A brief look at the Nike Air Foamposite

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When back in 1997, Nike released the Air Foamposite, the sneaker landscape was catching a futuristic wave of silhouettes. With staples like the Air Max 97 or the Air Jordan 12 but also outdoor-approved shoes like the Air Humara and Terra series, ’97 was a good year for unique kicks.

One of the most memorable basketball performance sneakers, hands down, was the Nike Air Foamposite. With an impressively high price point of 180 Dollars when it was first released, the eye-catching sneaker was designed by Eric Avar. Inspired by bugs and beetles with a unique construction process that included liquids, special molds, temperatures up to 175 Fahrenheit/70 degrees Celsius, and a new kind of midsole that had to be stronger than previous midsoles, this steep price was easy to justify.  

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While “Foams” were introduced on the hardwood by Mike Bibby during a game of his Arizona Wildcats back in 1997, the shoe was a semi-signature sneaker for Penny Hardaway. Following the success of the Air Penny, the Nike Air Foamposite caught the NBA All-Star’s eye immediately. Equipped with the Penny logo and offered in colors that fit Penny’s Orlando Magic uniform, one of the latest releases by Nike was actually one that had never been released before, the white PE version.

With the release of Penny’s PE (Player Exclusive Sneakers), it’s also notable that he wasn’t the first one to debut the sneaker at an All Star Game, it actually was Tim Duncan, wearing the “Pearl” colorway during the big event in 1998.

After its initial release, Nike continued to push its new Foamposite technology through several silhouettes and new versions. Following the semi-success of the Nike Air Foamposite One, which might have been too futuristic at the time for many, the years to come had the Air Foamposite Max (1998), Air Flightposite (1999), Air Flightposite II (2000) in store as well as Foamposite technologies in the Zoom LeBron IV and LeBron XI.

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Over the last 25 years (and counting), Nike has retroed several original colorways like the Royal Blue version, a “Sharpie” Foamposite One that paid homage to Penny coloring his own pair to make it fit NBA guidelines, “Yeezy” Foamposite Pro, “Stealth” Foamposite One, “Sole Collector” Foamposite One, Nike Air Foamposite One “ParaNorman,” a limited version with NYC-based brand Supreme, Comme des Garcon, and the sought after “Galaxy” Foamposite One. Just to name a few.

Supreme x Nike Air Foamposite One
Comme des Garcon x Nike Air Foamposite One
“Galaxy” Nike Air Foamposite One
“Sole Collector” Foamposite One

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