words // Nick DePaula
Footwear design is at its best when a shoe can perfectly embody the look and style of a player that wears it. A great shoe captures the essence of a forward's bruising game or the flow of a versatile wing player perfectly.
Think Pippen II. Perhaps a terribly plain and boring shoe if it was worn by literally anybody other than Scottie Pippen. And yet it was perfect for Pip, which makes it a great design.
The Air Force 180 is one such shoe. There's a perfect blend of lockdown and protection for Charles Barkley's game of skill and raw power, aided in part by the heel Air Max 180 bag and the midfoot strap. Worn by the Chuckster during his first year in Phoenix, the Max 180 also has the distinction of helping out during his best individual season, as he edged out MJ for his lone NBA Most Valuable Player award.
Check out an original player exclusive pair made just for "Sir Charles" below in his size 15.