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Debuted during this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on the feet of players from the likes of the North Carolina State Wolfpack, Louisville Cardinals, Kansas Jayhawks and, perhaps most notably, the Baylor Bears, adidas recently held an official media launch event in Los Angeles to highlight the upcoming adiZero Crazy Light 2. We here at HYPEBEAST were in attendance and had an opportunity to catch up with Category Designer Robbie Fuller as he shed light on the improvements over the original Crazy Light, the technology within, and the importance of the vibrant colorways both on and off the court. Weighing in at only 9.5 ounces, the adidas adiZero Crazy Light 2 is set to hit retail on May 24 for $140 USD.
Can you introduce yourself for us?
I’m Robbie Fuller, the adidas Category Designer in charge of advanced footwear concepts.
We’re here celebrating the launch of the Crazy Light 2. What’s the main difference between the first Crazy Light and this second version?
We definitely didn’t start over, we built on the platform we had with the first one, but amazingly, it’s lighter than the first one by 0.3 oz. It’s much stronger with the increased sprint frame and the new engineered spring frame. It’s also more intelligent now with miCoach capability and much brighter. We kicked it off with the sharp blue colorway on the Crazy Light 1 and that was a money colorway, so now we’re going with the electricity colorway, which was highlighted by Baylor during NCAA March Madness.
Would you say this shoe was designed for any specific player in mind? I noticed that the toe was a bit narrow. Does it break in well with the “Sprint Web” upper?
It wasn’t designed with one particular signature athlete in mind because normally when you do a signature shoe you need to leave room for inspiration and feedback. For this shoe, it was purely focused on the benefit and the idea of who wants to be fast. Everybody wants to be fast, so this was actually designed for the committee. For the second part of the question, absolutely, because the shoe is so reduced, you need to think of this shoe like a soccer boot. You want to get the size as tight as you because it’s going to stretch out a little. That’s one thing we noticed, due to the form of the shoe you will have to wear it a few times before it molds to your foot.
What’s the importance of vibrant colorways, on and off the court?
The colorways are important because they basically tell the story of the shoe. With the electricity colorway, it’s quite obvious that we were celebrating March Madness and Baylor University. We try to align the color to the story of the shoe. For example, this shoe – the lightest of all time – can’t have quiet colors. It needs to come with excitement and that’s why we did this with the electricity hue, but we also balanced it out with the grey version, just in case you want to wear it with an outfit.
How much of an emphasis do you put on the design of the shoe to be wearable off the court?
Whenever we design a shoe, there’s some apparel to go along with it, so we are designing the whole outfit. At the same time, we know people are not going to go out and buy the whole setup, so we make sure that it can fit with other things, like jeans or whatever we think people can wear with them when they drop. I mean, we do it 18 months out and by that time it’s a whole different season, so we take all things into consideration. We don’t want this shoe to be a trend, but more adopted like how the carabiner was adopted; you don’t need to be hiking to use one. That’s the best thing that could happen to these shoes – they deliver on court and it gets people interested off-court, and hopefully can take off from there.
Obviously in the NBA you can’t get crazy with uniforms all the time, do you think the NCAA is the perfect platform to show new developments with the brand?
That’s exactly it. Instead of pushing from the top down, we wanted to kind of just introduce it to the younger athletes and have them try it out. It’s much easier and faster to get things OK’d and done at the high school level. There we can change up the entire color scheme, whereas with the Bulls we can’t just be like “hey, you’re going to be blue today.” We’re working on that, haha.
Can you talk about miCoach technology and how it adopts to basketball?
miCoach started with running, but now it’s moved to basketball. I think this is the future of bragging rights. I don’t think of it like geeky or numbers, it’s more like “what’s my miCoach score?” It’s almost like SATs. We’ve just introduced it now and all the engineers are doing a great job trying to bring in more ways to explain different information. You will see that growing not only in basketball shoes, but all shoes.
The D-Rose line is often inspired by lifestyle-type colorways. Will we see that with this shoe?
I think it goes back to what’s right for the shoe. I see this shoe less about the individual and more about the game of basketball. It would be a colorway for the industry, that’s what we are trying to do for this shoe. This shoe will help make the sport of basketball faster. Basketball is getting better because of this better product.
Working with athletes, what are some of the things they most look for in a shoe? Any odd requests?
It depends on what stage the athlete is on. Feedback from someone on their second shoe is going to be different than someone who is on their first signature shoe. Rose is still behind Dwight in terms of how many shoes he’s put out, but because we are proving ourselves, they are more open to new ideas. Even with some of the ideas they have, we are like “woooaahhhhh, I don’t know if we should put you in something like that.” So I think once we establish that the shoe will deliver, they will push us towards getting the shoe to stand out from a sea of signature models.
Any last words?
Thanks for coming out. It’s great to be here at the Clippers practice facility. The one we did last year was great and this one is even better. I’m really excited for us to stay disciplined at what we are doing. Let the market trend stuff do its thing and let this stuff just do its own. Trends come and go, but winning is always gonna be cool. If we stick to that, we don’t have to worry about anything. Anytime someone puts on a shoe other than this one and second guesses themselves… score.
Photography: Brandon Shigeta/HYPEBEAST