Tinker Hatfield

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Tinker Haven Hatfield
Born (1952-04-30) April 30, 1952 (age 68)
Hillsboro, Oregon
Residence Portland, Oregon
Education University of Oregon (B.Arch., 1977)
Occupation designer; architect
Known for Air Jordan, Air Max
Spouse(s) Jackie Hatfield
Parent(s) Tinker Haven Hatfield, Sr.

Tinker Haven Hatfield, Jr. (born April 30, 1952, Hillsboro, Oregon),[1] is a prolific and legendary[2][3][4][5] American designer most notably known as the designer of many of Nike's most popular and innovative athletic shoe designs, 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.[6][7] Hatfield has been a pioneer in the field of athletic shoe design and has created many of the world's best known, most popular and best selling i.e. commercially successful shoes. His creations throughout the last three decades feature many of the world's most iconic sneakers and athletic shoe designs.[8][9][10]

Early life

Hatfield grew up on Halsey in Linn County, Oregon, "son of the late Tinker Hatfield Sr., a legendary figure in Oregon coaching circles who won three straight state Class AA titles during his son’s time at Central Linn."[11] No sloucher himself, Tinker Jr. was an all-state selection as basketball player, football player, and an All-American in track and field at Central Linn High School, leading to him being named as the 1970 Johnny Carpenter Prep Athlete of the Year for Oregon high schoolers.[12] He then attended the University of Oregon, where he ran track for coach and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, and at one time had the pole-vault record at the school.[12] Academically, he studied architecture and graduated with a B.Arch. degree from the University of Oregon School of Architecture.[12]


Hatfield joined Nike in 1981, and in 1985 started working on shoe design.[12] 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;[6] and the Infrared Air Max 90 shoe, first released in 1990. 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.[13]

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.[7]

Hatfield's younger brother, Tobie Hatfield, joined Nike in 1990 as a senior engineer.[14]

In 2013, Hatfield worked on both Nike and Jordan brand concept car designs for Gran Turismo 6.[15]

Air Jordans

Tinker Hatfield was the lead designer of Air Jordans III through XV, XX, and XX3. Additionally, Hatfield co-designed Air Jordans 2010 and XX8.

Honors and awards

  • One of Sportstyle Magazine's most influential people on the business side of sports, 1993 & 1996
  • One of Fortune magazine's "100 Most Influential Designers" of the 20th century, 1998[12]
  • Ellis F. Lawrence Medal, University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts, 2008[16]
  • Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, Special Contribution to Sport, 2008[1]

Further reading


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Special Contribution to Sport: Tinker Hatfield [web page is mislabeled as Bob Blackburn]". Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. http://www.highsnobiety.com/2013/12/11/nike-design-legend-tinker-hatfield-stars-in-esquire-networks-how-i-rock-it/
  3. http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/2014/07/tinker-hatfield-nike-shoe-legend-bike-designer.html
  4. http://sneakerhistory.com/2015/04/happy-birthday-sneaker-legend-tinker-hatfield/
  5. http://makersofsport.com/news/esquire-tv-interviews-design-legend-tinker-hatfield
  6. 6.0 6.1 Thomas Prudon, "Nike Air Max 1 - Respect the Architects", Sneakers.fr. Accessed: May 24, 2012.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Richard, Brandon (November 7, 2010). "Tinker Hatfield Designs New University of Oregon Basketball Court". Sole Collector. Retrieved May 28, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. http://uk.complex.com/sneakers/2015/11/20-best-signature-sneaker-lines-all-time
  9. http://uk.complex.com/sneakers/2011/07/30-years-in-the-making-tinker-hatfields-best-sneaker-designs/
  10. http://hypebeast.com/tags/tinker-hatfield
  11. Egggers, Kerry (July 22, 2005). "Tinker's toys: Nike designer has shod 2 million feet, and he's not done yet". Portland Tribune. Retrieved May 28, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Peterson, Erik (December 19, 2002). "Tinkering with success". Albany Democrat-Herald. Retrieved May 28, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Billington, James (February 17, 2014). "Nike is actually making Marty McFly's self-lacing shoes". New York Post. Retrieved February 17, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Wieberg, Steve (February 19, 2006). "Hatfields & Olympics: 'It's gotta be the shoes'". USA Today. Retrieved May 28, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. http://www.destructoid.com/what-s-up-with-nike-and-jordan-in-vision-gran-turismo--260504.phtml
  16. "2008 Ellis F. Lawrence Medal Honors Tinker Hatfield". University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts. Retrieved May 28, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>