2022’s almost over and with a string of incredible new releases, it’s no secret that the AJ4 is Jordan’s hottest silhouette right now. If you’re looking to grab a pair, whether it’s a new drop or classic deadstock, here’s everything you need to know about the Air Jordan 4.
The Air Jordan 3 was a massive success. The sneaker and its designer, the legendary Tinker Hatfield, were widely credited for convincing Michael Jordan to continue his deal with Nike. After his incredible debut, Hatfield immediately began work on its sequel. Designed with functionality and performance in mind, the Jordan 4 was MJ’s most technical-looking signature yet.
The upper features three panels of breathable mesh on the tongue and sides, with support wings along the eyestays to allow wearers to customize the fit and style of the laces. The 4 also features a thick, layered sole, with the visible Air unit in the heel popularised by Hatfield on the Air Max 1 and Jordan 3.
Originally the upper was made with a synthetic leather called Durabuck, rather than the range of materials we see used today. The silhouette dropped in November 1989 with 4 colourways, Black Cement/Bred, White Cement, Fire Red, and Military Blue.
Worn by Michael Jordan during one of his greatest NBA seasons, the AJ4 was off to a great start. Jordan even wore them during ‘The Shot’, his famous clutch shot that won the Playoff game between the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers with 6 seconds to spare.
The shoe also got a push from the director Spike Lee. The American Indie legend had previously directed ads for the Jordan 3, featuring MJ himself alongside Mars Blackmon, the Jordan-loving Brooklynite from Lee’s feature debut, She’s Gotta Have It. This time around, Lee would make a scuffed pair of Jordan 4s the centrepiece of a heated (but hilarious) exchange in his classic, Do the Right Thing.
The Biggest Collabs
In time, the 4 eventually made its way off the court to be embraced as a streetwear staple. This of course has led to a tonne of celebrated and sought-after collaborations over the years.
Two of the biggest and rarest have to be the Carhartt x Eminems and the Undefeateds, both of which go for tens of thousands of dollars on the resale market. Other hits from hyped designers include the ice blue Travis Scotts, and the iconic Virgil Abloh touches on the Off-White WMNS Sail. Union LA also dropped one of their hottest collabs with a 4-pack of colourways including the Off-Noir and Guava Ice.
The Enduring Legacy
But like any streetwear icon, the Jordan 4 isn’t just dependent on collabs to draw in the hype, the retro releases of OG colourways are always anticipated. And it’s not just the OGs, other standouts include the clean mono Black Cats, inspired by MJ’s nickname on the court.
In 2022, the AJ4 has gotten a big push from Nike and Jordan Brand, with a string of exciting new colourways. First off was the Military Black, a new spin on the OG Military blues, and one of the most versatile colourways of the summer. For something a little more out-there the Canyon Purple colourway dropped this SNKRS Day, coming in a colourful hairy suede. The materials even got a tweak with the new canvas models, coming in Black and a natural Blank Canvas.
With an established legacy and a continued line of hype new colourways, it’s easy to see why the Air Jordan 4 takes up such a big space in the hearts and minds of sneakerheads. Whether you’re looking to get your first pair or just want to add to your collection, be sure to check out the full range of AJ4s available on KLEKT.