When it comes to signature basketball shoes from the ’90s, there aren’t many lines that can compete with the mighty Air Jordan franchise. Nike’s signature sneakers for former NBA standout Penny Hardaway were one of the few styles that gave Jordan Brand a run for its money.
Hardaway’s signature shoes remain some of Nike’s most influential and coveted models, with the Air Foamposite One leading the way. Now, for the first time since 2011, Nike plans to bring back the original “Royal Blue” Air Foamposite One colorway made famous by Hardaway when he was a member of the Orlando Magic.
Originally released in 1997, at the peak of Hardaway’s career, the Air Foamposite One was designed by Eric Avar and featured a groundbreaking upper composed of seamless molded polyurethane. It looked and performed like nothing anyone had seen before, and, as legend has it, caught Hardaway’s attention immediately.
“I wasn’t sure I was even going to show that sample to him. We had other ideas we were presenting. But he leaned over, looked into the bag and said, ‘What is that?’ He reached in, grabbed it and says, ‘This is my next shoe.’ I was like, ‘Okay. There’s the go-to-market strategy,'” said designer Avar in 2012.
Nike’s Foamposite technology has since been utilized across a number of categories, including the LeBron signature line, lifestyle sneakers and more.
According to information and images posted on Instagram by @zSneakerHeadz, the original “Royal Blue” Air Foamposite One will be re-releasing in January 2017 for a retail price of $230.