***fixed the heel slip: Project Crazylight 2016**
Executive summary: The CLB 16 is almost perfect but my heel never locked in perfectly like the Kobe IV and is therefore not in my top 5 . Heel slip is minor enough after break in to be acceptable yet annoying. Plays a lot like an upgraded low cut Lillard 2. I‘ll wait for the Rose 7 which I think will be perfect.
Just added a KD 9 vs CLB for those on the fence
Cons: heavy for a low, minor heel slip even after break in, lacing set up not optimal
Sizing: similar to the Lillard 2 go down half a size due to extra length in toe box and the minimalist lacing set up (I write in depth about the lacing in the fit section). Very wide feet may go true to size (I’m a wide footer but still went half size down)
Best for: anyone
Although weight doesn’t matter to me, I wanted to note that at 16 ounces or 456 grams in a size 11,the CLB 16 is on the heavier side especially for a low and isn’t Crazy light anymore. For reference the Curry Two Mid is 14 oz, KD 9 is 13.5, Rose 6 is 17 oz.
Continental rubber is used on the CLB16 just like it was used in the Lillard 2 only this time, Adidas used a better traction pattern that doesn’t get clogged up by dirt.
Well done Adidas!
You know how Apple makes little incremental changes each year rather than give you everything right away ? That’s what Adidas has been doing the past three years with Boost but I think we’ve finally reached the end point.
There is a lot of Boost from heel to toe and you can feel it without even breaking them in. Heel is about the same as the Rose 6 but there is a lot more in the forefoot. Adidas says this is the most Boost they’ve used in a basketball shoe and the proof is in the pudding. Just feels springy yet soft on every step and jump. .
I wasn’t sure how this was going to play out since the Rose 6 needed the Stable Frame and the KD 9 had a little lateral instability. But Adidas figured out a way to keep the Boost feeling like Boost while stabilizing where needed. Rather than plates like Brandblack, Adidas used the “roll cage”to stabilize the forefoot and put more Boost pellets into the shoe so not only is it more voluminous it is also denser. You can see the difference in the pic below.
If you’re worried about the change in density, don’t be because it still feels great; think of Lebron X to Lebron X Elite. I’m not a skinny light weight at 178 pounds of muscle (and fat) and I’m a heavy heel striker so maybe lighter players would notice the difference more. With the extra volume, the shoe does sit higher than the Rose 6 but it plays about the same height as the Lillard 2. Kobe’s and Clutchift do play lower as well. Regardless of height, it is a perfect blend of court feel, responsiveness and impact protection.
The sock liner is thin like previous models but with all the Boost, it doesn’t matter. It’s like putting a bed sheet on top of a king size mattress.
Awesome job Adidas!
*I had a lot of trouble with the fit and heel lockdown suggest trying them on in store, particularly wide footers. Really wish there was a 10 3/4. I put a lot of info below for those who can’t try them on*
This past year, Adidas really has me trying on true to size and half size down. It’s frustrating for me because it has been like that with the Lillard 2, Rose 6, Rose 5 etc.. And you’d think I’d figured out a formula or a consistent size by now.
I went back and forth between my true to size 11 and 10.5 and in the end half a size down worked much better ON COURT. True to size felt better upon try on and casual wear but half size down fit better length wise even though they felt tight in the forefoot initially (they do not stretch as much as the Lillard 2 but they will stretch just enough). My recommendation is:
Go down half a size unless you have extra wide Flintstone feet. I’m a wide footer and still went down half a size. My 10.5 is similar in length and width to the Kobe IV’s in a size 11. Thinner socks will help for wide footers sizing down.
I added some pics of my size 11 CLb 16, Rose 6 and Lillard 2 (my homes are 10.5) to show sizing similarities and differences
The toe box of the CLB 16 is a little more rounded and slightly longer than the Lillard 2. I had about 1/4 size more space in the CLB16 than the Lillard 2. The rounded toe box helps with sizing down.
Like the CLB15, the CLB16 features web straps although there aren’t as many lace loops as before.
The laces are thick and create a lot of friction so they don’t loosen up much during play except the top eyelet, which is annoying but they should have added more lace lace loops anyways. More on lacing below
So all this sounds great, what’s the issue with the fit?
I had a lot of heel slip during the first few wearings before it got reduced to a very minimal level. Every time I thought it was locked in, it wasn’t once I started playing. It was really frustrating because I wanted these to be perfect. I even wore these off court to try and get locked in but to no avail.
The Kobe IV is my standard for heel lockdown in a low and the CLB 16 is close but not quite there. I figured out that part of the problem was the plastics lace straps at the top eyelets needed to be broken in.
They basically wanted to pop open and straighten rather than bend and conform to my foot so I just bent and worked them while I watched TV for about ten to twenty minutes. While you’re at it, also flex the forefoot to help break in the roll cage and Boost. This helped a lot in accelerating break in.
Another alternative is lacing the top one or two eyelet without using the plastic (although it may wear the eyelets down). Or lacing the top eyelet outside in (thanks reader with no name)
The Primeknit version doesn’t have these clips so why do these ?
Photo by l3ennyl3oy503
However even after break in for almost two weeks I never got locked down in either the 11 or 10.5. I only got a true lockdown when I took the insole completely out. I tried playing without the insole and it wasn’t terrible thanks to Boost but defintely not ideal.
I’m sure some people will get perfect lockdown in these but my ankle and heel are very fickle. Lows that locked me in include the Kobe IV, V, VIII, IX, XI, Clutchfit Drive I, KD 8. Yes I excluded the Kobe VI, KD 7, Curry I Low which all had minor heel slippage similar to or less than these. I would have liked to see the heel a little higher becssue those millimeters make a big difference in heel lockdown. Even last year’s CLB was a lot higher
Nike really does an amazing job with heel lockdown in their lows. The design of the ankle collar is bar none in my opinion and I’m not sure why other companies don’t just copy it. Just the right amount of padding and firmness plus the collar height is always spot on.
Another issue I have with the CLB 16 is the lace set up. I guess they took the lace loops out to save weight but at 16 ounces, what’s another one or two ounces ? Guess they don’t want to be called the CrazyFats? It’s all about confidence and self image CLB16.
If you remember last year I did this with the Rose 6
You thought I was crazy but even DRose added a hole in the top.
By going with only 4 lace loops, the upper’s fit is pretty much responsible for holding the midfoot down and that’s where the problem was with my true to size 11.
Here is a typical pattern versus the CLB16
I’m on my toes in both pics above so think of stutter steps or change or direction when playing. You can see the upper open up where there are no lace loops so during play, my foot slides forward which results in a very sloppy feel, not to mention lace loosening. Going down half a size helped remedy the problem since the upper was tighter. The Primeknit version does not have a tongue so maybe that’s why they used this lace pattern? I could make more lace loops myself but then I’d have to buy longer laces and I’d still have the minor heel slip problem so there really isn’t a point especially since the Rose 7 is coming.
The neoprene piece at the heel doesn’t really do anything. It is supposed to help with heel slip I guess but it barely touches the Achilles. I folded it down and couldn’t tell a difference. It should have been used to make the interior padding higher and more secure but instead it’s just a wasted piece of fabric that added weight
The tongue is “articulated” as Adidas says and very little lace pressure can be felt. I could feel some at the top eyelet at my ankle but it went away. Articulated tongues are pretty rare and the last one I could think of was the UA Spawn.
Overall fit is still great once you go down half a size but the minor heel slip annoys me and I know Adidas could have done better with tiny inexpensive changes.
Support and Stabilty
The CLB16 is a true low so the support comes from the fit and the heel counter.
As I’ve always said, I’m ok with a shoe with minimal support as long as it provides an stable base underfoot and the CLB16 does that well. Not only is the midsole more dense, Adidas added a shank as well to keep the foot from twisting
Also worth noting is that the Boost midsole is shaped to add a little arch support. Nice bonus!
Well done Adidas!
The CLB 15 containment wasn’t great because it went for a clean streamlined look and opted not to use a raised midsole. This year’s model said F it and went all in with a huge “Roll Cage”. I guess they took a play out their Barricade tennis line. It isn’t super firm but it works to keep the foot contained since it wraps up so high. Plus it keeps the Boost stable at the forefoot.
I can’t believe Adidas read my article and made this shoe just for me. Just kidding, I’m pretty sure the shoe was made for this #breakfastdefector and one of his goto moves
CLB 16 why Harden went to Adidas
How much of that is true, I don’t know but I known $200 million is a lot of AM crunch wraps
If you’ve ever tried to Eurostep, you put a lot of pressure on the lateral side on the outside foot plant. Definitely didn’t make the roll cage for his defensive effort.
In the end, the roll cage works great. I’m not surprised because I knew companies could do better, they just didn’t want to (Apple incremental improvements remember?)
Well done Adidas !
So so close to perfection. I really wanted to love the CLB16 but the annoying minor heel slip is keeping it out of my top rotation. All of my other shoes have no issues with lockdown but then again they are all mids. Most people won’t notice it but I know it could be better. The shoe excels in every category, especially traction and cushioning but that slippage is like
Maybe the Primeknit version is better since there isn’t a tongue or plastic lace holders? I’m sure I could get used to the slippage but why bother when I have so many other options, not to mention the CLB16’s older cousin, the Rose 6? Plus the Rose 7 will be here soon.
The Rose 7 doesn’t have any weird lace set up although it looks like it could use one more lace loop near the forefoot. Better get my leather hole punch ready!
I highly suggest trying the CLB16 on in store and keep in mind what I’ve noted in my review. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.