Adidas has a new basketball shoe. It's called the Crazyquick, and it seems to improve performance in the way that all new athletic gear improves performance in some nebulous way. These make you quick, says Adidas, and they look really freaking cool.
The claim for Crazyquick is that the new modular bottoms bend and articulate in enough spots that the foot spends a minimal amount of time on the floor. The bottom is broken up into four sections: the midfoot, the heel, the toe and the forefoot. Each is supposed to be keyed in to what that area of the foot needs. Specifically, the forefoot (the ball of your foot) is "stretch return with natural grip", for instance.
Those zones are further broken down into a total of 17 modules, which are independent of each other. Basically, the shoe is broken up into tiny zones to let it act more like a real foot -- even more so than previous attempts at the same theory by Adidas. It even claims to improve joint alignment, after going through 1000 different basketball-specific movements.
Running around in them a bit, the claims make sense, more or less. You can feel the sole modules bend with the ball of your foot as you cut, or the inner half as you come to an abrupt stop. They feel immediately broken in in a way that other shoes really don't. Will that actually make you quicker and fix your joints? Adidas says yes, backed up by its motion capture and high-speed film tech. And, well, it's probably mostly true.
New athletic gear mostly operates on its own plane of existence, with non-pro athletes using non-pro measurements to figure out if the product is any good. At a glance? They feel pretty good. Unlike the Crazylights, they don't exclusively have the mesh uppers that a lot of players hated. Oh, but they keep the loud arse hardwood squeak a lot of shoe nerds liked about the Crazylights.
One thing to note is that while the stretching and articulating design seems to be popular with players, especially because it feels immediately broken in, Adidas was coy about whether or not that meant the shoes would wear out more quickly than a standard sole. Which means they probably will.
The Crazyquicks will be out in May for $US140 and $US150, and in running and training versions for $US100 and $US110 respectively. Adidas wasn't clear what the difference in price means. They'll also be out for soccer in May.