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adidas Crazy BYW X Performance Review

adidas Crazy BYW X performance review main

You all asked and we delivered: the performance review on the $200 adidas Crazy BYW X is here.

adidas Crazy BYW X performance review traction

Traction was amazing…to start. The very first day I played in the adidas Crazy BYW X was my best experience in the shoe overall.

Traction bit the floor, which had dust all over the damn place like nobody’s business. However, each time I wore the shoe after that initial day I became less and less impressed — it’s like the rubber decided to retire. For whatever reason its bite and tackiness wore out and I was left with a herringbone outsole that required me to wipe any chance I had.

Even after taking the Crazy BYW X to cleaner courts I had to wipe every so often to maintain the level of grip that I’m comfortable with — which was a bit irritating. However, the traction never got to the point to where I thought it was downright bad, but it wasn’t that “Oh, hell yes!” type of grip I had on day one.

Then the rear section of the outsole blew out on me, literally. I remember the play when it happened. I rarely feel when traction peels, but this time I did as it was a few rows at once.

I was on a fast break and needed to slow down a bit so I could gather and lay the ball in. When I used my heel to slow myself down — the only time I really use my heels — I felt this weird jerk at the base of my heel. Luckily, my stride was already beginning to lead into the toe so I was able to continue the play and lay the ball in.

It wasn’t until I went to wipe my soles after the play was completed that I noticed the traction on my heel gave out and looked like strands of Play-Doh stuck in the spaghetti maker play-set. Thus, outdoor use is definitely not recommended.

While the Crazy BYW X doesn’t deserve the Benched badge, it doesn’t deserve the Starting 5 badge either. It’s good coverage that will take care of you, but you’ll need to maintain the outsole throughout your sessions.

adidas Crazy BYW X performance review cushion

The Feet You Wear concept implemented here isn’t like the original. While many applaud the original FYW system, I was never a huge fan of it because sometimes it would aggravate my right foot. This version feels more neutral, like the original Pure Motion system, only with Boost in place instead of EVA and adiPrene.

Fluidity and transition were pretty smooth while court feel in the forefoot is abundant, without losing much impact protection. The closest thing I can compare it to is the Harden Vol 1. The main difference being the Boost is even more subdued in the forefoot of the Crazy BYW X than it was on the Harden Vol 1 since the Boost is completely encased.

The heel is really bouncy and at first and it was a bit of a distraction compared to the firmer forefoot. I felt like I was being propelled with a small spring under my heel until I got used to the setup. After, I began to adjust and feel more comfortable with the setup — that’s when the shoe really feels low, fast, responsive, and built for fluid mobility.

The only thing I can compare the feeling to is what I experienced with the Air Jordan XX8-30. That incredibly mobile and agile sensation that I felt makes this BYW setup a step up from the original FYW.

adidas Crazy BYW X performance review materials

Materials featured are pretty average for a modern shoe; the Crazy BYW X uses textiles and a compression collar at the tongue and ankle areas.

For being a textile upper, it has been pretty durable thus far. There are no areas that pinch or hot spots along the main section of the build, but the heel’s rubber pull tab caused some chaffing at the back of my ankle — my quarter cut socks weren’t quite long enough to prevent this so that is an area to keep an eye on.

Interestingly, I had the same issue with the Harden Vol 2 as well. I’d recommend that adidas stop stitching the rear pull tab into the main bootie section of the collar. Perhaps the brand could stitch it between the bootie and the outer material so it doesn’t rub on the heels of some wearers.

adidas Crazy BYW X performance review fit

The shoe fits true to size, something rare for adidas. However, it’s that really snug and tight, nearly suffocating, type of fit that some — like myself — enjoy, but that others may not. Wide footers will want to go up 1/2 size, but that could cause some issues with the support as it relies on that one-to-one fit.

Lockdown as actually nice — like, really nice. I initially had my reservations with the lacing as the lateral side relies on those thin cables that are known to break. While those can and likely will break on someone, they did not break on me. The medial side has a much stronger nylon cable in place and both worked well to keep me sucked into the shoe and on the tooling.

All I can say is that if you try the shoe on, don’t be discouraged by the initial choke hold it will have on your feet. The materials will stretch around your foot once you break them in and you’ll end up with a form fitting shoe like nothing you’ve ever felt before.

adidas Crazy BYW X performance review support

Much like the lockdown, support was really surprising on the Crazy BYW X. The shoe is very minimalistic and doesn’t look like it’d support anyone.

However, the shoe uses all the standard support features, and they’re amplified to make up for the very minimal upper. It’s heel counter is strong and encompasses most of the rear while the chassis that the tooling sits on cradles your foot — much like the setup in the Air Jordan XX8-30.

The part that I felt really helped the Crazy BYW X was that you sit within the Boost midsole both in the heel and forefoot. You’re on a low-profile platform built to be anatomically correct and designed to really hug and hold onto your foot. If you’re a shoe nerd in addition to being a regular hooper then these will leave you wondering what else the future of performance footwear has to offer.

Will shoes get even more supportive with sock-like uppers? What will basketball shoes look like in 20 years? These are just a couple of questions this one shoe forces me to think about.

adidas Crazy BYW X performance review overall

I think the Crazy BYW X is very good, but the traction definitely could be better. I think if adidas used a slightly stronger rubber compound and spaced the herringbone treads a little further apart then this would have been a shoe that I’d say you’d need to try.

As it is right now, sitting at that $200 price point, the Crazy BYW X is a shoe that you should try only if you have the means. If you don’t, don’t be discouraged because there are plenty of footwear options that offer great performance and won’t break the bank.

I am very curious to see where brands go from here because adidas really pushed the envelope with this one — adidas Originals no less. It’ll be very interesting to see what comes from the Crazy BYW X in the future.

adidas Crazy BYW X performance review score

  1. Guess that can be the fair explanation to why the shoe got delayed. It really shouldn’t fray indoors like that within a few weeks. Gladly saved me from pursuing the shoe for now unless someone gets down to my bid at StockX. Still want it later if fixed.

    If the rubber is anything like the LVL 1, I noticed that thing is a dirt magnet. It’s really sticky even though the pattern (of the LVL 1) isn’t performance oriented.

  2. First of all, I ain’t paying 200 for a shoe that can rip apart 2 weeks after you buy them. Second, there are a lot better performers for lower prices. Take your pick- Kyries, PGs, Explosives, Dames, Westbrooks, you name it. Hell, Lebrons are cheaper. Third, I want the old Feet You Wear with anatomical breaks in the forefoot. Those were what made the concept special. If they retroed the Top Ten 2000 or the Real Deal but with boost, that would be sick. Just don’t cage the forefoot all the way around. Let us feel some of it.

  3. From your description right out of the box, it sounds like my first experience with the Nike Flightposite 1. Nightwing, have you ever played in that shoe? Your thoughts on this shoe, the propulsion aspect during heel toe transition, sound exactly the same. If this shoe feels similar to that, then Adidas has a good shoe on their hands if they improve upon durability.

  4. I’ve played in them a couple of times and the traction is GREAT. Probably on par with the crazy explosives. The only part that really isn’t durable is the heal but I’m a forefoot striker so I actually haven’t experienced any fraying. My personal problem with the shoe is that, because I’m a forefoot striker, I need a softer forefoot cushion. If the boost had a little bit of give, in the forefoot, I would love these shoes to death. Instead, Adidas made them extra firm. On top of that the insole seems to be a dual density setup too, where the forefoot is firm and the rear is softer.

    1. I know we’re used to buying great shoes for under 150 now but just a few years ago the Jordan 29s, another awesome futuristic shoe, was 225. I put these on par with that shoe in terms of build and innovation. 200 doesn’t feel that ridiculous for these shoes. I agree, however, that no shoe is a must cop and there are plenty of other options.

  5. I know we’re used to buying great shoes for under 150 now but just a few years ago the Jordan 29s, another awesome futuristic shoe, was 225. I put these on par with that shoe in terms of build and innovation. 200 doesn’t feel that ridiculous for these shoes. I agree, however, that no shoe is a must cop and there are plenty of other options.

  6. Hi Nightwing,

    Any chance these would work with an ankle brace? The ankle section looks pretty tight and I’m not sure I’ll be able to stuff a brace in.

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