Editor’s Note: This coming week will mark the 4th anniversary of the release of the Nike Air Foamposite One Galaxy, aka the moment when s**t got too real. Here’s a look back at the things the way they used to be. Originally published on February 13, 2014, updated for today.

NBA All-Star Weekend is one of the most important events in the basketball calendar, but sneakerheads also know it as the weekend when a plethora of big releases drop to ruin our wallets. Whether it is the debut of a new Air Jordan or the release of that particular year’s All-Star Game kicks, sneaker stores are always packed with people looking for fresh heat to rock and/or stock. While there are a few isolated incidents that shine a bad light on our little hobby, the truth is that most releases during this time of the year tend to come and go drama-free.

But in 2012, things got taken to a whole new level when Nike Sportswear dropped the “Galaxy” colorway of the Nike Air Foamposite One. With a unique graphic print on the upper that was unlike anything that had ever been seen before, it was what Gentrey Humphrey was talking about when he said that Nike wanted to “dimensionalize” the Foamposite line. With excitement for the Foamposites peaking at the time thanks to a variety of factors, this was supposed to be a seminal moment in sneaker culture. And it was, but for all the wrong reasons…

Thanks to several violent episodes surrounding stores that were stocking the Galaxy Foamposites, it became a tipping point that in many ways led us to where we are today, camping out on our computers instead of at a doorstep of a Foot Locker or Nike Store. We now have to rely on the quickness of our thumbs to tap on a link in order to secure quickstrike pairs while people with even a modicum of computer knowledge are able to develop bots and exploit sneakerheads desperate to buy a pair of hot kicks that will get them 100 likes on Instagram.

Old sneakerheads like to lament about days gone by to anybody that will listen to them, but they don’t even have to go that far back; the reality is that the sneaker world today is dramatically different from as recently as two years ago. So with the second fourth anniversary of the release of the Galaxy Foamposites coming up, here is a look back at the good old days of 2012 with 10 Ways The Sneaker Game Was Different Before The Nike Air Foamposite One Galaxy.

Image: Nike
Image: Nike

Flyknit Was New And Confusing

Nike
Image: Nike

Prior to the launch of the “Galxay” Foamposite, Nike was also busy announcing their latest and greatest innovation in Flyknit. The one-piece upper had many people giving it derisive nicknames and claiming that no way would it last under any harsh conditions, not the least of which was a basketball court.

But now we clamor for Flyknit for their supreme comfort and amazing fit once broken in. And then there’s the case of a certain Black Mamba that believed enough in Flyknit that it has been the signature feature of his line since the Kobe 9.

We also didn’t know it, but adidas was also cooking up something to counter Flyknit. We could argue for days if Flyknit or Primeknit is better, but really, we’re all winners for having this technology in our lives.

“Reebok Back” Meant Nothing

Image: Reebok
Image: Reebok

In 2011, Rick Ross signed with Reebok. Fantastic, right? While there was value to having somebody as well-known as Ross as the spokesman for the company, what really gave Reebok Classics life was the smart decision to retro their most iconic silhouettes and treat them with the proper respect that they deserve. Sneakerheads recognized that and bought the OG colorways of the Reebok Question and Reebok Shaq Attaq rather quickly. Ross – who has had an on and off relationship with the brand since – was merely a small part of the equation.

Kanye West And Nike Were Still Cool

The best part? People were still itching for the Pure Platinum and Solar Reds at this time. Nobody was ready for the insanity that the Red October would cause. That alone makes me want to live in a time machine and live back in those days of pre-Red Everything.

Kobe Bryant Was Healthy

The KOBESYSTEM was in full force in 2012 and no matter how good or bad the Lakers were in the standings had little or no effect on Bryant’s standing in the basketball zeitgeist, not to mention sneakerheads that scooped up the more limited colorways of the Nike Kobe 7 System. Nobody could have predicted the next few years that would serve as Bryant’s personal hell thanks to injuries and Dwight Howard, but now we’re here headed towards the final stretch of Kobe’s amazing career. Again, time machine.

Fake Nicknames Jokes Were FunnyGalaxy - 5

Oh wait, no, they weren’t. By February 2012, anybody that used a joke as asinine as “Black and Red Space Jams” was just showing how creatively bankrupt they are. And no, it is still too early to use that joke ironically. But feel free to use it by 2094. I should be too old and senile to care by then.

LeBron James “Championship Packs” Sounded Real Pretentious

Image: Nike
Image: Nike

Actually, it still does sound kind of pretentious, especially when the second pack leaked when James had yet to win a second title. All we could talk about in regards to James back in February 2012 was his inability to lead a team to one ring, let alone two or three or four or five. Imagine the vitriol he would get from sneakerheads if the first Nike LeBron Championship Pack had leaked prior to James winning his first title in June of 2012.

Derrick Rose Was Still adidas’ Ace

Image: adidas
Image: adidas

Before Boost, before Kanye, there was D-Rose. Even though Foamposite Madness was sweeping the sneaker world, one of the big events that took place during the 2012 All-Star Weekend was Derrick Rose signing a massive, $185 million, 13-year contract with adidas to be the face of the brand. Fresh off an MVP award the season prior, being able to live up to that deal was going to be a tough task for anybody that wasn’t named Derrick Rose. The guard was humbled and genuinely touched that people believed in him so much that they were willing to pay that much money to support him as he made his run to bring the NBA Championship back to Chicago.

Yeah, just writing that made me sad. Let’s move along.

A Pre-Boost adidas

ADIDAS ULTRA BOOST 2

It’s really hard to understate just how much Boost has changed adidas. The cushioning mixed with amazing designs catapulted the three stripes from an afterthought to the topic of discussion among sneakerheads. Yes, Kanye West had a lot to do with that, but let’s not underestimate how much that was also because Yeezy Boosts are pretty damn comfy to walk in because of Boost. None of this was going on in 2012 and The U was certainly not an adidas school at the time, but they picked the right moment to make the jump that’s for sure.

Before: Shoe > Theme | Now: Theme > Shoe

Image: Foot Locker
Image: Foot Locker

A shoe isn’t even a shoe worth having if it doesn’t have a nickname or a special colorway to justify their existence. That sounds silly when you read it, right? But in the years since the release of the “Galaxy”, companies have gone out of their way to create stories and themes that don’t even make sense and have only hurt the reputation of a classic all for the sake of placating an audience that demands every pair in their collection have a fancy name to go along with it.

Graphics On The Foams? A One-Time Thing…

Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike
Image: Nike

Nope…

 

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