Sneaker Valentines

Sneaker Valentines

Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re a shoe lover wanting to give unique valentines, or you’re looking to impress a certain sneakerhead at school, you’ll LOVE our Eastbay sneaker valentines! View them below, and then click the “Download” button to print and share them with your friends.

A Look Back: Q&A with ESPN’s Nick DePaula

A Look Back: Q&A with ESPN’s Nick DePaula

Whether it’s the latest athlete sneaker signing or breaking sneaker news from around the NBA, feature writer and creative director Nick DePaula has been the industry’s trusted source for sneaker stories and information for years. From his time at Sole Collector, Nice Kicks and Yahoo’s The Vertical, to his current gig with ESPN, I’ve always enjoyed reading Nick’s articles, and he’s one of the first sneakerheads I started following on Instagram.

Nick and I share a similar passion for sneakers, especially kicks that released in the ‘90s. We grew up in an era when print catalogs and TV commercials were the main ways to get a good look at the hottest new sneaker releases. Back when the internet was young and rudimentary, we looked to Eastbay for images, pricing and tech info for every single sneaker. I thought it would be fun to ask Nick a few questions about his childhood and the influence Eastbay had on him growing up:

DH: First of all, where did you grow up?

NDP: Sacramento is home! The Kings meant everything to me as a kid, and are definitely responsible for my love of hoops early on. Purple has been my favorite color ever since. I’ve been throwing ridiculous behind-the-back passes since middle school ’cause of Jason Williams. I’d even go as far as labeling ‘How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days’ a classic movie – it’s the one time the Sacramento Kings ever made the NBA Finals.

DH: What were your favorite sports to play as a kid?

NDP: We played literally everything as a kid – that’s what kids should do. Baseball. Football. Soccer. Tennis. Golf. Street hockey. Volleyball. Ping pong. Aggressive in-line skating even, if you’re old enough to remember that phase in the ‘90s. You name it, and we probably tried it.

Nothing compared to hoops though. You could find us at 10th & P in downtown Sac every Saturday from Noon to 4 getting runs in. My brother Eric and I had a Friday night ritual growing up too: 1-on-1 on the hoop out front. First to 100, by ones.

DH: How did you get introduced to Eastbay and their catalogs and when?

NDP: The first time I saw an Eastbay magazine (we didn’t call it a “catalog!”) was at Foot Locker at the Downtown Plaza around late 1996. I excitedly signed up for a free subscription and never looked back. All through elementary, middle and even high school, I’d read the latest Eastbay and that day’s Sacramento Bee sports page with my cereal, every morning before heading off to school.

I might not have had the craziest sneaker collection growing up, but over the years, I was able to learn about every company’s technologies, design approach, stable of players and their newest innovations, all from the Eastbay pages. I’d read up on sneakers from all sports, and try to memorize the tech descriptions and even the weights listed, whether that was a pair of Mizuno volleyball shoes, specialty runners, cheerleading kicks, or the latest signature sneakers.

Checking out the latest issue with LeBron on the cover still gives me that same feeling. It’s fun to turn each page and find out what new running designs are launching, what NBA shorts Nike has in store, what gear each brand has coming out, and see all the latest lineups for every sport.

DH: What did you order from the catalogs?

NDP: I had a $40 sneaker budget in elementary and middle school, and that got upped to $50 in high school, so I had to get real nice at finding deals. I always kept tabs on the “Final Score” issues that would cycle through the mailbox every so often. Whenever I came to a page with smaller shoe pictures and red circles all over, that’s when I’d get real hopeful that my size 13 or 14 was still listed as available somewhere on the “Great Buys on Large Sizes!” page.

Early on, I was typically ordering signature gear that my favorite players wore, like Allen Iverson’s Reebok collection, 3 Stripes tees that were Kobe-approved, or a variety of Nike Basketball tees that had guys like Kevin Garnett, Penny Hardaway or Scottie Pippen pictured alongside them. This was all back in the pre-internet days, where your mom would literally call Wisconsin and read off the product number to place an order.

Something I loved about Eastbay during the turn of the millennium was how many new brands started appearing in the mag too. I remember buying a few Goat Gear tees to hoop in during high school practices, after reading up on the legend of Earl “The Goat” Manigault. Even though I lived in Sacramento, it felt like I had access to all of the best basketball gear around through Eastbay.

In 2002, I damn near had the entire Jordan two3 beach collection – yes, even the towel! I rocked the two3 Cavvy dress shoe in black to my senior prom. Durasheen dazzle and NCAA replica team shorts were a practice staple for me. Eastbay finds pretty much made up my closet all throughout my school days, even into college at the University of Oregon, once ordering online changed the game up.

DH: What is a grail shoe that was featured in Eastbay that you were never able to pick up?

NDP: Tons – tons of pairs. The first shoe that immediately captivated my attention in the pages was the neon blue Foamposite One. It looked unlike anything else out there. Back then, my boy Austin Hicks and I would take pens and just circle everything we wanted in the mag. Every once in awhile, his mom would surprise him with pairs he was after, but it took me another decade to finally track down the Foams.

The late 90s had so many amazing runners that I was never able to grab at the time. The Tailwind IIs and Zoom Citizens were incredible. Adidas had a great run with the EQT Salvation, Galaxy and Ozweego lines too. Reebok’s DMX runners were instant classics. Every so often, Eastbay would also have exclusive team bank colors for basketball models like the Air Jordan XV, Team Max Zoom or even the Flightposite II, that you just couldn’t find anywhere else.

DH: Who are some of your favorite people you’ve interviewed over the years?

NDP: So many people immediately come to mind! Penny Hardaway was one of my very first cover interviews way back in 2008, and I’ve been able to follow the design process of all of his sneakers since. We worked on a huge ‘Penny Pack’ collaboration for an amazing Sole Collector event in Las Vegas in 2011 that I’ll never forget. He’s literally the best, both with his time and access, and also his passion for the sneaker industry and input. I just was out in Memphis a few weeks ago to see him again, and it’s been amazing now to see how he’s evolved into Coach Hardaway and the impact he’s having on his hometown.

There’s an endless amount of designers that’ve also been great to talk to. Tinker Hatfield and Eric Avar are each the best designers in footwear history, and so great at storytelling around innovations, athlete insights and performance solutions. Gentry Humphrey at Jordan Brand has legendary stories for days and is a hilarious guy. Both Marc Dolce and Denis Dekovic at Adidas are great dudes as well and I love catching up with them to see all that they’re working on at the Brooklyn Creator Farm.

DH: What are you up to these days?

NDP: I’ve been super fortunate to be writing about sneakers and basketball over the past thirteen years. I helped to run Sole Collector Magazine back in the print days and got to work on almost 20 collaboration sneakers in the span of 7 years that I was there. The awesome co-founders Steve Mullholand and Alex Wang gave me a shot to write for the Mag when I was still in college and really helped shape how I view content and storytelling ever since. 

After that, I joined Matt Halfhill, Ian Stonebrook and an amazing team of people passionate about footwear and the culture around it over at Nice Kicks. I spent a couple of months working on a comprehensive Allen Iverson feature about his rise with Reebok in advaance of his 40th birthday that I’ve been pretty proud of since. (Make a couple sandwiches and give it a read…)

Now, I’m writing about the footwear industry at ESPN. It’s been amazing to see how sneakers have grown to be highlighted on a platform of that size and legacy. It’s a best-in-class team across the board. With the vision of OG Bobbito Garcia, we even recently launched a new footwear show on ESPN+ called SneakerCenter that just dropped its latest episode this week.

All along, one of my career highlights was definitely working on a few interviews and special sidebar sections for Eastbay’s 25th Anniversary issue. I really do credit all of those Eastbay magazines that I grew up reading for powering that base of sneaker knowledge that I was so excited to learn more about and add to. Once SLAM dropped the first issue of KICKS in 1998, I kind of realized that writing about sneakers could become a real thing, and have been at it ever since.

How Women Can Find Jordan Shoes In Their Size

How Women Can Find Jordan Shoes In Their Size

Everybody wants a fresh pair of Js. The problem, if you’re a woman, is that the sizing can be a little bit tricky when it comes to Jordan shoes. So let’s break it down.

A lot of women buy men’s Jordan shoes in OG colorways, but Jordan has also continued to expand their offerings specifically for women. While Jordan shoes don’t come in women’s sizes, the brand does offer extended girls’ sizing to accommodate women who want to buy these sneakers. Typically, girls’ sizes range from 3.5-7. Jordan girls’ sizes extend all the way up to size 9.5, which is the equivalent of a women’s size 11.

To convert your regular women’s size into a Jordan’s grade school girls’ size, simply subtract 1.5 from your normal shoe size. For example, if you wear a women’s size 8, then you would buy a Jordan shoe in a grade school girls’ size 6.5.

Check out the conversion chart below to conveniently find your size. Now that you know how the sizing works, go cop a new pair and rock those Jordans.

A Look Back: Q&A With Legendary Nike Sneaker Designer Peter Fogg

A Look Back: Q&A With Legendary Nike Sneaker Designer Peter Fogg

Whenever I get the chance to interview someone who has designed a sneaker I actually own, I get pretty excited. A few weeks ago, I posted an old Nike ad featuring a boot Peter Fogg designed: the Terra Sertig. I knew Peter was active on Instagram but didn’t figure he was watching my account that closely. When he commented about going through many sketches for that shoe, I decided to take a chance and message him to see if he’d do an interview. He agreed, and my mind started spinning over all the different sneakers I could ask him about.

Q&A with Peter Fogg Story Image 2

One of the reasons Fogg’s designs are so influential to me personally is because I had a pair of the Air Humaras he designed while working at a local Foot Locker in 1999. I loved the special design of the Air bubble, and the Goatek traction underneath. In general, I had such an appreciation for sneakers growing up, that I saved almost every Eastbay catalog from ’96 through ’03. Obviously, the sneakers Fogg designed were in many of the catalogs, so I asked Fogg about some of his favorites and the stories behind them. With that, here is my interview with the legendary Peter Fogg:

Drew: Where did you grow up?

Peter: I grew up in the town of El Cerrito, California. Also called the Bay Area or East Bay.  I went to Kennedy High School in Richmond and later ended up at San Josè State.

Q&A with Peter Fogg Story Image 1

Drew: Were you a runner/hiker?

Peter: Back in the ’60s and ’70s I don’t really remember using those terms unless you ran track or cross country in high school. At my school, cross country was just a way to get in shape for football, basketball, or baseball. I think the choices at the shoe store were Converse Chuck Taylors and an early adidas shoe. My cross country days ended very quickly after a foot injury. I was on the wrestling team in high school, and on the weekends or after school, it was about playing basketball or football with friends and my brothers. Our other favorite activity growing up was riding dirt bikes with friends.

Q & A with Peter Fogg Story Image 8

Drew: What brought you to Nike?

Peter: I always find it remarkable to think I made it to Nike and worked there for 18 years. Before Nike, I had already been working for 14 years as a designer at 5 different companies. I was 39 years old and thinking what was next for me. While still recovering from fighting Hodgkins disease (six months of chemo and a month of radiation), I talked to an old classmate from San Josè State who worked at Nike and I discovered he was the design director there. I said I was looking for a change; aircraft interior design was not where I wanted to spend the rest of my design career. I brought sketches of shoes and roller blades I had worked on to the interview. I guess they saw some potential and hired me.     

Q & A with Peter Fogg Story Image 5

Drew: When was your first design actually produced for retail?

Peter: My first shoe was the Air Humara, designed in 1995, and I guess it made it to retail in late 1996 or early 1997. Designers usually remember when a shoe was designed but retail and production dates not so much.

Q & A with Peter Fogg Story Image 3

Drew: Can you share the story behind the Humara line? What does “Humara” mean? Why do you think that line was so successful?

Peter: The story is interesting because in 1995, the running category decided they wanted to take control of the trail running product and let a designer with no footwear experience do the designs. Before 1995, trail running product was a little hit or miss. The running team really wanted to focus on making great running shoes that could be used on trails, so a high priority was placed on making a performance running shoe first. The name Humara comes from the Tarahumara people living in Mexico. The Tarahumara use the word Raràmuri to describe themselves, which means “runners on foot” or “those who run fast” according to Wikipedia. They are very good long-distance runners. I think the Humara line was successful because the designs were fun but also performance-driven. The colorways were bold but also wearable, so they became a shoe to wear all day, not just for running. 

Q & A with Peter Fogg Story Image 5

Drew: What is the backstory behind the Sertig and the Nike phone ad featuring Anita Weyermann?

Peter: The insight and marketing brief came from Europe; they wanted four shoes designed: a mid and low-cut serious trail runner plus a fell running and orienteering shoe. I was to go to Switzerland and Germany for research and inspiration, but I did not have a passport and we could not get one in time. A fellow designer took my place and ended up designing the fell and orienteering shoes. This was good for me because it let me focus on just the Sertig and Albis. I was happy with the design directions, but when the first samples came from the factory, my European marking person was not sure. He was thinking I should redesign it, but my marketing person at Nike talked to him, and they decided to go forward with the existing design. This is the same marketing person that helped save the Humara design. The person on the Sertig phone call must have been a serious mountain runner. I did not meet her. Some of the trail running over there is a cross between hiking and running, and the Sertig mid-cut offered some additional protection from rocks and sticks.  

Q & A with Peter Fogg Story Image 7

Drew: Can you rank your top 10 favorite designs?

Peter: It’s not easy to rank designs, but here are some of my favorites. There are a lot of firsts in this list:

1.  Air Humara – My first complete shoe design. Development was not a fan of the design, but marketing believed and supported it.

2.  Zoom Tallac – My first boot design after leaving running and joining ACG. This boot helped redefine what a lightweight boot could be.

3.  Air Terra Humara – First Vis-Air trail shoe. This shoe became a big sales success because it crossed over into style and fashion. Vogue magazine wrote an article about it in 1997.

4. Air Minot – First running shoe with Gore-Tex. Some inspiration came from warning signs, military logos, and slow-moving vehicles.

5.  Zoom Air Terra Sertig – First mid-cut trail running shoe. It was designed for the European market, and the inspiration came from low-profile Formula 1 race cars.

6.  Nike Air Terra Albis 2 – First shoe modeled in 3D for the factory. From a performance and design point of view, this shoe turned out very good.

7.  Water Cat – This shoe makes the list because it is very unique. It was almost dropped because it was so strange – a fully considered design reducing waste and adhesives.

8.  Nike Zoom Ashiko – First Flywire boot designed to be lightweight and protective with a classic look from early ACG boots. The bright orange colorway was awesome.

9.  Nike Hyperdunk 13 – From my basketball days. I enjoyed working on the Hyperdunk and trying to make it the best performance basketball shoe I could. 

10.  Nike Air Bakin’ Boot – This boot was designed while I was working in NSW (Nike Sports Wear). Using the old Bakin basketball shoe inspiration and combining it with Foamposite and Vis-Air to make a boot was fun. I like the way it turned out.

Q & A with Peter Fogg Story Image 9

Drew: What was your favorite technology to utilize in footwear? Zoom Air? Goatek? Anything else?

Peter: Zoom Air was always a favorite and proven technology to use in my footwear designs.  For trail shoes, it just made sense because of the cushioning and low-profile designs. I think Goatek was very cool also, but it didn’t really catch on with the trail runners. Maybe Nike should bring it back. Foamposite and Flywire were also fun technologies to work with.  

Q&A with Peter Fogg Story Image 6

Drew: What are you up to these days?

Peter: I’m keeping busy. I help my wife design and produce a line of animal quilt patterns she sells online and at trade shows. We travel together more and are going on a boat cruise vacation in the Mediterranean this summer. In my spare time, I do some freelance work and digital painting. I always have a project to do around the house and yard because, when the sun is out, I’m usually out riding my motorcycle. Our three lovely kids still live in the Northwest and visiting them and seeing the grandkids is a special treat!

Release Report: Nike Air Max 720

Release Report: Nike Air Max 720

Forever fashion, never a fad: Nike’s released the newest Air Max model as a celebration leading up to the fifth annual Air Max Day on March 26.

Air Max 720

Remember the Name

The first Air Max sneakers were created in 1987 when Nike made a shoe with visible Air technology, allowing consumers to see the science inside the shoe. The name “Air Max” stems from the design. In order to increase comfort and decrease impact, Nike added the max amount of air into a bubble placed within the sole.

The number 720 is specific to this model and represents the degrees of the visible Air unit, 360 degrees horizontally and vertically.

Everyday Style

The Air Max 720 is the first lifestyle sneaker created with a full-length Air unit, in other words it runs from toe to heel. Although the Air Max 97 was created with a full-length unit, it was a performance running shoe rather than casualwear. The game has changed, but the name remains as Air Max keeps innovating.

All-Day Comfort

Air Max sneakers have always looked as good as they work, but now they feel as good as they look. The Air Max 720 is designed to give you ultimate comfort while walking. Whether you’re headed to school, to work, or out on the town, these shoes cradle your feet with Air giving you maximum comfort.

Big and Bold

This is not your parent’s sneaker; the Air Max 720 has the tallest air unit in the history of Air Max measuring 38 mm. The 720 also features bold color designs inspired by nature, check out the colorways like sunrise, total eclipse, and sea forest.

Better For You, Better For Your World

The Air Max 720’s air unit is made from more than 75% recycled materials, so you can feel good about looking good when you wear the newest kicks from Nike.

Head over to eastbay.com to snag a pair of these before they’re gone. And don’t forget to share a photo of you wearing them on Air Max Day, March 26, using #EraOfAirMax.