Nike Air Foamposite One, 1997
The Nike Air Foamposite One is a shoe that opened minds and assisted a generation of players. What many don’t know is that it was inspired by sunglass protection. During a meeting with Advanced Product Engineering (A.P.E.), a molded sunglass case on the table became a focal point. Made of EVA foam with a fabric cover, the case was lightweight, but it had structure and form. That inspiration was just the start of a three-year endeavor to develop and refine manufacturing techniques that could reach that end goal. It was a total team effort of designers, developers and engineers. A poured PU envelope would create a seamless fluid structure. Add the performance attributes of Nike’s best basketball footwear at the time and you had a radical departure in design — a high-performing shoe with an unorthodox appearance. Picked out by Penny Hardaway himself, an unorthodox icon was born. Adding iridescent colors to the Foamposite was a logical step in the bold new process, showcasing the dimensions of the shoe and its seamless build.