The Adidas Crazy Shadow 2.0 – Black Lotus Performance Reviews
The 2013-2014 is fast approaching and Adidas has their line up of team shoes ready to take the NBA courts. Most prominent for the past 2 years is the Crazy line, which has expanded to include the Shadow and Fast this past season. One of the most underrated performers from last season was the Crazy Shadow, which made a switch from the adiZero™ line. It was arguably the most well rounded and versatile shoe of the season for Adidas Basketball. This year, the Shadow gets a sequel, taking inspiration from the adiZero™ Crazy Light 3. Will this version of the Shadow be one of the more popular shoes among Adidas athletes on the court? In this Performance Review, we take a look at the Adidas Crazy Shadow 2.
After a break from the adiZero™ line, the Shadow continues with the “Crazy” branding for the 2013-2014 season. The features include the following:
- Syntehtic leather upper with Sprintweb construction for light weight performance and stability
- Cushioning provided by Dual Density midsole
- Sprtinframe chassis for light weight stability with TORSION® System
- Non-marking rubber outsole with wave traction pattern
- miCoach compatible
Aesthetics and Styling
Three years into the Adidas “Crazy” Era sees the designs of the shoes at a plateau. So it comes with no surprise that the Shadow 2 has the same aesthetics as the Crazy Light 3 – three stripes across the collar, triangular openings, and the S-shaped sole. Performance features seem like a given with the Sprintweb construction and Sprintframes chassis for light weight support and stability. With the straightforward design (in terms of what Adidas has released these past couple of years), this shoe can easily be lost in the shuffle or be mistaken from any shoe in the Adidas Basketball catalog. So, for this Performance Review the bright Electricity color scheme was the choice to standout on the court.
Triangular openings and the streaming three stripes lie above the Sprintframe chassis. The lines of the shoe are sharp and sleek which fits the nature & name of the shoe. As always, we start with the outsole, which is taken directly from the adiZero™ Crazy Light 3. Flex grooves run through the forefoot, with the wave traction pattern starting from a pivot point on the medial. The miCoach housing is right in the center with the midsole foam creeping through in a dimpled fashion at the midfoot and heel. Horizontal grooves are the traction pattern that round the heel. The major difference between this sole and the Crazy Light 3 is the fact that the rubber used for the Shadow is a bit more thick and hard. Rounding out the foundation is a stacked midsole and the “SPRINTFRAME” chassis.
For the upper, the a synthetic layer acts as a skin over the Sprintweb technology. The toe box sees a mesh window pattern. With a smooth texture, the main layer of skin runs through the box and around the sides. The sides have almost a symmetrical look with the major difference being the medial side triangles are a bit smaller.
At the rear, a plastic carbon fiber patterned layer covers the Sprintframe heel counter. This transitions immediately to the leather collar which is stitched on. Each stripe on the collar has a textured feel. The collar rises steeply to give the shoe the sharp lines. Lining is made up of a nylon based synthetic, while the padding is soft, but thin.
Standard oval laces pass through a lace hoop at the throat line and seven eyelets. Each eyelet is punctured through the Sprintweb, and is reinforced with metal ring. Next, a thin mesh tongue has a smooth leather patch on top. The top of the tongue flares out for more ankle coverage and has the Adidas logo branded in the center. Finally, a high quality PU insole sits above the footbed bringing added cushioning. The insole is flimsy, but is dense and is finished off with the final Adidas logo printed on the heel.
Comfort and Fit
With the Sprintweb construction holding the thin sides up stiff, it is a breeze slipping into the Shadow 2. Just like the first Crazy Shadow, fit is a very precise true to size, but this time, the Sprintweb construction feels more stiff. In this instance, the Sprintweb fits close and precise, but is not cumbersome. The toe box also feels exact from top to bottom, side to side. There is very little crowding and wiggle room is comfortable. At the rear, the synthetic leather collar also feels stiff. The collar and tongue wrap the ankles for security, while the stiffness provides good protection, albeit sacrificing a bit of mobility. For lock down, the Sprintframe counter does a great job of cupping the heels in place. Next, cushioning is very comfortable in a responsive sense. The high quality PU insole is perfect over the Sprintframe, while the Dual Density midsole has some comfort and bounce. Because of the design of the foundation, arch support is prevalent. The Sprintweb holds well, keeping the foot supported and from sitting flat. An almost perfect fit like the first, the Crazy Shadow 2 brings light weight support and a responsive base.
Plush comfort is not the prevalent theme with the Crazy Shadow 2 on the hardwood. The shoe has a stiff and rough feel from the collar, down to Sprintframe chassis on the foot bed, to the Sprintweb body. Luckily, the performance makes up for the lack of comfort. Because the upper is a bit stiff, a hard break in period would be best to get the Sprintweb construction more accustomed to the foot of the player. When running, the very good court feel of the shoe comes right out. Heel to transitions are very responsive and tight. The outsole has good flex, while the thinness of the upper helps to bring some flexibility. For weight, the shoe does play on the light side and feels very balanced. Versatile performance makes the Shadow 2 a great option for all positions. The best aspect of performance that makes the 2 a versatile performer is the court feel and responsiveness. These two aspects go hand in hand. Guards will get the best out of the shoe when playing off the forefoot. The contoured fit grips the sides of the foot, opening up the forefoot to keep movement precise. Lateral movements whether on the run or in a defensive posture are solid and quick. There are no hinderances to movement either way, with the slight lateral outrigger feeling great to push off of. For the forward or swingman, the shoe plays active and aggressive. The court feel is great for getting up and down the court, while the responsiveness lets the player change the tempo of play. In the post, the big man will find the overall balance of the shoe as a plus. It brings light weight performance without a flimsy feel so the player can be quick and nimble, but have that support base from the upper and Sprintframe chassis. For jumps, the dual density midsole works hand in hand with the Sprintframe chassis. Jumps can be explosive or relaxed, good for all types of jumpers. Landings are naturally hard which is not a surprise considering the set up. A light weight, versatile performer, the Crazy Shadow 2 is a solid player in the Adidas Basketball catalog for the Fall.
Stability performance revolves around the various Adidas patented technological elements that make up the shoe. Before getting into the overall stability, ankle support and protection is first evaluated. Here, the synthetic leather based collar brings excellent overall support & protection. The collar does not grip and restrict the ankles too much which allows the player to be a bit more agile. Quicker players will find the stability very good for lateral movements, while power players will welcome the fact that the leather material used is more than enough to handle hard & rough bends. Perhaps the main highlight of performance is the fit and rigidness of the Sprintweb set up. The fit brings very good arch support and good coverage around the foot without a suffocating feel. Where the Sprintweb shows off stability performance is with aggressive and abrupt play. Since it is not all about comfort, the rigidness of the body is great for lateral movements and bends. A leather based upper or a stiff synthetic (ex. Foamposite material) would be the best in terms of hold. But, this set up brings the advantages for light weight stability. When the foot presses hard up against the upper, the player can feel the shoe holding tight. Good arch & side support, and the contoured foundation only help matters because it does limit sliding. The great fit is solidified with the Sprintframe chassis. As outline in our Performance Review of the Crazy Light 3, the chassis is one of the best stability elements a basketball shoe can have. It can handle all the torque that a power play may put on it in the post, while also being versatile enough to keep the foot very stable for cutting and bending. All in all, stability performance is just great.
Well rounded traction is what the Crazy Shadow 2 offers. Like the Crazy Light 3, traction is based more on balance and movement over grip. The deep wavebone pattern provides good grip, but it would not be described as sticky. There are no real problems from abrupt stops, sudden cuts, or hop steps. Loss of traction is never an issue, aside from unsatisfactory court conditions. The segmented design of the outsole is what gives the traction balance. For example, the heel is broken into two areas where traction can be used on each side. This allows the player to swivel off of the heel or use one side or the other when coming to a lateral stop. The forefoot flex grooves create semi-pods which only further increased the control the player does have. In summation, traction performance is balanced and solid. Last in performance is ventilation. It goes without saying that the Shadow 2 has no big issues when ventilation is observed. A thin upper with plenty of openings on the sides keeps heat and moisture under control especially during long game sessions.
If you take the past 3 seasons of releases for Adidas Basketball (aside from the Rose line), distinguishing the design and performance of the shoes released can get a bit muddy. The shoes share almost identical aesthetic designs (namely the Ghost, Shadow, and Crazy Light) each season with minor tweaks in performance. Last year, the Crazy Shadow did separate itself from the pack with exceptional fit and all around versatile performance, making a sequel in the 2 a no brainer. The 2 carries on with the versatile performance excelling in all categories of performance, fit for guards to forwards & centers. It is a suitable alternative to the Crazy Light 3, for those who need a bit more stability over light weight performance. And it just might be the best shoe in the Adidas catalog for the fall. Released earlier this month, the Crazy Shadow 2 is available at the Official Adidas Online Store in various color schemes.
This shoe is comparable to:
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