Nike Foamposite history and background.
In the '80s and '90s, Nike was already dominating the hardwood with silhouettes like the Air Jordan 1 and the Dunk High. While it could've just left it there and let the dollar bills roll in, staying still just wasn't in the Beaverton-based brand's DNA. So in 1997, the company's Advanced Product Engineering division, led by Eric Avar, sought to turn the basketball shoe game on its head with a technology like no other, and this is the moment that the Nike Foamposite was born.
However, the entire process was easier said than done. In fact, it took Avar and the A.P.E. team a total of four years to get from the research and development stage all the way to the finished product. During this era, most b-ball models were crafted from a combination of leather and suede mixed in with rubberized elements, so creating an all-new material from scratch wasn't something for the faint of heart. Just when all hope was lost, the crew found an unlikely ally in South Korean car manufacturer Daewoo, who, believe it or now, were the ones who solved the Foamposite riddle.
Soon after, this innovative technology made its way to two silhouettes: the Air Foamposite One and the Air Foamposite Pro. The latter boasted Jewel Swooshes across the side panels, while the former featured a wavy upper that looked like something from an entirely different dimension. Originally made with Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen in mind, fellow NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway, who was regarded as the best basketball player ever at the time, eventually debuted the shoe on the court - and the rest is history.
Whether you're a hardcore Nike Foamposite collector or you're searching for your very first pair, you're in luck, as the Sole Retriever Nike Foamposite Buyers Guide is here to answer all of your questions. What are some of the best colorways and collaborations? What is Foamposite even made of? How do they fit? What do they cost? You'll find out everything you need to know, and more, right here.
What are the best Nike Foamposite colorways?
In the almost-thirty years that the Foamposite has been around, the sneaker community has been blessed with countless coveted colorways. 2021's COMME des GARÇONS x Nike Foamposite One is definitely one of the most iconic CDG collaborations of all-time. Coming in "Black" and "White" color options, Rei Kawakubo completely reworked the upper from the ground up, replacing the classic wavy texture with a water ripple-inspired shell that fell in line with the Japanese label's avant-garde aesthetic. Other collabs worth mentioning include the Supreme project from 2014 which arrived in "Black" and "Red" editions and was decorated with an ornate gold floral pattern. This release was memorable as the authorities had to get involved at the streetwear imprint's NYC and Los Angeles locations due to the massive lines.
The "ParaNorman" is also one of the most sought-after Foams of all-time. Made to commemorate the world premiere of the animated film of the same name, which was produced by Phil and Travis Knight's production company, Laika, only 800 pairs were made globally. If you wanted a pair you had to enter a competition which received thousands and thousands of applicants. Keeping up-to-date with all of these colorways and collabs can be overwhelming especially if you're new to the sneaker world, so make sure that you follow Sole Retriever over on Twitter and download our official Mobile App if you haven't already!
What material is Nike Foamposite made of?
During the '90s, most basketball silhouettes were made from a combination of leather and suede. Every single sportswear company stuck to this formula and no one felt that there was a need to change anything, but in the spirit of Nike's "Just Do It" mantra, Eric Avar and his talented team marched forward with the Foamposite. Basically speaking, this unique hardshell material starts its journey as a polyurethane liquid which is then poured into a mold that reportedly cost $750,000 to purchase. It's then heated to between 130 and 175 degrees Fahrenheit, and once this step is complete, it's carefully attached to the Air midsole.
The upper is then rounded off with a custom finish which can be wildly different depending on the colorway. For example, the "Tianjin" from 2015 and the "Floral" from 2019 both came with gloriously glossy textures, while 2023's "Metallic Red" gives off a vibrant matte sheen. Over the past few years, multiple Air Force 1s and Air Force 2s have also received the Foam treatment, with a highlight being the "International Blue" from 2018. This particular pair was world-renowned as it was engineered for both the hardcourt and the half pipe.
How does the Nike Foamposite fit?
Generally speaking, Foamposites fit on the snugger side, but that doesn't automatically mean you should size up. If you're looking for your very first pair, like the "One Dream A World," you should go true to size. However, if your feet are a little on the wider side then feel free to go half a size up, but we would always recommend just going TTS. It's always best to try on a pair in-store before purchasing to be sure you’re getting the correct size.
How much do Nike Foamposites cost?
When they were first introduced back in 1997, the Foamposite One retailed for $180, while the Foamposite Pro was priced at $170. This was very steep for a basketball at the time. In fact, to put this into perspective, the Air Jordan 1 debuted at $65 and the Dunk High was $60. With that said, considering how much it cost the Oregon-based brand to research, develop, produce, and market the futuristic model, a price premium was certainly to be expected.
Fast forward to today, and things are a little different. The gradeschool-exclusive "Cave Purple" starts at $180, and colorways such as the "Wolf Grey" can cost even more at $230. But it doesn't end there, as retail prices are known to reach towards the $500 mark, for instance, on the aforementioned COMME des GARÇONS collaborations. For your best chance to cop them at retail, follow us over on Twitter and download our Mobile App today.
Where do I buy Nike Foamposites?
Want to add a pair of Foamposites to your collection? Then you're in luck. Most general releases can be bought on release day via Nike, the SNKRS app, and select retailers worldwide, from chain stores, to boutiques, to mom and pop stores. With that said, special collaborations like the aforementioned Supreme and limited editions such as the "All-Star White"will be much harder to come by. Hype surrounding this '90s b-ball shoe is increasing by the minute, so if you still don't have a pair in your rotation, keep it locked to our Twitter and Mobile App and we’ll alert you on upcoming releases, raffles, and a whole lot more!
What’s the hot take?
Even though the Nike Foamposite is almost three decades old, it still looks extremely futuristic even by today's standards. Thanks to the retro sneaker trend that's all the rage these days, the '90s silhouette is making a comeback like no other. Coming in two different forms and a vast selection of styles and colorways, there are also several coveted collaborations to choose from as well. For your best chance to cop, make sure you follow us over on Twitter and download the Sole Retriever Mobile App. We'll be sure to keep you up-to-date with the latest news, release information, and raffle details for the Nike Foamposite and more in the sneaker and streetwear world!