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Nike

The Nike Foamposite has a legacy like none other. Not only one of the most expensive Nike shoes of its day, the Nike Foamposite also splits opinions like no other footwear design.

Nike has always been synonymous with incredible advances in sneaker tech and aesthetics, and in 1997, the Swoosh unveiled perhaps its most groundbreaking shoe in terms of design: the Air Foamposite One.

In the 1996-97 college basketball season, Nike invited the Arizona Wildcats to its Oregon HQ and routinely sent the team prototype sneakers to try out. And it was during 1997’s crunch March Madness tournament that the Foamposite first appeared on the feet of Mike Bibby and other Wildcats.

Arizona came up against tournament favorites Kansas in the sweet sixteen round, meaning there was a good chance the Foamposites debuted in that tie would disappear as quickly as they’d appeared. But Arizona won and kept winning, meaning their Foamposites kept appearing on the big stage all the way to the championship game against Kentucky, which Arizona won 84-79.

nike air foamposite guide nike foamposite
Getty Images / Getty Images Sport / Brian Bahr

Shortly afterward, the Air Foamposite One debuted on the NBA hardwood. Orlando Magic point guard Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway laced up his Foamposites in early April 2017 as the Magic prepared for the playoffs. The shoes even sparked a minor controversy, with the NBA ruling that the all-blue kicks didn’t match his team’s black uniform. But Hardaway filled in the shoe’s gaps with a Sharpie and kept wearing them.

Part of the Air Foamposite One’s appeal was its lack of dominant Nike branding. With just a tiny white Swoosh on the lateral forefoot side, it wasn’t immediately obvious that it was a Nike sneaker. Standing out more than the Swoosh was Hardaway’s 1Cent logo on the tongue, heel, and outsole, which was first seen on the player’s Air Penny 1 and Air Penny 2 models.

As the story goes, Nike met with Hardaway to show him samples for his next model. But he wasn’t satisfied with any of them — until he saw a bag with the Air Foamposite One prototype inside. Hardaway immediately fell in love with the model, and so Nike turned it into his own. According to Arizona’s Quynn Tebbs, Hardaway wasn’t happy when Arizona players debuted the shoe before him, although equally, there are stories the Foamposite was actually designed with Chicago Bulls’ Scottie Pippen in mind, not Hardaway.

nike air foamposite guide nike foamposite
Getty Images / AFP / CALVIN KNIGHT

Designed by Eric Avar and Jeff Johnson, the beetle-inspired Air Foamposite One was packed with new tech. Labeled “the shoe of the future,” it featured a full-length low-to-the-ground Zoom Air unit. The incredibly light polyurethane upper and midsole surrounded the foot for protection and comfort. A carbon fiber plate provided stability and flexibility in the midsole.

South Korean company Daewoo, better known for making cars, provided the formula for the shoe’s synthetic materials. A synthetic liquid was poured into a $750,000 mold, integrating the upper, midsole, and outsole into one piece. Bizarrely, those original molds were destroyed, with no thought that the shoe might return in future — a costly error. The Air Foamposite One retailed for a staggering $180 on release and a new generation of sneakers was born.

nike air foamposite guide nike foamposite
Getty Images / Getty Images Sport / John McCoy

In fall 1997, the Air Foamposite Pro followed, featuring a jeweled Swoosh on the side and no 1Cent logo. Since 1997, Nike has released almost 100 different Foamposite colorways and countless other models inspired by the original design, including the Air Flightposite, Clogposite, Air Foamdome, Air Bakin Posite, Trainerposite, Hyperposite, and the 1/2 Cent.

The Air Foamposite Pro retro-ed for the first time in 2001. Seven colorways came out over the next five years. In 2007, the Air Foamposite One returned for the first time in four colorways. Among the most covetable Foamposites to follow over the years are the “ParaNorman,” “Doernbecher,” and the 2014 Supreme collab.

List of Foamposites (courtesy of the FoamBook app)

1997

Nike Air Foamposite One “Royal”

foamposite 03 Air Foamposite One Royal nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Pearl”

foamposite 01 Air Foamposite Pro Pearl nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Gum”

foamposite 02 Air Foamposite Pro 'Gum' Goat nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Black/Metallic Silver”

foamposite 06 Nike Air Foamposite Pro Black Metallic Silver nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Voltage”

foamposite 04 Air Foamposite Pro Voltage nike foamposite
Palace

2001

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Varsity Royal”

foamposite 05 AIR FOAMPOSITE PRO B 'VARSITY ROYAL' Flightclub nike foamposite
Palace

2002

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Varsity Red”

foamposite 08 AIR FOAMPOSITE PRO 'VARSITY RED' Flightclub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Black/Medium Grey”

foamposite 09 AIR FOAMPOSITE PRO 'BLACK MEDIUM GREY' FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Pearl”

foamposite 07 Foamposite Pro Whiteblacktrue red FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

2003

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Carolina”

foamposite 06 nike air foamposite pro university blue white midnight navy 0FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

2004

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Black/Medium Grey”

foamposite 10 Air Foamposite Pro All Black StockX nike foamposite
Palace

2006

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Dr. Doom”

foamposite 11 Foamposite Pro “Dr. Doom” Flightclub nike foamposite
Palace

2007

Nike Air Foamposite One “Royal”

foamposite 12 Air Foamposite One Royal 2007 StockX nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Blackout”/”Anthracite”

foamposite 15 Air Foamposite One Anthracite StockX nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Cough Drop”

foamposite 13 Air Foamposite One Cough Drop StockX nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Cactus”

foamposite 14 Air Foamposite One Cactus StockX nike foamposite
Palace

2008

Nike Air Foamposite One “HOH Penny Royal”

foamposite 16 Nike Air Foamposite One HOH Penny Royal Flightclub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Silver”

foamposite 18 Air Foamposite Pro Metallic Silver StockX nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “HOH Dark Army”

foamposite 17 Air Foamposite One Dark Army HOH StockX nike foamposite
Palace

2009

Nike Air Foamposite One “Eggplant”

foamposite 19 Air Foamposite One Eggplant StockX nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Pearl”

foamposite 20 AIR FOAMPOSITE PRO 'PEARL 2009 RELEASE' FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

2010

Nike Air Foamposite One “Copper”

foamposite 22 Air Foamposite One Copper StockX nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Eggplant”

foamposite 24 AIR FOAMPOSITE ONE 'EGGPLANT' FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Cough Drop”

foamposite 21 nike air foamposite one cough drop black varsity red flightclub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Pearl”

foamposite 23 Air Foamposite Pro Pearl StockX nike foamposite
Palace

2011

Nike Air Foamposite One “Royal”

foamposite 29 Air Foamposite One Royal Blue (2011) StockX nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Electric Green”

foamposite 26 Air Foamposite Pro Electric Green nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Pewter”

foamposite 30 Air Foamposite One Pewter StockX nike foamposite
Palace

Foamposite One “HOH Elecrtic Green”

foamposite 31 AIR FOAMPOSITE ONE HOH ELECTRIC GREEN FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Electric Blue”

foamposite 28 AIR FOAMPOSITE PRO ELECTRIC BLUE FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Pine”

foamposite 27 AIR FOAMPOSITE PRO PINE GREEN nike foamposite
Palace

Foamposite One “Sole Collector”

foamposite 25 Air Foamposite One Sole Collector Penny Pack nike foamposite
Palace

2012

Nike Air Foamposite One “Metallic Red”

foamposite 38 Air Foamposite One Metallic Red (2012) nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite NRG “Galaxy”

foamposite 37 Air Foamposite One NRG Galaxy StockX nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Warriors”/”Electrolime”

foamposite 33 Foamposite One Warriors Electrolime nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Gym Green”

foamposite 32 FOAMPOSITE PRO GYM GREEN FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “ParaNorman”

foamposite 36 AIR FOAMPOSITE ONE PARANORMAN PARANORMAN FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Platinum”/”Bright Crimson”

foamposite 34 Air Foamposite One Metallic Red (2012) nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Polarized Pink”

foamposite 35 Air Foamposite One Pearlized Pink StockX nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Stealth”

foamposite 39 AIR FOAMPOSITE ONE STEALTH FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

2013

Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Fighter Jet”

foamposite 11 Air Foamposite One Fighter Jet FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Suns”

foamposite 10 Air Foamposite One Phoenix Suns nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Whiteout”

foamposite 04 Air Foamposite One White Out StockX nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro Premium LE “Camo”

foamposite 02 AIR FOAMPOSITE PRO PRM LE GREEN CAMO nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Sport Royal”

foamposite 05 Air Foamposite One Sport Royal FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Weatherman”

foamposite 08 AIR FOAMPOSITE ONE PRM WEATHERMAN FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Thermal Map”

foamposite Foamposite One 01 Premium Thermal Map FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro Premium “Asteroid”

foamposite 03 Air Foamposite Pro Area 72 Asteroid nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One Premium DB “Doernbecher”

foamposite 09 AIR FOAMPOSITE ONE PREMIUM DB DOERNBECHER Flightclub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Safari”

foamposite 06 Air Foamposite One Safari flightclub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Oregon Ducks”

foamposite 07 AIR FOAMPOSITE ONE PRM UO QS OREGON DUCKS FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

2014

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Spider-Man”

foamposite 1 Air Foamposite Pro Spiderman nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Tech Challenge”

foamposite 9 AIR FOAMPOSITE ONE PRM METALLIC CAMO flightclub nike foamposite
Palace

Supreme x Nike Air Foamposite One “Black”

foamposite 7 Air Foamposite One Supreme Black FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

Supreme x Nike Air Foamposite One “Red”

foamposite 12 AIR FOAMPOSITE 1 SUPREME SP SUPREME FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro Premium “Yeezy”

foamposite 3 AIR FOAMPOSITE PRO PRM YEEZY Flightclub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Shooting Stars”

foamposite 11 AIR FOAMPOSITE ONE SHOOTING STARS PACK FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Concord”

foamposite 2 Air Foamposite One Concord FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Black Suede”

foamposite 8 AIR FOAMPOSITE ONE PRM TRIPLE BLACK FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro Premium “Elephant Print”

foamposite 4 AIR FOAMPOSITE PRO PRM ELEPHANT PRINT FlightClub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Wheat”

foamposite 6 Air Foamposite One Wheat nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Knicks”

foamposite 10 Air Foamposite One Knicks nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Volt”

foamposite 5 AIR FOAMPOSITE PRO VOLT nike foamposite
Palace

2015

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Obsidian”

foamposite 6 Air Foamposite Pro Dark Obsidian Flightclub nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One PRM “Tianjin”

foamposite 10 Air Foamposite One Tianjin nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Chromeposite”

foamposite 15 Air Foamposite One Chromeposite nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Lil’ Posite One “Fruity Pebbles”

foamposite 9 Air Foamposite One White Fruity Pebbles 2017 (GS) nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Metallic Gold”

foamposite 12 Air Foamposite One Metallic Gold nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Gym Red”

foamposite 4 Air Foamposite Pro Red October nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Gone Fishing”

foamposite 14 Air Foamposite One Gone Fishing nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Sharpie”

foamposite 11 Air Foamposite One Sharpie nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Grey Suede”

foamposite 8 Air Foamposite One Wolf Grey Suede nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Gorge Green”

foamposite 5 Air Foamposite Pro Gucci nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Olive Suede”

foamposite 1 nike air foamposite one olive medium olive velvet brown black light bone 042450 1 nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Winter White”

foamposite 7 AIR FOAMPOSITE PRO WINTER WHITE nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Lil’ Posite One “Magma”

foamposite 3 Little Posite One GS Lava nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One “Hologram”

foamposite 15 Air Foamposite One Chromeposite nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Class of ’97”

foamposite 2 Nike Basketball Class of 97 Pack nike foamposite
Palace

Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Blue Mirror”

foamposite 16 Air Foamposite One Blue Mirror nike foamposite
Palace

2016

Nike Air Foamposite One “University Blue”

foamposite 07 Air Foamposite One University Blue nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite One Premium “Northern Lights”

foamposite 08 Air Foamposite One Northern Lights nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Lil’ Posite One “Black Fruity Pebbles”

foamposite 10 Air Foamposite One Black Fruity Pebbles (GS) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Pure Platinum”

foamposite 04 Air Foamposite Pro Pure Platinum nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “University Red”

foamposite 03 Air Foamposite Pro University Red nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite One “Wu-Tang”

foamposite 06 Air Foamposite One Wu Tang Optic Yellow nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite One “Olympic”

foamposite 01 Foamposite One Olympic nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Ben Gordon”

foamposite 05 AIR FOAMPOSITE PRO BEN GORDON nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Lil’ Posite One “Halloween”

foamposite 09 Air Foamposite One Halloween (GS) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite One “Night Maroon”

foamposite 02 Foamposite One Night Maroon nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Dr. Doom”

foamposite 07 Air Foamposite Pro Dr. Doom (2016) nike foamposite
StockX

2017

Nike Air Foamposite One XX “20th Anniversary Royal”

foamposite 10 Air Foamposite One Royal Blue XX 20th Anniversary (2017) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Lil’ Posite Pro “Fruity Pebbles”

foamposite 09 Air Foamposite One White Fruity Pebbles 2017 (GS) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Vachetta Tan”

foamposite 05 Air Foamposite Pro Vachetta Tan nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Silver Surfer”

foamposite 02 Foamposite Pro Silver Surfer nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite One “Copper”

foamposite 17 Air Foamposite One Copper (2017) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite One “Metallic Red”

foamposite 11 Air Foamposite One Metallic Red (2017) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Fleece Wool”

foamposite 04 Air Foamposite Pro Wool Fleece nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite One “Eggplant”

foamposite 16 Air Foamposite One Eggplant (2017) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Lil’ Posite Pro “Nerf”

foamposite 06 Air Foamposite Pro Nerf (GS) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Island Green”

foamposite 03 Air Nike Foamposite Pro Island Green
StockX

Nike Lil’ Posite One “Vamposites”

foamposite 01 Lil’ Posite One Vamposites nike foamposite
Nike

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Metallic Gold”

foamposite 08 Air Foamposite Pro Black Metallic Gold nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite One “Legion Green”

foamposite 13 Air Foamposite One Iridescent (W) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Lil’ Posite One “Hey Penny”

foamposite 12 Air Foamposite One Lil' Penny (GS) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike WMNS Air Foamposite One “Shine”

foamposite 15 Air Foamposite One Iridescent (W) nike foamposite
StockX

2018

Nike Air Foamposite One PRM “Abalone”

foamposite 19 Air Foamposite One Abalone nike foamposite
StockX

Nike WMNS Air Foamposite One “Chrome”

foamposite 17 Air Foamposite One Chrome White (W) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite One “CNY”

foamposite 14 Air Foamposite One Lunar New Year 2018 (W) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Lil’ Posite One “White Ice”

foamposite 3 Lil’ Posite One White Ice nike foamposite
Flight Club

Nike Air Foamposite Pro QS “All-Star”

foamposite 8 Air Foamposite Pro All Star (2018) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite One XX QS “Big Bang”

foamposite 18 Air Foamposite One Big Bang nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Lil’ Posite One “Easter”

foamposite 1 .Nike Air Foamposite One Easter 2018 GS 1100x700 nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Lil’ Posite One “Space Jam”

foamposite 9 Air Foamposite One Space Jam (GS) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite One “Elemental Rose”

foamposite 10 Air Foamposite One Rust Pink nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Lil’ Posite One “Fuschia Blast”

foamposite 4 Lil’ Posite One Fuschia Blast nike foamposite
Flight Club

Nike WMNS Air Foamposite One “Particle Beige”

foamposite 11 Air Foamposite One Particle Beige (W) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Lil’ Posite Pro “Gym Blue”

foamposite 6 Air Foamposite Pro Gym Blue (GS) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike WMNS Air Foamposite One “Summit White”

foamposite 13 Air Foamposite One Marble (W) nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Sequoia”

foamposite 5 Air Foamposite Pro Sequoia nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite One “Denim”

foamposite 16 Air Foamposite One Denim nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite One “Habenero”

foamposite 15 Air Foamposite One Habanero Red nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Black/Metallic Gold”

foamposite 7 Air Foamposite Pro Black Metallic Gold nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Lil’ Posite One “Iridescent”

foamposite 2 Little Posite One PS Iridescent nike foamposite
GOAT

Nike WMNS Air Foamposite One “Obsidian Glitter”

foamposite 12 Air Foamposite One Obsidian Glitter (W) nike foamposite
StockX

2019

Nike Air Foamposite One “Midnight Navy”

foamposite 3 Air Foamposite One Navy Gum nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite One “Floral”

foamposite 2 Air Foamposite One Floral nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Lil’ Posite One “Hornets”

foamposite 7 Lil’ Posite One Hornets nike foamposite
Nike

Nike Air Foamposite One PRM “Doernbecher”

foamposite 1 Air Foamposite One Doernbecher 15th Anniversary nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite One MT QS “Memphis Tigers”

foamposite 6 Foamposite One MT QS Memphis Tigers nike foamposite
Flight Club

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Hyper Crimson”

foamposite 5 Air Foamposite Pro Color Shift nike foamposite
StockX

Nike Air Foamposite One “Snakeskin”

foamposite 4 Air Foamposite One Snakeskin nike foamposite
StockX
Words by Drew Hammell

New York-based sneaker commentator perpetually stuck in the ’90s.