December 29th, 2011 by Aaron Kr.
#27 – ADIDAS ADIZERO CRAZY LIGHT
Stop us if this one sounds familiar: a giant in the footwear game brings a young Chicago Bull on board to promote a groundbreaking new sneaker. The top notch design of said sneaker is combined with an edgy ad campaign and the undeniable star power of the young man in question – and thus, a legacy is born. Okay, so those comparisons may be just a tad bit lofty this early on, but there’s no denying that the adidas adiZero Crazy Light burst onto the hardwood this year and quickly became one of the most talked-about new performance basketball sneakers seen in a while. As the lightest basketball sneaker ever made, the adidas Crazy Light shaves off 15 percentage points weight-wise from its closest competitor, thanks to its revolutionary SPRINTWEB technology – the less than 1mm thick material that wraps the upper. Combined with a carved out molded EVA midsole and paper-thin breathable upper, the materials made for a revolutionary combination that sparked much debate in the both the sneaker and basketball worlds. Debuted by eventual NBA MVP Derrick Rose, the Crazy Light and its mindblowing featherlight 9.8oz construction set out from the gate with a mission to go straight at the competition, as evidenced by the controversial promo spots that ran throughout the NBA Playoffs.
adidas was determined to let the world know they had something special on their hands and pulled no punches with the Crazy Light ad campaign, which featured a series of shoes from other brands (Nike, Jordan Brand, Under Armour) and asked the question “How do you make this Crazy Light?” The answer that followed was the competitors’ shoes being literally chopped and sliced by chainsaws, samurai swords and even mauled by a grizzly bear to demonstrate how much of each shoe you’d have to remove to get as light as the Crazy Light. The ads made their point, but the jury was still out, with many people wondering if a performance basketball shoe so light and thin could possibly provide the necessary protection required for high intensity play. At one point, Nike endorser Kobe Bryant took an opportunity to get the Swoosh’s back, as he made remarks in a postgame interview insinuating that the shoes were an ankle injury waiting to happen. Despite the Black Mamba’s warning, the shoe went strong at retail and on the feet of several NBA players last season and most ankles remained safely intact. As this year closes, we’re starting to get glimpses of the next round of sneakers in the Crazy Light line, but it all started here with the memorable introduction of the original. The Three-Stripes team went “all in” with this new design and ad campaign and it paid off, landing the adidas Crazy Light at number 27 on our end of year list.