Why Now is a Good Time to Vault the Foamposite

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This weekend another pair of Foamposites is coming out. You probably didn’t even realize that, or if you did, you probably didn’t care as much as before. Let’s be honest with ourselves, Foamposites are not what they once were in terms of popularity and for good reason.

A Foamposite Pro dressed in elephant print. Let us take a minute and think about this. The Foamposite is a shoe that has been brought back due to the demand of sneaker enthusiasts. These are the same enthusiasts who know their sneaker history and know the history of the pattern belonging to the Air Jordan 3 and Brand Jordan– not a shoe that debuted a decade after the AJ 3.

While this weekend’s release and many other recent printed Foamposites have been lackluster at best, there have been some amazing executions that should be noted.

Nike Air Foamposite One
Nike Air Foamposite One “Galaxy”

The Galaxy Foamposites of 2012 took the out of this world approach to the shoe and flawlessly created one of the most sought after creations by Nike. This was just the start of what was to come. Soon after their release came a special creation to promote the theatrical release of Paranorman. Once again, another head turning banger. The front half of 2013 brought out two military themed Foams that were one for the ages as well with the “Fighter Jet” Foamposites and “Army Camo” Pros. But then things took a turn for the worse in August of 2013.

Weatherman Foamposites by Nike Sportswear

Nike Sportswear looked to elevate the Foamposite with a “Weatherman” set, but not only did it fall short, the project fell flat. With a Premium box label and white box packaging came a never before seen retail price of $250. With slower than anticipated sales, the shoes did something not seen with Foams ever – they went on sale. This was a true tipping point for Foamposites which were traditionally associated with selling out on release date. The “Weathermans” were soon followed by the “Thermal Maps” which saw even worse success. Things were in a decline.

Nike Air Foamposite Pro “Elephant Print”

Fast forward a year or so to today and now we have “Elephant Print” Foams. This might be a dream come true for some being a mashup of Jordan legacy with Foamposite. However for me, this is too reminiscent of the mashup of two other franchises – AF1 + Jordan = Fusions. Just because something sells at retail doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right direction for the brand.

Looking forward a few years, the Foamposite Franchise will celebrate a milestone birthday of 20 years in the game. While I am sure that calendars at Nike Sportswear are calling for a bring back of the OG Royals then, wouldn’t it make the anniversary a little more special if the shoe went dark for a couple years?

It’s never easy to hang something up that is working, but the time has come. Quit while you’re ahead is a great approach in business and especially in sneakers. It would be a tragedy for Foams to continue sliding into a milestone anniversary or take a death spiral into irrelevance in the marketplace.

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