2022 Marks 10 Years Since the Release of the Galaxy Foamposite

February 25, 2022 by Joey Birch

2022 Marks 10 Years Since the Release of the Galaxy Foamposite

24th of February 2012 marked the release of a sneaker that has made a permanent mark in history. The Galaxy Nike Air Foamposite One, the biggest colourway of Penny Hardaway’s signature shoe originally released in 1997. 

While the Foamposite silhouette has widely fallen out of popularity over the years, the Galaxy colourway remains a huge talking point in the sneaker community, marking one of the best and most infamous releases in history. 

First seen worn by Gentry Humphrey, Ex VP at Jordan Brand, in 2011 at a Sole Collector x Penny Hardaway event, the Galaxy was an instant eye-catcher later to be released in 2012 as part of an All-Star pack. The original design behind the Foamposite One was created by Eric Avar, the Nike designer behind many of Kobe Byrant's sneakers as well as developing the Nike Air Trainer Huarache. 

Along with the Advanced Product Engineering group as well as the Director of Footwear Innovation Direction, Jeff Johnson, the idea behind the Foamposite was simple. Would it be possible to dip your foot in liquid that would mould to your foot - and then go and play basketball in them? 

From that idea, came what we know today as the Nike Air Foamposite One. Spending around 3-4 years in its initial production with the team pouring polyurethane into moulds and attaching the two sides of the upper, the silhouette was almost going to be retired the Nike Archives after several pushbacks and negative feedback. 

It wasn’t until a meeting between Avar and Hardaway that the shoe started to take off, Avar is quoted as saying on the ‘Behind the Design’ for the synonymous sneaker: 

"The Foamposite sample was the last thing left in the bag and I hadn't even taken it out because all the voices had gotten in my head and I was almost embarrassed. So we're just finishing up and Penny looks over and says, 'What's that in the bag?' I almost hesitated to take it out, but I did and he grabbed it, and just goes, 'What is this?!' I said it's this concept we're working on. He just stopped me right there, and said 'That's it. I want that to be my next shoe.'"

Before the final product was released in 1997, previous samples of the sneaker also feature a visible Air Unit on the heel, made famous by Tinker Hatfield, as well as designs featuring additional Nike branding. However, Nike decided to use a full-length Zoom Midsole and created a sneaker that paved the way for not only Hardaway’s line of signature sneakers but also challenged how people approach sneaker design to this day. 

The Galaxy colourway of the then incredibly sought after silhouette was a completely different approach to a sneaker colourway, never before seen on the market which garnered its popularity. 

Taking all the original design features from the original Foamposite silhouette, the Galaxy included a mesh tongue and ankle tab as well as a carbon fibre plate in the outsole to provide added stability. In addition, the infamous sneaker included a green glow in the dark outsole sitting under the galaxy print Foamposite moulded upper with minimal Nike and Hardaway branding throughout. 

The initial rollout of the shoe came during the NBA All-Star weekend in Orlando, with the second release taking place in a New York City Footlocker store as well as Nike’s 21 Mercer store via a wristband collection system, announced on Twitter which caused lines of around 600 people around the block. 

“It was crazy, even with the whole staff there to handle the situation. Everyone was really rowdy, but we were trying our hardest to make sure nothing broke out or happened. We had to call the cops and shut down the store for the rest of the day once the wristbands were given out. There were safety issues for the employees, but luckily nothing happened.” an ex Nike employee at the 21 Mercer store told Complex in a 2017 interview. 

Upon release, collectors and resellers alike were clamouring to get their hands on a pair of the extremely coveted shoe. With one individual trying to swap his 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier for a size 10.5 pair of the Galaxy Foamposite, it was at a mall in Florida where a riot broke out and was quickly shut down by the police, showing the darker side to the infamous release.

Whilst nowadays all sneaker releases are made online via the SNKRS app or by store raffles, the Galaxy Foamposite had hundreds of people camping out overnight just to get the chance to see the shoe in person. Few sneakers have reached this level of hysteria with immediate examples including the Jeff Staples’ Pigeon SB Dunk which recently celebrated its 17th anniversary and caused similar hype, getting one person arrested.

The Nike Foamposite One is deemed as a classic sneaker in Nike’s lineage. With the ‘Galaxy’ colourway holding grail status to many collectors leaving many wondering whether they’ll get a retro. 

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