From the ground up

Nike’s on-court Foamposite silhouette isn’t for everyone. Unveiled in 1997 as a Penny Hardaway signature shoe, the Foamposite has since gone on to become an icon in its own right, thanks to its offbeat design that completely polarizes opinions, and for notorious releases including 2012’s “Galaxy” colorway that literally incited riots, leaving kids getting pepper sprayed by police.

Not long ago, Nike re-released the “Eggplant” Foamposite for the third time, with the last retro taking place in 2010. This year is the 20th anniversary of the original release of the Foamposite, and we’ve seen plenty of re-releases to coincide, including the beloved “Royal,” Copper,” and “Metallic Red” versions.

With that, here are ten Foamposite colorways that helped established the silhouette.

10. Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Fighter Jet” (2013)

There’s plenty to like about the “Fighter Jet” foams, starting with the clever, militaristic “DANGER” and “NO STEP” detailing near the top eyelets. Not only that, but this version was the first ever Foamposite to feature a camouflage pattern, and while certain later patterns are arguably more iconic, this example remains one of the most memorable Foamposite releases, which lands it on this list.

9. Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Thermal Map” (2013)


This 2013 release was one of the most intriguing colorways, with a red-colored thermal map on the upper that makes it not just different from any other Foams, but any sneaker altogether. Playing nicely on the Foamposite silhouette, the colorway is a definite eye-catcher in the right situation. Best of all, there’s some meta-appeal to it, seeing as Foamposites have such an indestructible exterior, and should be able to withstand most weather conditions. Like the “Electric Blue” Foamposites, this colorway has a seasonal appeal as well.

8. Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Safari” (2013)

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This is the closest a Foamposite design has come to incorporating Nike’s famous “Elephant” print, which famously accentuated shoes like the Air Jordan III and atmos x Nike Air Max 1 “Elephant.” The 2013 “Safari” Foams are one of the freshest designs in Foamposite history, lofted up by orange detailing, including an orange mini-Swoosh, as well as an icy outsole, to complete one of the best Foamposite releases of all-time.

7. Nike Air Foamposite One “Gucci” (2015)

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On a few occasions, the Foamposite has truly stuck a chord in pop culure, namely with an Air Yeezy-inspired colorway, or the Supreme x Foamposite pack in 2014. The “Gucci” Foams released in 2015 fall into that category as well, featuring a color scheme that strongly resembles the Italian luxury brand’s color palate of choice. The colorway also perfectly reflected the high-low zeitgeist between streetwear and high fashion, with a certain level of cheeky irreverence.

6. Nike Air Foamposite One “ParaNorman” (2012)

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To start, the glow-in-the-dark outsole on these “ParaNorman” versions certainly cement it in an upper echelon of Foamposite design. Not only that, but the colorway was introduced and rolled out by Nike in truly bizarre fashion.

800 of the “ParaNorman” Foamposites were made available in 2012 as a promotion for the animated comedy horror film of the same name, but you could only win a pair by tweeting your weirdest childhood photo at the official @ParaNorman account. That immediately qualifies this Foamposite as especially different, but salute to the colorway, which is a rare one that we won’t see replicated anytime soon, if ever.

5. Nike Air Foamposite One QS “Tianjin” (2015)

Flight Club

Not every sneaker has a real origin story, but this Foamposite was created as a nod to Chinese basketball culture. The “Tianjin” Foamposites were released in China in 2015 as a tribute to the city of Tianjin, home of the Tianjin Gold Lions basketball team. Aside from the highly-detailed Chinese artwork on the shoe, which includes images of koi fish and lotus flowers, the hyper-pink swoosh and sole are nice delicate touches to the design. In Chinese, the traditional greeting “Prosperity Through The Years” is written on the heel and the insole.

4. Nike Air Foamposite One “Polarized Pink” (2012)

Flight Club

Despite it being a trending hue at the moment, it goes without saying that pink is not for everyone, especially in the form of this outrageous pair of cotton candy-colored Foamposites. Cam’ron himself might even think twice about trying to pull these off. The Foamposite is a shoe that people love to hate, and the “Polarized Pink” colorway defines that trait perfectly. The colorway is such a one-of-one, and stands out amongst all of the craziest colorways that’s ever come out for the Foamposite.

3. Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Pearl” (2010)

Clean is not a word you would typically associate with the Foamposite, but that’s also what makes the “Pearl” colorway one of the best. Originally released in 1997, these are among the cleanest colorways of the Foamposite you will ever find, and they’re considered by many to be one of the OG classics.

Subjective tastes aside, the “Pearl” Foamposites are an important example of sneakers on the silver screen, worn by Ray Allen as Jesus Shuttlesworth in Spike Lee’s 1998 film He Got Game, cementing the colorway as one of the coolest Foamposites of all-time.

2. Nike Air Foamposite One “Eggplant” (2009)

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Featuring a slightly iridescent shimmer, the “Eggplant” Foamposites were treated to a retro release for the third time in 2017. The first “Eggplant” colorway actually came in the form of the Nike Air Flightposite “Eggplant” in 1999, and was widely regarded as one of the best sneakers to hoop in. Foamposite fans no doubt prefer the Air Foamposite One release, with a sleek design making it one of the most effortlessly good-looking pair of Foamposites.

1. Nike Air Foamposite One NRG “Galaxy” (2012)

You knew it was coming. The “Galaxy” Foamposites feature not only a tremendous and outside-the-box colorway, but its 2012 release during NBA All-Star Weekend in Orlando generated so much attention that it single-handedly changed the nature of sneaker hype, and has subsequently been described as one of the most notorious kicks of all time. A literally outer-worldly colorway that is a true showstopper, the “Galaxy” takes its rightful place on this list as the greatest Foamposite colorway of all time.

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  • Words: Alex Wong
  • Main & Featured Image: Nike
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