Adidas Crazy Shadow - Jrue Holiday

The Adidas Crazy Shadow

Introduction

The 2012-2013 NBA season is finally here, and now comes the time where all the sneaker brands have their performance models on full display every night.  For the past couple of season, Adidas basketball has arguably released the highest performing line up, spearheaded by the Rose line.  Last season brought an excellent showing featuring a new Pro Model alongside two new light weight entries – the adiZero™ Ghost and Shadow.  Again following a team format with the Sprintweb technology and S-shaped outsole, the same three performers are here in time for the Fall.  Stripped from the adiZero™ line, the Adidas Crazy Shadow takes center stage for our latest Performance Review.

A follow up to the adiZero™ Shadow of the Spring, the Crazy Shadow looks to be the team shoe of the season.  The features include the following:

  • Synthetic leather upper with welded Sprintweb for light weight performance
  • Cushioning provided by a molded EVA midsole
  • Mid foot stability provided by Adidas TORSION® technology
  • Non marking rubber outsole with wavebone traction pattern
  • miCoach compatible

Aesthetics and Styling

Still pushing the light weight trend, the Crazy Shadow features a similar design which the original adiZero™ Crazy Light introduced.  A synthetic leather upper (for this Performance Review the leather is replaced by a smooth nubuck like synthetic) is backed by the welded Sprintweb, with the nylon openings having a familiar look.  The design is less sleek than the adiZero™ Shadow, but the sweeping three strip logo on the collar still gives the shoe an fierce look on the court.  Released late this summer, Adidas has outfitted the Shadow in bold color schemes for Eric Gordon and Jrue Holiday for the initial run.  This Performance Review looks at the bright and flashy color scheme made for Jrue Holiday.

Adidas Crazy Shadow - Jrue Holiday

A black upper is accented with neon colors for this Jrue Holiday special

No surprises from the side, the nylon openings and three stripe logo on the collar are now a familiar sight with Adidas basketball shoes.  A smooth synthetic material with a kaleidoscope print covers the upper, while shiny patent leather is found at the collar.  Below, the outsole for all Adidas team shoes for the Fall 2012 is present.  Just like the Pro Model Zero 2.0, the non-marking rubber outsole has the contoured S-shape, forefoot flex grooves, the miCoach housing unit, toped off with a full length wavebone traction pattern.  And as usual, a thick EVA midsole adds support and comfort for the foundation.

Made especially for Jrue Holiday, the synthetic upper for this Shadow has an all over kaleidoscope graphic.  The toe box area is completely covered, with a reinforcement piece stitched above the toe cap.  Perforation holes run rampant to the forefoot on each side and the toe box has triangular indentations for style and added flexibility.  A small pink Adidas logo lies at the throat line.  On the sides, the Sprtintweb welded construction has the bright blue nylon openings contrasting the black upper for a nice style touch.  Towards the heel, the small “SPRINT WEB” print is hidden above the all over print.

The bold styling of the Shadow comes out at the rear.  A smooth, matte finished covering over the heel counter has bright pink, blue, and neon yellow in the special print found on the upper.  Moving up, the Achilles extends high, with the collar rising slightly.  Gleaming neon yellow and pink stripes sit above a shiny patent leather base.  A rough textile lining has ample but plush padding.

Seven eyelets run straight up the shoe, punctured directly into the upper.  Dual colored light weight laces run long above a mesh tongue.  The tongue has a stitched strip through the center with two lace holders – one at the throat line and one below the top patch.  On top of the tongue, a hologram Adidas logo is present, while on the back, a stitch strip branding the shoe for “JRUE HOLIDAY.”  The tongue has very soft padding, with the textile lining.  Rounding out the Crazy Shadow is a stiff contoured foam insole.  Colored in all bright pink, a checkered “MR. HOLIDAY” logo is printed on the heel.

Comfort and Fit

The thin, light weight laces are easily loosened to create room to slide the foot through.  Even though the throat line and lacing system are on the wide side, the foot is sucked into the shoe for practically a perfect, very true to size fit.  Lace pressure is felt down the center, alleviated by the tongue padding.  Up front, the toe box fits close and tight, with little wiggle room.  Ankle protection and support is on point.  The padding is just enough to give some cushioning, while the collar completely wraps the ankles.  Heel lock down is tight without any movement.  Below, cushioning is thick and responsive as expected.  The foot sits with plenty of arch support because of the contoured medial side and gripping Sprintweb.  Plain and simple, if there was one shoe on the market that would have a perfect fit, with excellent comfort, great support, and hard to beat court feel, it would be the Crazy Shadow.

Adidas Crazy Shadow - Jrue Holiday

An almost perfect fit is close and comfortable

Performance

Translating well on the hardwood, the excellent fit just feels right.  As the upper pushes the foot onto the base of the shoe, court feel is excellent, and out of the box, the player can get right into the game.  Running is tight and fluid, with heel to toe transitions close to the court.  The toe box has excellent flex, while the Sprintweb grips the foot, and the collar holding tight.  Below, the EVA midsole feels very comfortable, whether at a full sprint up and down the court, or at a light jogging pace.  It is very clear that the Shadow will not be pigeon holed into one style of play.  This is a kind of shoe where versatility is evident within a few seconds of play.  To begin, the player valuing light weight and responsive performance will be pleased.  Moving around is fluid, with a light weight feel, and there are no hinderances at all.  The player can play off the forefoot and get by an opponent with a quick first step, and on the other end of the ball, moving laterally is just smooth.  Although the collar has a leather base, the way it fits in this context, as well as the light weight feeling, keeps it from being cumbersome.  Bending and spinning is fast and secure.  For the swingman and larger player, the versatility comes first with the responsive base.  Playing hard off the EVA midsole is just comfortable.  Back to the basket play is smooth and fluid.  Pushing off the base while fighting for rebounds is exceptional, as the thick sole absorbs impact efficiently to keep harsh landings from feeling miserable.  Simply a versatile high quality performer, the Crazy Shadow is comfortable, responsive, and fast.

Stability performance for the Crazy Shadow revolves around the excellent fit.  From the toes to the mid foot, the fitting is right on the foot, holding it in place.  The toe box allows the foot to bend easily, but has a good sense of security all around.  It feels as though there is no wasted space.  Cradling the middle is the Sprintweb and synthetic leather.  A tight but comfortable feel, the upper keeps the foot from moving, even at a fast or harsh pace, while the contoured design from the foundation keeps slipping to a minimal.  Speaking of the foundation, the contoured shape brings tight arch support, so for all those medial bends when a player skids along the court, the foot is fully supported.  The most important aspect of stability lies with ankle support and protection.  With a comfortable wrap around the ankles, the collar brings a combination of security and protection.  Protection lies with the fact that the collar and padding completely cover the ankles, with a tight fit.  Security comes as the collar holds both the ankles and heels in place during play.  And as mentioned throughout, the feeling is not only secure, but comfortable and agile.  In summation, the form fitting upper provides secure and stable performance all around.

Just like the Pro Model Zero 2.0, the Crazy Shadow exhibits responsive based traction.  The design and shape of the sole works best for balance, while the wavebone traction pattern brings fluid movement.  And because of the thick and comfortable midsole, playing hard feels just as the same as playing light.  That is, hard jab steps and foot plants feel just as good as moving quickly off the forefoot forward or laterally.  Extreme grip is not what the shoe provides, but what is gained is excellent response time.  In the end, traction performance is versatile, fitting the active player as well as the stop and start play style.  Another area where the Shadow excels is in Ventilation.  The tight fit does little to impede air flow, as the nylon openings are perfect for bringing comfort for the foot during those long and heated game sessions.

Conclusion

The past couple of years has seen Adidas move from the Team Signature (TS) series to a line of similar light weight performers, headlined by the Rose and Howard models.  High performance is the result, and the formula is continued this season with the Pro Model, Shadow, and Ghost.  In the Shadow comes a no surprise performer.  Fit for players looking for an everyday, all around basketball shoe, the Shadow can do it all – versatility, comfort, responsiveness, and good stability.  Any player looking simply for a high performance basketball shoe would best take a look at the Crazy Shadow.  On the court, the Shadow should be the choice for Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday, and a few other Adidas athletes, so even if the shoe does not have a great marketing push, they will be represented fully on the main stage.  Available now in various color schemes at the Official Adidas Online Store, the Crazy Shadow is one of the best this year.

This shoe is comparable to:

Adidas Pro Model 0 II