Nike Air Foamposite Pro

9.0
9.0 score
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Nike Air Foamposite Pro Review Facts
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The Nike Air Foamposite Pro is an evergreen that manages to turn heads even two decades after its first release in 1997. It has grown a cult following of faithful support foam upper fans, and the outlandish and futuristic design is bound to entice generation after generation. While it is fairly pricey, it is also a collector’s item, and could even bring about some profit in resale- should you ever want to part with it. This sturdy basketball shoe takes a while to break into, but most people are more than thrilled with the amount of comfort they got out of it.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Synthetic leather, synthetic and textile upper for support and durability
  • Zoom Air cushioning is responsive and comfortable
  • The upper is amazingly durable
  • Outsole with modified herringbone pattern provides traction
  • Responsive cushioning with enough ground feel
  • Offers great stability and support
  • Futuristic design
Cons
  • Heavy – it takes a while to get used to it
  • Poor heel lockdown
  • Lacks breathability
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the Nike Air Foamposite Pro is identical throughout the colorways over the years: it features clear rubber throughout the sole and around the outer edges of the foot, with traction pads being strategically placed in irregular, circular shapes throughout the sole. The traction rubber has a herringbone pattern and is great for abrupt stops and gripping to flat surfaces. On the midfoot and heel area of the outsole, there is a rubber Nike swoosh, which also helps with the traction. The cross forefoot grooves are barely visible, but they do provide some degree of flexibility to the foot when weight is applied. Seeing how this is a cross between a basketball and a lifestyle shoe, it’s good to know that jumping and landing forefoot motions are encouraged by these grooves. The midfoot features a carbon shank that is positioned beneath the rubber compounds and that provides extra stability to the midsole and more firmness to the foot.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The carbon fiber shank plate keeps the Zoom Air cushioning system in place. The ZOOM AIR is positioned throughout the full length of the shoe and has a magnificent double air cushion in the heel. The Nike Foamposite Pro has really justified the Air family here, as they offer cushioning of the highest level as well as structure, balance, shock-absorption and responsiveness. However, some users have reported that in order to really experience the supreme cushioning of the midsole, the upper has to be broken in as well.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper is what makes this shoe an evergreen. The Foamposite compound the upper is made of is actually a polyurethane that starts off as a liquid in production and then thickens up in the molds while cooling down. The Foamposite upper looks almost like a seamless shell – almost, because there is one seam on the heel and two seams on the toe box. The great thing about Foamposite is that it ’s extremely durable and better yet, the foam is made so as to mold itself to your own foot so that the more you play in the Foamposite Pros, the more comfortable they become. One downside of the otherwise ingenious upper is that it takes a while to break into it. Every time you start to play in these shoes, you’ll have to break them in a little bit beforehand. The Foamposite functions so that it retains heat and moisture from your feet and uses them to soften up and adjust to your feet. However, once you get the shoe off and let it cool down completely, it will become stiff again, although it will be more contoured in the shape of your foot. If you’re looking for a good basketball shoe that doesn’t require any extra time to ‘work’, you might want to reconsider getting the Foamposite Pro.
Weight
Weight

Weight

There is no doubt about it – the Air Foamposite Pro is heavy with a capital H. It weighs a whopping 18oz or 520grams, which is about 100-150 grams more than a regular basketball shoe. This isn’t the only heavyweight basketball shoe out there; in fact, the Foamposite weigh as much as the Air Jordan VIII, only they feel heavier because the heel lockdown isn’t up to par, which results in the heel ‘pulling’ you down when you play. A lot of basketball players swear by this shoe and don’t mind the weight one bit, but if you’re not a pro or a semi-pro player, you’re going to have a tough couple of weeks while you adjust to the weight being added to your feet.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The only ventilation the Foamposite Pro has is through the tongue, which is made out of a high-quality mesh material. Other than that, there is virtually no breathability whatsoever and your feet will be rather insulated in it. However, this isn’t something that Nike just overlooked – the Foamposite is a type of material that demands heat and moisture (read: sweat) in order to soften up and be molded. There is no way your feet would ever adjust to this shoe, or vice versa unless the breathability was kept to a minimum. If you, for any reason, need a breathable shoe that prevents overheating, sweating and blisters, skip on the Foamposite Pro completely.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The comfort of this shoe is directly related to the upper and whether it’s broken in or not. In this aspect, the Nike Air Foamposite Pro is a blessing and a curse, because, in order to make it one of the most comfortable basketball shoes around, you have to go through a period of uncomfortable, stiff wear, until the foam molds according to your own feet. This process will take some time, but when you get there, it will definitely be worth it. Another thing to note about the Foamposite Pro is that sizing is crucial. This shoe runs a tad narrower than what most people would perceive as a regular fit, so pay close attention to the position of the toe and pinky – if you pick the wrong size, this shoe will be unforgiving.
Style
Style

Style

There doesn’t seem to be an in-between with the Foamposite Pros – people either think they’re the ugliest shoes in the world or the coolest ones. Seeing how this is their 21st year of being sold out year after year, we will call them the coolest basketball shoes around, by popular vote. The Foamposite upper does seem spacey and outlandish, with the shell-like foam that encapsulates the foot and flame-like grooves. There are numerous colorways of the famous shape, and a lot of times, they involve splashy, metallic colors that are anything but subtle. However, the shoe does have its more discreet moments, so there is something for everyone. The sides feature the quintessential Nike Swoosh (something that differentiates the Foamposite Pro from the Foamposite One), and the back tab has ‘Foamposite’ written vertically over it. A lot of people agree that you can wear this shoe with everything, except for a suit and skinny jeans – in them, they’ll make your feet look huge.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Durability is one of the best aspects of the Foamposite Pro basketball shoe. It will not budge, no matter how much you play in it, if you get stepped on, kicked or grazed; this shoe is going to stay exactly the same. The only thing that does visually deteriorate is the rubber transparent outsole, because it tends to accumulate dust and grit quickly, so it turns yellow-ish in no time. Some people frown upon the upper seams that only have one stitch instead of a double one, but that stitch is holding Foamposite together, which means it won’t tear no matter the number of stitches. The upper is built to survive longer than any other part of the shoe: it will outlast the seams, the sole, the glue and at least 20% of marriages.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The full-length zoom that is double-stacked in the heel provides great impact protection and shock-absorption. The high collar, the stiff foam upper and the sock-like materials on the front and the back of the ankle will make sure that your foot is locked in place and safe from blisters. The only problem with this shoe is the heel lockdown which isn’t the best, and if the sizing of the shoe isn’t 100% correct, this will result in heel slipping, which renders the upper stiffness more or less useless. Nevertheless, this is a very protective shoe, due to the fact that it’s almost impossible to sprain an ankle in it, and the foam doubles as impact protection, so that you won’t feel other players stepping over your toes.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The double-stacked Zoom Air doesn’t disappoint in the responsiveness field as well. The ride in these shoes is exceptionally bouncy and the cushion – which starts out very firm until broken in, provides great energy-return. The outsole cross grooves encourage jumping and sprints because they only allow forefoot flex in the sole. Combined with the full-length air zoom, this provides speed and supported, cushioned firmness in the sole, that won’t allow your feet to sink into it, but rather use the double-stacked heel for maximum performance.
Support
Support

Support

This basketball shoe is a high-collar one, meaning that it does a great job of keeping the ankle in place, especially during the changes of pace, landing on the ground and sprints. Other supporting aspects include the carbon fiber shank and the Zoom Air midsole, which makes this a solid option for both neutral runners and basketball players with flat feet.

Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Nike Air Foamposite Pro is a basketball shoe that is meant to be used on courts. However, the outsole rubber compound proves good for pavement and concrete as well. You can take the Foamposite Pro on a ride around the block, on a treadmill and the local basketball court. Although they look sturdy, they’re not meant to be taken on trail runs, so don’t be fooled by the durable upper.
Price
Price

Price

Price has been a dividing issue for as long as the Air Foamposite Pro exists. This shoe is expensive, there’s no doubt about it; it’s the kind of shoe that would be expensive even for people who wouldn’t break the bank if they purchased them. However, we think they’re worth every penny, not only because of their durability and the amazing support they offer, especially for heavier players, but because they are a collector’s item. Each year’s model is the next year’s sought-for sneaker, especially if you nag the limited edition design. In a way, the Foamposite Pro can be both an investment and a hefty expenditure – it’s up to the way you look at it.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The Nike Air Foamposite Pro has very good traction on all types of basketball courts – which basically means most dry flat surfaces. The multi-directional herringbone rubber pattern allows for stable and confident movements and footwork. The transparent outsole rubber has the best grip when it’s kept clean, especially when playing on indoor courts – the more dust the rubber accumulates, the easier it is to slip when transferring the weight on the outer edge of the shoe. This isn’t an insurmountable problem, seeing how a simple wet wipe can solve this issue. Overall, the outsole adheres firmly to the ground when you put weight on it, creating a pleasant contrast between the Zoom Air cushion and some good old ground feel.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

As you might have guessed by now, the Foamposite compound has little to no flexibility. The only time it’s truly somewhat flexible is when the shoe has been completely broken in and moulded to your foot. The cross grooves on the outsole allow for a slight flex in the toes and forefoot, which is the most important flex when it comes to basketball shoes. However, lateral flex is almost non-existent, which can be a nuisance when you’re guarding someone.

Stability
Stability

Stability

What the shoe lacks in flexibility, it makes up for in stability – the Foamposite compound is stiff enough that it will keep your foot in place, together with the snug and firm lacing system.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The double Zoom Air heel stack makes it look like the drop in these Nike shoes is massive; however, the drop is in the medium range of around 6mm, which will suit most players and runners alike.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- Transparent rubber outsole with herringbone traction patterns
- Zoom Air full-length cushioning
- Extremely comfortable once broken in
- Not breathable
- Basketball, flat surface shoe
- Expensive but also a collector’s item
- Heel lockdown can be loose
- Foamposite upper molds to the shape of the foot
- Extremely durable
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Nike Air Foamposite Pro is one of the best-known basketball shoes that this brand has ever made. They were revolutionary when they were first made, with a lot of people thinking that the foam upper idea is impossible, and now they have become a sought-for classic. While they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, these are durable, high-quality shoes that would suit best a forwards or inside player, while the lightweight guards and playmakers could experience some difficulties with the lack of lateral flexibility. The Foamposite Pro is the kind of shoe that gives as much as it receives, so if you don’t want to invest your time and a little bit of effort into making it supple and comfortable, you’re going to be left with an uncomfortable, stiff shoe. But, as with all good things, they’re worth working for.