The Adidas Crazy 8 (pictured is a 2008 reissue, but the performance review covers the 2011 reissue)

Introduction

Earlier this month, our First Look featured the first signature Adidas shoe for Kobe Bryant, the KB8, re-dubbed and reissued as the Crazy 8.  Equipped with bold styling and the “Feet You Wear” technology that would be the precursor to the current PUREMOTION™, the Crazy 8 is one of the most coveted performance shoes in the Adidas basketball back catalog.  The resurgence has been seen on the college and pro courts, with the Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose donning the red, white, and black Crazy 8 this season (seen in our March Madness Special).   Our performance review gets the 2011 reissues on the court (pictured are the Aqua/University Red/Turquoise 2008 reissue).

Comfort and Fit

A true to size fit, one aspect jumps out when slipping into the Crazy 8 – amazing feel.  Because of the minimal lacing system (comprised of 4 hoops and a single punctured eyelet), getting a tight if is without struggle.  An advantage of the lacing system is observed as the three stripes on each side push evenly against the foot.  The shoe fits so well and tightens with ease that going 1/2 a size up would not significantly affect the fit.  From the toe box back to the heel, there is comfort all around.  An almost perfect fit, areas of crowding or wasted space are not present, leaving the foot held in place nicely.  With lockdown on the back end, the ankles are protected and secure with plush padding.  A similar feel is felt with through the center, as the attached tongue holds the foot in comfortably.  Highlighting the comfort and fit is the lower half construction.  Made with Feet You Wear technology, a close court feel is evident.  Although the foot sits low, it does not sit flat.  The feeling can be best described as standing barefoot, with a naturally responsive and comfortable footbed.  For support, there is plenty available through the arch and around the slightly recessed heel.  A low heel cage, formed with the zig zag midsole, providing this comfortable and protective support.  In a few words, the Crazy 8 is how a basketball shoe should feel.

Comfort and support are provided by the shapely midsole

Performance

On the court, the Crazy 8 is an all around performer.  Although the shoe was made with Kobe Bryant in mind, the performance is appropriate for a wide range of playing styles.  Movement is very fluid, as the bulky look is deceiving.  Running is made easy with the short length of the toe box.  For guards and swingmen, this allows for an ease in transition when it is necessary to get low while blowing past an opponent.  Also, the low court feel makes heel to toe transitions more natural, while changing directions are performed without a second thought.  In the flexibility department, the Crazy 8 is excellent.  Again, the upper may seem bulky, but in an in game setting, flexibility is seamless.  For landings, the lower half of the shoe provides comfortable impact protection.  With the segmented soles, once a player lands, the transition to either get up again or run out is fluid.  Overall, the responsiveness, court feel, and fluid performance of the Crazy 8 is impressive.

Protective and secure all around stability is another bright spot for the Crazy 8.  Aesthetically, the shoe looks and is built to take a pounding.  In action, the aesthetics hold up well under any circumstance, from the wavy soles, to the leather upper, and up the plush collar.  When coming to abrupt stops laterally, the upper stripes combine with the sole combination (midsole and outsole) to minimize ankle rolls.  Protection from ankle sprains are further supported with the collar, which is observed when landing awkwardly or while playing in the post.  For overall foot stability, the contoured fit and midfoot TORSION® plate never leave the foot out of place.  And at the rear, arch and heel support are rock solid.  For power players, the thickness of the back end are perfect standing ground or fighting for position in comfort.  Also, with the sole layout and TORSION® plate keeping the foot inline, agile big men are well equipped for turnarounds and drop steps.

"Feet You Wear" Technology provides excellent court feel and impressive overall performance on the court

In the traction department, the Crazy 8 is similar to the Adidas shoes we have reviewed this season.  That is, the traction is based on feel, rather than extreme grip.  Because of this, there is some sliding in the forefoot area on very dusty surfaces, but not enough to detract the overall performance.  In the end, traction performance is very responsive.  Ventilation for the shoe is very good, considering the bulky build.  The shoe is enclosed all around, with no visible perforation holes.  Through the center of the shoe, the minimal lacing system allows for some ventilation, keeping the foot relatively dry during play.

Conclusion

In many ways, the Crazy 8 is a shoe lost in history.  The early years of Kobe Bryant have seem to be buried in time, with the popularity of the current Nike and Kobe relationship and the Zoom Kobe series at an all time high.  As most do not even remember Kobe as a signature Adidas athlete, the Adidas Kobe line has been long forgotten.  A testament to design and performance that stands the test of time, Adidas has thankfully reissued the KB8/Crazy 8 on numerous occasions.  Those who remember the KB8, will appreciate Adidas reissuing one of the best performance basketball shoes ever made.  Those who have not experienced the Crazy 8 are in for a treat.  Available now at the Adidas Online Store, the Crazy 8 can be found in multiple colors.

This shoe is comparable to:

Adidas adiZero™ Rose
Adidas adiZero™ Rose 1.5