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adidas Crazy 97 Performance Review

Once called the adidas EQT Elevation, the newly re-named adidas Crazy 97 still performs well on-court.

adidas Crazy 97 Performance Review 1

Traction – Big, beefed up herringbone is featured along the entire outsole and it works beautifully. You won’t get much squeak out of the pattern due to its thickness but you will get your moneys worth as they performed perfectly inside and outside as they were designed to last. If you are worried about buying a shoe and the soles not lasting too long outdoors then these are perfect for you. Additionally, the pattern is fairly aggressive as its featured everywhere on the shoe… no matter where your foot strikes, you’ll be covered.

adidas Crazy 97 Performance Review 2

Cushion – The cushion is minimal. You sit pretty low to the ground – not Crazyquick low but low enough for great court feel – so cushion isn’t anything crazy. Feels pretty much on par with the Crazy 8’s. Not uncomfortable or painful so do not misinterpret minimal cushion as being a bad thing. There is something for everyone when it comes to performance products; some like a ton of cushion, some like low profile cushion and others prefer to feel the ground beneath their feet with minimal cushion. Is there a benefit to having a minimal setup? Yes… your reaction speed is increased. Is it increased enough to make you faster than the next guy? Probably not but your movements are covered perfectly and whatever it is you’d like to do… you can do it with ease whereas a shoe with a lot of cushion will take more effort to perform the same move. The move can still be done either way… its just a little easier without so much extra baggage.

adidas Crazy 97 Performance Review 3

Material – Synthetic leather is featured along most of the upper with a couple of small nylon side panels. If you like leather based performance shoe then this is right up your alley. If you prefer plastic based performance shoes then you may not enjoy these as much but they are still playable. What is the drawback when directly comparing synthetic & genuine leathers to plastics? Fit mostly… synthetic and genuine leather will break-in and stretch a little while plastics tend to hold their shape better over time. Wide footers would probably enjoy a synthetic or genuine leather more than a plastic since one will break-in and mold to their foot shape while the other will not. Depending on what you prefer is how you’d go about making your decision… I personally can go either way.

adidas Crazy 97 Performance Review 4

Fit – These fit true to size but after they’ve been broken in they lose a little bit of the snug fit they start out with. As mentioned above, this is great for wide footers and this is also a small drawback for those of us that prefer a really tight fit. Simply readjusting your laces is all that is really needed… I tried placing an extra insole within the shoe to take up the extra dead space… this worked quite well and made the overall fit better but there was some chafing within the shoe at the tongue’s midfoot band which caused a nasty blister so if you wanted a VERY tight fit then I’d go down ½ size or just go true to size to play it safe.

Lockdown was good everywhere except the heel. The two elastic bands are wonderful for comfort but they aren’t tight enough to secure the heel 100%. They way the shoe plays overall makes this a very small issue (I’ll go over that a bit more in the support section) but its something that you can feel a little while running around.

adidas Crazy 97 Performance Review 5

Ventilation – There are nylon panels on the medial and lateral side along with the tongue but you aren’t getting a ton of air flow. Its what you’d expect from a shoe made in ‘97.

adidas Crazy 97 Performance Review 6

Support – The support was great. With the Feet you Wear in place, you get a wide and stable base to work with along with giant sidewalls cuping your foot in nearly every section of the shoe including the heel. This is why the heel issue wasn’t too bad… you are still very much “in” the shoe even though you can feel a little movement back there.

adidas Crazy 97 Performance Review 7

Overall – Besides my little mistake of placing an extra insole inside the shoe which caused me to have a gnarly blister… these were on par with some of adidas’ best on-court options from the 90’s. I still say that the Crazy 8 is their best model in terms of Retro performance but the Crazy 97 isn’t too far behind. I played great in the shoe and they were a lot of fun as well. Not under the leg windmill dunk type of fun… but I did my thing.

Would I recommend the shoe? I would… you’d need to know what you want in a shoe but if these offer up everything in your performance profile then I’d give them a shoe. They will last outdoors better than any current market sneaker – this included most shoes featuring XDR – so if you need something to take with you to the blacktop then give them a try… you won’t be disappointed. They still have sizes available in this colorway at PackerShoes.com if you are interested.

adidas Crazy 97 Performance Review 8

  1. These shoes are great. They are much lighter than they look and run narrow than other Adidas shoes of the time.

    Also try the Real Deal.

  2. NW you can shoot ! and you can create space and shoot the ball before defender can anticipate the shot coming. which mean u play with your brain , not some player try to be like Mj and play stupid all the time. you are a smart player with good BB skill/sense

  3. BTW as we get older 30or plus , we need more Cushioned shoe than before , there is a reason why jordan 18 felt like steping on dog shit,b/c MJ was old when he came back and need softsoftsoft full length zoom air to protect his knee. so i would recommond you to play with more Cushioned shoes if you plan on doing some intense BB play.

  4. i LOVE feet you wear. talk about court feel…
    i love how feet you wear shoes play on the court, indoor or outdoor.
    i love the design on adidas basketball shoes from the mid to late ’90s.
    i love the price adidas retro models are going at, particularly considering how durable they are.
    if i can get the black/white colorway of these EQTs, it’ll be a no brainer…

    having said all this, i wish adidas would give us updated versions of the TT2000, the real deal, the c8, the EQT elevation, with one minor modification…some way to make them more breathable. for somebody who sweats a lot while living in a swelteringly hot, extremely humid place, that would be very much appreciated.

  5. M Liu – not even close. Over thirty? Check. Bad knee? Check. Need more cushioning? Never. Especially not softer. Softer cushioning will allow the shoe to “bottom out”, sending the shock back up your knees and back. Thicker cushioning can cause instability in your landings. I personally go for low and dense, for better court feel and better shock absorption, along with working out doing squats and assorted jumps to learn how to land and jump.

  6. working out doing squats and assorted jumps to learn how to land and jump is for sure more important KEY to protect your knee, however a lot of players dont do the right traing to land and jump. and in the game we dont always land /jump the way we intend to , that’s why i said more cushioning is for protection, but not a cure for bad knee. also what i mean by more cushioning good for bad knee is for most people who play BB without the right taining.

  7. Does Crazy 97 still incorporate the “Feet You Wear” system?

    I’ve heard that Adidas cannot use “Feet You Wear” technology because they did not get the license from the real patentor.
    I dont know if someone could tell the difference between the original “Feet You Wear” EQT Elevation and Crazy 97, like the cushion, materials of the midsole etc.

    1. They tweaked it to avoid ‘high-jacking the patent’, but it’s still a nearly identical Barefoot-system.

      Basically the Original Feet You Wear was a very specific system(focused exclusively on the sole), where even the tapering of the mid-sole foam was described exactly in the patent(look at old FYW you see the mid-sole being tapered to fade towards the edges), new FYW basically doesn’t taper, it uses the same dimensions, and materials, but uses a more rounded foam-setup to create basically the same system, with a slightly more robust finish.

      The Cushioning, Materials, and Midsole are still very similar, and comparable though(even the REAL DEAL which are very updated, still ‘feel’ nearly identical to the OG’s), especially the latest outings are nearly a perfect match to the originals.

  8. Well I just purchased these, as a beginner in the game of basketball and do you think these will work for me? I plan to play some indoors and some outdoors. P.S your performance reviews have helped me out a lot in deciding on starter shoes. Keep up the outstanding content!

  9. Just wondering, you mentioned that the shoe runs wide and loosens after break in, would the insoles of the Nike Flightposites fit in these well? I like a lot of the retro models of Adidas, specially the Crazy 8, but I can’t wear a lot of them because there isn’t enough cushioning for my needs. Thanks for all that you do.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. I’ll cop a pair and try them out. I’ll let you know how it all works out. Hopefully, the results will be pleasant and positive.

  10. Just copped the Iman Shumpert colorway and actually felt more of a rough suede instead of synthetic leather. Anyways i got a size bigger and they performed and fit well, but then again the material didn’t really shape to my foot. Worn about 5 times

  11. For future buyers i am going to tell you that, on personal experience obviously, i felt very disappointed by this pair. Traction is horrible on inside courts and a good one on outdoors, and the cushion is stiff as hell. I wasted my money and now i’ll have to bear with it because i have no money to buy another pair. 🙁 I also should note that my pair is an OG pair so Maybe i’m talking nonsense, but i hope it’s still helpful. Chris love your work by the way, one of my favorite sites. Keep up like that. 🙂

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