With most adidas Crazy 8 retro releases seeing amazing sales numbers, the popularity of this shoe continues to increase. But does it still measure up to today’s performance shoes? Kobe may not think so, but we shall see.
adidas hit the jackpot, it seemed, when a certain high schooler came to his “I am going to the NBA” press conference wearing sunglasses on his head and his attitude on his sleeve, knowing they had outfitted him in high school and would do so again in the pros. To properly introduce him, the designers knew they needed to come with something revolutionary; never seen before; completely out there. Enter the Feet You Wear (FYW) sole. Based on the slogan “Kobe ’s feet work, so we copied them,” adidas introduced his first shoe, the EQT Elevation (Crazy 97), with the craziest looking outsole ever seen. Then adidas brought us the KB8, now known as the Crazy 8 — arguably still the best ever implementation of Feet You Wear.
The first thing I noticed when I put the Crazy 8 on is the high ankle cut. The shoe, from the outside, appears to be a mid cut, no higher than most shoes made then or now for basketball. However, appearances are deceiving; the collar actually covers my ankle and then some. How? Because the foot sits so low in the shoe, and the shoe in turn sits so low to the ground that the height comes up. The bottom of the foot sits just below the black midsole stripe on the heel, and the forefoot is below the peak of the forefoot pods. This may just be the lowest riding shoe I have ever had on. I didn’t measure exactly in millimeters but if a shoe sits lower, I haven’t found it.
One of the best things about adidas, in my mind, has been the continued use of only the highest grade materials and build quality, and this shoe is no different. The leather is top-notch and real, there was no out of place glue or midsole paint, and the overall outsole rubber is thick and built to last on the court. With that said, would it measure up on the court? I did my best to find out…