5 best Tinker Hatfield-designed Nike shoes

5 best Tinker Hatfield-designed Nike shoes (Image via Sportskeeda)
5 best Tinker Hatfield-designed Nike shoes (Image via Sportskeeda)

The visionary behind some of Nike's most iconic shoes, Tinker Hatfield is a legend in the sneaker sphere. His relentless drive towards improved performance led to the development of many iconic silhouettes.

Often nicknamed "The Architect," Hatfield has worked with the swoosh label for more than four decades now. The footwear genius is the mind behind the creation of many sneakers, including Nike originals and its sub-label Air Jordan.

The designer currently serves as the swoosh label's Vice President for Special Projects and Design. Hatfield has also worked closely with Jordan to create some of its much-coveted silhouettes, beginning in 1988, when he first designed the Air Jordan 3.

Here, we have compiled a list of five best Nike silhouettes designed by Tinker Hatfield.


Top 5 Nike silhouettes which were designed by the footwear industry's visionary Tinker Hatfield

1) Nike Air Max 1

For this silhouette, Tinker Hatfield managed to merge the technology with style. The design of the Air Max 1 silhouette is also the reason why Hatfield was deemed an "Architect." The shoe was inspired by the Centre Pompidou based in Paris.

The Air Max 1 became the first-ever silhouette to feature visible air technology which gave equal amounts of comfort and functionality. The shoe also birthed the walking-on-the-air trend which made it into a high-end luxury silhouette.


2) Nike Air Jordan 3

Air Jordan 3 (Image via Nike)
Air Jordan 3 (Image via Nike)

The Air Jordan 3 marked the first silhouette to be designed by Tinker Hatfield, and was launched in 1988. The silhouette was designed after the swoosh label's former designer Peter Moore left the company, and Hatfield convinced Michael Jordan to stay at the swoosh label.

He then launched a pair of sneakers that had a modern and lightweight design.

The shoe became first-ever mid-cut basketball silhouette, and also the first Air Jordan design to feature Visible Air technology in the form of an exposed heel unit. The Air Jordan 3 design also debuted the iconic Jumpman logo on the tongue and the elephant print accent upon the heel.


3) Air Trainer 1

The Air Trainer 1 silhouette was launched back in 1987 and made its debut on the tennis court, thanks to John McEnroe. These sneakers became the first cross-training sneaker by the swoosh label. The Air Trainer 1 features a midfoot strap, a lateral outrigger, rubber outsoles, and an encapsulated Air-Sole unit in the heel.

The silhouette has become one of Nike's most popular training shoes of all time and has been retro-ed numerous times in various colorways and versions. Most recently, the shoe was redesigned by Travis Scott in his own iteration.


4) Nike Air Jordan 4

Air Jordan 4 (Image via Nike)
Air Jordan 4 (Image via Nike)

The AJ4 silhouette debuted back in February 1989 and since then, has gained a cultural prominence. The silhouette was worn by Michael Jordan in 1989 during the NBA playoffs against Cleveland Cavaliers, where his second last shot became an unforgettable moment, dubbed "The Shot."

The shoe also became the first Jordan sneaker to be launched in Hollywood as it played a prominent role in Spike Lee's 1989 classic, Do The Right Thing. The shoe has had multiple prominent collaborations, including one with Eminem, which was its first.


5) Air Max 90

The Air Max 90, originally dubbed the Air Max 3 raked in one of the swoosh label's biggest non-Jordan commercial sales. The silhouette was released in 1990 and has been in the business for more than 25 years. It has been released in multiple retro and OG colorways.

The sneaker's "Infrared" colorway eventually became a part of the sneaker culture.

Compared to the Air Max 1, this model featured a bit more exaggerated Air Unit and height. The silhouette has become a chameleon of sorts and has been redesigned with many fabrics, materials, and frames.


Other than the aforementioned silhouettes, Tinker Hatfield designed many other sneakers for the swoosh label. The footwear genius launched silhouettes such as Air Jordan 11, Air Huarache, Air Jordan 5, and Air Jordan 6, amongst many others.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal