Not “stuffy and boring,” the AJ 3 Retro ‘Cool Grey’ nails Tinker’s original design ethos


Most Valuable Player. Defensive Player of the Year. All-NBA first team. All-Defensive first team. All-Star MVP. The year 1988 was a big one for Michael Jeffrey Jordan.

And when you’re putting up 35 points on 53.5% shooting, 5.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists every night for the Chicago Bulls, you need everything to be just right from head to toe.

Nike certainly had the toe part covered for His Airness. 1988 heralded the arrival of the Air Jordan 3, widely considered the greatest basketball sneaker of all-time, and the first of Tinker Hatfield’s many contributions to the product line.

As he took on the unenviable task of designing a shoe to keep Jordan firmly ensconced a Nike athlete, Hatfield wrote “The Air Jordan Manifesto” in ’88. In the brief document, he outlined his vision for the line and how it fit with MJ’s on- and off-court personality.

“[S]tyle, class and maturity need not be aloof, stuffy and boring. Let’s be cool and have some fun while we’re at it!” he wrote.

“Michael Jordan is: educated and animated, sporty and tasteful, classic and style, fun and flash, successful and urban.”

It’s pretty safe to say Hatfield hit the mark he was aiming for, and the legend of the Air Jordan 3 was born.

The latest unveiling of the classic silhouette certainly incorporates “cool” and is nowhere near the “stuffy or boring” qualities that Tinker sought to avoid, and brings “sporty and tasteful” to the table as well.

The Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Cool Grey,’ which we last saw in 2007, remains true to the color scheme of that release while featuring upgraded materials.

The genuine leather upper sits atop those classic elephant-print overlays at the toe and heel, with Light Graphite mudguards and midsoles.

Hits of Orange Peel and Sport Red appear at the lace eyelets, tongue and heel logos to add some of Tinker’s “fun and flash.”

Arriving in Men’s and Grade School sizing, the Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Cool Grey’ is a must-have for any fan of the 1988 silhouette.

Cop your pair on 2/20 at

Update, 2/19: The Air Jordan 3 Retro ‘Cool Grey’ release on 2/20 will be ONLINE ONLY, with pairs coming to stores soon.