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Charles Barkley Nike Shoe Guide

Charles Barkley is one of the most beloved figures in sports. As iconic as he was as a basketball player, he may even be more impactful as a basketball analysist. “Sir Charles” is one of the rare athletes whose popularity may have grown when he moved away from athletics.

Charles Barkley has one of the top signature lines in basketball history. His relationship with Nike has resulted into some of the all-time classic sneakers. Read on for a guide to the signature shoes of Charles Barkley from Nike.

The Barkley line from Nike is a difficult one to research, since so many of the shoes haven’t been redone as a retro release and the naming of the shoes in the line is confusing, to say the least. With all that being said, enjoy the guide.

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Nike Air Force Max CB

Nike Air Force Max CB

Barkley’s first signature shoe for Nike came in 1994. For years prior, Charles was a Nike athlete who wore Nike Force models almost exclusively. It had crisscross straps, which were similar to the Air Raid and Air Jordan 8. The shoe was bulky and built strong, to fit the powerhouse game of Charles Barkley. The Nike Air Force Max CB has a synthetic nubuck and leather upper. The shoe has a midcut design.

Nike Air Max CB 94

The Nike Air Max CB 94 was designed by the legend, Tinker Hatfield. The sneaker is a part of the golden age of sneaker history. The signature silhouette was made to compliment the powerful and thunderous game of Charles Barkley. The high top was strong but lightweight for a 90’s shoe. It has breathable mesh tongues and an inner bootie that keeps the foot secure.

Nike Air CB 34

Nike Air CB 34

The Nike Air CB 34 shoe had a 180 Air Max unit in the heel and a forefront strap. The Nike Air CB 34 came in colorways that honored Barkley’s team at the time, the Phoenix Suns. The Nike Air CB 34 featured an ad campaign that pitted Godzilla vs. Charles Barkley. The shoes were made to resemble the feet of Godzilla, with the lower having a design that looks like Godzilla’s massive feet and claws.

Air Max CB34 II

Air Max CB34 II

The Nike Air Max CB34 II had an upper featuring grain leather, elastic straps and huge CB34 logos on the side, tongue, and outsole of the shoe. The colorways were designed to match Barkley’s team at the time, the Phoenix Suns. The Nike Air Max CB34 II was made strong and solid, to match the power game of “Sir” Charles Barkley. The CB34 II was very much a product of the 1990s.

Nike Air CB4

The Nike Air CB4 is a simple and low key model. They have a full grain leather upper and asymmetrical lacing. There is a Max Air Unit in the heel for impact protection. The Nike Air CB4 was released in 1996. By 1996, Barkley was now playing for the Houston Rockets. His career was nearing its end, and his line of signature sneakers was also coming close to its conclusion.

Nike Air Super CB

The Nike Air Super CB was originally released in 1997. In this period, Charles Barkley was playing with the Houston Rockets. The CB had a 180 degree Air Bubble. They have a leather and mesh upper. The shoe had a lot going on stylistically. Including a pair of Swooshes on the side of the shoe, and Nike in cursive at the heel. The branding was unique for the Nike Basketball line.

Nike Air CB4 II

The Nike Air CB4 II was the final shoe in Charles Barkley’s line with Nike that he actually played basketball in. The shoe had a full midsole of Air Bubbles. The CB4 II was low cut and had an upper with full grain leather and nubuck. It has herringbone traction. The CB4 II was one of the cleanest and sleekest shoes in the Barkley signature line.


- Adam C. Better