His namesake shoes have neither the incredible market longevity of Chuck Taylor nor has he yet gotten number of model updates Michael Jordan has had over the years. However, the Charles Barkley shoe models were a steady seller for Nike.
Unlike some other Nike endorsers, there is no shoe with a hologram of Charles Barkley, nor one with his basketball exploits molded in the sole pattern for extra traction. Nike has even kept the SWOOSH on the Charles Barkley models.
With Charles Barkley, Nike concentrated its design efforts in absorbing the incredible shock generated when "Sir Charles" size 16 feet hit the floor. A majority of the Charles Barkley shoe models have a number of elastic straps across the tongue area.
The first Charles Barkley shoe to get wide attention,
worn by the University of Michigan basketball team in 1993, also sold in 1994 (with a reissue in late 2003), is a
fascinating design. Not only did it have extra reinforcing straps to hold the shoe
together, but the reinforcing straps were backed up with a metal mesh. I
remember that more than a few
guys wore them to the gym for working out.
In 1996, Charles Barkley went to the Houston Rockets. Since Nike
wanted a matching Barkley shoe on the market, they made a shoe in Rockets red-orange and
Barkley's Phoenix Suns number 34 on it.
Houston already had Hakeem Olajuwon with number 34. To compound
the matter, Spalding had brought out a Hakeem Olajuwon
shoe featuring the number 34 on the side.
Charles Barkley ended out with a "4" on his Houston Rockets uniform. Nike slightly modified and re-issued their Charles Barkley shoe to match.
The 1997 iteration of the Nike Charles Barkley shoe line dispensed with his player number altogether. The shoe now has the extra added attribute: SUPER.
Fans of the Houston Rockets hoped he lived up to the name of his shoes!
The 1998 model in the line of Nike Charles Barkley shoes.
I was looking at a Sports Illustrated in one of my doctor's offices when I noted Sir Charles wearing a pair of quite recognizable shoes. They were the Air Jordan 14, white, with red trim. At that time, Michael wasn't playing any more, so somebody needs to wear them. It looked at the time like Nike was cutting back on all the SKUs.
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Last Updated: 18 April 2012 11:32
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copyright 1995-2012 by Charles L. Perrin.
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