This performance review is brought to you by Ryan and Kyle, a two-man team who take a particular interest in basketball shoes, especially their performance on court. We currently play basketball at the high school and AAU level, which will give our reviews a unique perspective, since we play games almost daily and at a high pace.
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adidas Crazy Light 2 Review
The adidas Crazy Light 2 is being advertised as "crazy light and crazy bright." After putting the shoe through its paces, we can tell you that it definitely lives up to its billing as the lightest basketball shoe ever created.
To put its weight in perspective, the 9.5-ounce adidas Crazy Light 2 is almost half the weight of the last shoe we reviewed, the LeBron 9. The Crazy Light 2 also lives up to the "crazy bright" tag, as adidas has already released five colorways, including neon green. (Check them out and customize yours on adidas.com.)
At $140, this shoe comes off as a little pricey, especially since it's not an athlete's signature shoe. But in our opinion, it is worth the money. Also, if you pay an extra $70, you'll get the adidas miCoach Speed Cell to record stats that can be uploaded to your computer.
In our testing, the spiral traction pattern gave us grip in all directions of movement. No matter which direction we moved, there were lines on the shoe running in the opposite direction that provided good traction.
Along with the spiral pattern, the Crazy Light 2 also features a sticky outsole. Although this made traction almost perfect at first, the stickiness ended up collecting some dust. Because the Crazy Light 2's grooves are shallow, however, the shoe couldn't collect enough dust to really hinder traction, and we experienced only minimal slipping and sliding. You may want to wipe the bottoms of the shoe every now and then during play.
The Crazy Light 2 uses EVA foam for its cushion base. The cushion is thick in the heel to absorb impact and thin in the forefoot for a more responsive feel on the court. The thicker cushioning in the insole provides amazing comfort. The Crazy Light 2's cushioning is one of its best features, because it manages to be not only comfortable and practical, but also amazingly light.
The inside of the shoe felt very smooth, resting nicely on top of our feet. Playing in such a light shoe was an unusual experience—we felt nothing was holding our feet back, making jumping, running and cutting seem effortless.
The one problem we ran into while playing in this shoe was that the sprint frame put a lot of pressure on the arches of our feet. The sprint frame, which runs under the shoe on the lateral side (outside), is designed to provide arch support. Fortunately, we only felt this discomfort during the break-in period. The longer we played, the less we felt it, until it was virtually unnoticeable.
The Crazy Light 2 features many different shapes across the sprint web that appear to be ventilated. Upon closer examination, however, we found that only four of these shapes contain holes for airflow. The rest are actually covered with sprint web material. When adidas designers decided to make the sprint web stronger, they ended up sacrificing breathability. The lack of true ventilation spots makes the Crazy Light 2 a downgrade from the original in this category, but because the upper is so thin and lightweight, our feet always stayed cool.
adidas wanted to make the Crazy Light 2 as light as possible while maintaining the functionality of an elite basketball shoe. The redesigned support system is an excellent example of this concept. The new, stronger sprint web does a great job of keeping the midfoot in place, while the padding in the upper supports the ankle. The sprint frame, although it caused some initial discomfort, provides strong arch support. All of these features helped support our foot and ankle despite the shoe's outrageously light weight.
The Crazy Light 2 provides nice midfoot lockdown with its narrow shape and sprint web in the upper. Also, because the upper is so thin, it can really clamp down to provide a snug feel. The one problem with the lockdown is in the heel. The sprint frame heel cup is designed in such a way that it starts high on the lateral side and gets lower going across to the medial side (inside). This design is supposed to provide mobility on the medial side and support on the lateral side, but it led to a just a little bit of heel slippage during play.
Its record-breaking weight may cause some to look at the Crazy Light 2 as a guard shoe, but we found it to be an all-around performer that would work well for players at every position. The sprint frame and reinforced sprint web are strong enough to support a forward or a center. This shoe is definitely an upgrade from the original Crazy Light, and it's a great choice for all basketball players.
Crazy Light 2 Review Breakdown
Comfort: Above Average
Support: Above Average
Lockdown: Above Average
Final Review Grade: A-/A
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock