By Ian Wixted
For this week’s installment of Tinker Tuesdays we look at Tinker Hatfield’s biggest contribution to March Madness: the Nike Air Flight Huarache! With help from assistant Eric Avar, Tinker saw a shift in college basketball culture and they wanted to design a sneaker to fit into the new college lifestyle, and they did just that.
The Air Flight Huarache took the college basketball world by storm. A radical new design for a basketball sneaker fit perfectly for the radical shake-up that was about to happen. The 90s was all about attitude and no team personified attitude more than the Michigan Wolverines. Out with the old short shorts and white ankle socks, the Michigan team wore baggy shorts and black socks. Tinker Hatfield saw that times were changing and he wanted to jump in front of the new lifestyle. “If the shoe fits in with other things that are going on culturally, you get a perfect storm.”
The Michigan Wolverines garnered the nickname “The Fab Five” while running through college basketball rocking the Air Flight Huaraches. The Fab Five was fitting because the starting five were all true freshman and considered to be the greatest class ever recruited. A sneaker designed by an Oregon Duck but made famous by five freshman from Michigan.
With the Air Flight Huarache, Tinker Hatfield once again stamped his name in one of America’s greatest events. Not only in college, the Air Flight Huarache became a go-to for NBA superstars as well because it was one of the most comfortable basketball sneakers at the time.
Tinker Hatfield left a lasting impression when he and Eric Avar designed the Air Flight Huarache that is still being felt today. Just last night Kyrie Irving paid tribute to this classic Nike Silhouette with a version of his own Kyrie 2.
When you’re looking for classic sneaker design that is innovative and trendsetting, especially for basketball silhouettes, look no further than a Tinker Hatfield design. With March Madness starting tonight with the play-in games, what better time to celebrate the Air Flight Huarache?! A sneaker that changed the look of college basketball forever.