How Should My Shoes Fit? (And Other FAQ)

How Should My Shoes Fit? (And Other FAQ)

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.

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Toe Area:
Glove-like fit (allow room for toes to move comfortably) while standing up straight.

Width Area:
Foot should fit comfortably without stretching the upper over the midsole of the shoe.

Heel Area:
Because of the heel counter in the rear of the shoe, it should feel less padded and more firm, so you’ll want a snug fit.

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Toe Area:
Allow room for toes to move comfortably while standing up straight.

Width Area:
Foot should fit comfortably without stretching the upper over the midsole of the shoe.

Heel Area:
Because of the heel counter in the rear of the shoe, it should feel less padded and more firm, so you’ll want a snug fit.

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F.A.Q.

· What are training shoes?

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 medium arch have normal pronation and should look for neutral running shoes or stability running shoes if you want a little extra support.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Molded rubber cleats are heavier but safer, especially for youth who are just learning how to play.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Detachable cleats work best on wet or dry natural grass surfaces.
  3. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

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.

Which Fastpitch Bat Will You Take to the Plate?

Which Fastpitch Bat Will You Take to the Plate?

Picking the right fastpitch bat can be a chore. There are so many to consider…. Do you want a one-piece or two-piece bat? End loaded or balanced? Composite or alloy barrel? It can be a lot to take in. But we’re here to help.

Let’s start by breaking down some of these distinctions:

  • One-Piece vs. Two-Piece Bats: While one-piece bats are just one solid chunk of metal all the way through, two-piece bats are actually two separate materials held together by a connector. You’ll get stiffer swings out of one-piece bats which lead to consistency and reliability. But if you want more flex and less vibration, two-piece bats are the better options.
  • End-Loaded vs. Balanced: Your bat’s weight distribution can make a huge difference in your swings. If your bat is balanced, its weight will be evenly distributed and you will get quicker bat speed. End loaded bats are slower, but provide more power thanks to the added weight to the end of the barrel.
  • Composite vs. Alloy Barrels: Alloy, or aluminum, gives you reliable, consistent bat and ball speed at the point of contact, while composite takes time to break in, but flexes more so that you can get more power on hits. Composite bats also provide a faster bat speed than their aluminum counterparts.
  • Weight Distribution: The ‘drop’ a bat has is all about giving hitters a lighter bat while still getting proper length. It is calculated by taking:
  • Length- Drop= Weight
  • For example, a 32-inch bat with a -9 ‘drop’ would weigh in at 23 oz. while a 32-inch bat with a -10 ‘drop’ would be 22 oz.
  • -8, -9 and endloaded bats give you more power with each swing due to extra weight.
  • -10 and -11 are for hitters with quicker bat speeds and looking to get on base everytime.

Louisville Slugger

LXT Hyper 17

$349.99

 

Big-time power hitters will love the unrivaled power, huge sweet spot, and minimized vibration of the Hyper 17.

  • Balanced Swing Weight
  • Two-Piece Composite
  • Available in -8oz, -9oz, -10oz, and -11oz drops
  • USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISA, and ISF certified

Xeno Plus 17

$299.99

 

Ideal balance, massive power, and a light weight—the Xeno Plus 17 delivers everything you need in a fastpitch bat.

  • Balanced Swing Weight
  • Two-Piece Composite
  • Available in -8oz, -9oz, -10oz, and -11oz drops
  • USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISA, and ISF certified

Demarini

CF9

$349.99

 

With premium amounts of power and comfort, the CF9 is perfect for college and high school hitters.

  • Balanced Swing Weight
  • Two-Piece Composite
  • Available in -9oz and -10oz drops (-10oz also available in Hope “Breast Cancer Research Foundation” colorway)
  • USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISA, and ISF certified.

CF9 Insane

$349.99

 

This bat is just like the great CF9, but with its end load design, it brings even more power to every swing.

  • End-Loaded Swing Weight
  • Two-Piece Composite
  • Available in -10oz drops
  • USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISA, and ISF certified

CF9 Slapper

$349.99

 

The CF9 Slapper is specifically designed for the left-handed speed demons who are always looking for the perfect slap hit.

  • Balanced Swing Weight
  • Two Piece Composite
  • Available in -10oz drops
  • USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISA, and ISF certified

Vendetta

$199.99

 

For youth and transitional hitters, the Vendetta provides you with the feel and lightweight performance you need.

  • Balanced Swing Weight
  • Two-Piece Composite
  • Available in -12oz drops
  • USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISA, and ISF certified

Easton

Stealth Flex

$299.99

 

Get maximum performance and elite swing speed right out of the wrapper with the Stealth Flex.

  • End-Loaded and Balanced Swing Weights Available
  • Two-Piece Composite
  • Available in -8oz and -9oz end-loaded drops, -10oz and -11oz Balanced drops
  • USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISA, SSUSA, and ISF certified

Stealth Retro

$299.99

In 2008, Easton released the legendary purple Stealth bat. Well, now it’s back and better than ever.

  • Balanced Swing Weight
  • Two-Piece Composite
  • Available in -10oz drops
  • USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISA, SSUSA, and ISF certified

Hyperlite

$199.99

 

An optimized sweet spot and zero vibration make this a great fastpitch bat for all types of hitters.

  • End-Loaded and Balanced Swing Weights Available
  • Two-Piece Composite
  • Available in -12oz drops (End-Loaded or Balanced)
  • USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISA, SSUSA, and ISF certified

Mizuno

Nighthawk 2

$299.99

 

For a bat with elite power and feel that lasts, head to the plate with the Mizuno Nighthawk 2 bat.

  • End-Loaded and Balanced Swing Weights Available
  • Two-Piece Composite
  • Available in -10oz and -11oz drops (End-Loaded or Balanced)
  • USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISA, and ISF certified

We’re sure all of these choices will upgrade every at-bat you take, but make sure to check out our full collection of fastpitch bats.

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

2014_Baseball_Sunset

Courtesy of stack.com

“When you bring your full attention to each moment, a day is a complete lifetime of living and learning.”    —Mark Divine, The Way of the SEAL: Think Like an Elite Warrior to Lead and Succeed

Many practices and workouts are dedicated to physical training or position-specific skills. The ability to relax and perform at the highest level is directly related to an athlete’s mental approach. So, how can baseball and softball players establish and maintain mental focus?

In baseball and softball, mental focus is the key to success at all stages. The team that has the better focus and mental approach usually wins. Paraphrasing the Mark Divine quote above, “When you bring your full attention to each pitch, a game is a complete lifetime of living and learning.”

Coaches must be able to teach players what should happen during each pitch and game situation. Being physically prepared and mentally focused is the key to winning at all levels. This ability comes from years of practice and learning. Being physically prepared and mentally focused is the key to winning at all levels.

How can you be mentally prepared?

  1. Set daily goals (e.g., work on hitting off-speed pitches, psych out dirt-ball reads on the bases, improve your arm strength).
  2. Stay focused on the process (keep a journal of your daily goals and how you accomplish them).
  3. Maintain your focus each day.
  4. Establish a pre-game routine that allows you to be physically and mentally prepared to complete the day’s objectives.

Experience through practice and competition leads to knowledge, which gives you the confidence and power to be mentally ready for any situation.

What can batters do to get mentally prepared to hit?

  1. While in the dugout, look through the hole in the top of your batting helmet and focus on the opposing pitcher to pick up his or her release point. Determine if he or she is tipping pitches and gain all the information you can.
  2. Establish a routine before each at-bat that allows you to focus (e.g., breathing, focusing your eyes where you want to hit the ball, singing your favorite song, etc.)
  3. Have a plan based on the score, number of outs, the inning, and any special situation.
  4. Visualize success.

Hank Aaron said he was able to consistently hit the baseball because of his visualization and focus. Aaron is a great example of how mental preparation and visualization can lead to powerful results.

Now that know the keys to increasing your focus on the diamond, head over to Eastbay to get the latest game-changing baseball cleats, clothing, and gear and Prepare To Win.

Softball Icon Jennie Finch Announces Retirement

Softball Icon Jennie Finch Announces Retirement

words_Nick Engvall

Rarely does a player leave an impact on the popularity of an entire sport, but Jennie Finch’s impact on women’s softball is undeniable.

Jennie Finch at the 2010 MLB All Star GameWith statistical phenomenons to her name like 60 consecutive wins during her college career at Arizona, and championship titles at seemingly every level of competition, it’s undeniable that Finch brought attention to the sport like no one else.

Jennie Finch, an annual member of the USA National Team since 2001, has announced at the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City, she will be retiring after her season with the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch league is over.

At over 6 feet tall, Finch has dominated the sport from the circle. Her pitching in college was highlighted with 60 straight victories, including a championship at the 2001 Women’s College World Series. She followed up her collegiate career with a gold medal victory for the US National Team in 2004 at the Athens Olympics. Finch also led the US National Team to a silver medal in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics. In addition, while pitching for the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch League, Finch has recorded two perfect games, including one just a couple of weeks ago.

Finch recently appeared at the Major League Baseball All Star Game and participated in the Celebrity Softball Game.

With women’s softball no longer a sport in the Olympics, Jennie Finch will turn her focus to her family and leave the game as one of the best who ever stepped into the pitcher’s circle.

image via yahoo