Player(s): Kevin Garnett (originally); Allan Houston and many others
- Black/metallic-silver/royal-blue allure
- White/varsity-red (TB)
- White/forest-green (TB)
- White/black (TB)
- White/varsity-royal (TB)
- White/midnight-navy (TB)
- White/light-graphite (TB)
- Midnight-navy/metallic-silver (Battlegrounds)
- Metallic-gold/black (Battlegrounds)
- Metallic-silver/medium-grey/chrome (Battlegrounds)
Original Release: 2001-2002
Original Price: $160 (about $268 in 2022)
Designer: Eric Avar
Release Type: General
Weight: 11.9 ounces
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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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Like its predecessors, the dynamic fit Lycra spandex and mesh full length inner fit sleeve provided great support and a snug feel.
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.
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.
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.
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!