Eric Avar's original idea wasn't to design a shoe but rather to invent a new way of manufacturing them. Following the teachings of Nike's founder Bill Bowerman, Avar planned something unheard of and tried to achieve it. While Bowerman was trying to make a sneaker that would disintegrate during the race, Avar's idea consisted in a liquid material that surrounded the foot and solidified to fit perfectly. One-piece, seamless.
To reach his particular vision, Avar developed a new system together with the Advanced Product Engineering (APE), a small group of Nike designers that worked autonomously. Instead of the classic formula in which the different pieces are cut and glued together, they created a mold of material on which liquid polyurethane was poured, a material that until then was only used in midsoles.
The construction of those Foamposite looked more like a sculpture than a classic shoe, so an unexpected ally with experience in car manufacturing, Daewoo, was involved in the development. Together they created a sneaker that seemed to surpass everything known until that moment.
The history of the Foamposite took two different paths after a casual encounter with the NBA star Penny Hardaway that was about creating what should be his next sneaker. Eric Avar showed him some of the models he was working on, but Penny was impressed with the Foamposite, even when it hadn't been designed for him. In that moment, the Foamposite became Penny Hardaway's next sneaker.
Baptized as Foamposite One (it was the first Foamposite, but also Anfernee Hardaway's number and a reference to its nickname, Penny), Nike used the same mold for the Foamposite Pro, which followed the lines of the original design but avoided any relationship with a particular player. The main differences were the “Jewel swoosh” on the side, some changes in the outsole and the elimination of the references to Penny.
Baltimore, the city that sparked the rebirth of the Air Force 1, was also the first to adopt a model that we would later see at the foot of Jesus Shuttlesworth (the role of Ray Allen in He Got Game) and a multitude of NBA players. A new manufacturing process and a style that have evolved thanks to new development techniques and special editions. Those first colors, re-edited as the classics deserve, are now revived in a new colorway.