The Air Jordan 4: From Originals to Collaborations

The Original Air Jordan 4

The Jordan 4 rocketed to popularity in 1989, boosted by Michael Jordan’s “The Shot” and a classic cameo in Spike Lee’s 1989 film Do the Right Thing. Tinker Hatfield’s eye-catching design incorporated features like breathable mesh and plastic lace eyelet wings to elevate performance and style.

The sneaker continues to fly high today, thanks to innovative retros and collaborations. Snag a pair at Hibbett | City Gear.

OG Colorways

While collaborations and new colorways can be fun, there’s nothing like a pair of original shoes. That’s why sneakerheads go crazy for OG Colorways, including the White Cement AJ4. The shoes were worn by Michael Jordan in the 1989 NBA season and gained more attention after appearing in Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing. The White Cement AJ4 has become a classic for the sneaker culture and still one of the most sought-after pairs today.

Designed by Los Angeles-based streetwear boutique Union LA, the ’Taupe Haze’ AJ4 Retros are a perfect example of how a simple colorway can stand out. The sneakers feature neutral taupe suede and breathable mesh for an outdoorsy feel, while the wings are inspired by Tinker Hatfield’s original sketches. Black accents on the lace eyelets, heel tab and parts of the midsole complement the speckled Cement Grey uppers. Two woven labels – a Jumpman logo and a Team Jordan jock tag – add a heritage finish.

New Colorways

Nike and Jordan Brand have been releasing new colorways of the Air Jordan 4 for quite some time now. Some are collaborations, while others simply tweak the original design a bit to make it fresh. Some of the more unique pairs include the ‘Doernbecher’ and ‘Cactus Jack’ designs.

These sneakers are inspired by MJ’s mother’s favorite color, while also paying tribute to his home state of North Carolina. The shoes feature a blue suede upper and matching mesh netting. Black accents on the lace eyelets and heel tab, along with white soles and midsoles complete the look.

This pair was designed in collaboration with Los Angeles-based streetwear brand Undefeated. Its colorblocking is similar to that of the OG ‘University Blue’ edition, with Fire Red accents on the lining and outsole. ‘Cactus Jack’ branding adorns the heel tab.

Remastered Colorways

After years of being criticized for cheapening up leather on retros, Jordan Brand finally remastered the Air Jordan 4. This resulted in a softer and more authentic look. The “Cement” remasters also feature an improved fit, with a snugger heel cup and a more precise cut for the upper.

The OG “Bred” colorway is still one of the most popular releases. The shoes are a staple of sneaker culture, thanks to their appearance in Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing and the fact that Michael Jordan wore them during his ill-fated playoff series against Orlando.

The remastered “Columbia” colorway is another highly sought-after pair. The shoe pays homage to the infamous playground photoshoot that Michael Jordan took for Nike in 1994. The original version of the shoe featured a black, white, and concord purple colorway, but the colorway was changed for the public release because concord purple looked too similar to royal blue on television.

Collaborations

From streetwear giants like KAWS to the rapper-turned-designer Eminem, sneakers have become a vehicle for the biggest names in music, art and fashion to express their unique brand ethos. The Air Jordan 4 has proven to be the perfect canvas, with countless collaborations showcasing Hatfield’s design vernacular.

For example, the KAWS x Air Jordan 4 is a grail-worthy release that dropped in 2017. The pair is dressed in premium suede and emblazoned with Kaws’ XX characters over the heel tabs. The sneakers also feature a special tongue tag and a custom shoebox for a truly limited drop.

Another cult-classic is the Drake x Air Jordan 4. The sneaker features a luxe take on the iconic colorway, with a mahogany brown shade covering the majority of the upper. The shoe’s moody color scheme is accentuated by the black overlays and white midsole. The sneakers are also embroidered with “DRAKE” and the Canadian flag on the heel.

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