by Brendan Dunne
One of the common complaints registered against the Air Jordan XXX during its official unveiling this week was that the shoe looked so much like the Air Jordan XX9. In the above unboxing video, designer Tinker Hatfield defends his decision to not stray too far from the last Air Jordan player shoe.
Hatfield suggests that on future Air Jordan designs, Jordan Brand won't necessarily aim to make each shoe radically different just for the sake of it. The brand will instead revamp the sneakers' design only when it makes sense to do so from a performance standpoint.
"We are not going to automatically just change the tooling just to be different, Hatfield explains. "We're going to change the tooling for real strong performance reasons..Don't change something unless you have a better idea. Don't just change it just to be changing it because that's fashion – that's not sports performance."
He also cites the short time span he and Mark Smith had to design the shoe as a reason for its familiar look.
"Because of the amount of time that we had to work with, we were like, 'We are not confident that we could just throw this one all the way out and start from scratch.'"
Hatfield is quick to point out that at the zenith of his Air Jordan output, the tooling across his designs wasn't terribly different.
"Going back to my first three or four years designing Jordan shoes, I didn't change that tooling that much," he says.
Watch the video from Jacques Slade above to get more Jordan 30 design insights from Hatfield and Smith.