by Sandy Dover / @San_Dova
At 9.8 oz., adidas’ adiZero Crazy Light is probably the most supportive and most fun shoe that I’ve tested in my years of doing wear testing for sneakers. Other than the Nike Air Payton IV or the Nike Air Hawk Flight, I haven’t tested a shoe that makes its light weight feel so free (and the aforementioned Gary Payton sigs I owned weren’t nearly as fun or as bouncy). It’s really the most distinguished shoe available, not just because of its unorthodox Sprint Web upper, or the shiny Sprint Frame, or the ankle-bracing three-striped collar—those features all contribute to the allure, but really, the way they feel on feet is considerably great.
Although the sharp blue is a spectacular sight to see on the adiZero Crazy Light (and one such that adidas no longer carries the colorway due to great demand and limited supply), I can’t emphasize the feel of the shoe enough. Literally, the midfoot mesh is such that you can see through the shoe. My feet were always cool. The Sprint Web technology is another great feature of the Crazy Light; because of the shedding of so much material in the upper, the Sprint Web allowed me to literally feel as I were bouncing when I jumped. The tongue is even given the Sprint Web treatment, which allowed the bridge of my foot to be secured, but not bound by the heat that many tongues give to wearers with densely padded foam backing. I didn’t feel restrained in my leaps in the air and I had the energy to do more second jumps than normal (which I can attribute greatly to the mesh paneling of the upper, by way of the Sprint Web engineering), which brings me to the foam package of the Crazy Light…
The EVA foam of the Crazy Light is some kind of great mix of dense and light qualities. That’s the thing about adidas—the three stripes may not have Air or Shox, but their foams are among the best that the market has to offer, in terms of what shoes they provide to their wearers. The Crazy Light’s foam midsole is thick, but incredibly light, and just to test for myself what the EVA was capable of, I took to doing a separate jumping workout in the shoe doing nothing but multiples jumps for a minute at a time, every couple minutes or so over a 40-minute period—the midsole barely crunched.
The traction of the Crazy Light is a modified herringbone pattern, is sharp, and processed totally with lines, which made for very good ground feel. The toe of the shoe is secured with a thin, melded thermoplastic toe cap that gives the Crazy Light some added security at the tip of the forefoot. The Sprint Frame does a very good job keeping the shoe together; the fact that it is a combination system of an external heel counter and Torsion arch plate makes the transition of the shoe very smooth and gives the Crazy Light a very natural feel for a sneaker. Adidas employs a signature kind of flat lace that has a thicker body that gives improved support to the shoe and combined with the plush inner collar that’s reinforced by the Sprint Web three stripes, the overall tensile strength and comfort of the Crazy Light is unrivaled.
For all of the Crazy Light’s high points, no shoe is perfect, though. There are just a couple of things that are noticeable enough for wearers to possibly make note of (but none that are deal-breakers for acquiring and wearing the shoe). For the sake of a lighter weight, the Sprint Frame is considerably less dense than what was seen on the adiZero Rose, and therefore more flexible. The flexibility is great, but depending upon on how heavy you are as a wearer and how much stress you place on your shoes, the torsional rigidity of the Sprint Frame is not such that it cannot be compromised, but you’d have to be pretty hard on your shoes and probably upwards of 250 lbs. to really deform the plate.
One other thing is the removable insoles of the Crazy Light. The “Crazy Light” insoles are just as you might think when you think of the shoe itself – they help give the shoe its lightweight quality and do a very good job of providing relative coolness (per the full foot perforations) and absorb shock…the “Crazy Comfort” insoles are excellent at providing comfort and even they don’t add a bunch of weight to the shoe itself, but the Crazy Comfort insoles have a sheen-like fabric as a top layer that, if you have a narrow foot, can make for some mild movement inside the shoe. In general, the Crazy Light shoe has a fairly generous fit, so narrow-footed wearers may not get exceptional fit, but they will get a very good fit just the same.
All in all, the adidas adiZero Crazy Light is probably the most versatile shoe to play, perform, and chill in. If this is the start of what adidas is bringing in the adiZero Crazy Light series, I can guarantee that there will be gargantuan results in later models. This shoe is revolutionary, regardless of the competition in the shoe market.
(If you’d like to purchase your own pair of the Crazy Light, the only pairs available at this time are in black/white, as ALL other colors have sold out clean. You can make your pre-sale purchase of the Crazy Light at eastbay.com and finishline.com.)
Images courtesy of CounterKicks.com
Sandy Dover is a published author, fitness enthusiast, and SLAM web columnist & print contributor whose work has been featured and published by US News, Yahoo!, Robert Atwan’s “America Now“, and BUCKETS magazine. You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline and via his website at About.Me/SandyDover.