By: Ian Wixted
During the 80s, Tinker noticed a problem while he was at the gym. He saw that people needed to bring multiple pairs of sneakers to do different workouts. Seeing people have to haul down their entire closet to the gym, Tinker thought there had to be a better way to train, and that thought lead to the creation of the Nike Air Trainer 1.
Tinker designed the Air Trainer 1 to make it easy for anyone to perform both, on the court and in the gym, so he went with a silhouette that was in the middle of a runner and a basketball sneaker. This provided the Air Trainer 1 with enough heel lift for running but also low enough to get great stability.
Tinker’s new innovation lead to the creation of an entirely new category for Nike, Cross-Training. Making it easier to wear for multiple use, the Air Trainer 1 became very popular for athletes across sports. The first athlete to wear this new creation wasn’t even allowed to wear it because it was still a prototype, but he did what he wanted and never played by the rules, that athlete was notorious tennis player John McEnroe. Tinker was quoted after seeing Johnny Mac win a tournament: “He wasn’t supposed to. He just did it.”
Another athlete that stamped his legacy endorsing the Air Trainer 1 was dual-sports superstar Bo Jackson. He was the face for Nike’s new cross-training line because he had both the power and speed that Tinker embodied with the Air Trainer 1. Bo Jackson was a dominated force on the football field and the baseball diamond, and with the help of Tinker and Nike, they went on to create one of the greatest ad campaigns in history!
Tinker Hatfield completely changed how all of us train and stay fit by creating the Air Trainer 1. He develop a new category for Nike to flood the market with styles that could take you from the court to the field to the gym, and everything in-between, all in one silhouette. Tinker Hatfield saw that the market was missing something during his trips to the gyms, and he went out and created a solution of his own!