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The Architect: The Full Tinker Hatfield Backstory with Nike

By January 26, 2022Jordan, Nike

Tinker Hatfield Backstory - AIO BotTinker Hatfield – also known as The Architect – is one of the greatest sneaker designers in history. As a matter of fact, he is the creative mind behind  SO MANY of your favorite Nike kicks. Including some of the most epic Jordan silhouettes EVER! You can check out the entire list of Tinker’s greatest kicks here.

Tinker_Hatfield CAP - AIO BotBut, if you do consider yourself to be a true sneakerhead, then you gotta know his backstory. The Architect has been in this game for a long long time! However, two things that all of Tinker’s shoes have in common are OOS pages and resale prices

But, as long as you’ve got your sneaker copping skills sharpened, you’ll be fine. In other words, if you know how to avoid Ls, you won’t have to worry about the “Tinker” resale. Because, trust us, the Tinker resale is REAL. Either way, even if you think you’re a badass sneaker copping genius, there’s always room for improvement. Click on the button below for 10 TIPS ON INCREASING YOUR COPPING POWERS!



Tinker Hatfield - SKETCH II - AIO BotTo say that Tinker Hatfield is legen-wait for it-dary is the understatement of the century! He is the current Nike Vice President for Design and Special Projects. Tinker is the man behind the most phenomenal sneaker silhouettes or designs, including the Air Jordan IIIs through XV. He also designed the Air Jordan XX, XXIII, XXV, and XXIX.

However, the greatest Tinker highlights have to be his work with the Air Max lineup. This includes the Air Max 1, Air Max 90, Air Trainer, and Air MAG! These are the sneakers that truly defined Tinker Hatfield as a sneaker designer! He pushed the boundaries of sneaker technology and design. 

PLUS, he was buddy-buddy with Michael Jordan – which we’re most jealous of! But, Tinker’s so much more than that. So, let’s go through a timeline of The Architect’s life!

Nike Air Max - AIO Bot


Tinker Hatfield graduates from the University of Oregon School of Architecture and joins Nike soon after graduating!


The Architect becomes Nike’s exclusive sneaker designer after winning a design competition for creating a new shoe model. 


The year 1987 marks a huge turning point for both Tinker Hatfield and Nike. He designs the Air Max 1 – an indispensable sneaker in everyone’s sneaker collection. Also, he designs the Nike Air Trainer 1 – an unlimited, multipurpose shoe fit for everything!

Nike Air Mag - AIO Bot1988

Tinker Hatfield designs the Nike Air Jordan 3 – his very first sneaker with Michael Jordan. It was also the sneaker that reportedly kept MJ with Nike and stopped him from joining Adidas. Could you imagine how that would’ve been?


He designs the Nike Air MAG for the timeless movie, Back to the Future II. This is the sneaker that marks some of the greatest sneaker movie cameos in history!


Tinker Hatfield designs the Air Max 90. He also designs the Air Jordan V with its “shark teeth” patterns on the midsole. He also revolutionized the reflective 3M tongue – making reflective cool before the 350s.


He designs the Air Jordan VI, the Nike Huarache Trainer, and the Air Mowabb!

Jordan 11 - AIO Bot1992 to 2000

Tinker Hatfield works on annual sneakers including the Air Jordan XI and Air Jordan XIII. The Air Jordan XIs happens to be his favorite of all Jordans! After this, Tinker takes a little break from designing Jordans.


He collaborates with LeBron James on the Nike Air Zoom Generation 1 model. But, he didn’t continue designing for LeBron after that because they reportedly did not see eye to eye.


Tinker_Hatfield CAP - AIO Bot

Co-designs the Air Jordan XX with Mark Smith – celebrating two decades of the Jumpman.

Tinker Hatfield - SKETCH I - AIO Bot2008

Tinker Hatfield works again with Mark Smith on the Air Jordan XX3. It was an epic sneaker that Nike could have pulled off without Tinker! And, the DNA-inspired sneaker shows exactly how much Tinker is a genius!

2010 to 2016

He co-develops the Air Jordan 2010 with Mark Smith once more. It was the sneaker that marks 25 years of production of the Air Jordan line. He also went to develop a few other Jordans including the Air Jordan XXX.

2018 to Current

Tinker_Hatfield CAP - AIO Bot

Tinker Hatfield releases the Tinker Hatfield Jordan 3 inspired by his earliest sketches of the Jordan 3. And, after that, he resumed his role as Nike’s VP of Design – dedicated to innovation!

And, hopefully, that means a lot more 2022 Jordans for us!