Behind The Design Of The Under Armour Harper 6

Behind The Design Of The Under Armour Harper 6

Bryce Harper is a force on the diamond, and he needs a baseball cleat that can keep up with his grind. We sat down with footwear designer Spencer Hawkins to find out what it takes to create a cleat for one of the game’s greatest. As the designer of the Under Armour Harper 6 baseball cleat, Hawkins had to combine fresh style with trusted performance to create a shoe that would be the perfect fit for Bryce and for young baseball players looking to take their game to the next level. 

Here’s what Hawkins had to say about his design process, pushing the limits of style, and keeping things fresh in the Harper line:

Can you walk us through your design process and how you gather inspiration for a new shoe?

Art, science, and culture are the three things I try to think about in terms of what the aesthetic is going to be. What inspiration can I draw from, and is Bryce going to relate to whatever that is? Are the consumers? And then it comes down to the science. What’s the tech or feature that’s going to make Bryce better as well as any athlete who puts it on.

I try to think about how it will be marketed. If the design tells a story, can that story be boiled down to a tagline that Bryce connects to and that a 16-year-old high schooler can also relate to. If it can, then I know I’m on the right track.

What is that design story for the Harper 6?

When I was creating the story, it was to have the cleat provide a clear advantage. That evolved from the aesthetic of transparent materials and Bryce thinking it was cool and something he hasn’t really seen before.

The aesthetic of baseball cleats has a lot of heritage, just like in the sport, so things are held onto a lot longer than they might be in other sports. So having those transparent materials, we thought was a fresh aesthetic to go after. I wanted to tie in why we were using transparent materials. Why are we using it culturally? Why are we using it scientifically to make athletes better? And the art piece, just connecting to the trend of transparency in fashion.

We tried to strip down to the essential parts of the cleat and then either emphasize and highlight them. So, using the transparency in places where we’re adding support or structure as a way to showcase those elements. The transparent materials on the shoe also provide a benefit or feature. Like the overlay piece that is transparent on the toe adds durability and protection and it also comes up and protects the lace.

How involved was Bryce in the creation of the Harper 6?

Normally we’ll meet three or four times in person just going over the story, going over initial inspiration, going over the samples, what to change, the color stories, etc. So, he’s heavily involved with that. This season was different with COVID. Luckily, I’ve been working with him since the Harper 3, so we have a relationship where we can work very loosely without very formal meetings. I can text him certain questions that I have, and he’s learned what I’m looking for as far as that marketing story. He can tell me he likes the look of something and the reasons why and how we can build that into a story he feels good about telling and that he thinks kids will enjoy. So, he was pivotal in terms of the jumping off point.

Then we came with a final design that he liked on paper. Once we both like what we’re seeing on paper, the real work starts in terms of making what’s on paper real and tangible and making sure it passes all our wear test standards and isn’t causing any fit issues. It’s a fine line balancing between “this is something I’ve never seen before” and something that’s still going to perform better than what we’ve made in the past.

So, Bryce has different touchpoints all the way through. And luckily, he trusts our team a lot in terms of what we’ve been able to build in the past and where we take things.

Which tech features in the Harper 6 were chosen to complement Bryce’s style of play?

A lot of things on the Harper 6 are engineered towards what he’s looking for and how he plays. With all the years that he’s been playing, all the standing out in the outfield, he has suffered from a few foot injuries in the past, so how do we make sure this cleat more comfortable, more supportive, keep his foot on the plate. Those are the things we were working with engineering to fix.

Bryce is a player who’s always evolving. When he started playing, he was known as almost brash – very fiery type personality – and that came out in his play. I think that still comes out but it’s much more now as an overarching leader of a team. So, it’s hitting the style, the unique aesthetic for baseball, it’s having the tech features that are making you better, so more comfortable underfoot, more breathable. It’s not overbuilt, but it’s showcasing the layers through transparency. Those were all the things we were thinking about in terms of checking all the boxes for Bryce.

Under Armour Harper 6 Baseball Cleat

When you’re designing multiple iterations of a shoe, how do you balance staying true to that athlete’s signature style with making sure the model stays fresh and interesting?

That’s always the toughest part. Luckily with signature, I think having the shoe be its own personality from the 3 to 4 to 5 to 6 is always a good thing. So, I’m not afraid of drastically changing things. I think with the last two or three we’ve overall maintained a similar silhouette in terms of having it be a low cut, whereas before his models were either mids or highs. So, he’s been on board with that, just in terms of what he likes to play in and what the market has been trending towards, so it’s certain things like that where I’ll pick and choose a few features to stay the same or similar and then drastically change the others. So, for example, if we’re keeping the same silhouette and a similar material play, then I’ll drastically change up the colors and the graphics. Or it could be the opposite.

What type of ball player do you think these cleats are best for?

If you relate to Bryce, you’re going to relate to this cleat. It’s for someone who puts in the work to stand out. It doesn’t have to be the one with the biggest personality on the team. It’s about leading by example and standing out for the right reasons.

It’s that balance of creating energy, creating limited edition colorways – things that connect with Bryce – but also creating fresh team colors. It’s the balance of staying on palette of your team’s colors while also bringing excitement and energy in that space.

How important is that style element to the performance of the athlete?

It definitely depends on the athlete. To Bryce, it’s one of his number one things. Obviously, the cleat needs to work. It needs to not cause any distractions, it needs to feel more comfortable, stable, breathable, supportive – all those things – but at this point he takes those things as a given with the products we have. So, as long as we’re not taking steps backwards in that department, his number one thing is style. It’s that saying, “look good, feel good, play good.”

What was your favorite part of designing this cleat and your favorite element on the cleat itself?

This was the first one during the pandemic and what makes it special is what we went through as a team trying to bring this product to life during an unprecedented time.

One of my favorite features is the lace shield. It’s just something I haven’t seen before with that transparent piece coming up a little bit over the laces. So, being able to merge that aesthetic of transparency with the performance benefit while protecting your laces during slides and the different movements of baseball, that’s what my favorite part is.

What do you think sets the Harper 6 apart?

I think it goes back to being that melting pot of all the things that you want. I think it’s easy to have cleats that are super unique or very provocative in how they’re styled, but because of how it looks it’s not as comfortable or it’s super supportive but because of that, it’s maybe overbuilt with a lot of materials and it’s a little heavy. The Harper 6 is just kind of the perfect melting pot of style, performance, and the way it incorporates the story. That’s what set it apart. It has a unique visual from far away in terms of having that dot pattern around the transparent pieces, giving it a unique on-field, on-tv aesthetic. But then when you have it in your hand, it’s simplified and has a lot of details up close. So just being that universal solution in all those areas is what makes it stand out.

Under Armour Harper 6 GIF

Make sure you grab your own pair of the UA Harper 6 today from Eastbay and gear up with all the best Under Armour baseball gear for your season.

Back to School Bag Guide

Back to School Bag Guide

Part of getting ready for a new school year and new sports season is making sure you have all the gear you need to win in style. And that means a new school bag. With so many different styles and colors to choose from, it can be hard to find the bag that’s right for your sport and for your look. We’re breaking down our top three favorite backpacks, mini backpacks, gymsacks, tote, duffels, crossbody bags, and kids’ bags to help make the decision easier. 

Back To School Bag Guide Backpacks

Backpacks

Obviously, when it comes to school, the most popular type of bag is the classic backpack, but there are so many varieties within this category from basic to decked out. To help you choose, here are our top three favorites as well as a list of some common features that you’ll find on many backpacks so you can identify the technology and know exactly what you’re getting.

Nike Hoops Elite Pro Backpack

While this backpack is designed for basketball players, it’s loaded with a ton of great features that make it the perfect choice for everyone. The bag has a sleek design and a duffel-like opening so you can set it down flat while looking for your workout clothes or textbooks. There’s a laptop sleeve, water bottle storage, and a ventilated pocket to keep sweaty items separate from the rest of your gear. Shop it here.

The North Face Jester Backpack

This do-it-all backpack is built to carry everything you need while keeping you cool and comfortable. It comes with a floating padded laptop sleeve, secondary compartment with zippered areas for pens and pencils, a front elastic bungee for external storage, and two water bottle pockets. It also features compression molded shoulder straps and a padded mesh back panel to ease the strain of carting around school supplies and sport gear. Shop it here.

adidas Originals Utility 4.0 Backpack

If you want the classic functionality of a backpack, but with a more unique look, this is the bag for you. It’s on-trend camo print and cord-lock and hood closure will help you stand out in the halls while keeping all your gear secure. This bag also has two water bottle pockets, an interior laptop sleeve, and ear-bud and charger storage. As an added bonus, this backpack is made from 100% recycled polyester. Shop it here.

Back To School Bag Guide Mini Backpacks

Mini Backpacks

If you want the school aesthetic but a little more stylized, try a mini backpack. These look like regular backpacks, but as the title implies, they’re smaller so you won’t find as many tech features on them and you won’t be able to fit as much inside. So, if you normally carry all your textbooks to and from school, this might not be the best choice for you. But, if you’re focused on style, here are our three favorite mini backpacks for this year.

Nike Brasilia JDI Mini AOP Backpack

With a see-through outer shell and allover print, the Brasilia Mini Backpack packs a big punch for such a small bag. It has two side mesh pockets, water-resistant construction, and two roomy zippered compartments for your essentials. Shop it here.

adidas Originals Santiago Mini Backpack

You can’t deny the appeal of the classic adidas Trefoil. On this mini backpack, it’s front and center, with additional branding across the top. This clean design is the perfect complement to all your school fits, and the webbed shoulder straps and multiple zippered pockets are perfect for comfortably securing all your must-haves. Shop it here.

Nike Just Do It Mini Backpack

This school year, vow to be bold, even down to the smallest details. The Nike Just Do It Mini Backpack is the perfect accessory for carting around your keys, wallet, and other small essentials. Its bold colors and thermoplastic material will pop in the halls or when you’re out with friends, and adjustable shoulder straps and top haul loop make it super easy to grab and go. Shop it here.

Back To School Bag Guide Gymsacks

Gymsacks

Gymsacks are as simple as bags get. They’re super lightweight and easy to throw on, but they rarely have pockets or any other tech. Usually, it’s just a single pull string compartment to put everything in. If you like minimalist style and carry very few items, this could be an option for you. They’re bigger than a mini backpack, so you could probably fit a small laptop or tablet in it, but, because of the simplicity of design and material, you’ll want to make sure you put your electronics in a padded case before putting it in the bag. Here are our three favorites.

Jordan Air Drawstring Gym Sack

You can’t go wrong with the Jumpman. This gymsack is designed to hold an extra pair of clothes and small workout essentials, and it has a side zippered pocket for more secure storage. Shop it here.

adidas Alliance II Sackpack

This gymsack packs a little extra punch, thanks to two side mesh pockets and a front zip pocket to hold your valuables. It comes in a wide variety of colors, and no matter which one you choose, you’ll be rocking the classic athletic Three Stripes. Shop it here.

Nike Brasilia Gymsack

When you want to grab your workout or class essentials and go, simplicity is key. The Nike Brasilia Gymsack has everything you need and nothing you don’t – with three storage areas and a reinforced bottom to protect your gear. It comes in multiple colors to match your personal style. Shop it here.

Back To School Bag Guide Tote Bags

Tote Bags

The most purse-like fashion option is a tote bag. They’re big enough to fit everything you need and feature a few separate sections like a small accessory pocket and laptop sleeve. The biggest difference with this bag is that it’s not quite as hands-free. Since it doesn’t have dual shoulder straps, you can either put it on one shoulder or just carry it in your hand. Here are three great options.

Jordan Flight Essential Adjustable Tote

Legendary Jumpman logo? Check. Removable shoulder strap for multiple carry options? Check. Coated zipper pulls for durability that will last all school year? Check. The Jordan Flight Essential Tote is a triple threat. Shop it here.

adidas All Me Tote

Sport and style go hand in hand with the functional adidas All Me Tote. This bag is made from premium air mesh and has adjustable straps so you can carry it as a crossbody, over your shoulder, or by the handles. Multiple internal pockets let you organize everything just the way you like it. Shop it here.

Nike One Tote

This bag is the one to fit all your needs – from class to practice and everything in between. This versatile tote bag features a large main storage area, water bottle pocket, and elastic bungees for external storage. And it comes in two great neutral colors to complement your school fits and your workout style. Shop it here.

Back To School Bag Guide Duffel Bags

Duffel Bags

A small duffel bag can be a great option for student athletes. Most come with a long strap that you can wear crossbody to keep your hands free. When people picture duffels, they often think of big, bulky bags, but they come in many smaller sizes that can be perfect for athletes who don’t want to carry multiple bags to school. With a duffel, you’ll have enough room to store your school items as well as your gear for practice. Here are our top styles.

Nike One Duffel

Just like the Nike One Tote, this duffel bag combines sporty style and functionality in a way that can’t be beat. A vented compartment is great for storing sweaty clothes after practice, and a zippered shoe compartment and magnetic pockets provide plenty of storage for your school essentials and workout must-haves. Shop it here.

adidas Defender IV Duffel

This durable bag has front and end zippered pockets, dual carry handles with padded grip, and a shoulder strap that you can adjust or remove to meet your needs. The dimensions on this version are 11.75″ H X 20.5″ L X 11″ W, but it also comes in a medium size if you need extra space for practice clothes and shoes. Shop the small duffel here and the medium duffel here.

Nike Brasilia Duffel

With an array of color options and the classic Nike Swoosh, the Brasilia Duffel is a great option for student athletes who need to grab everything and go. It features a dual-zip main compartment, zippered outside pocket for small essentials, and a show compartment to keep everything clean and dry. The dimensions on this bag are 20″ L x 11″ W x 11″ H, but it’s also available in a medium size if you need more space. Shop the small duffel here and the medium duffel here.

Back To School Bag guide Crossbody Bags

Crossbody Bags

If you’re looking for a stylish way to carry your daily essentials, a crossbody bag might be the right choice for you. Small and lightweight, these bags won’t work for all your school supplies or sports gear, but they’re perfect for your keys, wallet, chapstick, phone, and other small items. Here are three picks we love.

Nike Heritage Hip Pack

With a main compartment and smaller accessories pocket, the Nike Heritage Pack will keep everything organized and easy to reach. The strap has a buckle closure, and can be worn around your waist, across your body, or over your shoulder. This comes in a bunch of colors and is the perfect finishing touch to your everyday look. Shop it here.

adidas Originals National Festival Crossbody

With over 100 5-star reviews, this bag can’t be beat. Its unique design features a hook-and-loop fastener so you can attach this to larger bags and backpacks and a customizable strap for when you want to wear it solo. It comes in three colors and features the iconic Trefoil front and center. Shop it here.

Jordan Jumpman AJX Crossbody

Elevate your look to legend status with this synthetic leather crossbody. A zip closure and back pocket for your phone leave plenty of room for all your essentials and an adjustable strap lets you wear it your way. This bag comes in white or red for a vibrant pop that’ll turn heads. Shop it here.

Back To School Bag Guide Kids' Bags

Kids’ Bags

Even the youngest student athletes need great options for carrying their school and sports gear. We’ve got a variety of bags sized just for them and designed to meet their specific needs. Here are three of our favorites along with a tip to make sure you’re carrying your gear safely.

Pro Tip:
If you find yourself hunched over to ease the weight of your bag, consider lightening your load. Kids younger than 13 shouldn’t carry more than 10% of their body weight, while kids 13 and older are okay carrying up to 25% of their body weight.

Nike Young Elemental Backpack

This backpack is the perfect fit for a young student athlete who needs to organize all their gear. It has a removable pencil case for easy access in class. There are also multiple zip pockets to hold school books, gym clothes, calculators, and everything else you might need. Padded shoulder straps keep you comfortable in the halls, on the bus, and back and forth from practice. Shop it here.

Nike CR7 Backpack

For an athletic look that doesn’t sacrifice storage space, go with the Ronaldo-inspired CR7 Backpack. It’s got bold design elements, a large main compartment, and a zippered front pouch for smaller items. The back panel and shoulder straps are padded, so you’ll stay comfortable even when you’re loaded down with homework. Shop it here.

Nike Futura Jumbo Lunch Tote

Who wants a boring brown bag lunch when you can keep your food fresh and cool in an insulated tote from the Swoosh?? It’s the perfect size for lunch and snacks, and its soft shell design means you can easily fold it up and fit it in your backpack when it’s empty. Shop it here.

Back To School Bag Guide Sports Bags

Sport-Specific Bags

If you need a bag built specifically for your sport, we’ve got you covered there, too. We’ve got options with compartments for your basketball or volleyball, baseball bats and helmet, wrestling shoes, and more. 

Up To The Challenge: Jalen Hurts Is Ready For A New Era In Philly

Up To The Challenge: Jalen Hurts Is Ready For A New Era In Philly

Jalen Hurts has something to prove. After a rollercoaster rookie season in Philly, the quarterback is ready to step up to the plate as QB1 and lead his team to a successful season. As regular season kickoff approaches, he has one goal in mind: WIN.

We asked Jalen about Philly’s new leadership, what he’s most excited for this season, and what kind of mark he wants to leave on the game. Here’s what he had to say.

“Jalen Hurts is a rare breed.

I’m gonna prove that I am what I say I am. “

Q: You’ve got a new head coach and a new offensive system to adapt to this year. What has the transition to this new system been like, and what are you most excited about for this offense?

A: This year, I’m excited for an opportunity to do what I love – to go out there and play and compete. We truly have an opportunity to do something special, and taking advantage of that, working, holding each other accountable to do the things that we need to do so we can be successful, that’s what I’m most excited about.

We’re going into this new season with new everything – new coaches, new playbook, everything’s new – and we’re very excited about it. Excited about the energy Coach Sirianni is bringing in, the values and principles he’s instilling in the team. Piece by piece, we’re buying into it, coming together and being a true team, getting ready to go out there and have success.

Q: What are some personal goals you’ve set for yourself this upcoming season?

A: When it comes to individual goals and personal goals, I talk to God and we have our good conversations. But I keep it very simple: Win, Win, Win. That’s why we work. That’s where my joy comes from. It comes from winning.

There’s always the thrill of not being satisfied. Knowing that there’s always room for improvement, always more to work on. Enough is never enough.

 

Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Jalen Hurts Eastbay Football By Color

“My football career will be defined by me. Did I use this game of football to open up doors elsewhere, create new roads and avenues to serve, uplift, change? Did I do that? That’s how I define it.”

 Q: Where do you think we will see the biggest leap in your game?

A: Ever since I came into college, my freshmen year, sophomore year, junior year, senior year, every year I just gradually got better. And it just clicked for me. You take natural steps as a player – with the work you put in and what you invest – you get that out in the end, when you put that work in and you do things the right way. I’m just ready for it. I’m excited for it.

Q: Most often with teams, the quarterback is the leader in the locker room. This will be your first season in Philly where there is a strong chance you’ll be the starting QB. How do you go about getting guys, some who have never been around you or played with you before, to buy into the team and buy into you as the leader of the team?

A: You have to compete at everything you do. We’re in this every single day and you get out what you put in. I pride myself on putting something in every day – mentally, emotionally, physically, whatever it is – it all matters. In a nutshell, that’s what my leadership is. Accountability is value #1 for me. Not being a hypocrite is value #2, because as a leader, people are going to look at you and say, “What are you doing? How is he handling this?” All eyes are on you, so how you respond to a situation is very crucial. I never get on a guy, I never hassle a guy for not doing something that I ain’t doing. As a leader, I try to be a man of character, I try to be a man that’s going to do my job. I hold myself to the highest standard possible. So anything anyone else says doesn’t mean much to me, because I have the highest standard.

Q: You’ve got one of your old Alabama teammates in DeVonta Smith lined up out wide again. How was it getting on the same page and getting back that chemistry that you two had in college?  

A: It’s really crazy, because you talk about having a family feel on a football team. I’ve been fortunate enough to build those relationships with people I haven’t been with as far back as college, from the offensive line to the defensive line to the secondary to other guys in the receiving core, and that’s exciting. But having DeVonta is crazy because we talked about it. We spoke it into existence. We said, we’ll play again. We’ll get a real shot at this. And here we have a great opportunity to do something special.

Jalen Hurts Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Eastbay Football By Color

“Football is more than a game. I think about all the opportunities I’ve had due to this game. Picking up a ball when I was four years old, just having it in my hand, all the experiences coming up as a kid, the opportunities I’ve had to serve, to uplift, impact those around me, young and old. It’s more than a game. And in my eyes, that’s what it’s all about. If I left tomorrow, I could look back and say I’ve impacted people’s lives.”

 

Q: Philly crowds are notoriously tough to please. Would you say Alabama or Philly has a more raucous fanbase?

A: Alabama has a high pedigree of winning championships, and that standard has been instilled in me. Go to Oklahoma, and it’s the same thing. A tough fan base that expects greatness, that expects a standard of play at the highest level. They expect to be in the playoffs and compete for national titles. It’s the same thing here in Philadelphia, the grittiness and the “get muddy, get dirty” mentality to go get it done. I admire that.

Q: Including college and your time in the league, you’ve had quite an interesting career. Looking back, if you had the chance to give some advice to 14-year-old Jalen Hurts, what would it be?

A: Where I’m sitting now, I have this opportunity where I can be a light to so many children around the world. I think about what message I want to deliver to them. I truly believe if you believe in yourself, anything is attainable. Put your mind to it, and you can go get it. And that’s the message I send out to all kids, everywhere. Listen to the people around you, respect the people around you, your elders. Do what’s right because it’s right and go get it. You’ve gotta believe in yourself before you do anything.

Jalen Hurts Philadelphia Eagles QB Eastbay Football By Color

Want to know more about Jalen and how he made his dreams of going pro a reality? We’ve got you covered. Here are the Five Tools You Need To Make It In The League, straight from him and some other players you might recognize.

And make sure you stock up on all the gear you need for a successful season. Shop FTBL X CLR at eastbay.com and suit up in your team’s colors.

From The Pros: The Five Tools You Need To Make It To The League

From The Pros: The Five Tools You Need To Make It To The League

Do you have big dreams of making it to the league one day? To some, that might sound like a longshot, but every pro football player started out right where you are now – playing the game they love and dreaming of turning it into something more. So we asked some of the game’s best what it takes to turn those dreams into reality. From the pros themselves, here are the five tools you need to make it to the league.

1. Accountability

If you’re going to set big goals for yourself, you have to be ready to make sacrifices and put in the work. Coaches, trainers, teammates, and parents can give you the tools and support to play your best, but the fire you need to overcome obstacles and make it to the top can only come from within.

“My biggest goal for this season is to push myself against competition and get better every day,” said 2021 Minnesota draft pick Kellen Mond. “I will always have a super high standard for myself and I want to be able to set the bar high in everything that I do. The best advice that I would give to another kid with dreams of making it to the league would be to be your biggest self-critic. Do not allow others to have a higher standard for you than yourself.”
 
“Coaches, people who are working with me and helping me succeed and accomplish my goals, they matter,” said Philly QB Jalen Hurts. “Their voices matter. But as a leader, I try to be a man who’s going to do my job. I hold myself to the highest standard possible. So anything anyone else says, it doesn’t mean much to me.”

2. Work Ethic

Being accountable to yourself first means that every new workout, practice, and scrimmage is a chance to run tighter routes, make cleaner catches, or hold coverage better than the athlete you were yesterday. In a game of inches, most of the important growth happens when no one’s watching. It’s incremental improvement over time that’s going to make all the difference on game day, whether you’re lining up at a JV scrimmage or a Division I State Championship.

 

“Don’t let anyone outwork you,” said Los Angeles safety Derwin James. “You can’t control how much natural talent you were born with, but you can control how hard you work. Be early to practice. Stay late. Make sure you’re getting extra work in in the weight room or watching film. That’s the only way to make it.”
“You see my success on Sunday,” said Green Bay lineman David Bakhtiari, “but the work that goes in is Monday through Saturday. It’s in the offseason where I really sharpen my iron, put myself in the best situation so when I do come back and play, I can ask my body to do what’s necessary, to go through all the obstacles of a long, rigorous season.”
“You get out what you put in,” said Jalen. “I pride myself on putting something in every day – mentally, emotionally, physically – whatever it is, it all matters. You have to compete at everything you do.”
“It really comes down to just working hard, being a good teammate, and focusing on improving every day,” said Tampa Bay wide receiver Chris Godwin. “If you’re able to focus on that, then I think you’ll continue to improve and you’ll see your game take new strides and you’ll be a better player overall.”

3. Teamwork

It takes more than just a roster of talented players to build a championship team. You need chemistry, and that means building trust with your teammates and making sure you’re in sync on game day.

 

“You’re only as strong as your weakest link,” said David. “The offensive line is one of the few positions where all five of us need to be working together to have success. You can’t have individual success. I would say offensive line is the team position within the ‘ultimate team sport.’”
“The biggest lesson I learned from Tom Brady was just how simple you have to make the game,” explained Chris. “So many coaches are 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, and just making sure you’re putting your team in the best position to be successful.”

 

4. Resilience

In such a physical sport, setbacks are bound to happen. Suffering an injury can feel devastating, but the key to getting back in the game is to focus on healing and rebuilding your physical strength. After a season-ending meniscus tear in 2020, Derwin James had to face watching his team from the sidelines, but he refused to let adversity ger the best of him.

“It’s been tough for sure,” said Derwin. “Every time you watch a game and you’re not on the field, you keep thinking about all the plays you could make to help your team out. You have to be mentally tough to keep doing the rehab day in and day out, because it can get grueling for sure. Thankfully my teammates are always there supporting me, because a lot of them know what it’s like. I also lean on my family pretty heavily – they’ve always got my back encouraging me, telling me that I’ll come back stronger.”

 

If you make it to the top, it won’t just be physical injury that can derail you. The business of pro football can be overwhelming, and mistakes or losses on the national stage can be tough to recover from.

 

“As a team, you have to forget quickly in this business,” said David. “It can be very ‘what have you done for me lately,’ and that can leave a sour taste in your mouth. You should use it as motivation, but you shouldn’t dwell on it, because dwelling on something isn’t going to get the job done. Hard work, dedication, preparation, facing adversity, and making the necessary adjustments to get over that adversity is what you need to do in this league.”

 

5. Belief

Playing college ball or making it to the pros takes more than talent. It takes dedication, drive, and – maybe most importantly – belief.

“If you believe in yourself, anything is attainable,” said Jalen. “Put your mind to it, and you can go get it. That’s the message I send out to all kids, everywhere. Do what’s right because it’s right and go get it. You’ve gotta believe in yourself before you do anything.”

 

And when that belief pays off? Well, there’s nothing like it.

 

“Hearing my name called on draft night was an unbelievable feeling,” said Kellen. “One of the best feelings ever. You only have one opportunity to get your name called and it was something that I have worked for my entire life. Knowing all the work that it took to get to that point makes that moment extremely special.”
“Playing for my hometown team has been awesome,” said Chicago tight end Cole Kmet. “Growing up I loved watching some of those guys – Brian Urlacher and Charles Timmons – how they played, how they went about their business, it’s something I try to emulate. So, my advice to anyone trying to make it to this level is continue to work hard and enjoy playing the game you love.”

 

 

Now that you’ve got the tools, it’s time to stock up on the gear you need to make it to the top. Kick off your season with the best football apparel, cleats, accessories, and equipment – all in your team’s colors – when you shop Football By Color at eastbay.com.

This Year’s Best Football Gear: Cleats And Gloves Built For How You Play

This Year’s Best Football Gear: Cleats And Gloves Built For How You Play

As you head back to the gridiron this fall football season, you don’t need just any cleat or glove — you need the best gear possible to help you leave a legacy on the field. That’s why the Eastbay team huddled up and created your 2021 Football Gear Guide — an in-depth breakdown of the best football gear for this fall season. We even divided it by style of player. So, whether you’re an explosive speedster, an agile playmaker, or a trench warrior, we’ve got gear built for you. And whether you’re rocking adidas, Nike, Under Armour, Jordan, or just looking for the flashiest products — we’ve got all of the best brands.

This cleat is built for those flashy players who stack moves on top of moves to gain separation. There are strategically placed bladed and conical studs that allow easier braking and quick multi-directional cuts. The insole is built with high-rebound SuperFoam that absorbs shock and provides a high degree of comfort. To top it all off, the upper is made of plush suede microfiber to give players a fantastic fit with structured performance.

Behind nearly every amazing catch is a pair of great receiving gloves. The UA F7 Receiver Glove is that pair. Built to give players the stickiness and comfort they crave, each pair has UA GlueGrip that provides long-lasting grip to make sensational catches. The 3D printed overlay and textured TurfGear on the back of the hand add support and breathability.

The Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360 provides the three big qualities players need on the football field: agility, speed, and traction. The internal chassis and wide stud placement are what provide the agility by helping players make quick cuts with ease while keeping the cleat flexible. The lightweight upper ensures that nothing holds players back as they fly across the field. The cleat also features external pods, which boost the traction.

A quarterback’s best friend is a receiver who catches anything thrown his way. The Nike Vapor Jet 6.0 is a glove that will help anybody secure even the toughest catches. The palms have sticky Magnigrip to maximize the catching surface, and there is a stabilizing, flexible coating on the fingers that gives players more control. The back of the gloves is made up of breathable, stretch-woven fabric to keep everyone’s hands cool and dry.

The adidas adiZero 11 is made for players whose games are built around speed. It is the lightest cleat in football, full stop. The upper is constructed of TPU overlays that are lightweight, durable, and comfortable. The Sprintfame plate with a reinforced heel works together with the Sprintstuds to provide 360-degree traction.

The adidas adiZero 11 Receiver Gloves will upgrade any receiver’s hands. They are crafted with ultra-grip fabric that allows players to snag balls that are too high, low, or behind them. The gloves have free range of motion in the wrist so there is more flexibility for the hands.

The Under Armour Highlight MC is a cleat like no other. This cleat is geared towards providing the stability, flexibility, and support every player craves on the field.  It features a lightweight, molded 4D Foam footbed that conforms to the shape of each player’s foot for a snug fit. It also utilizes the UA Scatter Traction cleat plate to give players the grip and bite to cut in any direction quickly. Lastly, it has engineered synthetics in the upper to provide support and stability.

It’s the subtle details and key technologies that make the UA Blur Receiver Glove one of the favorites among players. One of those crucial technologies is the Power Catch panels that give players support but are flexible in the right moments to help reduce injury. The gloves are made with HeatGear fabric that offers ventilation and provides lightweight performance. Plus, there is no topping UA GlueGrip tech that is super sticky, so players can make even the most outrageous catches.

Speed is the ultimate X-factor in the modern game, and the adidas adiZero Primeknit cleat embodies that. The extended lacing system keeps player’s feet centered over the plate, so they are maximizing their explosiveness. These cleats are extremely comfortable thanks to a Primeknit upper and long-lasting TPU overlays. They are also incredibly lightweight, allowing players to unlock their full speed.

The adidas Freak 5.0 Padded Receiver Gloves make every wideout’s life easier with their GRIPTACK Palm technology. It offers supreme stickiness that gives players even more grip and control of the ball. They are ergonomically designed to mirror the movement of the hand giving players more control.

The Nike Alpha Menace Elite 2 is built for the more versatile players who want more support and structure but won’t sacrifice speed. There is a Pebax propulsion plate that provides support and stability as well as a responsive feel. The Flyknit upper and Phylon midsole are responsible for giving players the lightweight cushioning and breathable flexibility they have come to expect.

One of the more durable gloves available, the Nike Superbad 6 Football Glove has all the features any player could ever want. It has sticky MagniGrip palms that maximize catching surface. It has flexible padding on the back of the hands and fingers for undeniable comfort. It even has a ventilation channel to give players more breathability.

 

 

 

Gear up for the season when you shop all the best football cleats, gloves, and gear at eastbay.com