1992 – The Dream Team brings home the gold, Michael Jordan wins his 2nd Championship with the Chicago Bulls, and Nike Basketball releases endless amounts of iconic classics, like the Air Force 180. Originally a signature shoe for Charles Barkley, The Nike Air Force 180 remains one of the most memorable basketball sneakers to ever release in the 90’s, and it turns 20 this year. Check out the details and story behind the Air Force 180 after the Jump.

“Technology has always been the thing that drives, motivates and consumes us. The Air 180 is the product of that obsession.”-Phil Knight 

Catering to powerful players, the Nike Air Force 180 Low represented a significant evolution and extension of Nike Basketball’s design language. At the time of this shoe’s release, Nike Air was almost 14 years old and Visible Air was five. How do you build on those pressurized foundations? By adding 50% more cushioning.

1991’s towering Nike Air Force 180 applied some pressure to become one of the biggest Nike Basketball releases of all time. But 1992’s Nike Air Force 180 Low scaled things down without losing the menacing looks that united each Force release; built for pounding, blocking and intensely physical play. It was lighter than previous shoes too. Who better to represent the Nike Air Force 180 Low ethos than Charles Barkley?

Strapping down the player for superior support, it was clear that the 180 and power basketball went together like Barkley and controversy. When the Nike Air Force 180 Low hit the hardwood in 1992, it was an iconic moment in sneaker and sporting history.

The Nike Air Force 180 Low is a classic shoe —cushioned to protect, but built to withstand.

Third World Born Chicagoan pursuing all things pursuable. Follow me on IG: @oscar_castillo