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Adidas Crazy 97’s unique silhouette draws inspiration from the Feet You Wear technology; integrating a functional yet distinctly-shaped midsole into a flashy design. This shoe used to be called the Adidas EQT Elevation and was first worn on court in a 1997 Slam Dunk Contest by Kobe Bryant who was fresh out of high school. Re-released in 2017, its performance still proves true on-court even 20 years after its debut.
Cushion. The Adidas Crazy 97 has a very light yet comfortable cushioning. The shoe’s design is inspired by the Feet You Wear technology; and although Adidas no longer has the license to use it, the Crazy 97 was still able to retain its midsole shape. Despite the bulky look of the shoe, it keeps one’s feet low to the ground to give an excellent court-feel. The grooves on the shoe make the foot flex naturally; and the rounded edges also bring about stability to the ankle, reducing foot injuries.
Traction. The shoe’s outsole is segmented into three rounded, protruding sections. Not including the midfoot arch support, the double herringbone pattern is molded all over the pods. The outsole uses a solid, durable rubber, so it is very safe to use in both outdoors or indoors, clean or dusty surfaces. For added traction, the forefoot pattern also extends to the sides of the midfoot.
Length and Width. The Crazy 97 fits true to size lengthwise. However, after breaking in, the shoe’s upper will expand quite a bit, and you will have to tighten the laces a little bit more. Thus, if you would like a tighter fit on the upper, it is recommended to go half a size lower.
Lockdown. The shoe features a cage-like midsole that extends to the upper. When the laces are tightened, the midsole clamps the foot down, ensuring a solid lockdown.
Adidas Crazy 97 uses a mix of materials for its upper–high-quality synthetic leather in the main areas of the upper, and a combination of patent leather and nylon fabric on the lateral side and tongue. The shoe uses molded EVA foam in its midsole and a durable non-marking solid rubber on the outsole.
Striking colors and bold zigzag lines are the first things to get noticed on the Adidas Crazy 97. The shoe has come in different colorways since its release; however, the most famous colorway is the Lakers-inspired Purple and Black colorway which Kobe Bryant wore to the 1997 Dunk Contest in Philadelphia.
From the top, the laces are tucked into the tongue area, so as not to take away from the shoe’s flashy design. Holographic logos that interchange with the number 8–the jersey number that Kobe Bryant played in when he was playing for Lakers–and the Adidas Equipment logo can be found on the tongue and on the lateral side of the shoe. The signature three stripes can also be seen on the lateral side of the shoe, and a more subtle one is on the medial side. The Adidas Equipment logo can also be found on the pull tab of the tongue and on the tip of the forefoot.