The Air Jordan 4
When the Air Jordan 4 was first released, it was widely disliked for being an ‘ugly’ sneaker, but over time the model grew on the sneaker community to become one of the most beloved models of the line.
Tinker Hatfield created the Air Jordan IV in 1989 after previously designing the third Jordan in the line.
While thinking about how to top the previous three Air Jordan models, Hatfield decided to get further into the performance of the sneaker. He introduced the synthetic leather Durabuck to the model, which was a more lightweight option designed to be durable. It was also more cost effective and animal friendly than similar materials at the time.
The AJ4 also saw a moulded layer of urethane-coated mesh added to make it more breathable. It was made by dipping the mesh in soft plastic and blasting air through it to clear it out.
Another cool feature that Hatfield gave the design was the added ability to lace the model in 18 different ways, giving people a measure of customisation. The words ‘Air Jordan’ were also stitched upside-down inside the tongue, so you could flip the tongue down to make the words the right-side up.
The AJ4 debuted at an NBA All-Star game in February 1989 in a ‘Black Cement’ colorway. That same year saw the first global release of an Air Jordan sneaker. Despite the initial lack-lustre response and the higher price tag, the AJ4 soon became an incredibly popular silhouette.
One of the most popular colorways of the Air Jordan 4 is the 'White Cement' colorway, released alongside the ‘Black Cement’, which many people will know from Spike Lee’s movie 'Do the Right Thing'. In an iconic scene, Buggin Out's 'White Cement' Jordan 4s are damaged by a Boston Celtic's fan.
10 years later, coinciding with Michael Jordan’s second retirement in 1999, the AJ4 were retroed for the first time, with the original ‘Black Cement’ and ‘White Cement’ colorways appearing alongside new colorways on a tweaked design of the model.
Since then, we’ve been able to enjoy lots of new colorways, throwback retros and high-profile collaborations on the AJ4, including Eminem, Drake, Travis Scott, KAWS, Virgil Abloh’s Off-White and UNDEFEATED.
Upon release Air Jordan 4s retail for around €200.
Generally, the Air Jordan 4 runs a bit small. Most people will need to size up a half or even a whole size.