyrie 4!

JORDAN RETRO 13 ‘ALTITUDE’ – DEC. 21 AT 10 AM ET

12.25 Jordan Retro 13

Image Courtesy Of Sneakerfiles.com

Eastbay has been your home for the hottest Jordan Retros for decades now, and an instant classic is returning with the Jordan Retro 13 ‘Altitude.’ Jordan first dropped these in 2005 and it was one of the first non-OG colors to make some serious waves. It’s easy to see why thanks to its sick black and green look. With an all-leather upper, textured overlay along the sides and heels, and that bold green rubber outsole, it’s just what you need to take your sneaker game to new heights. Men’s $189.99. Boys’ $139.99.

NIKE KYRIE 4 – DEC. 20 AT 10 AM ET

12.25 Nike Kyrie 4

Check that record — another year, another team that Kyrie is helping lead to the top of the standings. And as he helps his team excel, he’ll be lacing up in some all-new fire with the debut of his fourth signature shoe. Fans of the previous Kyries have plenty to love with the latest kick on campus. It has a teeth-like design along the midsole that was also on the 1s and a tongue and lacing system that will remind many of the 3s. By taking the best of Kyrie’s past signatures and adding in some modern features, this is sure to be another game-changing, on- and off-court basketball shoe. Men’s $120.00. Boys’ $100.00.

NIKE AIR MORE UPTEMPO ‘CITY’ – DEC. 20 AT 10 AM ET

The Nike Kyrie 4: Inspired By The Past, Built For The Future

The Nike Kyrie 4: Inspired By The Past, Built For The Future

Nike Kyrie 4 Blog Story 1

In a few short years, Kyrie Irving went from a No. 1 pick with unlimited potential to a full-fledged superstar. In addition to his meteoric on-court progression, the star point guard has also achieved remarkable success off the court, perhaps most notably with his highly popular signature shoe line.

His fourth shoe is finally here, so we took a look back on his first three shoes to see how they influenced the new Nike Kyrie 4.

Nike Kyrie 1: Generation Deception

Nike Kyrie 4 Blog Story 6

The Kyrie 1 debuted in 2014 with a bold look and a heavy focus on traction, support, and cushioning. Most notably, the shoe featured a shark-teeth design where a modified herringbone traction wrapped around the sides of the foot for enhanced traction during quick cuts and dynamic movements.

The shoe had a Hyperfuse construction, utilizing three layers fused together for a seamless upper that created zones of durability, breathability, and support where they’re needed the most. A Nike Zoom unit in the forefoot and lightweight Phylon foam in the heel combined to offer a quick first step and enhanced impact protection.

Nike Kyrie 2: Speed For Every Angle

Nike Kyrie 4 Blog Story 7

Kyrie’s second signature shoe featured several upgrades, mostly focused on taking advantage of his game-changing speed. Influenced by Irving’s deceleration speed (he can go from 13 miles per hour to zero in 0.2 seconds) and his ability to change direction so quickly (he can complete a crossover in less than 0.33 seconds), Nike added a unique strap for greater lockdown and an innovative rounded outsole to help maintain traction during fast, fluid play.

The shoe also received a lighter, lower-profile Zoom Air unit for responsive cushioning with every step. The shoe didn’t just have a fresh new look – it had all the tools Kyrie needed to take his game to the next level during a championship run.

Nike Kyrie 3: Out Of Nowhere

Nike Kyrie 4 Blog Story 9

The Nike Kyrie 3 continued to focus on a fast first step and fluid style of play that make Kyrie Irving such a dangerous player. His third signature shoe helped enable razor-sharp cuts by adding independent traction pods to the curved outsole.

The shoe utilized a forefoot band integrated with Flywire cables for additional support and for a customized fit for various playing styles. The custom fit, responsive feel, and elite traction took the Kyrie line to a whole new level.

Nike Kyrie 4: Unpredictable & Unguardable