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.

Diamond In The Rough: Chris Godwin is Turning Into One of the Most Devastating Receivers in Football

Diamond In The Rough: Chris Godwin is Turning Into One of the Most Devastating Receivers in Football

By the time the third round of the NFL draft rolls around many teams are simply looking for players who can come in and be a solid starter or depth piece. It’s rare to find a superstar at any position past the first two rounds, but just because it’s rare doesn’t mean it’s impossible. When Tampa Bay took Chris Godwin with the 84th pick in 2017, it’s doubtful anyone in the front office realized the gem they had just unearthed. As he enters his fourth season, Godwin has developed into a bona fide star in this league.

The one trait that separates Godwin from the rest of the upper echelon receivers in the league isn’t his size, speed, or quickness. It’s his toughness.  Godwin said, “Whatever I have to do to get the job done. I’ll get real dirty in there. I’ll block linebackers, safeties, and defensive ends sometimes. After I catch the ball I’m not trying to go out of bounds, I’m trying to get as many yards as possible.” Obviously, there is more to Godwin’s game than just his toughness. The precision with which Godwin runs his routes, combined with how efficiently he gets in and out of his breaks, makes him one of the most unguardable receivers in the game.

Despite putting up monster numbers in his first couple of years, Godwin was still underrated as a receiver. Part of that can be attributed to playing in Tampa Bay, which isn’t a huge media market, and the fact that the team just missed out on the playoffs his first two seasons. The narrative surrounding the team changed last season when Tom Brady signed to be the new starting quarterback. Suddenly there was a ton of hype, Super Bowl expectations, and more eyes on Godwin than ever before. Meanwhile, he was focused on developing chemistry with his new quarterback, made all the tougher by the pandemic.

Godwin said, “I think over the course of the season we really got closer and closer and really spent that extra time. By the time we got to the playoffs we were clicking on all cylinders.”

Godwin also learned some big lessons from Brady, who has been in the league since Godwin was in daycare. “I think the biggest lesson I learned from him was just how simple you have to make the game. A lot of people try to make the game too complicated. Some coaches are so used to sticking to their formulas and philosophies, but really it just comes down to percentages. You’re trying to put yourself in the best position to be successful by adjusting plays at the line, being on the same page as your quarterback.”

Chris Godwin Tampa Bay

Despite the challenges the pandemic brought to every team throughout the season, Tampa Bay was able to finish with an 11-5 record and head to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. The team would then march through the playoffs defeating Washington, New Orleans, and Green Bay in a thriller before facing off against Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes. Though the game wasn’t very close or exciting, you won’t catch any Tampa Bay players or fans complaining about winning in a blowout.

As the next season approaches, Godwin is looking forward to having fans back in the stands. “We played New Orleans Week 1 last year, and it felt like a glorified scrimmage. It was so weird. We really noticed then just how much energy we get from the fans.” He’s continuing to develop his skills this offseason, particularly getting more separation at the top of his routes and getting in and out of his breaks even more efficiently.

If Godwin continues to grow his game and skillset there is no reason he can’t become a consistent All-Pro, and be one of the most devastating receivers in the league for years to come.

Best Football Cleats

Best Football Cleats

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.

adidas Adizero 8.0White/White

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.

Nike Vapor Untouchable 3Game Royal/Game Royal/White

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.

adidas Adizero 8.0 Burner White/Gold/White

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.

Jordan Retro 10 Mid White/Game Royal/Light Steel Grey

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.

Under Armour Spotlight Select MidBlack/Black/White

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.

Nike Football: The Bond of a Brotherhood

Nike Football: The Bond of a Brotherhood

Football is a unique sport. It takes extreme athleticism, unparalleled guts, and a strong work ethic every single day to be successful in America’s most popular game. It’s also the ultimate team sport. Even superstars like George Kittle, Aaron Donald, Stephon Gilmore, and Cooper Kupp – who possess all the talent in the world – need to rely on their teammates in crucial situations to keep winning games.

With the responsibility of a win weighing on everyone’s shoulders, a successful team must build a strong bond of trust throughout their squad. How is that done, you ask? For Aaron Donald, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, it’s all about building and maintaining relationships on and off the field. 

“The bond and brotherhood you build with your teammates is beyond football,” Donald said. “When you’re able to battle with a guy on the field and also have a good time with him off it, you tend to have fun playing with that guy knowing he has your back.”

Another defensive player of the year, Stephon Gilmore, echoed what Donald had to say about a brotherhood being formed, but attributed that bond strengthening after overcoming obstacles as a team instead of individuals.

“When you overcome adversity as one, you gain a great deal of respect for those people who have shared that experience,” Gilmore said. “That mutual respect is the brotherhood.”

Even for the ultimate, alpha competitors like George Kittle, guys take time to reflect on the camaraderie formed just from playing the game together.

“I’m going on nine years with (quarterback) C.J. Beathard,” Kittle said. “We did five years at Iowa and now we’re going on year four in San Francisco. I’ve got a bond with him that I’ve never shared with anyone else in my life just because we played football. It’s crazy and that’s one thing I love about the game.”

And it’s not just the personal rapport these men build with each other, it also comes in the form of winning on the field. Los Angeles wide receiver Cooper Kupp took a more systematic approach when talking about how football is the ultimate team sport.

“You rely on the guys to the left and right of you to do their job effectively,” Kupp said. “Without group efficiency, you won’t be effective as a team. From the offensive line, to running back, to wide receiver, and quarterback, if one person isn’t right, the only chance to save that play is for someone else to pick up the slack.”

Winning obviously helps the bond between teammates grow stronger, but there’s also something to be said about the mutual respect gained throughout the heat of a battle, even in a loss. For these men, their differences don’t’ matter — when they step onto the field, they’ve got each other’s backs no matter the cost. That’s the brotherhood football creates.

“Our greatest successes and worst failures happen right there next to one another,” Kupp said. “Those experiences provide incredible opportunities to lift each other up and overcome things together.”

Nike Training Shoes: Workout like the Pros

Nike Training Shoes: Workout like the Pros

Earlier we highlighted what makes Todd Gurley, Jarvis Landry, and Cam Jordan supernatural talents on the football field, and the cleats they rock to elevate their game.

Now that we know the secret to their on-field success, it’s time to dive into the three training shoes that these athletes utilize off the field to stay on top of their workout routine.

Nike Free X Metcon

Are you an agile assassin on the field? Then the Nike Free X Metcon trainers are perfect for your high-intensity workout in the gym. These shoes are designed for the athlete who’s looking to perfect all aspects of their game. The lightweight mesh is extra durable in high-wear areas while the deep grooves along the outsole allow the shoe to flex in any direction. The Free X Metcons also include a firmer foam carrier that offers comfortable cushioning where you need it most and versatile stability for heavy weightlifting. Perfect for players like Todd Gurley, these shoes are worn by the agile athletes who conquer any and every workout.

Nike Free Trainer 8

The Nike Free Trainer 8 is made for the athlete with the quickest first step. This shoe provides a combination of lightweight stability and flexible fit designed for your high-speed workout. The Flywire technology locks you in while the rubber pods on the outsole provide traction on any surface. For players like Jarvis Landry, who prioritize speed over everything, the Free Trainer 8s are a must-have.

Nike Romaleos

For the first one in the gym and the last one out, the Nike Romaleos are designed for the beast in the weight room. Featuring a honeycomb-patterned TPU plate, these trainers offer extreme stability while maxing out your lifts. The Flywire technology utilizes a dynamic strap that provides a locked-down fit during your elite-level workout. If you’re built to do battle in the trenches like Cam Jordan, you need the Nike Romaloes.

Click on the title of each shoe to check out all the sizes and colors Eastbay has to offer and let us know which one fits your style in the comments.