Go The Distance: The Top 5 Running Shoes

Go The Distance: The Top 5 Running Shoes

If there is one thing HOKA knows, it’s how to make a running shoe. While they offer multiple silhouettes and styles, the ONE Rocket X is consistently a favorite among all types of runners. Built using an EVA midsole, the shoe helps you make the most of every step by being extra responsive and propelling you forward. The upper is made up of breathable mesh to deliver optimal airflow so that your feet don’t overheat on longer runs. Within the shoe, there is a 1mm carbon fiber plate that adds more stability.

Tackle every run in comfort and style with the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 23. It is engineered to fit your foot like a glove. TRUSSTIC technology is what gives the shoe that structured stability. The shoe features a combination of ultra-soft GEL technology and a FlyteFoam midsole. Together they give you the cushioning and energy return that will keep you running longer than you thought possible. The outsole is made up of AHARLITE, which gives the shoe optimal grip and traction while also increasing its durability.

The Saucony Guide 14 has everything you look for in a running shoe. The synthetic mesh upper will keep your foot dry, so you don’t feel like you’re running in a puddle of your own sweat after a couple miles. The upper also has a 3D-engineered fascia which is crucial for providing stability. The PWRRUN foam midsole provides all the cushioning you could ever want and more so that you feel like you’re running on air.

There is a reason many professional runners place their trust in Brooks: they make an amazing running shoe. The Levitate 4 is 20% lighter than the previous iteration, making sure there is as little weighing you down as possible. The Fit Knit upper has a close-to-foot fit that is light, soft, and allows maximum breathability. Brooks DNA AMP midsole technology puts a spring in each step you take so you get speedy, efficient energy return.

There may be no better feeling during a run than when that runner’s high kicks in. You begin to feel invincible, like you could go forever. The Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit is built to help you power through those miles with ZoomX foam in the midsole that gives back as much energy as you put in. The Flyknit upper allows your foot to breathe freely while staying comfortable. There is also padding around the collar that provides extra ankle support.

Breaking in Your Cross-Country Shoes for Competition

Breaking in Your Cross-Country Shoes for Competition

 

Whether you’re new to the sport of cross country or just have new shoes to break in, this blog post can help you prepare for your best season yet.

When it comes to cross-country shoes, the first thing to understand is that not everyone in the sport wears spikes. Many assume that spikes are always the better choice since they provide greater traction on tough courses and allow you to dig into the terrain. But choosing between spikes and flats (sometimes called spikeless or waffle) isn’t as simple as you think. If you’re not sure which is best for you, check out our flow chart.

When you start counting how many miles you run while training for cross country, you can be looking at 30 to 40 miles a week! Most of these miles will be done in your long-distance running shoes, but when it gets closer to race time, you’ll want to make sure you’re not a stranger to your competition shoes. If you don’t allow your body time to adjust from cushioned training shoes to thin, lightweight spikes or flats, you could be at risk of injury.

Buying your spikes or flats 5 weeks before your first competition allows you to properly break them in so that come race day, you and your shoes are a well-oiled machine.


5 Week Plan to Break in Your XC Shoes

Week 1-2: For the first two weeks, insert blank pins into your spikes (if you’re wearing flats, you don’t have to worry about this). Week one, perform your regular training routine in your running shoes, but put on your spikes or flats for the last 10% of the workout (the final mile or two). During week two, you’ll repeat week one but add another mile to the final run in your new cross-country shoes. Anytime you put on your spikes or flats, make sure you run on a soft, grass surface. This provides an extra element of cushioning to protect your feet during the transition.

Week 3-4: Now that you’ve built up muscle, you can start incorporating your new shoes into your speed training. (If you have spikes, switch out the blank pins for 3/8” pyramid spike pins.) Twice a week after your regular training, put on your new spikes or flats and do some strides on a soft grass surface. Strides are a good way to start adjusting to higher speed in your new shoes. If you’ve never done strides before, they’re basically repeated 100m accelerations. Each stride should only take about 30 seconds.

Stride Right:
Step 1:
start jogging
Step 2:
increase to 95% max speed for 2-3 seconds
Step 3:
decrease to jog
Step 4:
stand or walk for a minute
REPEAT 5x

Week 5: After adjusting to your new cross-country shoes over the last month, it’s now time for a full workout. Now, don’t go crazy wearing them every day, but try one or two interval or fartlek workouts during the week. One option is the 43 workout below.

Continuous 4³ Workout
RUN HARD:
4 minutes

JOG: 4 minutes
REPEAT 4x without stopping

     

Now that you’ve got the process, you’re ready to break in your new cross-country shoes. If you don’t have a pair yet, check out our list of top picks or shop our full selection of spikes and flats online, so you can get ahead of the pack and start training for your best season yet!

 


 

DID YOU KNOW?
You can confidently order new track spikes with our Test Run Program. It allows you to buy the shoes, break them in, and see how they perform ahead of race day. Then, if they don’t run like you thought they would, you can return them within 30 days and get fully refunded.

Sports Gear: A Beginner’s Guide

Sports Gear: A Beginner’s Guide

 


Whether you’re a kid who’s just decided to try out for your school’s sports team or you’re a parent of a new athlete – welcome to the world of competitive sports! Eastbay is the go-to site for high school athletes looking for elite sports gear. But when you start looking to buy your gear, it can be a bit overwhelming seeing all the options. So, we’ll walk you through seven base essentials below, then provide links to all our sports gear guides with specific product recommendations.

 
 


1. ACTIVEWEAR

This may be obvious, but it’s worth stating: For a comfortable and productive workout you should wear activewear. We’ve all seen the odd guy in the gym who wears jeans on the treadmill, but that’s definitely not the norm and for good reason! Your clothes can have a major effect on your training. So no matter which brand you shop, keep in mind these two key terms: compression and moisture wicking.

The term “moisture wicking” just means that the material the clothes are made from keeps your body dry and cool during your workout by pulling sweat away from your skin. And the term “compression” refers to the fit. Compression gear fits like a second skin to provide muscle support and promote healthy circulation.

Eastbay makes it easy for you – much of our training apparel online has both compression and moisture wicking properties. So the only struggle you’ll face is deciding which colors and styles you want to buy!

 

2. HEADBANDS

If you’ve got longer hair, headbands are a must! No matter how you choose to style your hair for practice or game day, we recommend wearing a headband to keep loose hair out of your eyes. There’s nothing worse than trying make an amazing play and failing because your hair was in your face!

 

3. WATER BOTTLE

Don’t forget a water bottle! It’s one of the most important things to add to your bag. Even if you’re not planning to sweat up a storm or work out in the direct sun, hydration is super important for injury prevention and recovery.

Tip: If you prefer to drink sports drinks during or after your workout, consider buying two water bottles so you can fill one with sports drink and the other with water.

 

4. RUNNING SHOES

Every athlete, regardless of their sport, should have a reliable pair of running shoes. They’re versatile enough for cardio workouts with the team or solo runs around your neighborhood.

Check out this blog post to view our top picks for the best running shoes of the year!

 

5. SLIDES

After a long, strenuous day of training or competing, there’s no greater feeling than taking off your shoes and slipping into a comfortable pair of slides. For that reason, we believe slides are a must-have for all athletes!

 

6. RECOVERY EQUIPMENT

Recovery equipment may not be in everyone’s bag, but we think it’s important to keep close by. Being overprepared is never a bad thing, right? So, consider tossing an ice pack or an ankle brace in your bag. (Fingers crossed you never have to use it!)

 

7. BAG

Now that we’ve listed all the important items you should keep with you for practice and game days, you’re probably wondering how to tote it all around. Sure, you could use a big bag you have at home or try to stuff everything in your backpack, but it’s best to get a duffel bag that you can just dedicate to your sport. With one bag, you can keep all the basics together so you don’t forget anything next time you rush out the door.

 
 


SPORT-SPECIFIC GEAR

The list above contains high-level gear for athletes in any sport, but depending on what you play, there are some specific items we didn’t list. For example, if you’re going to be playing soccer, you’ll need to buy shin guards, and if you’re looking to run track, you’ll want a pair of spikes. Below you’ll find all our links for sport-specific gear guides. We keep them up-to-date with our top product recommendations based on the year’s best items.

Find your sport and bookmark the link, so next time you’re shopping for sports gear, you’ll know right where to look.

 
   Cross Country     Football 
   Soccer     Track & Field 
   Wrestling     
 
More gear guides coming soon…
 

 
You may be new to the sports world, but luckily we’re not. When it comes to sports gear, we’ve got years of experience, and we’re willing to share! Check out some of our top “How To” articles.

How Should My Shoes Fit
How to Find the Best Baseball Glove
How to Find the Best Baseball Bat
How to Choose the Right Pair of Running Shoes

    


     

How To Choose The Right Pair of Running Shoes

How To Choose The Right Pair of Running Shoes

To get the most out of your run, you need a pair of shoes to help your body operate as efficiently as possible (while remaining comfortable). The first step to choosing the right pair of running shoes is understanding how your feet work.

Female runner running on asphalt in Nike gear with lush green of trees and grass in the background.


The Science Of Your Stride

With every step, you generate force that must be absorbed and distributed across your foot and through your entire body. To safely do this, your foot becomes flexible upon impact, expanding and rolling slightly inward (this action is also referred to as pronation). As you move through your stride towards toe-off, your foot then becomes more rigid as the muscles and ligaments in your legs prepare to launch you forward into your next step. This entire process (known as your gait cycle) happens in less than a second.

With so many moving parts, it’s no surprise that achieving a smooth, natural stride is easier said than done. The mechanics of running are unique to every person, but it’s important to remember that everybody pronates. It’s the foot’s natural motion. So when deciding on the best type of shoe for your feet, it’s best not to ask, “Do my feet pronate?” but rather, “How much do my feet pronate?” Some feet roll in too far (overpronation) while others don’t become flexible enough (supination). And without the right shoes, both can cause discomfort or leave you vulnerable to injury.

So, what’s the best way to find out how your foot operates? That’s easy. All you need is a piece of paper and a little water.


The Footprint Test

  1. Wet the bottom of your foot.
  2. Step onto the piece of paper.

Just like that, you have all the information you need to choose the right pair of running shoes. Let’s look at your footprint:

Choose The Right Running Shoe 3


Arch Types

Flat
Can you see the full outline of your foot? Then that means you have low arches (commonly known as flat feet). Flat feet tend to flex more than other arch types and are more likely to overpronate. Since your feet don’t have as much natural arch support, you’ll need to find shoes to provide that support for you during the gait cycle. Look for stability shoes with tech features to help stabilize your feet and prevent injury.

Medium
If your footprint shows the ball and heel of your foot connected by a wide band, you have medium arches and plenty of options for shoes that will work with your foot type. Try neutral shoes or, for a little extra support, stability shoes.

High
If your footprint shows a very narrow band (or perhaps no band) between the heel and ball of your foot, you have high arches. Feet with high arches pronate less than other arch types and can tend towards supination (the outward rolling of the heel upon impact). This makes it difficult for your body to safely absorb the force you create with each step. The best shoe type for you is a neutral running shoe with plenty of cushioning.

Closeup of female athlete's running shoes -- Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit (the sunrise collection).


The Shoe Types

Stability
Stability running shoes are key if you have flat or medium arches.

Flat feet have the tendency to overpronate (roll too far inward). Without the right pair of shoes to help stabilize your feet, overpronation can put extra stress on your joints and muscles. Some stability shoes are made specifically for flat feet and are described as “motion control.” These usually feature posts or wedges in the midsole to support flat arches and reduce excessive rolling.

But even if you’re in the pronation “sweet spot” with medium arches, a little extra support never hurts, especially since feet are more likely to overpronate as your body tires. So, if you’re a long-distance runner with medium arches, a stability shoe is a great choice for fighting fatigue.

Stability shoes pair light, responsive foams with firmer midsole materials, combining cushioning and support to keep you running strong and injury free.

Neutral
If you’re a high-arched runner with a tendency to supinate, it’s best to find a shoe to enhance your natural running mechanics.

Neutral running shoes are lightweight and comfortably cushioned. They’re all about a smooth ride and allowing your foot to move naturally, so they feature soft, responsive midsoles that return energy with every step.



For specific shoe recommendations, check out Eastbay’s best running shoes of the year.

And if you’re looking for specialty running shoes like racing flats or trail shoes, head on over to eastbay.com.

Top Kids’ Track Spikes

Top Kids’ Track Spikes

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.

Nike Zoom Rival S 9

A Nike Zoom Rival S 9 track spike in the laser crimson/white/black/university red colorway lying on the track.

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.

adidas Sprintstar

An adidas Sprintstar track spike in the glory blue/signal green/core black colorway lying on the track.

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.

New Balance MD500 V7

A New Balance MD500 V7 track spike in the white/black colorway lying on the track.

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.


Now that you’re set with new spikes, what about the rest of your track gear? Eastbay.com offers elite apparel and equipment from the best brands, so you can have your fastest season yet!

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.