A sneaker industry revolution, Nike’s Foamposite technology was born from a simple “what if” question. What would it look like, wondered designer Eric Avar and Nike’s experimental Advanced Product Engineering group, if you “literally dipped your foot in a liquid bath of material and it just sucked around your foot?”
To build the Foamposite, liquid polyurethane is poured into a mold and heated to 130-175 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s right, this shoe begins as a liquid and is molded into a sneaker. When worn, both movement and body-heat warm the foam-like material and soften the shoe to a conforming fit. While athletes were hesitant about the new design at first, the revolutionary basketball shoes’ futuristic look and feel have endured. First released in a tonal Royal Blue colorway, the beetle-shell-esque shoes dribbled out in a limited selection of metallic, pastel, tonal and two-tone colorways, and later in camo and paint-splatter graphic styles. They were often hard to find and quick to sell out.
In this latest iteration, the sculpted contours of the sleek foam uppers feature a burst of Rugged Orange offset by Blue Void paired with hits of University Gold accents. The seamless, bold orange body contrasts with a deep navy blue padded lace throat, tongue and plush sockliner. Golden highlights stand out in the mini Swoosh logos on the forefoot and the back heel detail, as well as Penny Hardaway’s 1-cent logo on the outsole and tongue.
The newest colorway may pay homage to Hardaway’s time with the New York Knicks. He did, after all, help lead the Knicks to the 1994 NBA Playoffs. Whatever the inspiration, the Air Foamposite 1 sneakers remain standouts in durability, comfort and lightweight, foot-conforming fit.
The upper is attached to a strong and supportive carbon-fiber midfoot plate and a foam midsole. Zoom Air-Sole technology, with its tightly stretched tensile fibers knit inside pressurized Nike Air units, give these basketball sneakers their low-profile cushioning and quick-off-the-floor responsive spring. Durable rubber outsoles are etched with a herringbone pattern to provide optimal traction and multidirectional footwork.