DIY Air Jordan Restoration — Tinker AJ3
Do you know the man behind some of Jordan Brand’s most legendary designs? Tinker Hatfield is considered one of the most important people to the success of the Air Jordan line of basketball shoes. Hatfield himself designed the Air Jordan 3, among numerous other successful models.
To pay homage to Hatfield’s legacy, Nike created the Air Jordan 3 ‘Tinker’ which is based on his original design. And though it slightly differs from the normal production model, it’s still a Jordan 3 through and through.
Vick got his hands on a pair, but boy are they crusty. This has got to be one of the worst shoes we’ve come across in a while. Want to see if Vick can restore them and do Tinker proud? I know you’re up for it!
Before we get started, I’ll give you one guess as to which other wildly popular Nike shoe Hatfield designed. Any ideas? That’s right, the first shoe to ever feature the Air bubble, the Nike Air Max 1.
And in case you wanted one more fun fact about Hatfield, he actually designed the Air Mags that were used in Back to the Future. Hatfield is awesome, and the least we can do to pay our respects to this legendary designer is restore a pair of shoes attached to his legacy!
Your mission, should you choose to accept...
For you aspiring sneaker restorers, this one is a good one for you to replicate. Vick didn’t have to use too much of his bag to pull this one off. For a restoration of this caliber, it’s more about having the right tools for the job.
All good sneaker restorations start with a deep clean. Vick relied on the RESHOEVN8R Signature Kit to get the job done. This means he deep cleaned the shoes inside and out with the brushes and Solution, and utilized the Laundry System for extra deep-clean action.
The best Jordan cleaner. Period.
The secret behind our Patented Laundry System.
What's the damage?
Now that the shoes are clean, it’s easier to assess the damage. Upon further inspection, the midsole needs new paint, the sole is yellow, and the suede is ashy and faded. Each of these steps is going to be crucial in taking this Tinker Jordan 3 back to its original factory finish and feel.
By now you know the drill when it comes to paint. The key is to master the art of taping, first. A good tape job can easily make up for an unsteady hand. It’s all about those crispy, straight lines!
Unyellowing soles isn’t all that hard, either. As you know, having a good UV setup goes a long way in helping the Sole Revive do its thing. The best part about removing the oxidation from soles is that you can do it for as little or as long as you’d like. If at first you don’t like the results, repeat the process until you do!
The same taping principle we talked about for painting applies to dyeing the suede. Make sure your tape job is on point, and the rest will fall into place.
Pro Tip: Use RESHOEVN8R Water + Stain Repellent to lock in the new dye. This will keep it protected and stop it from bleeding onto the rest of the shoe.
No restoration is complete without a coat of Mink Oil! Vick used the Mink Oil to recondition the elephant print, but you can use it on the suede, too, if you so desire!
Day & Night
What shoe should we restore next? Seems like things are getting too easy for Mr. Vick Almighty! Ready to tackle your own sneaker restoration project? Here are the products that Vick used on this Air Jordan 3 Tinker restoration.