Air Jordan IV, Air Jordan 4

The fourth member of the Air Jordan sneakers line was designed in 1988 once again by Tinker Hatfield and released in 1989, being the first Air Jordan to be made available simultaneously in major markets all over the world. It was sold for $100.

The Air Jordan 4 was supported by Spike Lee’s now famous Can/Can’t TV commercial and he also featured it in his 1989 movie “Do The Right Thing”, in which there’s a scene where the character “Bugging Out” cleans his pair of Air Jordan 4s with a toothbrush, after a bicyclist accidentally runs over his shoes.

Air Jordan IV Sneakers

Air Jordan IV Sneakers

Being inspired by Michael Jordan, Tinker Hatfield wanted to reflect in the new model the changes Michael’s personal and professional life.

By this time, Michael was married with Juanita Vanoy and was a father, not just a basketball player and thus the style of the shoe had to change. Both Jordan and Hatfield wanted MJ and Tinker wanted to go back to the original draw board.

The old Air Jordan 3 was more luxurious and classy, so the sudden change to a more functional and utilitarian shoe was received with plenty of initial criticism. By all standards at the time, the new sneaker was ugly. The plastic stabilization lace straps and the “trapezoidal” multi-port lace-locking system didn’t look good but rather cheap.

With all the fuss created around its apparent ugliness, it took everyone by surprise when it became an international bestseller. It looked like exactly the uniqueness of its ugliness made the shoe so appealing. Today, looking back, it doesn’t look that ugly at all. There are uglier sneakers out there these days.

On this new model, the Michael Jordan “Jumpman” logo is featured on the tongue. This and features like the capability to lace the shoe in 18 different patterns enabled people to adapt the Air Jordan IVs to their own style.

The utilitarian aspect of the Air Jordan IV sneaker comes from the use of an over-molded mesh that improves breathability and reduces its weight. The new cushioning sole also helped the shoe become a bestseller.

It was reported that just like Air Jordan 3, the Air Jordan 4 sneakers have a tendency for the midsole to crack around the AIR hole.

Air Jodan 4 Retro

Air Jordan IV Black Cat Retro

Air Jordan IV Black Cat Retro

The Air Jordan 4 retro came in 1999 in black/cement and black/white color combinations. All stores ran out of them in just a few hours. The reissue replaced certain plastic components in the original with leather.

Nike later released the Air Jordan IV Retro+ which was received with lots of criticism for replacing the Nike Air logo on the back with the Jumpman logo. Everybody complained that Nike has “destroyed a classic”. Nonetheless, this new release was also sold out within hours.

An Air Jordan 4 Laser package was released in 2005 with a t-shirt and hat that retailed for $200, and later that year Nike released a black color way of the laser IVs.

Air Jordan IV Retro Black-Cement-Grey

Air Jordan IV Retro Black-Cement-Grey

Nike added a few new color combinations in 2006, including the “Military Blues”, “Mars Blackmons”, “Thunder and Lightning” and all white and all black. Still in 2006 a pair of “Rare Air” IVs released with a price tag of $125.

Leave a Comment