Under no circumstances could Nike leave the Foamposites out of their “Designs” project. It would be impossible. Originally released in ’97, these “blue blobs” were the brainchild of lead designer Eric Avar who was trying to find the perfect pair of kicks for Penny Hardaway to wear as the Penny III. As legend goes, Penny stumbled across the Foams (read the full story here) and well all benefited from his curiosity.
Hardaway wasn’t alone in making the shoes popular. Actually, Mike Bibby broke them out first as a freshman playing for the eventual NCAA champion Arizona Wildcats (“Floaters and Foams” anyone?). With his play on the court, Bibby helped make the Foams one of the most sought after shoes on store shelves. The hoopers wore them, the dopeboys did too and neither group balked at the insane price tag. Years later, the circumstances are still the same as cats still go cuckoo for Foams.
More shots and Foam stories are available at NikeInc. Below are two ads that I’m really happy to get hi-res versions of. With magazines and subsequent ad campaigns going the way of the buffalo, part of me likes preserving these print relics.