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Jordan Retro 4 Shoes

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Back in the Game

Designer Tinker Hatfield took Michael Jordan’s fourth signature shoe back to the hardwood. Instead of being inspired by a sports car or adorned in luxury leather, the Air Jordan IV sought to put performance first. These utilitarian kicks were first released in February of 1989 in Black/Cement Grey and were well received by fans and sneaker collectors.



Solidify the Legacy

Jordan cemented his place in history in 1989 with his unforgettable jumper over Craig Ehlo’s head in the playoffs. This jaw-dropping move seared MJ’s prowess into the minds of a generation. Continuing his long list of achievements, Jordan took the top spot to earn the league scoring title for the third year in a row while wearing these kicks.



Cross Boundaries

Already popular throughout the hip hop, punk, and metal music scenes, Spike Lee brought Jordan’s court to music crossover to the mainstream through his commercials and film, “Do the Right Thing.” In what is now an iconic scene, Mars Blackmon, Spike’s character in the film, whips out a toothbrush to clean his crisp AJ IV’s after they have been scuffed by a passing bike.


A Series of Firsts

After the first three Jordan’s limited releases, the Air Jordan IV was the first to be widely available throughout the world. This international distribution helped Jordan shoes reach a new level of global popularity that has lasted to this day.

The Air Jordan IV was the first of Jordan’s signature shoes to have a nubuck and over-molded mesh upper (wide mesh material coated in plastic), plastic lace holders, and a plastic heel clip. These changes were welcomed by people looking for a more durable performance shoe that could stand up to a little wear and tear. For a touch of style, “Flight” was emblazoned on the tongue underneath the Jumpman.

In 1999, the Jordan Retro 4 was released and was the first Retro to sell out almost immediately. This was unexpected, because when the AJ IV first released in 1989 it wasn’t considered very eye-catching. Luckily, it grew on people through the years and is now considered to be one of the more striking Retros. In 2005, boutique brand Undefeated became the first to collaborate with Jordan and deliver their own take on the Retro 4. The extremely exclusive, limited run of Flight Jacket-inspired kicks are still some of the most coveted sneakers of all time.

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