Nike Air Flightposite III (2001)

The Nike Air Flightposite III with box.
The Nike Air Flightposite III.


Player(s): Kevin Garnett (originally); Allan Houston and many others 


  1. Black/metallic-silver/royal-blue allure
  2. Black/metallic-silver/varsity-red
  3. Black/metallic-silver
  4. White/varsity-red (TB)
  5. White/forest-green (TB)
  6. White/black (TB)
  7. White/varsity-royal (TB)
  8. White/midnight-navy (TB)
  9. White/light-graphite (TB)
  10. Midnight-navy/metallic-silver (Battlegrounds)
  11. Metallic-gold/black (Battlegrounds)
  12. Metallic-silver/medium-grey/chrome (Battlegrounds)
The Nike Air Flightposite III.

Original Release: 2001-2002

Original Price: $160 (about $268 in 2022) 

Retro: N/A

Designer: Eric Avar

Release Type: General 

Weight: 11.9 ounces 

The Nike Air Flightposite III.

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The end of an era.

The first Flightposite released in 1999. The objective: create a shoe that would be a “seamless extension of the human body”. By 2001 however, the Flightposite III demonstrated that Nike was going in a different direction. Gone were the sleek shrouded uppers of the first and second Flightposite iterations. In its place stood the Flightposite III, a shoe that looked more like an alien than a human foot. 

The Nike Air Flightposite I, II and III.
The Nike Air Flightposite I (top left), II (top right) and III (bottom). Note the evolution of design.

The Flightposite III was originally designed for Kevin Garnett, with Nike creating prototypes featuring his name. By the time they released however, KG had moved to AND1 and would never wear the Flightposite III in an NBA game. 

The Nike Air Flightposite III prototypes.
The Nike Air Flightposite III prototypes. Photos via joeyguinan (top left), Niketalk (top right) and instyleshoes1999 (bottom).

Instead Allan Houston became the unofficial face of the Flightposite III. Houston would debut the black/metallic-silver/royal-blue allure colorway on April 22, 2001 in game 1 of the first round of the playoffs against the Toronto Raptors. He would go on to wear the white/varsity-royal TB and several PE colorways during the 2001-2002 season. Houston broke out the Flightposite III one more time during the 2012 NBA All Star weekend.

Allan Houston wearing the Nike Air Flightposite III.
Allan Houston wearing the Nike Air Flightposite III in chronological order: 1. playoff PE (top left), 2. white/varsity-royal (TB) (top right), 3. white/varsity-royal (TB-PE- note the H20 on the tongue) (bottom left) and Knicks PE (bottom right).


The Flightposite III released in twelve colorways. It was perhaps the most ubiquitous of the three Flightposite silhouettes, especially in the NCAA as a team shoe. While the majority of the colorways released in late 2001, three colorways released in 2002 as part of the Battlegrounds series which paid homage to outdoor hoops. 

The Nike Air Flightposite III original colorways.
The twelve original colorways of the Flightposite III. The far right row are the Battlegrounds colorways that released in 2002. The rest released in 2001. Photos via footage_offical, flightskool, aznkevin888, StockX, Goat, FlightClub.

Design Features 

The Flightposite III featured a fully embedded, 3mm thin, polyurethane Foamposite construction upper, medial and lateral side TPU stretch reinforcement straps and lenticular hologram “alien eye” pods on either side with circular holographic features. 

The Nike Air Flightposite III.

Although the straps provided stability, they made the shoe narrow and, like the Flightposite I and II, suboptimal for wider feet. A magnetic button held the top strap together which could be worn open or closed. Regardless, the button often became undone even when you tied the shoe tightly. 

The Nike Air Flightposite III.

Of the three Flightposites, the III provided the least ankle support. While the tongue was thicker than that of the I and II, the lack of zipper shroud left the ankle exposed and unsupported. 

The Nike Air Flightposite III.

Like its predecessors, the dynamic fit Lycra spandex and mesh full length inner fit sleeve provided great support and a snug feel. 

The Nike Air Flightposite III.

The Flightposite III was the best cushioned of the Flightposites. The “bouncy” forefoot and heel Zoom Air units are obvious when you try the shoe on. The Flightposite III also featured a Polyurethane encased Phylon midsole with internalized sock plate and a solid rubber outsole with a herringbone patterned traction. 

The Nike Air Flightposite III.


To this day, the Flightposite III is the only Flightposite never to retro. Unfortunately, the III released around a time of waning popularity of the Foamposite line. Instead of releasing flagship models, the Foamposite line became associated with “Lesser Posites”, more budget friendly models that lacked hype or big name associations. 

Lesser Posites.
Budget-friendly “Lesser Posites” from the early 2000s. Clockwise from top left: Air Pureposite (2002), Air Podposite (2001), Air Solo Flight (2001), Air Ultraposite (2003), Air Playerposite (2002), Air Loposite (2002), Air P-Phaze (2001), Air Signature Player (2001).

A resurgence in Foamposite popularity in the early 2010s by a new generation of sneakerheads didn’t extend to the Flightposite III. The fact that KG never wore them may have influenced Nike’s decision not to retro them. The lack of a recognizable name associated with the shoe meant that the III was relegated to more of a team shoe than the signature shoe of a marquee player. The eccentric design didn’t help either. 

The Nike Air Flightposite III.

No one knows whether we will see the Flightposite III retro. One can hope that today’s sneaker heads have enough of an appreciation for its unique design to earn a return. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures of this DS OG pair! 

The Nike Air Flightposite III.