Boost. Boost. BOOST! Say it with me now…BOOST! That’s what we’re talking about, especially with the next generation of adidas basketball products. The Three Stripes brand has been making waves while we’re here along for the ride. That journey is no other than the performance review of the adidas CrazyLight Boost 2016. This review is from a big man’s perspective, one who plays both inside and outside (multi-position). Let’s go!
Traction – Major key! There is no better way to explain it. The adidas CrazyLight Boost 2016 has the best traction I’ve tried so far this year. Although this pair doesn’t feature the Continental rubber, the dual-density soft rubber used more than held its own. No matter how hard the cuts or stop-and-go’s I made, I never once felt I was going to slip-and-slide. It’s definitely a huge upgrade from the 2015 predecessor.
The pattern of the outsole used is near perfection. While the rubber content is durable for indoor use, outdoor ballers beware, as the traction might not last as long. That thought might be different if I had the Continental rubber version to try out (might last longer), but in any case, this shoe’s traction was one of the best I’ve used.
Cushion – Boost is the next wave for cushioning. Full length Boost cushioning for a basketball shoe — what more can you ask for? I had higher expectations. Not to say that the Boost cushioning wasn’t doing it’s job but I expected a bouncier feedback, especially along the forefoot. While you don’t get the springed-up feeling that you’re used to from the Ultra Boost, the cushion setup helps absorb impact more than adequately.
I understand why adidas made the forefoot firm; this shoe is more focused for someone playing a floor game. This firmer setup allows the cushion to be stable while giving a smooth transition from heel to toe or vice-versa, regardless of how the foot lands and leads off. The cushion setup works — just not to my personal needs. I’m a bigger and older guy that fares much better with an immediately responsive cushion like the articulated Zoom bag on the KD9 — it’s easier on my knees.
Materials – The particular pair I’ve been playing in features a Jacquard upper. Suffice to say it’s a very soft material and wraps around the foot like a pillow. The Jacquard upper is also backed by some nylon material for durability, all while allowing the material to stretch. The tongue is also made up of a soft mesh material to allow a comfortable fit upon lacing these babies up.
There are also rubber overlays properly proportioned on high wear areas, particularly on the medial side of the foot and along the eyelets. Additionally, a rubber roll-cage is used that wraps along the front of the mid-foot. The outsole is made up of dual-density rubber. Pretty much all the materials utilized on this shoe are exactly what you want in a perfectly priced shoe, minus the weight.
Fit – [email protected]#$*()@#$)*(&#$()!!!!!!! I went true to size on my initial pair, and boy was it a scare. I played in the shoe a few times, only to deal with major heel slippage. This is a big concern due to the fact I don’t need to fall out of my shoe while I’m either down low boxing out for a rebound or getting ready to make a move. It is my biggest gripe with this shoe.
Naturally, I stick to my personal size 13, but I unfortunately had to go a 1/2 size down (12.5), which I was successfully able to do (with delays, of course, apologies in advance). While the front of the shoe does fit snug, after putting in a little time in the shoe, the materials, particularly the area where the roll-cage rubber is located, contour to your foot. I was able to play a less-worrisome and more stable game as the 1/2 size down fit me perfectly and allowed me to play my inside-outside game without interruption.
For those with wide footers (such as myself), definitely please try these on in-store. For those who wear ankle braces, you might luck out going true-to-size. Again, I suggest bringing your basketball socks and braces to the store so you figure out the fit yourself.
Support – The support is based on the sizing. If you can get your correct size, you won’t have to worry about the heel slippage I endured. Secondly, the cushioning. The Boost technology (the most Boost ever put into a basketball shoe) provides great impact protection while giving you fluid responsiveness. The way the shoe contours to your foot, particularly with the use of the roll cage, allows your foot to fit the shoe much more naturally — all while giving you a stable ride.
The TPU heel counter ensures you that you don’t slip out the shoe (provided you have the correct size) and there is a torsional support bar enabling proper support for the footbed. The nylon lacing setup ensures that you’re locked in along with the plastic lace-wings to give you a tight wrap. None of these restrict you from making your natural movements on the court.
Overall – This is one of the best low top basketball shoes on the market. The Three Stripes has really stepped up its game with the basketball line this year and the Crazylight Boost 2016 is proof. For $120 you get a Jacquard upper, a soft dual-density aggressive rubber outsole, Boost cushioning, and adequate fit/lockdown (if you get your proper sizing).
If you’re a person that is generally leading a floor game and loves playing in low tops with proper cushioning and ultimate responsiveness, the CLB16 is absolutely for you. If you’re a player that needs the springy responsive cushioning like what you feel in the adidas Ultra Boost and need that extra impact cushioning when landing off a rebound, then you might look elsewhere.
I’m not saying this shoe doesn’t perform well, it absolutely does, I just need a more springy cushion to help protect the impact and energy return on my knees. I love the Crazylight Boost 2016 and all the tech featured on this shoe works to a T. What more can you ask for in a well-equipped shoe with a respectable price? Salute to you Nick Daiber, and adidas, for making an awesome basketball shoe. Can’t wait to see what adidas has in store next.
Adidas Crazy Light Boost 2016
(Use code “F7S4” for free shipping)