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.

Tips From An Expert: How To Prep For New Balance Nationals Outdoor

Tips From An Expert: How To Prep For New Balance Nationals Outdoor

This weekend, the best high school track and field athletes from around the nation will gather at Aggie Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina to compete for the title of All American. Big meets like New Balance Nationals Outdoor mean big expectations, and to come out on top, athletes need to be prepared both mentally and physically. So, we asked former pro sprinter Keith Ricks how he kept his cool when big wins and PRs were on the line.

 

Eastbay: Did you have any superstitions or rituals for competition day?

Keith: When I was in high school, I would watch guys in the Olympics do their pre-race shakeouts right before they get into the blocks. I noticed that Tyson Gay raised both arms right before he gets down in the blocks, and I thought it looked cool. So I started doing it before my races when I was just starting to run track in school. It became a habit, and I continued to do this throughout my career. Fast forward six years later and I was racing beside Tyson Gay at the USA Outdoor Nationals doing the same pre-race shake out as he was ‑ that was an awesome race for me!

 

Eastbay: What’s one piece of advice you have for the athletes preparing for New Balance Nationals?

Keith: By the time you reach New Balance Outdoor Nationals, all of the hard work has been done! You’ve trained hard all year and hopefully got the results you were looking for during the season. Championships are a time to show out! Show all of the hard work you put in all year and punish the competition. Prove you are fast enough to not only compete but win against the very best!

 

Eastbay: When you’re competing at an elite level, how important are mental preparation and focus?

Keith: Mental preparation is essential. I would mentally prepare for every race the same way to stay consistent. I would visualize myself winning and running the best race of my life. I would do this for every meet from ones as important as New Balance Outdoor Nationals to the small district meet in high school on a Wednesday.

 

Eastbay: What are some physical recovery tips athletes should remember for after a meet?

Keith: After the meet, it’s important to cool down and recover effectively. Most runners hate ice baths but they are a life saver! It feels like it takes years (even though it’s really only 15 minutes) to adapt to the freezing cold ice, but your body will thank you later! A protein-rich, post-race dinner can also be beneficial. My favorite meal to eat after a race was grilled fish or chicken with rice and vegetables on the side.

 

Eastbay: What’s the most important thing you learned/your biggest takeaway from your competitive career?

 

Live At New Balance Nationals

Live At New Balance Nationals

New Balance Nationals Story

Thursday, March 8

Did you know that more records have been set on The Armory’s track than any other track in the world?

A historic venue, a beautiful city, the most talented high school runners in the world — what more could you ask for? The stage is set for another historic weekend here in New York as The 2018 New Balance Nationals Indoor gets underway.

With athletes like Arria Minor, a top overall sprinter who will be competing in the 200m and 400m, Lanae-Tava Thomas, the number one female long jump athlete, and Brendon Stewart, the top ranked male in the 60m — the battle to be named an All-American will be intense and plenty of new records will be set.

Make sure to follow along with this blog and on our social channels all weekend long for up-to-date content and photo slideshows.

New Balance Nationals Indoor Backpack

And if you’re at The Armory competing or cheering racers on this weekend, stop by our Eastbay Experience near the awards area to learn more about us, check out some great New Balance gear, and pick up some Eastbay swag. Best of luck to all competing this weekend!

 


Friday, March 9

As our team arrived at The Armory this morning and made our way to the Eastbay Experience to set up for the day ahead, you could feel the excitement in the air.

NSAF and New Balance staff members made the final touches to the track and the set-up surrounding it as the early arrivers for the morning events began to check in on the first floor. By 9 AM, all systems were a go in the historic Armory building, signified by the firing of the starting pistol and the thunderous noise of runners on the track.

 

Check out our slideshow of Friday’s action below:

Your Go-To Fastpitch Gear Guide

Your Go-To Fastpitch Gear Guide

Fastpitch Gear Guide Featured

Jump to: Cleats | Fielder’s Gloves | Bats | Batting Gloves | Accessories | Clothing

With spring this close, it’s time to start thinking about your setup for the new season. Read on to learn about our featured products and start gearing up.

Cleats

2018 Mizuno Swift

Mizuno Swift 5: The heavy-hitting Mizuno Swift is back for round 5. This cleat has been a go-to in the fastpitch world and continues getting better and more innovative with each iteration. Made for the serious high-profile competitor, the Swift 5 delivers exceptional traction and comfort. It’s built on a 9-spike platform that flexes where you need enhanced movement but remains sturdy for optimal support. The bottom is even engineered with a texture that repels dirt build-up. While the outsole delivers the performance, the midsole and upper give you comfort for long games and durability to last for many seasons to come.

2018 New Balance Fuse 1

New Balance Fuse1: Get ready — the sleek and powerful New Balance Fuse1 is about to dominate the field this season. This beautifully designed cleat is specifically built for fastpitch performance. It’s flexible and supportive with precise traction for bursts of speed and quick turns. Reinforced rubber around the toe allows the cleat to withstand abuse from the dirt game after game so you can stay aggressive.

2018 Nike Hyperdiamond

Nike Hyperdiamond 2 Pro: The low-profile Nike Hyperdiamond 2 Pro is the perfect cleat for players who prefer the freedom of unrestricted ankle movement for a quick, agile style of play. The Lunarlon midsole spreads out the shock of impact so you feel less cleat pressure and can make better cuts and stops. This powerful and lightweight cleat will push you to the plate with speed you have yet to feel on the diamond.

Pitcher’s Cleat

2018 Mizuno Sweep

Mizuno Sweep 3 Advanced: The Mizuno Sweep 3 Advanced is your ideal platform for executing masterful technique on your pitches. Its reinforced toe protector is enhanced at precise points around the toe box where you drag your back foot. This protects the upper from the grind across the dirt as you drive off the mound.

 

Fielder’s Gloves

Flip Through By Position

All of the following gloves are specifically crafted to meet the demands of fastpitch. They’re designed around the female hand for ultimate performance.

Your Go-To Baseball Gear Guide

Your Go-To Baseball Gear Guide

2018 Baseball Gear Guide Featured

Jump to: Cleats | Fielder’s Gloves | Bats | Batting Gloves | Accessories | Pants And Sliders

The offseason is rounding third and we’re all feeling ready to hit the diamond. While you’re finishing up a winter of indoor training, start learning about all the latest products and building your gear rack for the new season.

Cleats

Built For Speed

adidas Afterburner 4.0

adidas adiZero Afterburner 4: All hail the speed king of the diamond. This cleat is designed for one purpose: to get you to the next base as fast as possible. Weighing in at just 9.4 oz, it won’t matter if you’re charging for a stand-up double or chasing down a ball in the gap, the Afterburner will get you there. Fast. Available in stunning colorways like the Gold Pack and Dipped Pack, you’ll definitely stand out in the adiZero Afterburner 4 — that is, if they even see you coming.

New Balance 4040v4

New Balance 4040v4: If you play baseball, you’ve heard of these popular cleats from New Balance. From the spikes to the tongue, the 4040v4 is one of the most thoughtfully designed shoes in the game. For performance at speeds, these cleats feature a supportive yet lightweight outsole plate. This plate flexes at key bend points so you get maximum dig from metal spikes. A convenient lace cage adds the finishing touch to a streamlined upper by keeping the laces secured and out of the way.

 

Built For Comfort

Nike Huarache Cleats

Nike Alpha Huarache Elite: We’ll start this list with a legend. From top to bottom, this cleat is built for the much-needed comfort of a long season. The internal bootie and ankle locking system hug the foot with a supportive fit, and a full-length Air Max unit in the midsole creates the perfect buffer between your foot and the spikes. Choose the Alpha Huarache Elite in one of its sleek new colorways and link up your look with the Huarache Elite Gloves.

New Balance COMPv1

New Balance CompV1: Ready to embrace change? The New Balance CompV1 is the most innovative baseball cleat system this season and it’s here to take the field by force. The key, new feature is the spike – each one is a glass-fiber tack surrounded by TPU. The hardness of the glass-fiber allows this cleat to punch through dirt with the effectiveness of metal while the TPU delivers the comfort of a molded system. This makes the CompV1 the perfect choice for players who live in their cleats day in and day out, on any surface and in all conditions. Read all about this impressive new cleat in our featured blog here.

adida Energy Boost

adidas Boost Icon 3: It’s right in the name – these innovative cleats house the power of boost from heel to toe. This responsive cushioning system is the perfect solution to cleat pressure felt from metal spikes. But the tech goes beyond the boost. The Icon 3’s sock-like upper hugs your foot for a natural fit while the spike layout gives you perfect traction. Plus, the classy look makes your diamond presence gold-status.

 

Fielder’s Gloves

Flip Through By Position