Nike shoe designer Tinker Hatfield known more for the Jordan’s he helped design over the past 2 decades, also had a hand in the origins of Nike Cross Training.

The Beginning:

We start in the year 1987. As the story goes, Tinker noticed at his local gym that many people were carrying around 3 sometimes 4 pairs of sneakers for multiple activities. A light bulb went off. Maybe a multi-purpose shoe that doesn’t necessarily do everything well, but does everything just good enough, that gym patrons can now perform all of these activities in just one set of shoes..

 -Light enough for running.
-Enough stability and cushioning for the heavy duty court sports.

 The Nike Air Trainer High was born.

-Final production photo

-An interesting look at some early samples. With a separated toe piece, this was to yield even better forefoot flexibility. Factories at the time could not perform this procedure, so the final production that we all know as the original was formed.

-A very early sketch of a proposed multi-purpose shoe

Here we have a brochure that accompanied all retail pairs:




Lastly, A more in-depth brochure discussing the benefits of the new Air Trainer High:

This was just the beginning for Nike. This Air Trainer High model was considered a high price Signature model. Nike would develop a few other lower priced cross trainers to fill in the gaps for consumers.

More info coming soon.