1997 saw the Titanic sink in the silver screen (with much anger to Rose having had the chance to save Jack on her wooden plank float), Dolly the sheep cloned, Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield's ears, Princess Diana die from a car crash, and Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls racking up a 69-13 regular season record and beat Karl Malone, John Stockton and the Utah Jazz in their 5th and penultimate NBA Finals championship.
The Air Jordan 12 dropped that year too, with the Bred colourway gaining its legendary status due to Michael Jordan playing his infamous "Flu Game" that season. But aside from that, another shoe dropped that year: the Nike Air Foamposite One.
The shoe was mainly known as one of the "Pennys", as it is most known as the signature shoe with one of the NBA's best players in its history, Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway. At the time, Penny was unique due to his huge 6'9" stature and being able to play and move like a shorter player best suited for the point guard position. He was poised to become the next Michael Jordan as he was able too pretty much play all 5 positions within the team. The shoe was supposed to be Scottie Pippen's signature shoe, however he did not like it and Nike decided to make the shoe for Penny, which he debuted in the 1997 NBA Finals. Due to NBA regulations at the time, Penny had to take a sharpie and mark up the shoe to have more black on it.
Despite being Penny's signature shoe, it was first debuted by a college player at the time by the name of Mike Bibby, who would later on head to the NBA. Back then, the internet didn't exist, so Nike was a major powerhouse in the marketing world when it came to their products, and one of their tactics was to have the shoe on court with one of the best College ball teams during the Final Four March Madness. Nike approached University of Arizona and were hoping to have the players wear the Foamposites, which at the time was the most experimental shoe. No one was brave enough to wear them, or initially did not like the shoe, except for Mike Bibby, who fell in love with it in first sight, and went on to win the NCAA championship with them on. #foamposites#foams#sneaker
When the Nike Foamposites came out in 1997, it was the most advanced and experimental shoe to hit the shelves. The shoe looked like an Alien spaceship, and was made out of synthetic material, something that was unheard of at the time as most sneakers were made of leather and other workable and usable materials. The shoe was so advanced that Nike had a hard time finding a manufacturer to make the upper part of the shoe. After a long time of searching for answers, Korean car and electronic manufacturer Daewoo came up with a way to make the shoe, by devicing a gigantic, waffle-maker-looking device that will mold the shoe's weird and unusual form, adding to its rocket-science storyline.
The shoe also advanced in the way that it is worn. The shoe would actually form and mold around the wearer's feet. The heat from the foot would soften the Foamposite material and would act as a sock-glove, making it more comfortable and easier for the wearer to ball in.