Adidas CrazyTrain Boost Elite Shoe Review

Adidas hit the training market in a big way earlier this year with the CrazyPower TR. In all honesty, they didnt have to do too much to attract all the sneakerheads already riding the Adidas train. Even though I thought the CrazyPowers were good shoes, they were a bit boring for my liking and didnt do enough to pull me away from my current favorite training shoes. Once again out of the blue, the Adidas CrazyTrain Elite popped up on Roadrunnersports.com, much like the CrazyPowers did. Pretty vague in description once again, but this time around there was a distinguishing feature that set the CrazyTrains apart from any training shoe before Boost.

Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical about the inclusion of a full length Boost midsole on a training shoe. After all, Boost by nature is designed to be soft and comfortable the antithesis of an effective training shoe. Either way, I knew I had to give it a shot, on one hand because Boost, and on the other because I had a feeling Adidas wouldnt release their flagship training shoe, subpar. Keep in mind, Im by no means an Adidas Boost mega-fan; I do own Ultraboosts, Pureboosts, and NMDs, but I dont think theyre the end all be all shoe.

Untitled

Looks/Construction:

These quite possibly might be the best looking training shoe of all time.(In my humble opinion of course.)

The CrazyTrains have a distinctly Adidas look about them, similar to Ultraboosts, but its like they took the silhouette and pumped them up with PEDs. Though its no Primeknit, the one piece Close-knit woven upper is comfortable, looks clean and is very flexible. The package feels beefy and rugged for training, but still remains sleek enough looking to wear on the streets. There are bits and pieces of TPU that cover higher wear areas like the toe or places where you need more support, but overall the upper is primarily Close-knit. I think my favorite part of the upper is the rear pull-tab, thats very much like the one on Ultraboosts. Its simple, effective, and gives the shoe a more finished and modern look. Construction is on point, my pair had no signs of loose glue or stitching anywhere to be found.

​On the bottom, youll find an outsole almost identical to the on the womens CrazyPower trainer, which strikes me as odd because I thought the mens outsole of that shoe was a little more versatile. The main difference was that the mens had areas where the tread protruded versus the just flat surface of the womens (and CrazyTrain). Either way, the outsole does a great job in holding whatever surface youre training on and I never felt like I was at a loss of footing. Another thing that carried over from the womens outsole is the lip that extends out on the lateral sides of the shoes, giving you a little bit more of a platform without adding bulk. Theres no sign of Adidas Traxion anywhere, but the rubber feels the same for what its worth.

Fit:

Adidas sizing is typically all over the place, which I think is generally an issue with all the different types of uppers that they use for their shoes. Materials like Primeknit make sizing a little bit more forgiving, whereas the normal NMD upper isnt quite as. The Close-knit woven upper on the CrazyTrains arent like either and feels more like a normal shoe upper. Sizing on the CrazyTrains run a little bit on the large side, but depending on your foot, it might not warrant a size down. I got these shoes in a 9.5 and I have a little bit of room in the toe area, but with my Mortons toe, its comfortable. If you do not have Mortons toe, where your second toe is longer than your big toe, size them down a half.

The shape of the shoe most closely resembles the Nike Metcon 2 so overall, I would just say size them exactly the same as that shoe. These are not narrow shoes by any means and they dont have much in the way of arch support.

My sizing for reference:

Ultraboost 9.5 or 10PureBoost 9.5NMD 10CrazyPower 9.5Metcon 3 10 (I started sizing this shoe up)Metcon 2 9.5Nano 10

Untitled

Performance:

The burning question in everyones minds:

Can Adidas make an effective training shoe, with Boost?

Honestly, I was a bit skeptical about this myself, but at the end of the day, Boost is just another midsole material that can be made into pretty much any density. Its made to be responsive and its Boost pellets are supposed to deform more naturally to fit your feet. The degree in which the Boost cushions in the CrazyTrains is the real question, and how they could stiffen up the rest of the chassis.  Upon first putting your foot into the shoe, youre going to notice that the insole compresses, but when you start moving around, youll find that the midsole doesnt compress, almost at all. You can compress the Boost on the outer rim of the shoe, but if you try to push down on the inside of the shoe, it doesnt go anywhere. In no way, can you even compare the stiff Boost in these shoes to the comfortable midsole of the Ultraboost.

So, whats the point of having Boost in a shoe if its not ultra-plush and comfortable? At the end of the day, Boost is a running shoe technology made for high energy return. Running and jumping movements in the CrazyTrains feel extremely responsive, better than almost every shoe Ive tested so far this year. The feeling inside the shoe is similar to the springy drop-in midsole of the Nike Metcon 3, but is more comfortable since Boost is more flexible. The midsole does a great job attenuating shock from landings better than most shoes without being cushy, your joints will thank you. Unlike Ultraboosts, the CrazyTrains have more structure thats created by the TPU midsole casing on the lateral side and the TPU bar on the medial side. Basically, the stiff Boost midsole also has a shell which adds rigidity necessary for a solid training shoe.

Untitled

Lifting in the CrazyTrains feels as solid as it would in minimal shoes, though they are slightly taller than other training shoes. The midsole doesnt compress even under the heaviest weights, giving you an extremely solid platform to lift with. Blindfolded, you wouldnt even know these shoes used Boost. The TPU bar doesnt allow for much flex in the middle area of the shoe and the built in heel counter keeps your foot in place, giving you tons of lateral stability. Im still waiting on word back from Adidas about the drop, but it couldnt be anything more than 3-4mm; the shoes feel flat an neutral. I was able to work up to all of my 90%+ lifts (385BS, 215Sn, 265CJ) with no issues of stability and nothing in the back of my head telling me to change shoes. When I put the CrazyTrains up against some of its top contenders, I found that I liked the way they felt better, almost on par to my favorite training shoes, the Nano 6.0s. These are serious lifting shoes.

​Like all the best lifting shoes out there, where the CrazyTrains start to suffer is in running. The wide shape of the shoe feels clunky, but theyre not awful to run because the flexibility of the forefoot. Unlike the CrazyTrains running counterparts, these shoes do not have a plush ride at all and the only cushioning you get is the amount from the insole. Even though theyre not soft, the CrazyTrains still have a very responsive ride which still works well for sprints, bounding, and the shorter runs found in WODs.

Where the CrazyTrains really suffer, is the weight of the shoes. I weighed them at 13oz per a mens 9.5, which is much heavier than its peers. Truth be told, I didnt really notice the weight since the shoes feel so responsive. Youll definitely notice the weight compared to NoBulls or Inov-8s, but not so much against Nanos or Metcons.

​Value/Conclusion:

At $140, the CrazyTrains retail for a little bit more than most of the top training shoe choices and $20 more than Adidas first true training shoe drop, the CrazyPower. Anything with Boost is considered a premium product, the CrazyTrains shouldnt be any different, so its not surprising to see the hike in price. Honestly, $10 isnt such a huge deal to me but some might be put off by this. If youre an Adidas fan, this isnt going to be a big deal to you either. Even though the CrazyTrains are excellent performing shoes and quite possibly my favorite pick at the moment, theyre not leagues better than their peers. If youre looking for bang for the buck, you could probably look elsewhere because other top training shoe choices usually still cost less.​

​To my utter surprise, the CrazyTrains ended up being my favorite training shoe of the year so far. They look great and performance is top notch for all things CrossFit, especially in the lifting area, but the most important thing is that they just feel good. Including Boost in the shoe seems just like a marketing tool in the case of the CrazyTrains, since it doesnt really work like it does on Adidas other shoes. Hearing that is going to turn Boost-heads off, but will turn serious lifters on to these shoes.  Big ups to Adidas for not making a shoe with Boost that you werent able to train in, just to make sales. This shoe legitimizes Adidas stance in the training shoe game (which might be good for Reebok at the end of the day).

Since Reeboks Nano 6.0s are still out of the picture, I cant really recommend them anymore. Right now, the Adidas CrazyTrains are riding at the top of my favorite training shoe list. If youre still skeptical of a Boosted training shoe, try them out! RoadRunnerSports.com offers a 90-day trial period, but Im sure youll be just as surprised (in a good way) about the performance of the CrazyTrains.

Purchase your Adidas CrazyTrain Boost Elites here!

Filed under: Crossfit, Shoe Reviews Tagged: adidas, best crossfit shoes, best training shoes, boost, crazy power, crazypower, crazytrain, crazytrain boost elite, crazytrain elite, crossfit, crossfit shoes, elite, fitness, metcon 3, nano, nike, nmd, pureboost, reebok, romaleos, training, training shoes, ultraboost img_4913img_4960.trimimg_49421080p-24

The Truth Behind the Rise of Wool and Hugh Howey

Our investigation into Hugh Howey continues. “Hugh Howey” self-published his first book as Hugh Howey in 2009. The effort was a complete failure, though highly rated by Howey’s fake accounts and bought mostly by friends and relatives badgered into buying.

With sales in the single digits, Howey kept writing, using his fake accounts to sing his own praises wherever anyone would listen. Despite his fakery and deceptive practices, his zombie fiction and other early works published between 2009 and 2011 remained complete failures. Read by few, with no one but Hugh Howey himself talking about them.

Increasingly bitter and angry, Hugh Howey used his fakes to target other authors, especially ones who seemed successful. In particular, Howey seemed to be set off by anyone talking about their sales or success. Oddly his diatribes were mostly about how the authors were self-published, fakes or frauds, which was strange coming from Howey who was all of those things.

Untangling the webs of Howey’s fakes wasn’t easy and even though we’ve put months into the research we doubt we’ve found even a fraction of the total. One of the most interesting finds was that some of the fake accounts pre-date his first self-publishing efforts.

By 2011, Hugh Howey had completed Wool. Instead of publishing the book as a single work, Howey broke the book into 5 parts: Wool 1, Wool 2, Wool 3, Wool 4 and Wool 5. When Howey self-published Wool 1, pretending as if it was a short story, his deceptive practices and fakery went into over drive. Instead of a few fakes singing his praises, there was a chorus of many. This happened almost as soon as, and in some cases even before, the release of Wool 1.

Wool 1 is about 50 pages. In Wool 1, the so-called sheriff of a post-apocalypse missile-silo town climbs a set of stairs, decides to go outside (which is of course forbidden) where he finds what readers believe is his dead wife. There are no real characters. There’s no real action. There’s not much of anything really. And yet, Howey had his fakes out in mass singing his praises endlessly.

Howey self-published Wool 1, Wool 2, Wool 3, Wool 4 and Wool 5 in rapid succession. Offering each for .99, before making Wool 1 permanently free and creating a so-called Wool omnibus.

Go read the early fake reviews of Wool 1, Wool 2, Wool 3, Wool 4 and Wool 5. They’re hilarious. While you’re reading the fake reviews, note how no one complains about Howey chopping 1 book into 5 parts and just about every fake reviewer talks about the parts as if they are complete works when they’re not.

Conning readers into believing Wool was 5 complete works was part of the hustle. It was the whole reason for the so-called omnibus.

At some sites, Howey listed a page count for individual parts as if the parts were hundreds of pages long. This was another way to con readers into buying what they thought were full-length works.

Here’s where things get even more wacky with Hugh Howey buying his way onto bestseller lists multiple times, as we discussed in earlier postings. Not just that but Howey then hired public relations teams to create media frenzies around Wool.

The linchpin of the PR strategy revolved around how Hugh Howey is the messiah of the new self-publishing movement, how he’s a Kindle superstar who “sold” a million copies of Wool.

Nothing in the PR frenzy Howey manufactures talks about how he chopped 1 book into 5 pieces or how it’s actually the pieces that together “sold” a million copies. Nothing in the PR frenzy talks about how many copies of Wool 1 were counted as “sold” but were really given away as part of Wool 1 being permanently free.

The real numbers tell the real story and for the time they looked something like this:

Wool 1 – 400,000Wool 2 – 200,000Wool 3 – 150,000Wool 4 – 100,000Wool 5 – 100,000Wool Omnibus – 45,000Shift 1 – 80,000Shift 2 – 60,000Shift 3 – 40,000Shift Omnibus – 27,000

It’s hard to determine precisely how many copies of Wool 1 were given away in this time, though based on other books that rose as high in the free rankings it’s easily 2/3 to 3/4 of the “solds”. What you also can tell from these early numbers is a lot of readers were getting sucked in by the fakery and the manufactured PR frenzy, but fewer and fewer readers were continuing with the Wool saga.

If Hugh Howey’s scams and schemes had collapsed under him back then, Zon Alert and Fiverr Report likely wouldn’t have uncovered his fraud. But his fraud continued unchecked and continues still.

Filed under: amazon, authors, books, hugh howey, The Fiverr Report, unethical authors Tagged: Abuse, amazon alert, Author, cheating authors, hugh howey, unethical author

New 2017 Kokopelli Inflatable Packraft Lineup

We recently received news on the new 2017 Kokopelli lineup of inflatable packrafts.

Kokopelli Packraft with Spray deck

For those unfamiliar with the term, “packrafts” are loosely defined as a an inflatable raft weighing under 10 lbs, that can easily be packed/rolled up, making them a great choice for accessing remote locations. While the sport originated in Alaska, the popularity is rapidly expanding globally.

The 2016 Kokopelli line-up consisted of four whitewater models – the Nirvana and Nirvana XL in self-bailing and spray deck versions – joined by three new Touring series: the Castaway, Castaway XL and Twain two-person version. The Touring Series features packrafts with removable tracking fins, making them better suited for calm water paddling.

new Leafield D7 military valve

While Kokopellis main product lineup is not changing in 2017, several new features come into play. Foremost, all Kokopelli packrafts will come with upgraded Leafield D7 military valves, rather than the current Boston valves. The D7 valve has a shorter internal profile than other valves making it ideal for smaller diameter tubes such as inflatable kayak floors. The seal was also designed to be self-cleaning, reducing leakage risks due to dirt contamination.

All models with Tizip now have a 19 inch opening (up from 16 inches) making it easier to access stored gear.

New French gray color.

The Nirvana Whitewater series also sports a number of changes, beginning with an added color to round out the selection. The new French Gray (more of a desaturated Army gray-green) is for those opting for less visibility. All Nirvana models now will come with a back band, rather than inflatable seat rest, which provides more coverage and lower back support when traversing rapids. Four d-rings have also been added on the inner tube, allowing paddlers to attach optional thigh straps for more responsive handling.

The Nirvana Self-Bailing models have been slightly redesigned with more volume in the stern. This provides more buoyancy and a slightly lower waterline, eliminating water pooling issues. While the majority of Kokopelli packrafts features two main chambers, the Nirvana Self-Bailing with Tizip now has one main chamber, thus increasing the storage area.

The Touring series consisting of the Castaway, Castaway XL and Twain 2 will remain virtually unchanged, except for TiZip increases and the new Leafield D7 military valves.

koko-cast1

Weights range from 7.3 to 13.8 lbs. All models come with an inflation “bag” weighing a mere 4 ounces, though they also can be pumped up using a traditional hand or foot pump. Prices range from $725 to $1099 dependent upon the model and options.

The 2017 models are in-transit, and expected to be available in late February. For more details or to order, visit the Kokopelli Packraft product pages at www.AirKayaks.com.

About Eve Joseph

Eve Joseph

Eve Joseph was born in 1953, grew up in North Vancouver and now lives in Brentwood Bay. Her two books of poetry, The Startled Heart  (Oolichan, 2004)  and The Secret Signature of Things (Brick, 2010) were both nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Award and in 2010 she was awarded the P.K. Page Founder’s Award for poetry. Her work has been published in a wide number of Canadian and American journals and anthologies. Her nonfiction has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards and her essay “Intimate Strangers” was nominated for a National Magazine Award and won both the Malahat Review’s Nonfiction Award and the Western Magazine Awards “Gold” category for the B.C. and Yukon Territories. Of the piece in the Malahat, the final judge wrote: “the essay illuminates one of the great mysteries of the human condition with a supple and often incandescent array of imagery, insight, allusion, even humour – and a daring lack of sentimentality.”

5E Adventure Review: Banquet of the Damned

The town of Womford was made (somewhat) famous to my players by its tales of the Womford Bat in Princes of the Apocalypse. The bat, unfortunately, does not make an appearance in Banquet of the Damned, a new adventure by Benoit de Bernady, save in an appendix, but you do get two feuding bakers, a mysterious fire, and a demonic corruptor.

The early stages of this adventure are an investigation; the adventurers are hired by the local baron to find out who set the fire. The way this is handled is interesting: the actual perpetrator isnt the villain of the piece (or one of their agents), but the heroes investigations lead to the perpetrator being uncovered! Its an unusual technique that pays off. If the players fail to find the clues, theres a rather nasty consequence for Womford, which then propels the heroes back onto the main storyline. Again, this is good design.

The adventure ends with potentially a pair of combats (and possibly an exorcism). In all, it should likely take one or two sessions to play through. Theres a good selection of encounters, and some excellent ideas within.

That said, its not all smooth sailing. The writing, while mostly good, has a few clumsy constructions or repetitions of phrases. One of the main characters, Mortimer Wormstooth, gets a set of contradictory motivations. (Hes bitter, a well-respected philanthropist, and a good man who let a bully define him).

My main problem with the adventure, which I recognise as primarily a stylistic one, is that that its a bit too easy to discover exactly what the adventurers are up against. These days, I prefer, when possible, to not tell the players the exact name of what theyre fighting, instead letting it define itself through its appearance and actions. The demonic antagonist is not one Im familiar with. Its a really spectacular design and the effects of its plots are really creepy. Id rather the players reached the final encounter thinking they were up against a witch, and then discover the true nature of the threat. However, as I said, this is a stylistic preference; the adventure works as written.

Overall, Banquet of the Damned is a strong adventure, well worth investigating. I do suggest you ignore the advice about when to play the adventure. You can play the adventure any time the PCs travel through the village of Womford during the autumn. Place it anywhere you like; theres nothing really stopping you. Waiting for the characters to visit Womford during the autumn? You may have to wait a while!

The CW Releases Black Lightning Trailer

Today at The CW Upfronts, the network released a trailer for Black Lightning, which stars Cress Williams as Black Lightning/Jefferson Pierce.

Check the trailer below:

Synopsis:

Jefferson Pierce made his choice: he hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago, but with one daughter hell-bent on justice and the other a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend Black Lightning.

What a trailer! I dont know about you, but the trailer is pretty lit. Im definitely excited for this show! I think The CW made the right decision by deciding to pickup the pilot. Black Lightning will be apart of mid season 2018 for The CW; however, as of right now the show is not apart of the Arrow-verse.

Along with the trailer for Black Lightning being released, I can announce that Ill be co-hosting a podcast dedicated to the show in DCTVPodcasts Network. Co-hosting along side me will be Constance Gibbs (Feature Writer at New York Daily News), Dorian Parks (Founder Editor-In-Chief of Geeks of Color) and Clement Bryant (Social Media Director of The Marvel Report).

You can check the press release statement here.

Heres all of the info for the Black Lightning Podcast:

Official Website: BlackLightningPodcast.com

Social Media: Facebook – @BL_Podcast – Instagram 

Subscribe: iTunes – Stitcher Radio (Coming Soon) – YouTube – DC TV Podcasts

Contact Us: BlackLightningPodcast@gmail.com

Let us know what you think of the trailer in the comments below! What do you think about the show not being apart of the Arrow-verse? Hopefully, youll follow along for the Black Lightning Podcast!

Black Lightning stars Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, and Christine Adams. The show runners are Mara Brock Akil and Sam Akil; and is produced by Greg Berlanti.

Discover Your History magazine feature

cover discover your historyThrough Sarahs recollections we not only learn about life for a young and determined nurse in 1970s, but also what it was like to live in a time that saw a failing government, strikes, increasing immigration and the struggle for womens rights. It certainly offers a realistic yet at times humourous look into the past. Discover Your History May issue (1)