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Nike Air Max 2 CB '94 "Suns Away"

During the “golden age” of basketball, many names become notable candidates in the “best ever” category, but none held the court down quite like Charles Barkley. Nike saw his skill and prowess on the court and decided to give him his own line of sneakers making sure to keep the focus of design on Barkley as a player.

On August 6th, Nike is giving Charles Barkley’s signature sneaker from the mid-90s the OG treatment. The Nike Air Max 2 CB ’94 is dropping in the “Suns Away” colorway. Arguably the most recognizable colorway for this silhouette, these sneakers represent Sir Charles’ prime in the NBA.

As an NBA player, Barkley was extremely accomplished. He appeared in the NBA All-Star Game 11 times and was named the 1991 All-Star MVP. In 1993, he was voted the league’s most valuable player and one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history during the NBA’s 50th anniversary. On top of the winning Olympic gold medals in 1992 and 1996 as a member of the U.S. “Dream Team,” Barkley is a two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Once for his own career’s highlights, and again as a member of the “Dream Team.” He was also one of the most aggressive rebounders in the NBA due to his size and ferocity, earning him the nickname “The Round Mound of Rebound.”

Sir Charles was notorious for his attitude and trash talking in the NBA. He was famous for telling people “I’m not a role model,” when anyone told him children might look up to him. He was a great player, and didn’t need anyone telling him how to live or play ball.

Barkley saw himself as a force of nature on the court, and Nike took that theme to heart and the drawing board. The designers took cues from Barkley's fierce game and "don't tell me what to do" attitude to create his signature sneaker.

They created a silhouette that locked the foot down to keep that force under control, so it could be utilized on the court. The sneaker, designed in part by Tracy Teague Nike’s Global Creative Director, has an inner bootie which provides a tight fit around the foot. The upper employs leather straps to resemble a straightjacket, and the midsole has an aggressive teeth aesthetic.

The sneaker employed some new Nike technology such as Air Max2 cushioning, which was a large air unit for its time. A blow-molded air unit, the Air Max2 utilized different amounts of pressure to give the proper cushioning for athletes. The exterior chambers were filled to 25 psi for firmer cushioning, while the interior chambers only contained 5 psi for a better bounce on the heel.  

Dressed in black nubuck, CB ‘94 is detailed with white for contrast. The multiple panels arching forward allude to Chuck’s aggressive playing style. The bulky midsole is black with white accents, and the heel sports a visible Air Max unit. The Suns’ purple is present on the tongue and in the air unit in the heel. The 90s was an era of classic sneakers, and the CB ’94 silhouette is a star of the era.

Chuck wore this silhouette during the 1994 NBA Playoffs, the 1995 All-Star Game, and the ’94-’95 regular season. While the CB ’94 is only the second of Barkley’s seven signature sneakers, it became and remains the most popular for his dominance while donning the kick.

The Nike Air Max 2 CB ’94 “Suns Away” has risen from the ashes of time in OG style. Cop a pair August 6th online and in stores in Men's for $140.

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