Produced by: Dan Hwang
Written by: Jesse Carr
1997 was a landmark year at Nike. It wasn’t just the Air Jordan XII (12) or Scottie Pippen’s first signature model (he’d worn the Air More Uptempo, which we featured as our Re-Fresh model last month). 1997 was marked by the execution of an idea that seemed impossible: attach a sole to a liquid that had been poured into mold and then hardened. The idea was to have the entire upper, mid, and outsole made from a single cast, and bringing the concept into fruition was one of the biggest challenges in the history of Nike. But, after a host of issues that blocked the progress, the Air Foamposite 1 was born, and the footwear game was changed forever.
Many may wear their athletic shoes to the movies, the mall, and maybe even the club. But the purpose of the design of a properly-conceptualized basketball sneaker is to withstand the rigors of a 6 footer who may weigh 200+ pounds sprinting, stopping, leaping, and shifting for extended periods of time over multiple games. In the history of shoe design, no one had ever made or seen anything like the Foamposite, which was designed to hold its shape that was supposed to be very close to the natural shape of the human foot and be incredibly lightweight as well.