Hopefully you had the chance to check out my recap of my trip to Los Angeles this week. Adidas brought me out and showcased their newest game-changing product, the adiZero Crazy Light 2. We had a behind-the-scenes look at what went into the shoe and how they were able to create something so popular and yet, so light. Then we hooped in the sneakers, and I can say they’ll definitely be in my rotation.
In L.A., I had the chance to sit down with lead designer Robbie Fuller and one of the sneaker’s sports researchers, Alicia Davis, to discuss the process of creating the lightest sneaker in the game.
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Dime: How long would you say this process has been in the works?
Robbie Fuller: “It’s just the continuation of the adiZero family and this focus on light. Lawrence (Norman), when he came in and took over basketball five years ago, he said we want to be one step faster. But this particular shoe, I would say has been two years in the making. There are some pieces on it where the technology, we had been working on continuously. But in general, I’d say about two years on the shoe.
Dime: You mentioned you want it done “bright but right.” Can you explain that?
RF: It’s such an amazing performance shoe. It’s the ultimate. It’s the best. We wanted to celebrate that. So I think it’d be easy to blanket the whole thing but we balanced it a little bit. We got some of that black and white to it, which helps to balance the color. So it’s still definitely loud and proud on court but when you hold it in your hand, it’s got more texture to it because of the mix of colors.
Dime: With the first one, you could see through it in some parts. How did that change with this shoe?
RF: Going through the process, looking at this new execution and knowing we’d want to bring a lot of strength to it, and still balance some of that breathability aspect, we highlighted the most important aspect of the foot which is the inside medial area for breathability. We made sure that definitely gets that nice exhaust. But finding through rigorous testing in order to make this new leap in technology, we needed to secure the shoe and the foot as much as possible. I think the first shoe does an amazing job of light and we wanted light and we wanted to add in stability to the shoe.
Dime: This shoe can be used outdoors as well where the first one wasn’t. Can you talk about that?
RF: A lot of the shoe is inspired color-wise but also functionally. With this new herringbone traction pattern, if you look at the first and second one, we’ve kept that same idea of the weighted perimeter where it’s thicker along the outside edge and thinner through the middle. But we changed the cross section so it’s not quite so fine. We also used a high-abrasion rubber. You get this shoe, you’re gonna have high-abrasion. That’s the reason you see this color change from the toe because we were able to use a more abrasion-resistant material in the front, because when you drag we all weigh too much wear going on. We needed to fix that. Everything else about it, from the bottom standpoint, is ready for that outdoor ball. And then you start getting into the materials and execution. The stripes are all reflection. I took little cues from the outdoor industry. You’ll see some of the material: ripstop on the SPRINTWEB. These are little, subtle cues to explain that story and show it’s ready for the indoor, outdoor and NBA court.