2021 was THE year for Nike’s 1989 Air Jordan 4. Rising exponentially in popularity over this past year, all eyes are on this Tinker Hatfield-designed Jordan. Giving the AJ1 a run for its money, the Jordan 4 is cementing its place in the hall of fame as a sneaker-fan fave, so we’re taking a look at some of the most iconic colourways of all time. First released in that classic Chicago colour palette - White and Fire Red - the Jordan 4 started as it meant to go on.
Back in the ‘80s, it was thought that the Air Jordan 3 was going to be a hard one to top, but Hatfield managed it and then some. Constructed with that signature mesh detailing around the lace unit, triangular ankle panel design and unique lacing unit, the Air Jordan IV hit differently with fans, although it was not without controversy. However, thanks to it being more streamlined and lightweight than the AJ3, there really was not a lot to complain about. In its first year, the Jordan IV released in four colourways, now all considered legendary: "White Cement", "Black Cement", "Military Blue" and "Fire Red". Constructed with a visible Air unit in the heel and a concealed unit in the forefoot, as well as a larger than usual heel pull tab, the comfort of these 4s was unrivalled and did Michael Jordan wonders on the court. The "Bred" colourway was also the first Jordan to ever use nubuck leather, something that is quite common now.
Keep scrolling to take a deep dive into some of the best Air Jordan 4s of all time…
Air Jordan 4 OG “Fire Red”
Recently celebrating its 30th birthday, the Tinker Hatfield silhouette re-released back in 2020 reminding fans of the premium feel that comes with this Jordan 4. Crafted from luxurious leather on the upper and "Fire Red" accents, the Jordan 4 'Fire Red' a must-cop for J4 fans all around the world.
Air Jordan 4 OG “White Cement”
First appearing in Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing in 1989 and re-releasing ten years later alongside the first Retro styles, this white-and-black iteration will forever live in the hearts of sneakerheads. Quite similar to the AJ3 that came before, this Jordan IV sees a paint-splattered mudguard, triangular TPU detailing and Nike Air branding heel tab that resembles the elephant print that dresses the III.
Air Jordan 4 OG “Black Cement”
Michael Jordan debuted this pair for the first time early 1989 at the All-Star Game in Houston. This was the first Jordan model of all time that was released worldwide. The "Bred" colourway on this sneaker has forever stayed iconic, regardless of the silhouette.
Air Jordan 4 OG “Military Blue”
After the above releasing, Nike decided to dress the controversial silhouette with blue and white. Despite never making it onto the feet of MJ, these are an instantly recognisable pair of sneakers that fans still lust after today. A variation of these trainers re-released early this year, with the Air Jordan 4 Golf Military Blue.
Off-White x Jordan 4 “Sail”
Top of many ‘Best Releases of 2020’ lists last year, the collaboration between Virgil Abloh’s Off-White and the Oregon-based brand is still selling for well over a grand in most sizes on StockX. Coming in a pleasing beige colourway, this Jordan 4 was not only the best AJ4 of 2020, but possibly one of the best of all time. Translucent accents take over the heel, mesh detailing and Jumpman Flight label at the top of the tongue.
You can still cop the Off-White x Nike Air Jordan 4 Sail on the secondary market.
Jordan 4 University Blue
The North Carolina-inspired Jordan 4 "University Blue", this colourway is a hit on any silhouette. One of the most popular Jordan 4 drops of 2021, this iteration breaks up the blue with hints of "Cement Grey", black and red. Usually coming with a matching blue lace unit, we’ve seen this pair look pretty fire with a variety of colours… What is your favourite?
Jordan 4 Black Cat
You can’t go wrong with a triple-black colourway, can you? Nothing too fancy, just all-black everything. Coming in premium suede, the Jordan 4 Black Cat is one to cop for the winter months. Although, you’re going to need some specialist cleaner on these to keep them looking fresh!
Travis Scott x Jordan 4 “Cactus Jack”
Following on from his Nike Air Force 1, the US rapper’s Jordan debut stands loud and proud in "University Blue" compared to other more earthy-toned Scott models that have come since. With "Black" taking over the rubber outsole, mesh panelling, lace units and heel, there’s plenty of contrast in this sneaker. And along with the addition of bright-red colouring around the ankle, this iconic Jordan 4 really kicked off Travis Scott’s long-standing relationship with the Beaverton-based brand.
Jordan 4 Taupe Haze
A recent release, the Jordan 4 'Taupe Haze' sees a buttery suede take over the body of this sneaker, whilst brown rubber panelling adds some contrast giving this pair of 4s an extremely premium look. Hatfield’s iconic netting and triangular detailing comes in black, standing out loud and proud. A red Jumpman can be spied at the top of the tongue, matching to the cushioning on the inside of the tongue.
Jordan 4 Cool Grey
First unveiled in 2004, this AJ4 had a re-release in 2019. Thanks to its muted colour scheme, it was as popular as ever. Yellow can be spied in the Air unit and on the ‘Flight’ lettering on the top of the tongue, but there’s nowhere near as much colour as the next pair…
Jordan 4 Lightning
Released alongside a “Thunder” edition back in 2006, this black-and-yellow pack of J4s was extremely limited upon release. Coming in a bright colour scheme, Nike decided it was time for the “Lightning” to resurface this year with a shock drop on SNKRS Day and this iteration was as popular as ever. If you’re lucky, you might still be able to get the Jordan 4 Lightning for not *that* much over retail.
UNDEFEATED x Jordan 4 Retro
Is this the most rare Jordan of all time? The UNDFTD Jordan 4 comes in a green and orange colour scheme inspired by MA-1 Flight Jacket, and goes so far to be constructed from a completely suede upper and a satin tongue. Only 72 pairs were ever released, so you’d be hard pushed finding a pair of these.
Union x Air Jordan 4 Off Noir
LA-based brand, Union, have collaborated on a number of Air Jordan 4s, but this has got to be one of our favourites. Coming with translucent panelling across the medial and lateral sidewalls and a yellow midsole, this is one amazing sneaker. It was a close toss up between this iteration and the Union x Air Jordan 4 Guava Ice.
Levi’s x Air Jordan 4 Navy
Levi’s have collaborated with a fair few people in their time, but this Jordan 4 is really something else. Denim fans were rejoicing when they saw how covered this AJ4 was, with even the midsole dressed in that iconic Levi’s denim. Levi’s signature red label can be found on the lateral sidewall, whilst the orange stitching you’d find on your favourite pair of jeans also appears over the entire body of this Jordan IV.
Jordan 4 Retro Metallic Green
Finally, the Tinker Hatfield-designed silhouette looks clean in white and green. This metallic-green colourway was first seen on an Air Jordan 1 way back when in 1986, but it definitely suits the J4. The metallic elements dress the outside of the lace unit, as well as the Jumpman at the top of the tongue and on the heel. The Jordan 4 Metallic Green is definitely one to add to your collection!
Make sure to check out all the up-and-coming Nike Air Jordan 4s here and keep locked in to stay up to date with all news and releases from the Jordan Brand.