The Custom Nike Air Trainer 3 Boots from 1989's 'Batman' Are Up For Auction
Batman is a 'silent guardian, a watchful protector – the Dark Knight.' Though the Caped Crusader is locked in a never-ending battle with Gotham City's rogue's gallery, he's still got time to get a fit off every so often – and now, one of his most famous pieces of equipment is up for auction: the special Air Trainer 3 boots that Nike designer Tinker Hatfield created for 1989's Batman, directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton as the titular, brooding hero with the special sneakers.
The boots take an Air Trainer 3 and modify it by extending its collar to knee height while also adding 'armour plating' to lock in a combat-ready look. Hatfield actually worked directly with Keaton on creating the boots, heading to the actor's house in Los Angeles to storyboard exactly what they should look like. In total, roughly eight pairs were produced for Keaton and his stunt doubles, making the pair that's being auctioned off extremely rare. 'I had all the drawings, and they just basically created moulds and poured urethane parts, and then were able to take an existing shoe that I had selected and make it in all black and then put the knee-boot extension on top,' Hatfield told Complex's Brendan Dunne when discussing how the boots were made. Hatfield would also follow these Air Trainer 3s up with a special pair of Air Jordan 6s for 1992's Batman Returns.
As is par for the course with many deadstock vintage Nike sneakers, these Batman boots are in a state of decay, with cracked leather and crumbling midsoles due to natural ageing and oxidization. They're not suitable for wear but are a more than worthy collection centrepiece for any movie memorabilia maven, Batman backer or Nike nut. Movie auction house Propstore is handling their sale, and they're expected to realize a price of between $20,000-$30,000.