Spring is practically here, which means outdoor track season. It’s almost time to get out there and set some new PRs, but first check your gear. Last year’s spikes probably don’t fit anymore, so check out our top three recommendations below and then hit the track to begin training.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or you’re shopping for a kid, the first thing you need to know is the basics of track spikes and how they should fit. If you’re already familiar with buying spikes, you can keep scrolling, but if you’re new to the sport, take a quick look at our fit guide before you start shopping.
First up is the Nike Zoom Rival S 9, designed for events from the 60m to 400m, including hurdles and long jump. With an aggressive traction pattern on the outsole and an updated eight-spike plate that digs into the track, these sprint spikes will propel you to victory.
Explode out of the blocks with the adidas Sprintstar, designed for technical athletes racing in events up to 400m. The upper features Celermesh, a super thin mesh with an inner grid for a lightweight lockdown feel. A Pebax® plate in the outsole provides optimal energy return to launch you across the finish line.
A new season means another chance to set records, and with the New Balance MD500 V7 those chances just got a little better. The lightweight mesh upper keeps your feet dry and fresh, and the six removable spikes lets you customize your run for the course.
And did you know Eastbay has a Test Run Program? You can try out your new spikes to make sure they work for you. And if they don’t perform as you’d hoped, return them free of charge within 30 days of purchase. For more details, click this link.
Track and field stars, it’s time to start gearing up for the upcoming outdoor season. Eastbay has what you need to succeed, so out with the old and in with the new. This gear guide was created to help you figure out which qualities to look for in competition shoes, based on your event, and provide you with our top recommendations.
If you’re not sure how your spikes should fit, check out this blog post, to learn how to shop track and field shoes.
When choosing a sprint spike, you should focus on two things : light weight and aggressive traction. You’re used to speeding through and relying on instinct when you’re on the track, but when it comes to deciding on sprint spikes, make sure to take your time. Look for a snug fit on the upper and a strategic spike plate to keep your feet stable in the blocks and help you grip the track with every stride.
Eastbay’s marketing team presented the idea of beginning a charity turkey trot in
Wausau – for a company with roots in running and community, this seemed like a
“The turkey trot originally started as a marketing initiative to keep the Eastbay name relevant in Marathon County,” said Carrie Sann, former vice president of Human Resources for Eastbay. “As it continued to grow, it became so much bigger than just brand awareness. It’s become about families coming together and supporting those in the community who are less fortunate.”
Ten years later, Eastbay’s Turkey Trot is still going strong. This success wouldn’t be possible without participants, so whether you plan to run, walk, or volunteer for this year’s 5K, know that you make a difference. Because what you see as just a registration fee is actually the start of a donation process that changes lives in the community.
1. From Eastbay to the Hunger Coalition
When Eastbay began planning for the
event, the goal was to give back to the community, and United Way of Marathon
County had just started their initiative to battle hunger. The perfect match
between Eastbay and the Marathon County Hunger Coalition (MCHC) was born.
“When Eastbay discussed which cause we wanted to
support, we thought about Thanksgiving and the people who didn’t have food, and
it just made sense to give back to the newly formed Marathon Country Hunger
Coalition,” said Carrie.
“The goal of the Hunger Coalition, in
a nutshell, is to eliminate hunger in Marathon County,” said Dave Eisenreich,
chair of the MCHC. “It’s an ambitious goal, but that’s what we’re trying to
When participants register for Eastbay’s
Turkey Trot, 100% of the registration fee is donated to the MCHC. To date,
Eastbay has donated over $318,000.
the Turkey Trot only takes place over the course of two hours, it actually
impacts the community throughout the year as we use those funds to purchase
food for participating pantries in our community,” said Ben Lee, Director of
Community Impact, Health & Financial Stability at United Way.
When the tradition began in 2010,
there were 450 runners, and each year since, the attendance has increased.Last
year, there were 1,830 participants who raised a total of $58,000.
But as the attendance has continuously
grown through the years, so have the number of requests the MCHC receives for
“Ten years ago, we served 75,000
people. Today, it’s 170,000 people,” Dave said.
Eastbay’s Turkey Trot is one of the biggest fundraising events for
the MCHC allowing them to keep up with the increasing number of people in need.
Which is why, according to Amanda Sahr, Employment Brand Strategist for Eastbay,
they hope to set a record this year with a grand total of 2,000 participants.
If the Turkey Trot went away, unless we found something else to replace it, we couldn’t do what we do.
Dave Eisenreich, chair of the Marathon County Hunger Coalition
2. From the Hunger Coalition to the Pantries
The MCHC is not a centralized food
pantry, but it works with local food pantries to provide opportunities for collaboration
“We don’t want to take over or replace
the food pantries,” Dave said. “That’s not realistic or practical for our
county. They continue to focus on getting donations on their own, but we
supplement what they’re doing and make it easier for them to succeed.”
One of the pantries that’s been a part
of the MCHC since the beginning is The Neighbors’ Place (TNP) run by Executive
Director Tom Rau.
“Cooperating with the Marathon County
Hunger Coalition, and other local pantries, we make food stretch in ways we
never thought possible,” Tom said. “I don’t think you’ll find an organization
within the Hunger Coalition that would say it isn’t better than before it joined.”
The money that the MCHC receives from Eastbay’s
Turkey Trot helps food pantries in two specific ways.
The first is purchasing monthly
groceries for the food pantries within the coalition.
“We buy roughly $6,000 worth of food
per month,” Dave said. “We have a list of staples that we buy through a local
grocery store, and every month the Hunger Coalition truck will pick up the food
and bring it to The Neighbors’ Place. Then it’s divided up by food pantry.”
The other way the donations help is
with rural food delivery.
“The rural food delivery started years ago when we thought, ‘We’re
the Marathon County Hunger Coalition, not the Wausau Hunger Coalition,’” said
Dave. “So once or twice a year I’ll go as far as Edgar, Colby, and Spencer with
a truckload of groceries and deliver to the smaller pantries.”
3. From the Pantries to the People
After the MCHC drops off their monthly
truckload of groceries at TNP, volunteers divvy it up among the 11 food
pantries. From there, each pantry operates a little differently depending on
what works best for them, yet the result is always the same: people leave with
more food than they arrived with. But food distribution is just the tip of the iceberg.
When people visit food pantries, it allows them to save their grocery money for
“It’s not always about people
starving,” Tom said. “The money saved can go to heating a house in winter or fixing
a car that unexpectedly broke down. Or, as we come up to Christmas, maybe by
going to a food pantry, families can afford one or two more gifts under the
“Food pantries do so much more than just feed the starving.”
Tom Rau, Executive Director of The Neighbors’ Place
A child of the ’60s, Tom thought by
this time in his life the fight against hunger would no longer exist. But he
remains optimistic, saying that, as long as everybody keeps asking the right
questions, they’re headed in the right direction.
“It’s ‘What will happen to me if I stop?’ versus ‘What will happen to them if I don’t stop?’” Tom said, referencing Martin Luther King Jr.’s Mountaintop speech. “The Hunger Coalition and the people who formed The Neighbors’ Place asked that second question: ‘What’s going to happen in our community if we don’t help?’ And every year, Eastbay asks itself, ‘What’s going to happen to the Hunger Coalition if we don’t do the Turkey Trot?’ That question makes all the difference.”
Thanksgiving is the holiday most commonly associated with two things: food and gratitude. So how fitting that Eastbay along with the people of Marathon County spend a couple hours of their holiday giving back to their community and ensuring no one goes hungry.
We look forward to seeing you on Nov. 28 to celebrate a successful 10 years of trotting. Share your favorite memory from Eastbay’s Turkey Trot in the comments below.
If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you’re either a runner looking to treat yourself or you know a runner and are looking for the best gear to gift them. (If running isn’t the sport you’re looking for, check out all our other gift guides.) Below you’ll find our top picks for runners – comfortable and durable gear made to withstand mile after mile of running.
This running vest is anything but ordinary. ColdGear® Reactor insulation helps your body adapt to the cold by providing both warmth and breathability. If that’s not enough to convince you, it also has quick-drying material, reflective details, and pockets for your necessary bring-alongs.
Though the model above is only available in men’s sizes, we do have a women’s fleece vest from Under Armour that’s worth checking out! (Don’t worry; it still has pockets!)
All the shoes in the Nike Zoom family are pretty great, but the Air Zoom Pegasus 36 is one of the most popular models and for good reason! The mesh-and-synthetic upper features more perforations across the high-heat areas of your feet to increase breathability, and exposed Flywire cables add a secure fit. Last but not least, iconic Zoom Air runs throughout the entire length of the shoes providing smooth comfort to your stride.
Available in both women’s and men’s sizes, these shoes are definitely a winning gift to either give or get.
Defy the weather in style with the Nike Shield Jacket. Weather-resistant fabric blocks out wind and rain so that you can keep after it even in stormy weather, and reflective graphics on the front and back pop when hit by the light, helping you stand out during low-light runs.
The Nike Shield Jacket is available in styles for both men and women.
The Nike Joyride shoes are one of a kind in both look and feel, making them a great gift option. They’re described as having small bean bags under your feet, and when you lace ‘em up for your first run, you’ll understand why. They’re so comfortable, and the four “bean bags” are filled with tiny foam beads that move and conform around your foot as pressure is dispersed during your stride.
These unique and innovative running shoes are available for both men and women.
The Glam Shorts feature many of the same great features as other Nike running shorts including the quick drying Dri-FIT technology and 3” inseam for ultimate mobility. But what makes these shorts special is the design. Taking inspiration from the sport of basketball, these running shorts have wide mesh panels near the bottom for even more breathability and a slightly thicker waistband.
Sorry, men, these Glam shorts are only available in women’s sizes, but if you’re looking for a new pair of running shorts consider these 5” Challenger Brief Shorts from Nike.
The Ultraboost 19 running shoes have 20% more Boost (adidas’ most responsive midsole cushioning) than the previous model. But that’s not the only reason to buy these running shoes. Take the upper for example: It’s made from a seamless Primeknit material, so you know you have breathable and durable comfort. And the outsole is made from Continental™ Rubber to provide phenomenal traction in all weather and on all surfaces.
These ultra-responsive running shoes are available in men’s and women’s sizes and are sure to give your running the boost you need to hit that new PR.
As the weather turns cooler, you start considering putting on another layer before heading out the door for your run. Which sounds like an easy enough decision, but what can you wear that won’t cause your body to overheat, won’t weigh you down, and won’t hinder your movements? This Dri-FIT midlayer top from Nike checks all those boxes offering safety and warmth from wind and rain. The front and back panels are water and wind resistant while the knit sleeves provide added warmth.
The Nike Glam Midlayer Long Sleeve Top for women is a little different but still helps you run comfortably in cool weather with mesh panels for ventilation and a brushed knit fabric for warmth.
Meet the newest running shoes from
Brooks – the Revel 3. The sleek design on the upper gives it a more versatile
look from the traditional running shoe silhouette, so that even before or after
running you can wear it around enjoying the casual look. Not only will they
look great with whatever you pair it with, but it feels great on your foot with
an inner bootie designed to provide a secure fit. The last level of comfort is
found in the midsole cushioning that adapts to your specific running stride to
provide the perfect amount of protection.
These neutral, road-running shoes are available for men and women.
As with previous Clifton models that
have come before it, the 6 continues to provide a lightweight and comfortable
fit with the signature midsole cushioning, full-ground contact, and zones of
high-abrasion rubber on the outsole. Plus, this new update features an
embroidered design on the outside of the mesh upper to provide a secure fit without
any added weight and bulk.
Perfect for road runs, these shoes can be found in both men’s and women’s sizes.
These shorts are a staple for female runners. Made with Dri-FIT technology throughout and mesh fabric on the sides, you’ll stay cool and dry during your entire run. And with built-in briefs and a 3” inseam you’ll experience a full range of mobility so that you can run with ease.
The fit of a pair of shoes is just as
important as the quality because not only can it affect your performance during
competition, but it can also affect your comfort and chance of injury.
But because different shoes serve
different purposes not all shoes are going to fit the same. For example, football
cleats should not fit you the same as running shoes would. Why? Because one is
designed to provide ultimate traction and protection using durable materials,
while the other uses lightweight materials and a sleek design to gain optimal
speed. They’re different tools made to assist you with different jobs.
So, to help you find the right fit for your shoes, we’ve created this guide. For each sport, you’ll find three areas to check the fit and feel, and at the end there’s a section of frequently asked questions. So go ahead, give it a read and then head on over to eastbay.com to buy some shoes.
Toe Area: Allow .25″ to .5″ (thumbnail’s length) of space between end of longest toe on largest foot and the end of the shoe.
Width Area: Foot is supposed to fit comfortably without stretching the upper over the midsole of the shoe.
Heel Area: Heel can move but is not supposed to slip.
Training shoes are the perfect all-in-one pair that can be used for a variety of athletic activities. When you compare them to running shoes, you’ll notice two main differences. First, you’ll notice that training shoes have less of a heel drop to provide increased stability. Second, training shoes feature more traction to assist with lateral movements while running shoes only focus on forward movements. Because of their versatility, training shoes are one of your best options for gym shoes. You can run, jump, lift, and climb in a single pair of shoes.
· Why is buying running shoes so complicated?
Because feet are complicated! Not only do people have different sized feet, but did you know that they also have different shaped feet? That’s why the first step to choosing the right running shoes is to figure out what type of feet you have. If you’ve bought running shoes in store before, an employee may have done a test on your feet to figure out your arch type. If you don’t know your arch type, you can do a quick test right from home – check out the how-to instructions in this blog post.
Once you know your foot and arch
type then you can find the right shoes to complement.
Runners with a low arch tend to overpronate (roll inward during stride). If you only slightly overpronate you can look for stability running shoes, but if you severely overpronate, you’ll want to find motion control running shoes (like the Brooks Beast or Brooks Addiction).
Runners with a high arch are more likely to supinate (roll outward during stride). So you’ll want to find some neutral running shoes with lots of cushion.
· What’s with the different soles on wrestling shoes?
Besides looking for a snug
fit and sturdy ankle support, when shopping for wrestling shoes you’ll want to
make sure they have the right sole to fit your needs. There are two options:
Split Sole or Full Sole. Split Sole wrestling shoes are usually lighter in
weight and more flexible, made for fast attack play. Full Sole wrestling shoes
are designed for grappling moves and are built for aggressive traction on the
mat and increased durability.
· There’s more than one type of soccer cleat?
Of course! The uppers of soccer cleats can differ considerably from the material they’re made with (mesh, leather, knit) to the way they lace up (or don’t in some laceless models) to the way they fit on your ankle (low cut or mid cut). The choice on the upper is more of a personal preference depending on what you find most comfortable. The other way soccer cleats differ from one another is the type of cleat/spike on the bottom when you flip the shoes over and choosing the right one should be based on the surface you’ll be playing on.
Molded TPU cleats are available for a variety of surfaces. Firm ground cleats work best on firm natural surfaces. Hard ground cleats work best on hard surfaces, both natural and artificial. Artificial grass cleats work best on most artificial grass surfaces, and soft ground cleats work best on soft or wet natural surfaces.
Molded rubber cleats are heavier but safer, especially for youth who are just learning how to play.
Turf shoes feature small rubber studs on the outsole to improve traction on both natural and artificial surfaces. Many players use turf shoes for training and practice.
Indoor shoes generally feature flat, non-marking rubber outsoles for indoor or dry artificial surfaces.
· There are so many types of baseball and softball cleats . . . any tips?
When it comes to baseball and
softball cleats, they can pretty much be sorted into four different categories
similar to soccer.
Metal cleats have bladed studs that are usually wide and thin with rounded edges. The studs are pointed at different directions on the outsole to deliver multidirectional traction specific to baseball movements.
Molded rubber cleats have wide studs with deep grooves. These are the safest choice when it comes to baseball footwear, which is why most youth leagues and certain adult organizations require players to wear them.
Molded TPU cleats feature hard plastic studs in various configurations. TPU weighs less than rubber and offers the “feel” of metal-cleats without the danger.
Turf shoes, also called trainers, have rubber bottoms with shallow patterns or little nubs. These are most popular during indoor training season and are ideal for batting practice and fielding drills.
· What type of football cleats should I buy?
When it comes to deciding on
football cleats, there are two important things to consider: the type of field
you’ll be playing on and the position you’ll play.
Just like in other cleated sports,
there are different types of cleats depending on the surface you play on.
Molded TPU and rubber cleats work best on natural grass surfaces that are neither soggy nor bone dry as well as “sport grass” synthetic turf surfaces.
Turf shoes work best on very hard/dry natural surfaces and “Astroturf” synthetic surfaces.
The other important factor in
deciding which cleats to buy is the position you play and the skill you want to
showcase — speed, power or agility.
Speed cleats are key for players in running positions. These cleats sit low on the ankle and provide speed and flexibility so that you can juke your opponent right off the snap to get open.
Power cleats are best for those on the line looking to push and shove and stand their ground. These cleats will often sit higher on the ankle to provide both protection and stability.
Agility cleats are for the playmakers, from QBs to receivers to tight ends, these cleats offer lightweight support for explosive moments.
For more details on the best football gear for speed, power, and agility, check out this blog post.
· With all these different cleats, how do I tell the difference?
Whether you’re new to your sport or shopping for someone else, here’s two tricks to remember: – Soccer and football cleats never have metal studs. – Football cleats and baseball cleats generally have an extra stud at the very front edge while soccer cleats don’t.
· What if I order shoes in the mail, and they don’t fit correctly?
Well that sucks, but you’re not out of luck! Did you know that Eastbay offers a Test Run Program? So you can make sure your cleats or spikes perform to your satisfaction and that they feel as good as they look online. If you’re not satisfied, you can return them within 30 days and be refunded with an e-Gift card to use on a new pair. For more information on Eastbay’s return policy click here.
· Where are all the women’s sizes?
Good eye, shopper! Unfortunately, not
all sports and brands offer every shoe model in both men’s and women’s sizes.
For example, if you’re a female athlete looking to play football, you won’t
find any “women’s football cleats” on our website, but that doesn’t mean you’re
out of options. All you have to do is take your normal shoe size and subtract
1.5. Voila! The remaining difference is going to be your men’s shoe size. This
is a general rule of thumb for other shoes too, so if you find a cool looking
colorway that’s men’s specific, just do the math, buy your size, and rock the
heck out of your fresh footwear!
Did you find an answer to your question? If not, drop your question in the comments below, and we’ll help you out!