Tinker Hatfield

Last updated

Tinker Linn Hatfield
Tinker Hatfield.jpg
Born (1952-04-30) April 30, 1952 (age 71)
Education University of Oregon (B.Arch., 1977)
Alma mater University of Oregon
Occupation(s)designer; architectural designer
Known for Air Jordan, Air Max
SpouseJackie Hatfield
Children3 daughters
Parent(s)Tinker Haven Hatfield, Sr.

Tinker Linn Hatfield, Jr. (born April 30, 1952) is an American designer of numerous Nike athletic shoe models, including the Air Jordan 3 through Air Jordan 15, the twentieth-anniversary Air Jordan XX, the Air Jordan XXIII, the 2010 (XXV), the 2015 Air Jordan XX9 (XXIX), and other athletic sneakers including the world's first "cross training" shoes, the Nike Air Trainer. Hatfield oversees Nike's "Innovation Kitchen". He is Nike's Vice President for Design and Special Projects. [1] [2] For his many innovative designs and numerous creations over more than three decades, Hatfield is considered a legend of design. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Early life

Hatfield was born on April 30, 1952, in Hillsboro, Oregon. He attended Central Linn High School, where he was an exceptionally talented basketball player, an All-State football running back, and an All-American track-and-field star in hurdle events and pole vaulting. In 1970, he was recognized as the top high school athlete in the state of Oregon. [8] [9]

At the University of Oregon, Hatfield studied architecture and continued his track and field career under the coaching of Bill Bowerman, co-founder of Nike. He set the university record in the pole vault and placed sixth in that event at the 1976 Olympic trials. However, his athletic career was cut short by an injury during his second year at the university. He finished his college studies in the fall of 1976 and was awarded a bachelor's degree in architecture from the university in 1977. [9]

After graduating from college, Hatfield practiced as an architect in Eugene until he joined Nike in 1981. [9]


Hatfield joined Nike in 1981, and in 1985 started working on shoe design. [10] He realized that his architectural skills could be applied to shoes.[ citation needed ] Hatfield was also published for the architectural design of his Portland, Oregon home.[ citation needed ] He claims to have designed the cross-trainer as a "multi-sport" shoe when he realized people at his Oregon gym brought various sneakers with them for diverse activities such as basketball, aerobics, weightlifting and jogging.[ citation needed ] In 1987, Tinker Hatfield designed the Air Max 1 Running Shoe after visiting the Centre Georges Pompidou; [1] and in 1990 released the third in the Air Max line, the Air Max 90 (Air Max III at the time). Hatfield designed the bat-boots for Michael Keaton to wear in Batman and Batman Returns . [11] Hatfield's younger brother, Tobie Hatfield, joined Nike in 1990 as a senior engineer. [12]

He also created the graphic design on the basketball court at the Matthew Knight Arena at the University of Oregon; the facility opened in 2011. [2] In 2013, Hatfield worked on both Nike and Jordan brand concept car designs for Gran Turismo 6 . [13] In 2014, Hatfield indicated that Nike would unveil a shoe with power-lacing technology, as worn by Marty McFly in the 1989 film Back to the Future Part II , which partially takes place in the year 2015. [14] Hatfield was profiled in the first season of the Netflix documentary series Abstract: The Art of Design . [15] In 2019, Hatfield received his own sneaker, titled the Nike React "Tinker Hatfield". [16] The shoes were first presented to the public by him at SXSW.

Air Jordans

Hatfield was the lead designer of Air Jordans III through XV, XX, and XX3. Additionally, Hatfield co-designed Air Jordans 2010 and XXX.

Phil Knight credits the Air Jordan III with saving Nike, claiming it kept Michael Jordan from leaving the company for Adidas. [17]

According to a 2018 interview with Hatfield, his favorite Air Jordan model is the Air Jordan 11 and his least favorite is the Air Jordan 15. [18]

Honors and awards

Further reading

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Air Force (shoe)</span> Range of athletic shoes made by Nike

The Air Force is a range of athletic shoes made by Nike that began with Air Force 1. It was created by designer Bruce Kilgore and was the first basketball shoe to use Nike's "Air" technology. The shoe is offered in low-, mid- and high-top styles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Air Jordan</span> American brand by Nike

Air Jordan is a line of basketball shoes produced by Nike, Inc. Related apparel and accessories are marketed under Jordan Brand.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Swoosh</span> Nike logo

The Swoosh is the logo of American sportswear designer and retailer Nike. Today, it has become one of the most recognizable brand logos in the world, and the most valuable, having a worth of $26 billion alone.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chuck Taylor All-Stars</span> Canvas and rubber shoes (sneakers)

Chuck Taylor All-Stars or Converse All Stars is a sneaker manufactured by Converse. Initially developed as a basketball shoe in the early 20th century, its design has remained largely unchanged since its introduction. The shoe consists of a stitched upper portion, and a toe cap and outsole usually made of rubber. Although Chuck Taylors are made of various materials such as leather or suede, the original and most widely known version is made from cotton canvas. The innovative detail of the original shoe was the "loose lining" of soft canvas that was intended to provide flexibility and prevent blisters.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nike Air Max</span> Line of shoes produced by Nike, Inc.

Nike Air Max is a line of shoes produced by Nike, Inc., with the first model released in 1987. Air Max shoes are identified by their midsoles incorporating flexible urethane pouches filled with pressurized gas, visible from the exterior of the shoe and intended to provide cushioning to the underfoot. Air Max was conceptualized by Tinker Hatfield, who initially worked for Nike designing stores.

Streetwear is a style of casual clothing which became global in the 1990s. It grew from New York hip hop fashion and Californian surf culture to encompass elements of sportswear, punk, skateboarding, 1980s nostalgia, and Japanese street fashion. Later, haute couture became an influence, and was in turn influenced by streetwear. Streetwear centers on comfortable clothing and accessories such as jeans, T-shirts, baseball caps, and sneakers. Brands may create exclusivity through intentional product scarcity; enthusiasts follow particular brands and try to obtain limited edition releases, including via proxy purchases.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mark Parker</span> American businessman (born 1955)

Mark Parker is an American businessman. He serves as executive chairman of Nike, Inc. He was named the third CEO of the company in 2006 and served as president and CEO until 13 January 2020. Since April 3, 2023, he has served as chairman of The Walt Disney Company.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jumpman (logo)</span> Logo owned by Nike to promote the Air Jordan brand

The "Jumpman" logo is owned by Nike to promote the Air Jordan brand of basketball sneakers and other sportswear. It is a silhouette of former NBA player and current Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sneaker collecting</span> Collecting, trading and/or admiring of sneakers as a hobby

Sneaker collecting is the acquisition and trading of sneakers as a hobby. It is often manifested by the use and collection of shoes made for particular sports, particularly basketball and skateboarding. A person involved in sneaker collecting is sometimes called a sneakerhead.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nike, Inc.</span> American athletic equipment company

Nike, Inc. is an American athletic footwear and apparel corporation headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, United States. It is the world's largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment, with revenue in excess of US$46 billion in its fiscal year 2022.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">NikeID</span>

Nike By You is a service provided by Nike allowing customers to personalize and design their own Nike merchandise, most specifically footwear but also sportswear. They offer online services as well as physical studios in different countries around the world, including: United Kingdom, Italy, France, Japan, Spain, Germany, China, USA, Canada and Australia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nike Air Yeezy</span> Footwear collaboration project by Nike and Kanye West

The Nike Air Yeezy is an official sneakers collaboration project between Nike and Kanye West, launched in 2009. Notable as the shoe brand's first non-athlete full collaboration, the project has released two editions: the "Air Yeezy" (2009) and the "Air Yeezy II".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nike Mag</span> Limited-edition shoe created by Nike

The Nike MAG is a limited-edition shoe created by Nike Inc. It is a replica of a shoe featured in the film Back to the Future Part II. The Nike Mag was originally released for sale in 2011 and again in 2016. Both launches were in limited quantities. The 2011 release was limited to 1,510 pairs, while the 2016 release was limited to 89 pairs.

Ronnie Fieg is an American footwear and clothing designer, entrepreneur and the owner-operator of American retail fashion establishment and brand Kith.

Pensole Footwear Design Academy is a footwear design school based in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 2010 by D’Wayne Edwards, the school has partnerships with institutions such as Parsons The New School for Design, Art Center College of Design, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as brands such as Foot Locker, Asics, and Adidas. Founder Edwards is a former design director of Brand Jordan, a subsidiary of Oregon based Nike. The school has also worked with Adidas, whose North American headquarters are in Portland, and also hold a design competition called the Future of Footwear.

<i>Sole Collector</i>

Sole Collector is an American media brand and publication founded in Portland, Oregon which focuses on sneaker news and sneaker culture. The company is currently based in New York and owned by Complex Networks.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Self-tying shoes</span> Footwear designed to automatically tighten when worn

Self-tying shoes are designed to automatically tighten once the user puts them on. Such types of "smart shoes" were initially depicted in the 1989 science fiction film Back to the Future Part II.

Nike and Off-White: "The Ten" was a sneakers collaboration between Nike and Off-White in 2017. It initially involved the deconstruction of ten iconic Nike silhouettes, designed by Founder and CEO of Off-White, Virgil Abloh. The ten shoes were individually broken down by Abloh, and then rebuilt with a different design and rearranged components. The collaboration sold out and the shoes became highly sought after. Further additions to this collaboration were then added throughout 2018 and 2019 which included endorsements from athletes and celebrities but are not included in the original "ten".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jordan Geller</span> American sneaker collector

Jordan Michael Geller is an American sneaker collector who founded and operated the ShoeZeum, the world's first sneaker museum. In 2012, Geller was certified by Guinness World Records for having the largest sneaker collection in the world, at 2,388 pairs.

John Hoke III is an American architect and designer who is the chief design officer of Nike, Inc. He leads the company's design team which includes more than 1,000 product and industrial designers, graphic designers, and fashion designers, as well as architects, interface, and digital content designers.


  1. 1 2 Thomas Prudon, "Nike Air Max 1 - Respect the Architects", Sneakers.fr. Accessed: May 24, 2012.
  2. 1 2 Richard, Brandon (November 7, 2010). "Tinker Hatfield Designs New University of Oregon Basketball Court". Sole Collector. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  3. Boykins, Austin. "Tinker Hatfield". Hypebeast. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  4. Winter, Jack (September 18, 2015). "Tinker Hatfield Explains The Story Of The Air Jordan XI Low IE". Uproxx.com. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  5. "Tinker Hatfield Interview". Highsnobiety. December 14, 2016. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  6. "Tinker Hatfield". SneakerNews.com. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  7. Nojima, Aaron (April 30, 2015). "Happy Birthday to Sneaker Legend Tinker Hatfield". Sneakerhistory.com. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  8. 1 2 "Special Contribution to Sport: Tinker Hatfield [web page is mislabeled as Bob Blackburn]". Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. 2009. Archived from the original on May 7, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  9. 1 2 3 4 "2008 Ellis F. Lawrence Medal Honors Tinker Hatfield". University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts. Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  10. 1 2 Peterson, Erik (December 19, 2002). "Tinkering with success". Albany Democrat-Herald . Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  11. These Boots Were Made For Batman Fortune magazine August 1989
  12. Wieberg, Steve (February 19, 2006). "Hatfields & Olympics: 'It's gotta be the shoes'". USA Today . Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  13. "What's up with Nike and Jordan in Vision Gran Turismo?". Destructoid.com. August 21, 2013. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  14. Billington, James (February 17, 2014). "Nike is actually making Marty McFly's self-lacing shoes". New York Post . Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  15. "Netflix launches new documentary series Abstract: The Art of Design with a stellar lineup". www.itsnicethat.com. Retrieved April 8, 2023.
  16. Ian Stonebrook (March 25, 2019). "Tinker Hatfield Debuts New Nike REACT Model at SXSW". Nice Kicks.
  17. "New Air Jordan 3 honors the designer who saved Nike". March 22, 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. "AIR JORDAN DESIGNER ADMITS JORDAN 15S WERE TRASH ... But My 11S Were Fire!".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)