Sole Provider, Nike’s book on the history of their basketball line, mentioned that the original mold for the sneaker cost $750,000 and has since been destroyed. Daewoo, the car manufacturer, was the first to successfully build the mold that allowed for liquid and fabric that provided the adequate stretch and stability for the material. Once it was finally made, the price tag on the shoe was close to $200, which was astronomical, especially considering that it was 1997. The price tag has stayed the same at retail for today’s retro models, but some colorways for the Foams, like Dirty Copper, have hit double the retail price when sold on ebay.
Supposedly, Eric Avar, who worked for Nike, was showing Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway shoes for Penny to explore as possible signature models. After sifting through a few prototypes, Penny asked what a cast-off bag that he never even opened held inside. Avar initially dismissed the importance of the bag, but Penny persistedâ€”he wanted to see what was in there. Avar pulled out the completed Air Foamposite 1, and Penny exclaimed, “This is what I want!” The shoe was first released in royal blue and black to match his Orlando Magic uniform, and the rest is well-chronicled history. Penny rocked the Foamposite and it made people’s necks snap when they were released to the public. Some detested the design, while others loved the forward-thinking mold that people compared to a beetle or roach. During the University of Arizona’s championship run, Mike Bibby, the standout Wildcat point guard, wore the audacious blue Foamposites, and gave the shoe even more exposure.