Adidas Reveals the Adizero Crazy Light 2!!
On Tuesday Arek and myself got the opportunity to be apart of the official launch of the new Adizero Crazylight 2 basketball shoe by Adidas in Los Angeles, Ca. The top bloggers for kick sites around the country came through to get a first hand look at the shoe and sit down with Lawrence Norman, VP of Global Basketball at Adidas and Robbie Fuller, lead designer of the Crazylight 2.
Before we sat down with the guys at Adidas, we laced em up and got on the court to try em out ourselves. We showed up to the Los Angeles Clippers practice facility and were taken to the locker room. To our surprise we all had our own lockers with some fresh hyper yellow Crazyligh 2’s waiting for us to put em on. The shoe has not only changed a bit aesthetically but also in weight. With the first Crazylight’s Adidas changed the game by introducing the lightest basketball shoe ever at 9.8 ounces. The Crazylight 2 is 9.5 ounces. When I asked Robbie Fuller why the ultra lightness in the shoe, he reponded with “it comes from athlete, light is first the thing they talk about. When they come through the door they do the popcorn effect with the shoe (slightly tossing the shoe up and down to get a feel for the weight).” After taking the initial 15 minutes to break the shoes in on the court Arek and myself hooped for about 2 and a half hours with guys from Counterkicks, Slamonline, Dime etc. The performance of the shoe is awesome, but the weight is even better. After a long day of hooping, other shoes can tend to feel heavy on your feet after a bit, the crazylight 2 felt great from start to finish.
After hooping we sat down with Lawrence Norman to discuss what Adidas is doing globally in a market that we cover a lot. Grassroots basketball.
In what ways is Adidas introducing itself in basketball globally?
We are setting up events like adidas nations in asia, europe, africa and america. It brings together elite basketball players around the world, then they all come to LA for the finals.
We had a chance to cover the 2011 Adidas Nations Finals in Los Angeles last year. Here are some highlights from the event.
Norman went on to tell us that one of the biggest positive responses Adidas received with the Adizero shoes is during the 2012 McDonalds All-American Game. McDonalds annually puts the top 48 high school senior basketball players against eachother in an all star game (24 boys & 24 girls). 2012 was the first year that Adidas was involved with the game and gave the players a few different options of what shoes they wanted to wear. “48 out of 48 players chose the Adizero Crazylight shoe“, Norman said. One of the things that Adidas is doing in addition to lighter shoes is lighter uniforms. With quickness ultimately in mind, the new Adidas Uniforms are 38% lighter “our goal is to help players get quicker and lighter, even if it just helps them 1-2% that is a success“.
Performance, feel and weight in a shoe are all great but one thing that is also extremely important is putting out an aesthetically nice looking shoe. Lead Designer Robbie Fuller is a former baller himself so he knows what he wants to rock on and off the court. Fuller studied at NC State (Wolfpack!) but where he learned the most from was internally at Adidas. “I get schooled everyday on what mechanically is a good design and what is not. One thing I tell everyone who starts out at Adidas is that the first 2 years, pretty much any idea you have or present is going to be thrown out.” With design, companies as big as Adidas are designing today for 2 years from now. Essentially the minute a new person steps in, they are seeing products that were designed 2 years previous. Fuller’s first design was on cross training shoes back in 2001. He had to experience the growing pains of being the new guy. With his design now taking flight one of the biggest issues was getting somethign so light in weight and look built into the mindset of the consumer so that they accept it. “Once people started trying the shoe on, it was all good.” Fuller not only designs with a dope concept and design team at Adidas but asks for help from signature players like Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose. “Dwight is a bit more straight forward, Rose is more reserved but he likes to personalize his shoes a bit more“. One of the benefits of working so closely with a player is that a player knows what he wants, style, color and look.
What’s more pleasing to an artist like yourself, seeing your shoe worn by a bigtime NBA player or the average joe?
It’s all a blessing but definitely the kids wearing it means a lot more because they picked it out of so many options and paid the sticker price for it. At the McDonalds game, the palyers didn’t have to wear them, but every single one did.
Success is hard to come by with sequels. Adidas seem’s to be making the right moves with this shoe. Another huge option is the wide array of colors that the kicks come in. From the hyper colors to the calm colors, the shoe definitely looks dope on and off the court. Kudos Adidas….Kudos.