Adidas adiZero™ Crazy Light 3 - Ricky Rubio

The Adidas adiZero™ Crazy Light 3

Introduction

After introducing the Crazyquick this past Spring, Adidas Basketball left the Summer open for the next in the line of “lightest basketball shoes ever created” to take the spotlight.  The Crazy Light 2 went even lower in weight at an astonishing 9.5 oz and was one of the best performers last season.  As the lightest shoe on the market, one of the best aspects of the Crazy Light series is the fact that it performs well in all aspects of performance.  It is the most balanced performer when the actual weight of the shoe is factored in.  At 9.3 oz the latest Crazy Light again pushes the limits in terms of weight, but will the versatile performance be sacrificed?  Taking the stage for this Performance Review is one of the anticipated shoes of the summer – the Adidas adiZero™ Crazy Light 3.

At 9.3 oz, Adidas Basketball has reset the record for the lightest basketball shoe ever produced in the adiZero™ Crazy Light 3.  The features include the following:

  • Upper constructed with light weight synthetic with welded Sprintweb
  • Cushioning provided by compression molded EVA with miCoach housing
  • Sprintframe chassis for stability
  • Non-marking rubber outsole with radial wavebone traction pattern
  • Includes 2 light weigh insoles giving the player more options for comfort

Aesthetics and Styling

Adidas Basketball had an instant hit with the very first Crazy Light.  It met the hype & expectations all around – from aesthetics to on court performance.  Naturally, to make a shoe light weight, minimal materials need to be used which can lead to unique designs.  The open look started with the 1 carries on with the 3.  Mesh openings are placed all over the upper backed by the Sprintweb backing for support.  The trusty Sprintframe chassis remains as the main stability element now with a new, streamlined look.  Other similar features are the S-shaped outsole and the inclusion of 2 insoles – one for light weight performance, one for added comfort.  A number of color schemes marked the release of the Crazy Light 3 on August 1, including this Ricky Rubio blue/black fade Player Edition.

Adidas adiZero™ Crazy Light 3 - Ricky Rubio

A blue and black fade color scheme is made for the young point guard Ricky Rubio

Sharp and smooth, the Crazy Light 3 has simple but effective lines.  The shoe looks fast and light.  But compared to the previous two models, the 3 may be the least complex.  For the underside, the signature S-shaped outsole is used again, this time with a radial wavebone traction surface.  At the front, a toe cap is formed with a small Adidas logo in the center.  The forefoot area is separated into segments with one curving vertical groove and two wavy horizontal grooves.  In between the horizontal grooves, small pieces of the foam midsole peek through which lessens the amount of rubber used.  Each segment of the forefoot area is marked with the wavy traction pattern which emanates from a semi-pivot circle on the middle, medial forefoot segment.  The lateral side swoop of the S-sole leads to the mid foot where the miCoach housing unit is inset.  As the rubber moves to the sole, the traction pattern straightens out to deep horizontal slits.  More weight cutting measures are found at the heel with the middle potion being cut out and filled but the light weight foam midsole, which is has a dimple design.  This leaves two sides of rubber for traction.  Completing the foundation is the stacked foam midsole.  The white textured layer sits above the sole, while the smooth black layer has all the contours.  This midsole keeps the weight down again by lessening the amount of foam used, as there are carved out sections at the mid foot.  “adiZero” branding on the lateral forefoot finishes off this part of the shoe.

Symmetry and triangular cut outs characterize the open, synthetic upper.  Sprintweb forms the basis of support for the upper, which has a very open look.  At the toe box, the symmetry and open look are on full display.  The black synthetic skin is shiny & smooth, while the mesh openings dominate the design.  A first lace hoops has the number 9 of Rubio right at the throat line.  On each side there are 3 long triangular openings.  The slight difference is that the lateral side triangles are a bit bigger than the medial side.

Customary for the Crazy Light is the use of the Sprintframe chassis and three stripe logo on the collar.  Staying true to form, the clear Sprintframe chassis runs stitched all the way to the mid foot.  This updated Sprintframe is smaller than the 1 and 2 with half of the counter covered by the upper.   Sitting over the shiny blue collar are the Adidas three stripes.  The stripes follow the swooping collar up for a V-shaped look.  On the inside, padding is surprisingly soft and thick (considering the shoe is less than 10 oz).  The lining is a silky synthetic to add more comfort.

There are seven metal reinforced eyelets housing the very light weight flat laces.  Each eyelet is segmented and given extra support observed with the raised material.  The laces pass through two lace holders on the tongue, which are part of the shiny strip that runs down the center.  This mesh tongue is very thin, but has ample padding on the top.  The shiny blue material on top of the tongue has the Adidas logo and “crazylight” text, while the back side contains the player marking with a stitched “RICKY RUBIO” mock signature.  Two insoles are the last aspect of the Crazy Light 3.  Sitting in the shoe out of the box is a very light weight foam insole.  The option insole is a higher quality PU version for more comfort.  Each insole is contoured for a better fit with a smooth lining & the “light makes fast” adiZero catch phrase printed on the heel.

Comfort and Fit

Sprintweb construction and the Sprintframe chassis give the very light & minimal Crazy Light 3 body, holding the upper in place stiff.  The foot slides tightly though for a true to size fit.  Just like the Crazy Light 2, the shoe has a sock-like, form fitting feel – but is a bit more relaxed.  It still engulfs the foot all around, but the way the openings are cut through the Sprintweb gives it a more forgiving feel.  Up front, the toes push right up against the material.  Wiggle room is slight while the width is sufficient.  The toe box has a flat shape to help with flexibility.  Moving to the back end, the collar and tongue cover the ankles fully and securely.  Padding is surprisingly comfortable and it does have an agile feel.  The heels have good lock down, sucked right into the Sprintframe counter.  One of the major complaints about the Crazy Light series is the lack of cushioning comfort.  There is no problems with the 3 as it is solid, but cushioned.  Cushioning is felt from the toes down, with the heel area having a thicker feel.  It does have the responsive but non-stiff feel.  And with the an extra insole included, the player can swap out the stock insole if more comfort is needed.  Arch and side support are excellent.  The Sprintframe provides a solid base, the upper grips the foot tight, and the contours of the sole keep the foot from having a flat feel.  Bringing a tight, light weight fit with a contoured & comfortable base, the Crazy Light 3 can be looked at as the best fitting of the series so far.

Adidas adiZero™ Crazy Light 3 - Ricky Rubio

There is no better basketball shoe on the market that brings a balance of stability, responsiveness, and quickness in a featherwight package

Performance

On the court, the Crazy Light 3 does not feel like a gimmick shoe.  Yes it feels very light (there is no shoe on the market that feels lighter), but the tight & secure fit, comfortable cushioning, and good court feel lets the player know that this is a serious performer.  The collar has a comfortable grip up top leading to the solid Sprintframe chassis which brings a stable sense down to the mid foot.  As the player gets up to speed there is literally no break in time need.  Aside from the flexing of the shoe at the throat line, the shoe is ready out of the box.  Heel to toe transitions feel solid and low.  The forefoot area is right on the court, while the heel is thick and cushioned.  Flexing of the Sprintweb based upper is very good albeit might be a bit rough for some.  For weight, the shoe is just light.  There is no other shoe on the market that feels this light.  Overall, performance of the Crazy Light 3 is fast, quick, and aggressive.  With a responsive base, movement on the whole is excellent.  Forward, lateral, and back pedaling are fast and solid.  The player can feel the court and push off aggressively in any direction.  Sudden changes of directions and cuts feel great in the shoe.  Comfort wise, the default insole is sufficient, but the high quality PU option may eliminate any comfort concerns for those who need a more plush feel.  Flexibility is also another great aspect of the shoe.  In static position the player can feel that the shoe has some flexibility.  The Sprintweb backing is not soft, so this does favor aggressiveness over comfort.  Again, sudden movements and deep bends feel right at home.  The upper bends with the foot, making the shoe just fast.  All in all, the Crazy Light 3 blends aggressiveness with a unique feel.  Moving to jumps, the foundation is very responsive.  Jumping off the EVA midsole does not have a bounce, but is solid for pull ups, drives, and for rebounding.   Landings may be a bit stiff due to the Sprintframe, but the low court profile puts the player right back into action.  Fast, quick, responsive, and aggressive, the Crazy Light 3 shows why it sits atop the throne of all the light weight performers on the market.

Stability performance shows the versatility of the Crazy Light 3.  Most light weight shoes on the market sacrifice stability performance for weight efficiency.  It goes without saying that the Crazy Light series is most impressive by not compromising stability performance.  First, ankle support and protection are very good.  The padding surprisingly brings comfort and support.  Protection is not built for the power player, but the addition of the Sprintframe at the heel does keep the back end stable.  Speaking of the Sprintframe chassis, it again highlights stability for the shoe.  It is the one aspect that separates Adidas from every other brand when evaluating stability.  For the guard or swingman, the Sprintframe keeps the shoe true.  Spins moves, lateral slides, and deep bends do not put the shoe in an awkward position.  The player can swivel side to side off the forefoot or heel and feel the chassis keeping the foot stable.  For the power player, the Sprintframe is excellent down low.  Playing back to the basket or battling in the post on defense, the player can plant a base.  The frame has a solid and very supportive feel, giving the player some peace of mind.  Finally, the Sprintweb construction brings a tight fit that keeps the foot in place at all times.  Although it might not feel the most comfortable, the stiff Sprintweb is light with ample flexibility.  Most importantly is does keep the foot in place, along with the Sprintframe.  The foot getting in a compromised position is a rare occurrence, as the foot is seemingly locked in place.  In the end, there is no better example of great stability in a featherweight shoe than the Crazy Light 3.

Traction performance is inline with the previous Crazy Light releases.  The 3 separates itself from the first 2 by being a bit more sticky.  Yes traction is based more on court feel and movement rather than stoping on a dime, but the 3 does provide very good court grip.  Unlike the previous 2 models, the outsole has a segmented traction pattern.  The segments allow for the player to control grip especially off the forefoot, which is low to the court.  Cutting and changing directions always feels in stride and in control.  The segmented sole also helps off the heel.  Here the traction pattern is separated by the midsole foam.  This keeps traction more fluid when pushing off the heel.  In other words, more control.  Solid traction just solidifies the Crazy Light 3 as an amazing performance shoe.  Last but not least is ventilation.  Mesh openings and the thin upper are great for keeping the foot comfortable.  The player can feel the air vent, eliminating any heat or moisture concerns.

Conclusion

Light weight does not necessarily equate to exceptional performance in terms of versatility.  The Crazy Light series has met all the expectations from the hype and marketing since it was first released.  And it has done this with a feel that is specific to this model.  What the 3 represents is perhaps the most balance version so far.  Low court profile and improved stability go along with all the other attributes that the Crazy Light is known for – featherweight speed, responsiveness, and excellent court feel.  Even at 9.3 oz, the shoe does not feel as though performance aspects were sacrificed.   Players who have not jumped aboard the Crazy Light train may want to do so this season with the 3.  For the upcoming season, it is expected that the Crazy Light 3 will be on the feet of the star Adidas athletes.  It will no doubt garner plenty of exposure and should warrant a 4th iteration next season.  Now available at the Official Adidas Online Store in a variety of color schemes is  the adiZero™ Crazy Light 3

This shoe is comparable to:

Adidas adiZero™ Crazy Light 2
Adidas adiZero™ Crazy Light