Tinker Hatfield is the creator of many of Nike’s most celebrated products, he has either designed a shoe that you own, have owned or will one day own. His work includes the majority of Michael Jordan’s infamous signature basketball shoes. Hatfield designed every Jordan from his third signature shoe through to the fifteenth as well as leading design for the XX, XXIII, XXV, XX9 and the XXX. In addition, his work on Nike Air is widely recognized as some of the most important design developments in footwear.
In the late 1980s Hatfield was approached by the producer and director of the Back to The Future movie series to concept and design how shoes might look three decades into the future. His creation, the eponimous Nike MAG shoe became a cultural icon. In 2016 the release of the shoe help raise over $16m for the Michael J Fox Foundation. Hatfield’s original concept also inspired his work on the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0, the first performance shoe to feature ‘powered laces’ that went on sale to the public at the end of 2016.
Born in Hillsboro, Oregon on April 30, 1952, Hatfield attended Central Linn High School where he earned distinction as an accomplished basketball player, an All-American track and field star in hurdles and pole vaulting. He was the first high school athlete in state history to win four individual track events at the State Championships.
Whilst studying architecture at the University of Oregon he was coached by the legendary Bill Bowerman. He held the UO record in the pole vault and placed sixth in the 1976 Olympic trials.
In addition to working with Michael Jordan, Tinker Hatfield has also created specialized Nike athletic products for athletes including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Roger Federer, Laird Hamilton, Gabrielle Reece, Renaud Lavillenie and numerous other athletes. He also dedicates time mentoring young Nike designers and coaching the next generation of Oregon pole vaulters at Grant High School close to his home in Portland, Oregon. Tinker Hatfield is also primarily responsible for the rebranding of the University of Oregon.