Since Michael Keaton starred in 1992’s Tim Burton-dirtected, Batman Returns, we’ve seen many fill the black boots of the caped crusader. Although later iterations of the Dark Knight have largely eclipsed Keaton’s performance (namely Christian Bale‘s), his footwear in the role, a reworked Air Jordan 6, is still undoubtedly the best.
Tinker Hatfield was the lead designer at Nike since the late 80’s, and as a result the man behind the design of Air Jordan sneakers as well (creating Jordan III’s through XV, and XX, XXIII and XXV). According to 1989Batman.com, the tandem between Nike and Warner Bros. sneaker started as a collaborative effort between Hatfield and Batman costume designer, Bob Ringwood, for the first film and went like this:
… costume designer Bob Ringwood faced a small dilemma. Warner Brothers then had a relationship with shoemaker Nike and asked the designer if there was some way of working the brand into the costuming for the film. Ringwood doubted it, noting that “80s sportswear isn’t going to fit in with our 1940s look”… but then inspiration struck, and Nike was tasked with providing Batman’s boots for the film. Since the boot was covered by the suit’s ankle and shin armor, the Nike shoes became almost unrecognizable in the finished movie.
You can read the rest of the story here, but the culmination of their efforts, was a molded Nike Trainer III that the caped crusader wore in the 1989’s Batman. They then switched to the Air Jordan VI model for the film’s 1992 sequel. Since then the “Bat-boot” has surfaced and been sold in private collections, and now, once again on eBay. That’s right, the Bat-boot from Batman Returns is up for auction here, for all you nerds and sneakerheads alike and it even features an autograph from Keaton himself!