How time flies! 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the Air Jordan 4 – which means that it’s one of the key silhouettes for Jordan Brand this year. As its tradition, sneakerheads get spoiled with both long-awaited Retros and new colorways on the classic model to celebrate its legacy. But it isn’t like the widespread love for this shoe ever went silent was since its debut.
First released back in 1989, the Air Jordan 4 was the 4th signature shoe that Nike created for Michael Jordan. It also marked the second model from the line that Tinker Hatfield designed after starting his work with MJ one year earlier. The 4s were also the first Air Jordans to see an international release and retailed for $110 USD at launch. Ah, those were the days. Equipped with a total of four lace locks, the shoe allowed for up to 18 different lacing options. And being the shoe that Michael Jordan wore while taking “The Shot” against the Cleveland Cavaliers, it also has one of the most memorable on-court moments of all Air Jordans.
DID YOU KNOW?
One of the best-known movie appearances in sneaker history might be that of the Air Jordan 4 in Spike Lee’s classic flick “Do The Right Thing”. The scene features the character “Buggin’ Out” getting dirt on his crisp “White Cement” 4s. While many people remember this moment for its relatable content, the actor who wears the sneakers often gets overlooked. But in fact, Giancarlo Esposito went on to play one of the greatest villians in recent TV memory. In both “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul”, he appeared as none other than drug lord Gustavo Fring. Yup, that’s the same guy.
The Legacy of the Air Jordan 4
Over the years, the Air Jordan 4 went on to continue to cement its status. From 1999, Nike began to release Retro versions of previous colorways. In addition, the AJ4 is the base for many of the most notorious limited edition Air Jordans. With only 72 pairs in existence, the flight jacket-inspired Undefeated collab from 2005 fetches 5-figure prices in the second market. Rap superstar Eminem even had two special versions of the shoe, the “Encore” edition and the Carhartt collab. Both sneakers go for roughly the price of a mid-range car if they ever appear at resale outlets.
Not less coveted, but luckily a bit more available are the more recent Air Jordan 4 special releases. Be it the denim versions by Levi’s, the celebrated KAWS designs or the “Cactus Jack” collab by Travis Scott. And of course there are always the regular drops that guarantee that the shoe never disappears from our IG feeds. That’s why we picked out some of our favorite shots of this ever-beloved sneaker – check them out below.
Title image via @318.38