Adidas adiZero™ Crazy Light 2 - Black/Hyper Green

The Adidas adiZero™ Crazy Light 2

Introduction

Last summer Adidas revolutionized the basketball sneaker world with the lightest basketball shoe ever produced.  The adiZero™ Crazy Light set new standards for a light weight performance sneaker, coming in at an astounding 9.8 oz.  A year later, the designers of the Crazy Light have outdone themselves with an even lighter follow up.  Still built around a seamless Sprint Web upper with a modified Sprint Frame for support, the Crazy Light 2 establishes Adidas as the light weight kings.  Just in time for the summer, our latest Performance Review takes the incredibly light Adidas adiZero™ Crazy Light 2 for a spin.

Taking the lightest basketball shoe to a new level, the Adidas adiZero™ Crazy Light 2 comes in at a scant 9.5 oz.  The features include the following:

  • Thin and light weight 3 layer Sprint Web upper
  • EVA midsole
  • Assymetrical Sprint Frame for support
  • Non-marking rubber outsole
  • Adidas miCoach compatible

Aesthetics and Styling

Almost out of nowhere, the original Crazy Light hit the scene sending shockwaves through the industry.  As a shoe boasting the lightest weight ever produced, the designers made sure the aesthetics matched the hype.  For the Crazy Light 2, the sleek shape has been retained.  The shoe looks like one of the fastest shoes on the market, and for those who like to stand out on the court, the reflective material used on the upper and three stripe logo is just what the doctor ordered.  With the Sprint Web taking over the upper, a new asymmetrical Sprint Frame has been designed for performance efficiency.  First debuted during the NCAA tournament earlier this year, the Crazy Light 2 will be released in the standard red/black, black/red, as well as grey color schemes to go along with the popular and quiet possibly flashiest Electricity color scheme.  The choice for this Performance Review is the subtle, yet eye-catching Black and Hyper Green color scheme.

Adidas adiZero™ Crazy Light 2 - Black/Hyper Green

Adidas has established the new light weight mark at 9.5 oz, with a newly designed Sprint Frame for the Crazy Light 2

A side profile of the shoe reveals the signature three stripe logo wrapping around the collar.  Unlike the Crazy Light 1, the logo stripes are not connected to an eyelet, and are made with a reflective material.  The Sprint Frame has a matte finish and runs fairly high up the lateral heel.  Flipping the shoe over, the contoured rubber outsole is molded with a simple circular groove pattern throughout.  The forefoot area sees a toe cap portion, which reads “crazylight” and lightest ever” on each respective shoe.  Three vertical flex grooves are cut into the center of the forefoot, with a pivot circle placed on the medial.  The sole flares out slightly to form an outrigger.  At the mid foot, the miCoach housing is marked with a logo, and the lateral side leaves some room for the Sprint Frame to pass through.  Finally, the heel area is made with a horseshoe piece to cover the sides, with a single vertical flex groove riding above the Adidas logo.  Cushioning and support is found throughout the sole with an efficiently designed EVA midsole.  At the forefoot area on each side, the midsole has a shine and the adiZero line.  The midsole continues on the medial side where it is very thick, while the lateral side is done in a more minimal fashion, sharing space with the Sprint Frame.

Just like the original Crazy Light, the upper is made with the synthetic Sprint Web.  Almost seamless, this version of the Sprint Web is incorporated in layers, with the heaviest layer given shine to it.  The nylon openings run all along the upper, around the sides, and to the toe box.  These triangular openings not only keep weight at a minimum, but also help with ventilation and gives the shoe a futuristic look.  A green adiZero™ line runs from the forefoot up the collar on each side, with the “adizero” name found on the lateral, and “SPRINT WEB” branding printed on the lower medial.

Perhaps the most noticeable change and refinement made to the Crazy Light 2 is found with the asymmetrical Sprint Frame.  The matte finished Frame now favors the lateral side, as the heel cup is slight on the medial.  With the medial side left for the midsole to fill in, the Sprint Frame now ends at the lateral mid foot.  For Achilles support, the back end has height with a fairly dramatic curve for the collar.  The shiny layers of Sprint Web lie beneath the reflective three stripe logo.  On the inside, padding is soft and slight, with a textured synthetic lining.

Cutting 0.2 oz from the original, the flat laces equipped with each pair are wafer thin (an extra pair of oval laces is included for those who need a tighter lock in fit).  The eyestay is reinforced with the shiny Sprint Web and there are 8 eyelets total.  The minimal tongue has almost no padding, and mirrors the design of the upper.  A shiny strip runs along the top center of the tongue, with a lace holder at the bottom and top.  The tongue is lined in green with a mesh material, and an Adidas logo sitting at the top center of the tongue.  Finishing off the Crazy Light 2 are two sets of insoles.  The ones inserted into the shoe out of the box are a minimal foam based insole, while the optional insoles are PU based for more comfort.  Each insole is inscribed with “adizero” logo and are a bright orange/red color.

Comfort and Fit

The Sprint Web upper brings a form fitting feel.  Fit is true to size, with the upper doing a good job of conforming to the contours of the foot.  Lace pressure is felt all around, through the forefoot and mid foot, as well as around the collar.  This can be attributed to lack bulk from the upper and the slight padding.  For those who need a tighter grip, the oval laces present a welcomed option.  At the toe box, the foot is held nicely in place, with just a bit of wiggle room.  Moving towards the collar, the upper grips tight around the middle of the foot, and although the collar does hold the ankles well, support and protection are somewhat lacking.  Heel lockdown, however, is great.  The Sprint Frame counter creates a notch for the heel to sit comfortably, with no movement.  Below, cushioning is soft, yet responsive.  The alternate insole that is provided simply brings more softness, but for all intensive purposes, the standard insole does a great job of bringing comfort.  The foot sits with good arch support, as the midsole can be felt on the medial side, while the heel sits a bit higher than the forefoot.  In all, the Crazy Light 2 brings a comfortable, form fitting feel, with great cushioning.

Adidas adiZero™ Crazy Light 2 - Black/Hyper Green

A close fit is met with excellent cushioning

Performance

One of the trademarks of Adidas basketball over the past few seasons has been great court feel.  The Crazy Light 2 continues that trend with the forefoot sitting close to the court and flat.  Conversely, the heel sits slightly high, and there is somewhat of a push forward feel aided by the Sprint Frame.  Running is swift and fluid, as one would expect, as the cushioning of the shoe standing out on each step.  With the upper holding stiff, a break in time is necessary.  Although the upper does flex well, the bends and folds on the Sprint Web may take some time to adjust to, especially at the throat line.  Performance favors players opting for overall quickness and speed on the court.  Cutting, blowing past an opponent, and moving laterally are all done very fast and fluid.  For the aggressive player, the Sprint Web does a good job of holding around the foot, while being able to bend and flex enough to have a natural feel.  Pressing hard on the medial side, the midsole sidewall can be felt pushing up against the arch with comfort.  The foundation is soft, with good responsiveness, and can be felt teetering on the forefoot or when pushing down hard before bursting up.  For landings, the shoe provides comfortable and soft impact support all around which will benefit lighter players.  One of the fastest and lightest shoes on the market today, the Crazy Light 2 is a versatile performer fit for players of all types and positions.

Stability performance is excellent in a light weight context.  Weeding out what the shoe does not provide first are great ankle protection and solid foundation support.  To cut back on weight, one of the sacrifices in stability is observed with ankle protection and support.  The collar and tongue are so minimal, that often times, during hard play, they do not always sit flush around the ankles.  This causes some movement, and when torqued, the collar does not hold up as well as the Sprint Web sides.  Below, the EVA foam used for the midsole favors comfort over stability.  For the big man or player that plays with a heavy foot, this might not be the most ideal set up.  On the other hand, the fit of the Sprint Web is perfect for the player who need to be swift and fluid on the court.  The Sprint Web has a stiffness to it, but does a good job of molding to the foot.  This allows the player to cut hard, pressing up against the sides with the foot being held in place.  The midsole, in this instance, is designed well and does a good job of not only providing comfort, but can be felt working, especially at the forefoot and arch.  Overall, stability works well for a lighter weight player.

With regards to traction, the Crazy Light 2 is very smooth.  Neither sticky nor slippery, the soft rubber outsole has a gilding feel on the court.  Speeding down the court and coming to an abrupt stop is both fluid and easy on the knees.  There are no jerky reactions when traction is evaluated.  Breaking in and out of cuts, using the heel to dig in on the perimeter, and stoping for a pull up jumper, the player can feel the outsole working when pressure is placed on the non-marking rubber surface.  The grooves of the outsole are not deep, which is noticeable during intense play, but moments where traction is lost can be more attributed to mis-steps than the workings of the shoe itself.  Ventilation performance is another bright spot.  As expected, the thin Sprint Web upper, with all the nylon openings, does not trap heat in.  The upper does conform to the foot, but even during long sessions on the court, heat and sweat are never a problem.

Conclusion

Adidas has left all their competitors in the dust in light weight basketball sneaker race.  What is most impressive with the Crazy Light and now with the Crazy Light 2, is that the gimmick of simply a light weight shoe comes with quality design in both aesthetics and technology, as well as proven high performance on the court.  There is no better light weight performer on the market today that can boast the versatility of the Crazy Light 2 while performing at a high level.  Breaking the 10 oz barrier in consecutive years is no doubt a great feat for the designers of the Crazy Light.  Perhaps the greatest feat, not focusing on the weight of the shoe, is the care and precision the designers have put into crafting the shoe on the whole.  It would have been easy for the designers to make small adjustments to the Crazy Light 1 when developing the 2.  The result however, is two shoes that have a very different feel on the court, and basically share only the name and the fact that they are both light weight.  Technologically, aesthetically, and on the marketing side, Adidas has done an fantastic job of putting the Crazy Light in the spotlight.  Available now in multiple color schemes, the Adidas adiZero™ Crazy Light 2 can be purchased at the Official Adidas Online Store.

This shoe is comparable to:

Adidas adiZero™ Rose 2.5
Adidas adiZero™ Crazy Light
Adidas adiZero™ Rose 1.5