Performance Review Head to Head: The Crazyquicks

Prose: Jake Sittler (@jtsittler)

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I recently posted my adidas Crazyquick 2 performance review, and given my lukewarm feelings toward the shoe I thought I’d make a comparison to the original Crazyquick that I hold near and dear to my heart. Hopefully, this will reveal the differences between the two and perhaps encourage you to try the second version even if you weren’t a fan of the first one.

Fit
This is the major difference I found between the two models. I loved the original Crazyquick because it fit like a glove. A one-piece, full Techfit compression upper combined with an extended Sprintframe provided complete lockdown and 1:1 fit. At the same time, I know a lot of folks felt like the Techfit construction didn’t provide enough lateral containment and that the Sprintframe was far too narrow. That simply comes down to the type of foot you have and how tight you like your shoes to be. For me, with a narrow foot and requiring a super snug fit so that I can change direction quickly, that shoe was perfect. It’s probably the best fitting shoe I’ve played in – 1A and 1B along with the Kobe VI.

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The Crazyquick 2 went away from the pure Techfit build and used synthetic overlays in a similar pattern to what you’ll see on the Rose 4.5. There was more volume in the upper and the Sprintframe wasn’t as extended as the first model – both positive steps for those of you that felt the first was too narrow. The containment is there, but the fit was not 1:1 for me and the Crazyquick 2 played more like your average shoe than something completely different like the original Crazyquick.

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Both shoes ran about a 1/2 size long so I would definitely go down from your normal size if you are planning to order them.

Heel-Toe Transition
These shoes are built to be flexibile, smooth and responsive, making the heel-toe process effortless. Easily the smoothest shoes from heel strike to toe off out there. The outsole zones are setup perfectly as well, providing you the stable, natural feel you’ll love.

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Cushioning
The original Crazyquick took heat for its perceived lack of cushioning, but if you’re buying these shoes to hoop in you’re not going to be looking for as much of a luxurious, plush feel. In order to be the flexible, stable, responsive and quick shoe that it is designed to be, you’re going to give up that soft cushioning. In return you get great court feel, stability and responsiveness in any direction. Because of how it played underfoot and how you were locked into the footbed, the original Crazyquick became an extension of your foot.

The Crazyquick 2 is largely the same setup, but perhaps slightly softer in the ball of the foot. I mentioned in the review that it feels like a slightly softer density foam was used in that area, and still didn’t affect the court feel at all. I don’t have any kind of heel-toe drop data, but it did feel like the original played slightly lower to the ground – though that’s all relative compared to other shoes on the market and the Crazyquick 2 will give you unrivaled court feel and stability. From the rear view, it does look like the original Crazyquick plays slightly lower at the heel.

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I think as far as pure impact protection and softness goes, the Crazyquick 2 is slightly better – so those of you that didn’t like the firm feel of the original might want to give its successor a try.

Traction
Absolutely perfect on both. Deep, grooved herringbone takes over the entire outsole and the different zones provide stop-on-a-dime traction in any direction.

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Materials/Durability
The nod goes to the Crazyquick 2 in this category, simply because the upper is a little more sturdy thanks to the overlays. The original model probably lent itself to some blowouts in the forefoot area, because the Techfit upper may not have given heavier or more explosive players enough containment on hard lateral cuts. I didn’t have any problems with it, and the way in which the three stripes were used to provide support on the original version was enough for me.

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Both midsoles and outsoles used high quality foam and rubber, and I didn’t experience a breakdown in the compounds on the original Crazyquick until after very heavy use.

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Bottom line, the original Crazyquick was built for quick slashers and guards desiring maximum flexibility and court feel. It featured a glove-like fit, a responsive midsole and excellent traction.

The Crazyquick 2 was built with the same player in mind, but should also work better for a wider range of players and foot sizes. The fit, for me, wasn’t quite as snug and that soured me on it (probably because I loved the first one so much). I relly like the Crazyquick 2, but it didn’t meet the standards set by the original Crazyquick or even the Rose 4.5. But even if you weren’t a fan of the first Crazyquick, I’d still try on the second and see if the changes adidas made are enough for you to give them a shot on court.

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Performance Review: adidas Crazyquick 2

Prose: Jake Sittler (@jtsittler)
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If you’ve visited this site before and read some reviews, you probably know that my favorite shoe of 2013 was the adidas Crazyquick. The shoe debuted a new outsole/midsole platform featuring 17 “quick zones” designed to give you traction, stability and responsiveness in any direction. The shoe was engineered perfectly, and allowed you to move freely and quickly without sacrificing support.

The upper was also redesigned, with a bootie-like Techfit construction that locked the foot in. The Sprintframe heel counter ensured no heel slippage. The shoe became an extension of the foot, and that’s the ultimate goal when we’re looking at a performance hoop shoe.

Alas, the Crazyquick wasn’t for everyone. The trade-off for the flexibility, stability and unmatched court feel was a very firm (necessary) cushioning platform. The shoe also ran very narrow, giving wide or even normal footers some issues. Others felt that the Techfit upper didn’t offer enough support or containment (I personally had none of these issues, but I understand that plenty of people could and did).

With the second installment of the Crazyquick line, adidas took steps to remedy those issues. The result is a shoe that will probably work for a wider variety of people…but fell short of my own expectations.

Fit
First things first – go down a half-size to get the proper fit with the Crazyquick 2. It definitely runs long and I’ve had this backed up by several different people.

Despite how great the outsole was, the upper and overall fit is what ultimately made the original Crazyquick my favorite. The comfort of the Techfit upper and glove-like fit combined with the flexibility of the outsole and midsole to marry the shoe to the foot.

The Crazyquick 2 ditches the pure Techfit upper (it says Techfit on the tongue but is nothing like last year’s) and uses synthetic overlays on top of the Techfit base. These overlays are similar to what you’ll see on the Rose 4.5, just more independent and with a more flexible base.

The upper is still extremely flexible – though not quite as free as the first model – but also should provide you with better containment and support. I felt like it flexed a little weird in the toe box, where the overlays got in the way and created extra volume in there.

The Sprintframe heel counter has also been reduced in size, and many people will see this as a welcome change. For me, I didn’t get the same heel lockdown as the first shoe, but it’s still solid. Adidas also made excellent use of branding again, using the three stripes to provide support to the heel area. Collar padding was also beefed up and is very comfortable.

I have a hunch that a lot of folks will like the fit better with the 2 since it’s so much more accommodating. But for me, the first Crazyquick fit so well that you almost forgot it was there, and the 2 doesn’t quite reach that level.

Heel-Toe Transition
The Puremotion outsole/midsole with quick zones is a dream. The smoothest shoe from heel strike to toe-off that you’ll find. You’ll feel very low to the ground and stable at all times.

Cushioning
This was the area that led to the love/hate nature of the first Crazyquick, and I think that the overall feel has softened up slightly. You’re still going to get perfect court feel, stability and responsiveness thanks to the midsole/outsole build, but I think you’ll also get a little better impact protection as well.

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If you look at the bottom of the shoe, you’ll see a darker portion that basically encompasses the ball of the foot and big toe area. I think this portion is a slightly softer density foam, designed to provide better impact protection in the areas that take the most beating. It’s a concept shared by the CP3 line, which uses dual density Podulon in order to provide more responsiveness and impact protection in key spots.

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The sculpture or shape of the midsole remains pretty much the same, if not slightly beefed up in the heel/midfoot areas, from the first to the second model, and you’ll feel some extra support on the lateral side especially.

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It’s not going to be pillowy underfoot like the HyperRev but it’s been improved from last year from the standpoint of sheer impact protection. Overall, it’s fantastic once again in terms of how it makes the shoe function.

Traction
The outsole features herringbone, and lots of it. Like last year, the grooves are deep and the flexible zones give you responsive traction on any movement you make – lateral or linear. The flex grooves are well-placed and allow you to move freely with great traction.

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Materials/Durability
I’ve found no issues to speak of so far. Last year’s model showed some wear on the toes and could have used a little more reinforcement on the toebox, but that should be remedied with the overlays used here. I think the use of the overlays will allow the 2 to hold up better than the first model overall.

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The insole is high-quality, and the Puremotion midsole should hold up without much bottoming out. That’s one of the advantages of adidas’ cushioning platforms – while not as soft as other brands, they’re usually fairly responsive and don’t seem to bottom out as much.

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I’m afraid for me personally, this shoe was cursed by its predecessor. I loved the first so much and really didn’t want to see anything changed with it that the Crazyquick 2 was almost bound to disappoint me. That said, I do believe it’s a good shoe and I still enjoyed playing in it.

It was still damn near perfect underfoot and even had improved impact protection compared to the last model. The shoe is designed to allow you to play as quick as possible, and that goal is certainly achieved.

Would I have liked the full Techfit and a more snug Sprintframe? Definitely, but the Crazyquick 2 still deserves to be in the discussion when you’re looking at your next performance shoe.

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