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The Nike Air Foamposite One Is Still Ahead Of The Curve

Le 20 septembre 2018, 11:35 dans Humeurs 0

In 1997, everything about the Nike Air Foamposite One screamed future. 20 years later, it’s still screaming.

Eric Avar, the mind behind the Foamposite and Kobe Bryant’s partner in crime at Nike a few year later, had an interesting inspiration for the shoe – a beetle. Or to be more specific, the skeleton of a beetle. Usually when you hear about stories behind the design, it’s man-made stuff like cars, planes, etc. Nope, the Foams were inspired by a beetle. The shoe was the result of Avar being ahead of the curve.

The actual making of the Foamposite forced Nike to look outside of the box. Because the material that was to be used on the shoe was unlike anything Nike had worked on before, it required a wholly different method than ever before, so they tapped car manufacturer Daewoo to help devise a method in making it a reality. You’ve no doubt heard the story of the $750,000 mold that was created just to build the Foams, but let that sink in for a second. Nike spent $750,000 – not including all the money burned on research and development – just to create something that was at the time yet to be proven to work. The process – which took two years to go from concept to reality – was not only out of this world, but it could have been out of reach if Nike hadn’t taken that gamble. To get to the future, you need to take some risks sometimes.

For such a revolutionary and highly experimental shoe, Nike needed an athlete who represented not where the game was but where it was going. So it made sense that they were going to have Scottie Pippen launch the Foams. That’s right, one of the great sneaker “what ifs” is who Foams should have gone to. According to legend, Avar wanted Pippen to wear the Foams but Penny wanted them for himself when he caught a peek of them in a design meeting. Penny had the foresight and Nike let him have it, breaking from his own signature shoe line to rock them.

Penny wasn’t the only the player of the future that would earn the distinction of debuting the Foams to the world. The 1997 Arizona Wildcats all received pairs of the Royal Blue Foams during their run to the National Championship, but Mike Bibby was the only star who actually put them to use on the court. At the time, many believed Bibby to be the next superstar point guard. So the shoe of the future was being worn by the point guard of the future. Makes sense, right?

The Shoe Game
It wasn’t always easy for the Foamposite, of course, as while it might have been futuristic, it was maybe too futuristic for many. With a premium price point and a look that nobody was feeling, there was a time when you could find them at Nike outlets in the middle of the 2000s. It would take a mix of nostalgia, Wale, hip-hop, and the DMV to bring the shoes back to the forefront. A new and futuristic colorway, the Eggplant, might have also helped matters too.

In 2012, the sneaker world was shaken up when graphics appeared on the Foamposite for the first time with the release of the Galaxy during NBA All-Star Weekend. It set the stage for the future of the Foams, as many more colorful takes on the shoe would follow. It was impossible to follow up the Galaxy, but Nike tried their damnedest to hope lightning would strike twice.

Now we see Foams of all kinds sit in stores once again, much like we did before it’s late 2000s revival. This time around, they’re sitting because sneakerheads have shifted in favor of sneakers with minimalist design and maximum comfort, whether it be adidas NMDs, Nike Lunarcharges or even New Balance 247s. But don’t count the Foams out as we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Royal colorway this past weekend. Between the expected rollout of new Foams in 2017 and kids once again looking for what’s new and fresh, we could be at the cusp of the cycle starting once again for the shoe. And if not, then 20 years as the sneaker of the future is not a bad title to have, right?

NikeCourt Air Zoom Zero HC Performance Review

Le 17 septembre 2018, 11:58 dans Humeurs 0

The NikeCourt Air Zoom Zero HC, while noticeably labeled as a tennis shoe, is definitely more than a one trick pony. How so you ask? We’re here to find out.

Traction on the NikeCourt Air Zoom Zero HC was superb. The refined rubber outsole grabbed and gripped the ground through every movement thrown at it. Whether it be on the basketball court, tennis, handball, racquetball, and/or volleyball (yes, this shoe should work for many sports) you’ll be covered.

The heel-to-toe transition didn’t have any problems either due to midsole shaping and the aggressive triangular gridded pattern underfoot that allowed me to stop on a dime. This is definitely one of the best aspects of the shoe, but it isn’t the only one.

This is the first time we’ve seen a curved in Zoom Air unit, let alone one that runs full-length. The top-loaded Zoom Air unit is felt directly under the heel and slowly transitions down at the midfoot to make the forefoot area bottom-loaded. By doing this, the wearer should get enough cushioning and be able to turn the pressure of each step into energy for the next movement.

My experience in the NikeCourt Air Zoom Zero HC was fantastic. There was ample feedback without loss of impact protection on landing — it’s just awesome. As a big man who plays an inside-outside game, I really appreciate the ingenuity and thought process that provided such a joyous experience in a multi-sport shoe. Now, let’s see if Nike will transition this technology into actual basketball shoes?

A single-piece mesh upper backed with a neoprene bootie-like sleeve gave the shoe a real nice and different feel. There was some fusing and rubberized materials along the toecap around the medial side to provide durability, especially for those that juke heavily and/or drag their toes.

The rest of the shoe is made up of a soft yet durable midsole that holds the comfortable and responsive curved Zoom Air unit. Beneath that is a very durable and aggressive patterned. The Nike Air Foamposite One Chromeposite features a combination of things that work well in unison — and that’s all we can ask for.

The fit of the Air Zoom Zero HC excels. While putting on the shoe was quite a struggle at first (lack of heel pull tab), once you’re in you’re set. I went true to size and even with a slightly wider-foot, the shoe fits well with a minor break-in period. Loosening the two front area laces a tad helped ease the break-in, especially for those who don’t like materials pressing down into their foot.

The feel of the foot being propelled forward due to the curved Zoom takes some adjustment, but once your feet are contoured into the shoe it’s fantastic. There is a fused strand along the top of the mesh material (above where the neoprene tongue meets) which I’m not fond of because of some pinching, but that’s probably due to the shape of my feet. I definitely wouldn’t consider half a size down because it fits well. The Air Zoom Zero HC definitely gives me a Nike Hyperchase-like feel in terms of how the foot fits the shoe — and that’s definitely not a bad thing.

The support comes directly from the great lockdown the shoe provides, along with the curved full-length Zoom Air cushioning. No matter what sport (basketball, racquetball, handball, volleyball, and tennis) or what movements you throw at it, the Air Zoom Zero HC held its own and then some. The solid rubber traction utilized on this shoe is what I wish all other Nike models would take queues from.

The notion that specific shoes are made exclusively for specific sports is always around. However, the Air Zoom Zero HC, while made for tennis, was definitely made for so much more.

From the build and thought process to the design and materials, this shoe hit on nearly every aspect necessary for me to perform at my highest level — without wavering in confidence, regardless of the sport I played in it. The curved Zoom is something that Nike can build on in future models because it is a game changer in terms of cushioning and responsiveness (as long as it’s done right).

To be honest, the Air Zoom Zero HC was one of my favorite shoes to play in; the shoe was fun, and it gives you a sense of direction the Swoosh is headed. It might be adding a lot of future expectation, but if this is just the beginning of what a performance tennis (or multi-sport) shoe can be then I’m all in.

Perhaps Nike’s  KD 11 basketball and tennis divisions can link up, and somehow, some way, throw their ideas together to create the ultimate performance shoe, regardless of the sport. I don’t see why not, but only time will tell. If it does, I’ll definitely be ready to test that shoe. In the meantime, NikeCourt Zoom Zero HC 2, where you at?

20 Things You Didn't Know About the Nike Foamposite

Le 14 septembre 2018, 12:05 dans Humeurs 0

When the Nike Foamposite One first dropped in 1997, it was like nothing anyone had ever seen before but people wore it in some impressive performances. The sleek $180 shoe had no Nike branding on the upper, save a small Swoosh near the toe, and the synthetic upper and prominent carbon plate gave the shoe a decidedly futuristic look, one that many sneaker designers still strive to achieve.

With interest in Foams that never ceases to fade, here are 20 Things You Didn't Know About the Nike Foamposite.

Nobody thought it was possible.
Like all great sneaker stories, the naysayers were a plenty. The Foamposite was one of the most unbelievable designs, so it's probabaly not a huge surprise that everyone from designers at Nike, all the way to manufacturers in China, said that it couldn't be done when the original idea was presented.

The Foamposite was not designed for Penny Hardaway.

 

Eric Avar didn't design the Foamposite One Denim with Penny Hardaway in mind. If the apocryphal stories are true, it was originally intended for Scottie Pippen (no word on whether it then would have been called the "Foamposite 33"). But in a session with Penny, where he wasn't moved by any of the other designs, he saw the Foamposite in Avar's bag, and the rest was royal blue history.

It was inspired by a beetle.

Not the Volkswagen, but the little annoyances that wander around your garage, were actually part of the inspiration for the Foamposite's aerodynamic features.

People thought it would ruin the footwear industry.

The design of the Foamposite was so absurd compared to the traditional usage of leather and rubber that many people actually thought Nike would ruin footwear with the design. Fast forward 15 years and now nearly everything is made out of plastic-based materials. It hasn't seemed to keep anyone from buying sneakers yet, either.

Daewoo was the company that made it happen.

A number of companies were approached by Nike with the Foamposite concept. Many of them couldn't come up with the correct formula to make it happen but Daewoo came through. Yep, the Korean company that makes TVs and cars were the ones behind your latest Foamposite purchase.

The upper of the Foamposite begins as liquid.

If the sleek, logoless shoe itself wasn't enough to pry your $180 (plus tax) from your wallet, maybe the T-1000 backstory was. In order to create the Foamposite One's seamless upper, the "foam" material started as a liquid, which was then poured into molds. How does that add up to $180? Well, the molds weren't cheap. Read on.

The perfect temperature is between 130 and 175 degrees.

No, not to wear them. In case you were wondering, Foamposite material is created at a temperature range of 130-175 degrees Fahrenheit. If we see anyone melting down Foams on Youtube, though...

The average cost of the mold was $750,000.

$750,000 for the mold alone. Considering that doesn't include the cost of labor, packaging, shipping or marketing, you can see why the price of the Foamposite was steep.

The midsole had to be 5 times stronger than a traditional sneaker's.

When the Foamposite was created, the process was so different that traditional ways of manufacturing had to be revamped. In order for the molded upper to stay attached to the midsole, it had to be 5 times stronger than traditional glue and stitching. So, in a way, the development of the Foamposite helped with other future technologies just by pushing the limits.

The original price of the Foamposite One was $180.

So, this might be something you do know but there seems to be some serious confusion amongst the always knowledgable group of Internet sneaker blogs. We're just going to clear the air, the Nike Air Foamposite One retailed for $180 when it first released and the Nike Air Foamposite Pro retailed for $170. Eastbay catalogs don't lie, bruh.

Foamposites didn't sell well at all.

$180 price tags may be commonplace now, but back in 1997 that was a real jump. And when you put that price tag on a brand-new technology that doesn't even feature the usual visible cues of "high-dollar" — like a Max airbag or a Jumpman or a yeezy 350 Static — it's gonna be a tough sell. Fortunately enough people stepped up to keep Foamposite in the line.

The NBA didn't approve of the sneakers.

The NBA said that the colorway wasn't fit for the court because it didn't have enough black to coincide with Penny's Orland Magic uniform. Penny did what any sneakerhead would do, and busted out the Sharpie to fix the problem.

Penny Hardaway didn't debut the Foamposite One.

Mike Bibby first hit the court as an Arizona Wildcat wearing the Royal Foamposites on March 23 of 1997. That same day, Penny Hardaway laced up his Nike Air Penny IIs. It wouldn't be until a few games later that Penny finally laced up the Foamposite One with his Orlando Magic uniform.

Penny Hardaway had white Foams 15 years before you.

Penny Hardaway may not have been the first to wear his own signature shoe in a game, and he may have never worn them in an All-Star Game or NBA Finals, but at least he was getting exclusives before anyone else. The best part is that it's been damn near 20 years and you STILL don't have these.

The phone number has been disconnected.

One of the shoes to be featured in Nike's simple - and brilliant - print ad campaign that simply showed a shoe on a white background with a Swoosh and a 1-800 number, the Foamposite One never looked better. Tragically, the phone number has been disconnected. We were hoping to get Lil Penny on the line, seeing that he still owes us for the dry cleaning from his Super Bowl party.

Foamposites became the ultimate takedown model.

The Clogposite is one of the most unexpected sneakers ever created by Nike — who turns a $180 shoe into a slipper? But don't try to front in your new camo Foams this weekend, the O.G.s been rockin' digi camo Foams, son.

It was the first sneaker people were willing to trade their car for.

Crazy shit happens when the hype hits all time highs. This dude really tried to trade his car — with a full tank of gas, even — for Galaxy Foams. This can't be life.

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