The adidas Crazylight line has been around for ten years now, and while the model slid off the “light” rails about three years ago, it was still a solid performer in every phase. The line skipped 2017, but it’s back now with new materials and familiar cushioning. How is the Crazylight Boost 2018? Let’s go…
The Crazylight Boost 2018 had serious grip on every surface. The pattern follows the CLB16, with varying shapes and groove spacing, but it is solid, thick, and durable. Stopping power is definitely the strong point and almost too much — the stops are harsh and quick, to the point it almost makes your foot roll over the footbed. Normally, this would be great, but some details in other categories to come will explain the issues with this traction on this shoe.
Dust is never a problem as the wide grooves and hard rubber don’t allow any specks to move in for long. And finally, we have a shoe that should last outdoors for a while. There was not much work put in on concrete during this review, but for the couple of wears that I did run outside, there is no signs of wear or tear anywhere.
Full-length Boost is never a bad thing. By now you know how Boost works — foam pebbles are heat-welded together to provide impact protection and energy return all at once. The Crazylight Boost 2018 is no different, and actually may be the most cushion-y Boost we have seen in basketball because it borders on UltraBoost comfort.
The midsole, at least in the heel, also borders on UltraBoost compression, which leads to instability if you are a heavy heel-striker on landings and plants for jumps. adidas countered this slightly by raising the outsole rubber around the lower half of the Boost to provide some slight containment. However, when coming off screens around the 3-point line and planting off my heel for jumpers, I could feel some compression around the edges. It didn’t make me feel unsafe but it did mean I had to take a split second to solidify my base before going up to shoot.
The forefoot Boost is caged and solid on the lateral side but exposed on the medial side. This offers serious stability for plants and cuts, keeping your forefoot contained, while exposing on the medial allows the Boost to compress and absorb forces. Much like the Harden Vol. 1, the cage works great for court feel and reaction without losing too much cushioning.
adidas went the Rose 8 route on the materials for the Crazylight Boost 2018. Where the CLB15 gave us the first Primeknit in basketball, and the CLB16 featured a jacquard version and a Primeknit version, the Crazylight Boost 18 features…mesh? According to the tech specs on adidas.com, the upper is textile. In hand, it feels like elastane with no stretch, and it is very similar to the first two Energy Boost running models.
While this material was great on the runners, in basketball it just has too much give and very little containment. There is a fused area around the inside of the toebox to help with toe drags and durability and some additional fuse (TechFit?) around the lace holes and lateral forefoot. The heel is thickly padded with a soft foam and liner for comfort. In all, completely basic and comfortable on-foot.
Easiest way to put this: go half a size down. I didn’t, and I should have. However, I refuse. I am a 10.5 in my true size — 99% of my shoes all my life have been a 10.5, and I measure 10.5 on Brannock devices. Therefore, I order 10.5 in every shoe I test unless, like Reeboks, I know they run big on me. The 10.5 in the CLB18 left me with almost an inch of room between the end of my big toe and the end of the toebox.
Transition suffered because of the extra room. The rest of the shoe was equally roomy and the simple lacing system did very little to hold my foot down. I tried to pull the laces tight to stop movement but as soon as I let them loose to pull the next set, the previous set would expand out and loosen again.
Heel slip was a huge issue in the early versions of the CLB16 (for some reason my later black/white version was better in that aspect than the first white version). In the Crazylight Boost 2018, most, not all, of the heel slip is gone, thanks to the variable lacing at the collar. Three lace holes allow you to pick and choose the set-up that works best.
However, at least on my foot, no matter how I laced or how tight I pulled, I never felt secure in the heel. Maybe a half-size down would have erased the extra space all around the shoe, but then that isn’t a proper fit. Wide-footers will love this shoe because it’s one of the few shoes today that should fit all but the widest of feet with no issues.
Let’s start with the good: the midfoot of the Crazylight Boost 2018 is supported by the same TPU shank we had on the Rose 8 and it’s fantastic. Running from the middle of the heel to the middle of the forefoot, it supports the shoe and keeps the shoe from bending in on itself.
The heel counter is low and non-restrictive, which would feel great on a faster, lighter shoe, but the CLB18 has a heavy midsole and soft upper materials — not exactly a lightweight (it’s something I haven’t figured out, because the Crazylight Boost hasn’t been light in a while). Couple all of that with the fact this is a lowtop, and heel slip and movement is a given, especially with the satin-slick lining in the heel area.
Eventually, the heel slip was minimized but heel area is soft and flexible and never gave a sense of locked-in security. The padding is too soft to hold the foot in and lacing super-tight gave some foot-numbing lace pressure across the top of the foot. I changed the lacing pattern up to stop the pressure and got even more heel slip, so lose-lose. It wasn’t like I could take the shoe off without untying (like another shoe I am currently reviewing), but doubt crept in, and if a shoe isn’t worry-free it ain’t for me.
The only thing saving the stability while playing from being completely lost was the containment of the forefoot. The cage comes up over the outside of the foot and holds the foot over the footbed in that area. If you wore and enjoyed that area of the Harden Vol. 1, the Crazylight Boost 2018 should work for you.
So close. Again, the downfall of the Crazylight Boost 2018 is heel fit. Arguably the best Boost cushioning we’ve seen, durable traction that works indoors and outdoors, and a comfortable upper on-foot all have the makings of a borderline great shoe. But, the fit kills it. Again, maybe a half-size down would solve the problems, but I don’t have endless funds to try out 15 different sizes and see what works. If I order a 10.5, it should fit like a 10.5.
If you enjoy bouncy Boost and killer traction with a running-shoe feel in the upper, go with your Harden Vol.c1 size and give the Crazylight Boost 2018 a try. If you need lockdown and confidence-inspiring support in the heel, try the Harden Vol. 2 or Rose 8.
Heel slip is an easy fix — really, it is. Hopefully, the Crazylight Boost 2019 solves the issue and we can finally get the killer team lowtop we have been looking for from adidas.