Prose: Jake Sittler (@jtsittler)
When Sole Collector dropped a few of their most recent reviews online today, it seemed as if many commenters were upset at the relatively low score (84/100, a “B” on the SC scale) given to the adidas adipure Crazyquick by SC mastermind Nick DePaula. DePaula’s main complaint was a lack of forefoot cushioning, which tanked the shoe’s score in his opinion. NDP himself made note of the fact that no two reviewers will see a shoe the exact same way as a disclaimer before he went into his review, but Crazyquick lovers still got fairly upset and the lack of respect given to their shoe. The question became, then, what defines cushioning? What makes a shoe well-cushioned or poorly cushioned? It’s a worthy debate, especially those of us that ball all the time.
A couple of awesome commenters (shouts to garbageman and Nike Air Kwame, whoever you are) mentioned TGRR as an authority in terms of reviews so I thought I’d humbly chip in a few extra thoughts on the Crazyquick, and performance reviews in general.
If you’ve followed the blog at all, you’ll know that I personally loved the Crazyquick. The fit, heel-toe transition, court feel and lateral stability rank as some of the best I’ve ever tested or worn in my opinion – and NDP agreed in his review. However, where he ripped apart the shoe’s “lack” of cushioning, I was a big fan.
In my opinion, NDP looked at the Crazyquick from a traditional plush cushioning standpoint and he’s sort of right to say there isn’t any of that. But the forefoot cushioning on the Crazyquick isn’t designed to make it a soft ride, it’s designed to allow you to play fast, low to the ground and to change directions on a dime. In that sense, the cushioning is perfect. It allows the shoe to become the Crazyquick, to provide guards with a glove-like fit that is responsive no matter what you put it through. It allows the midsole to be flexible in the right areas and makes the traction impeccable.
All of this comes back to how you view cushioning and what type of player/reviewer you are. If you look at cushioning simply from a softness/impact protection point of view, yeah the Crazyquick doesn’t provide much in terms of that. But if you look at a cushioning setup and see what it provides you and not only what it takes away, the Crazyquick is a much, much better shoe. I believe the forefoot cushioning used in the Crazyquick is part of what makes it an elite guard shoe. It plays low to the ground, responsive and light thanks to its entire package, including the midsole/outsole combination.
I’m a former small college basketball player and have had both hips surgically reconstructed by the age of 21, so I’m pretty in-tune with how a shoe makes my body feel. I can firmly say I’ve had no injury concerns or pain whatsoever wearing the Crazyquick and it’s supposed “lack” of forefoot cushioning. In fact I felt the wear and tear on my joints much worse in the Nike Hyperdunk Low, which I gave up wearing after a month because the Lunarlon setup bottomed out and gave me little impact protection for my knees.
Performance reviews are always going to be subjective – at The Gym Rat Review we simply do our best to honestly and thoroughly review a shoe and look at the shoe as a total package, including what the shoe is intending to provide to the wearer. We’re going to have dissenting opinions at times, and it’ll be up to you to decide which shoe is best for your game given this variety of information. NDP and Sole Collector are the folks that we looked up to, so I can’t really argue too much with what he said. In fact the only thing I really disagreed with in the review (besides how the aspect of cushioning is interpreted) was the fact that NDP said the Crazyquick was poor value at $140. Some of that stems from his perceived lack of cushioning, but the Crazyquick completely re-engineered a basketball outsole (giving it four specific zones to increase traction and responsiveness) and introduced Techfit to a basketball shoe for the first time to give it unparalleled fit from heel to toe. I think if you introduce two new technologies and make them work fantastically, the value is definitely there.
Meanwhile, I’ll stay balling in them.