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KNOW YOUR TECH breaks down the scientific technology used in your favorite sneakers and activewear. Let’s demystify your next purchase: today’s technology is Nike Foamposite. Introduced in 1997 in the form of the Nike Air Foamposite One, the sturdy and form-fitting upper composition has been used on everything from basketball sneakers to football cleats. Upon its arrival, it was clear that the mold was ahead of its time: some dismissed the futuristic design as "moon boots." Since then, Foamposite has grown to become a staple of Nike technology.

What is it? A synthetic material which begins as a polyurethane liquid and is molded into the tough, foam-like upper you'll see on retail shelves (check out this photo for a look at the Foamposite One during the process).

How it works: Foamposite boasts a number of performance benefits. It's much more durable than standard materials, which helps to prolongs the life of Foamposite-infused models. Out of the box, the seamless Foamposite material produces a snug, glove-like fit which only improves over time. As the material heats from activity and sweat, it actually softens to contour to the wearer's foot.

Notable Products: Air Foamposite One, Flightposite Series, Air Penny V, Air Max Hyperposite, Barkley Posite Max

Bottom Line: Foamposite sneakers are tough, durable, and provide an excellent fit. Don't be fooled by the Foamposite One's recent sartorial explosion—this material is built for performance.

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