Air Jordan XX: 20 Year Mark Brings Back Tinker Hatfield

Name: Air Jordan XX

Release: 2005

Designer: Tinker Hatfield with help from Mark Smith


2005 marked 20 years of the Air Jordan sneaker series, so it was only fitting that they called on the man that helped vault the line into its dominance…Mr. Tinker Hatfield. One of the main themes for the Air Jordan XX was to look back and reflect on the previous 20 shoes through this sneaker. For the Air Jordan XX Tinker took inspiration for this sneaker from various things in Michael Jordan’s life, but most prominent was his love for motor sports. This was very fitting considering Jordan now had his Michael Jordan Motorsports team. To put it into simple terms…this sneaker was developed to celebrate the legacy of Michael Jordan!

There isn’t enough that can be said for what he did for the sneaker line, if not sneakers in general.

One of the most prominent features of the Air Jordan XX was the strap that it had going across the mid-foot of the sneaker. It is has some very detailed art work that was used to symbolize 20 years that both Jordan himself and the sneaker line had been through. It is stated that the influence for the process that was used to make this artwork came from a gentlemen named David Monette, who designed custom trumpets and engraves designs. The process used to engrave the designs was called “lasering” and the task of inputting the artwork on this mid-foot strap was given to Mark Smith.

When you closely examine this mid-foot strap you will notice that there many very interesting designs and symbols that have been etched onto it. It is stated that each of the pieces found within the artwork of this mid-foot strap represents an experience in Michael Jordan’s life. Here are some examples of what these items on the Air Jordan XX mid-sole strap symbolize:

  • The Bus Drive cap with golf clubs crossed – It is stated that when one plated a round of golf with Jordan and lost, they had to wear a bus driver’s cap and walk back from the clubhouse.
  • 44DT – This was to represent Hall of Fame NBA star David “Skywalker” Thompson, whom Michael Jordan idolized in the 70’s (yes that’s right even Jordan looked up to someone at one point!)
  • 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo – This was to represent when Jordan would be sitting in the back seat when his mother (Deloris Jordan) would be bringing him home from school to be grounded.
  • The Toolbox with the word “POPs” – This symbol was to represent the late James Jordan…Michael’s father and biggest fan. It is stated that he could almost fix anything within the Jordan household.

Amongst the very vivid and intricate mid-foot strap, the Air Jordan XX had other great features as well. It had a floating ankle leash, hidden lacing system that was under the mid-foot strap. It had an internalized impact distribution plate and a breathable sphere lining in it. One of the most interesting new features that this sneaker had was the Independent Podular Suspension technology. This new feature on the sneaker was a free-moving targeted cushioning technology.

Special Moments:

For the most part the best moment of this particular year was the fact that Tinker Hatfield hat returned to bless us with another Air Jordan. There isn’t enough that can be said for what he did for the sneaker line…if not sneakers in general. One has to realize that reaching a milestone like 20 years in the sneaker industry is HUGE considering every year they released a different sneaker…give credit where it is due!

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Sole Theory is a sneaker lifestyle guide that explores the social impact of the sneaker culture. Users can expect to gain insight on recent trends, historic brands and signature styles that have heavily influenced the shoe industry. Content will be driven by articles, interviews and reviews that will uncover interesting facts and stories that have rarely been told.