If you want to feel old, forget about the fact that WIRED is 25, and realize that Nike developed the first Air Jordan in 1984, for the NBA star Michael Jordan. Thirty-four years later, the original red, black and white spikes have created their own sneaker subculture.
This morning, at the WIRED25 festival in San Francisco, the famous Nike designer Tinker Hatfield was on stage with former WIRED editor in chief Scott Dadich. He lifted his feet to the big crowd and looked at a new generation fired, the latest Jordan running shoe.
(As a former athlete, Hatfield's professional footwear design is widely respected and Hatfield's third generation Air Jordan design is credited as the main reason for Michael Jordan decided to hold onto the brand, instead of jumping the ship to a competitor.)
"This is a running shoe for people who do not like to drive," says Hatfield, explaining that he designed it for high-level athletes, as a 240 pound football player, who must run as part of their training to stay aerobic but not particularly fast or have no good shape and technique.
These new running shoes have extra stabilizing structures built into a black nylon lattice frame around the heel. The secret is a series of fins on the back: Slow runners usually land on the heel, explained Hatfield, while faster sprinter lands on the front. This shoe compensates for dawdlers who can slog through the workout.
"It's about ready to be commercialized, it has been shown sales force, it has been shown to dealers," says Hatfield. But from now on, it's not an official name. So Hatfield calls the GOAT running shoe, for Michael Jordan, now known at the NBA Court's biggest player of all time. Nike may not be able to share the shoes with the worldwide world yet, but you can see the unofficial uncovered in the video below.
Tinker Hatfield on his career at Nike and his new god Jordans | WIRED25
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