adidas recently made waves in the basketball world with the announcement of John Wall joining the adidas roster as well as the debut of the all-new Crazyquick shoe. With Wall yet to receive a signature shoe, he instead was chosen to serve as the ambassador for the new shoe. A great fit for the explosive guard, the Crazyquick is touted as being one of the quickest shoes in the game. A combination of lightweight materials, flexible construction and crazy traction, the Crazyquick showcases the best of adidas’s expertise and know-how. On hand to introduce the new shoe were Robbie Fuller, category designer for advanced concepts at adidas, and Wall himself. Below are a few words from the two on the technology of the shoe as well as what it brings to the court.
Can you introduce yourself and your role in this project?
Robbie Fuller, category designer for advanced concepts at adidas and my role has been lead designer for creating the final product.
So taking it a step back, adidas seems to be having a lot of technology-based releases for the past months, past year or so. Could you talk a little about that?
Yeah, we’re always trying to innovate and make sure the athletes are performing at the highest level they’ve ever performed at. I think we turned it up a notch with the introduction of BOOST and Crazyquick. There will be even more introductions throughout the year. 2013 is gonna be a really game-changing year for adidas in terms of innovation for the athlete.
How long has this particular project been in the works?
Haha, well, it’s been in the works for about going on three years. We’re always innovating so what you’re seeing in it is learnings from 3, 5, 7 years ago. But providing the quickness and adaptiveness of the fit was about three years ago.
Can you break down the tech aspect for us?
Sure, quickness really has 3-4 dimensions – the recipe that equates to quickness.
First is the traction. It’s amazing how much quickness, court-feel and redirection you can get if you’re using a real fine herringbone and orientating the transfer of the weight.
Second is how it’s segmented so it can spread out as it hits the ground. There’s an action to each one of the pods, depending on how you cut.
Next is the Sprintframe, the orchestration in making sure that all the movement with the ground is being controlled and optimizing every movement.
Also, the upper. The upper is this beautiful blend of restricted and unrestricted motion. That base layer you see is actually a stretch material – a first for basketball. In general, you do need areas of non-stretch and areas that the foot needs to act more natural. Through the tongue and to the toes you really get to spread toes through the impact. The webbings go to the platform up to the eyestay. When you lace through them, that’s the real seat belt that locks you onto the platform. In order to be fast, you need to be locked down.
Finally, lightweight. Everything is better when light. You’re maximizing the shoe’s 11.25 ounces. It’s an industry leader in the realm of lightweight.
What are the main advantages of having this technology on a shoe?
In general? Having this technology on your feet gives you that quick benefit. It’s a different sensation. Sometimes with basketball sneakers, you don’t have that unison with the foot. But with this shoe, it really molds and shapes to your foot. This sneaker really leverages all the needs such as traction, lockdown support, and the athlete’s foot.
We see the first offering is an application for the basketball sneaker, what other sports are being targeted for this technology?
Really, it’s a cross-category platform. You’re going to see it on a lot of different platforms. You’re going to see it for a lot of different sports.
Running and training have kicked us off with the adiPure concept, so like how the adiPure adapt looked like a brand new silhouette, it really used this idea of a stretch upper that has this unique aquatech printing that gives you dense areas of stability and more open areas to allow flex. It kind of started as a running thing but now has worked its way into basketball.
Obviously, the Crazyquick is the basketball offering — the first one. You can see there’s going to be a Crazyquick cleat that uses a quick plate with some of the same learnings in terms of traction, lightweight, staying on top of the platform. But, it has to come up with solutions to do that because the basketball court doesn’t give but the football field does. So, in the way the quick plate adapts to the basketball court, the quick plate stays in place on the pitch.
Any last words?
It’s a big year for adidas in terms of innovation. The boost launch really. So with quick, it’s the next step and in terms of innovating to make the athlete better.
So I heard you played in these recently.
John Wall: I broke out the Crazyquick last night, so it was my first time wearing them in a game. It was great. A great shoe. It changes the game for me and allows me to easily change up my pace of game. It’s a very light shoe at 11.25 ounces so it’s great for me.
What features of the shoe do you like best after playing in them?
I like that when you are wearing them, they don’t really weigh you down. The colorways match my uniform. I feel like it made me quicker, change directions and stop on a dime/make better moves.
You recently signed to adidas. How’s the relationship been going on so far?
It’s great. We just picked up and just got it going. adidas and I just brought it together and we just want to go forward in helping me build my brand, helping me pushing adidas and to just keep going to see what we can do. First thing we did was come up with the Crazyquick. I was the first person to unveil it and was the first person to push their line. So it’s going great so far.
Just an overall question about footwear in general. Obviously, a lot of technology is coming out, whether it’s the adizero crazy light, the BOOST… What are your thoughts on all of this?
I think it’s great. I’m the first person to push the Crazyquick line so it’s something we’ve talked about. The Crazyquick is going to change my game by making me quicker than my opponent, making the job a little easier for me.
Any last thoughts?
I just enjoy the shoe!