In 1993, Charles Barkley had the best season of his career. After being traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Phoenix Suns the previous summer, Barkley went on to win the league MVP award and lead his new squad to the NBA's best record, and a trip to the finals against the Bulls. Although Michael Jordan and company would defeat Sir Charles and the Suns, the success he achieved that year propelled Barkley to even more acclaim and notoriety. For the upcoming NBA season, Nike thought Charles needed a sneaker design that would reflect his new found status, and tapped design guru Tinker Hatfield to spearhead the project. Thus the Nike Air Max2 CB '94 was born.
In creating the most iconic of all of Charles Barkley's sneakers, Hatfield sought to combine "the outlandishness of Charles' persona and the beauty of the product." I think any sneaker fan would agree that he succeeded. The aggressive-looking design features a ferociously toothy midsole that recalls Barkley's onetime commercial nemesis Godzilla, an Air Max2 unit in the heel, and straitjacket-inspired lockdown straps to reference the unpredictability and craziness of the Round Mound of Rebound.
This Thursday will see the release of the original "road" colorway, which is the most beloved of all the CB '94 colorways. The premium white leather and black nubuck upper is dotted with perforations both large and small and rests on a Air Max2 infused sole. Hits of purple in the air unit and on the mesh tongue add a splash of color while white branding completes the look. Now I know Charles famously stated that he was not a role model, but I don't think that applies to his shoes. He would definitely want you to follow his footwear example, so get to a City Blue near you on Thursday, August 6 to secure your pair of these classic kicks.