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Top 10 Most Iconic Air Jordan 4 Releases of All Time

5 Mins read

The Air Jordan 4 is more than just a sneaker; it’s a piece of basketball and style history. First released in 1989, the AJ4 has become one of the most beloved silhouettes in the Air Jordan lineup, combining performance innovation with street fashion. It has seen numerous colorways and collaborations, standing out as a cultural icon. Here, we explore the top 10 Air Jordan 4 releases that have left an indelible mark on the sneaker world.

Air Jordan 4 "Bred"

Few sneakers carry the weight of history like the Air Jordan 4 “Bred”. Released in 1989 and famously worn by Michael Jordan during “The Shot” against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the “Bred” colorway combines a black base with fire red and cement grey accents, finished off with the iconic Nike Air logo on the heel. This sneaker is not just a shoe; it’s a piece of basketball folklore.

Air Jordan 4 Retro OG 'Bred' 2019
Air Jordan 4 "Bred"

Air Jordan 4 "White Cement"

The “White Cement” Air Jordan 4 is a testament to the enduring legacy of the Jordan brand. Sporting a white leather upper, with speckled cement grey accents, this model is often immediately recognizable, even to the casual observer. It gained additional fame through its appearance in Spike Lee’s film “Do The Right Thing,” cementing its place in both sneaker and movie history.

Air Jordan 4 Retro OG 'White Cement' 2016
Air Jordan 4 "White Cement"​

Air Jordan 4 "Military Blue"

With its clean and crisp colorway, the “Military Blue” version of the AJ4 represents the lighter side of Jordan’s heritage. Released in 1989, the same year as the “Bred,” the “Military Blue” offers a striking contrast with its bold blue accents on a primarily white leather upper. Its retro releases have continued to celebrate this classic colorway.

Air Jordan 4 Retro 'Military Blue' 2012
Air Jordan 4 "Military Blue"​

Air Jordan 4 "Fire Red"

The “Fire Red” Jordan 4s are a blast of pure energy with their vibrant red outsole and detailed design. The sneaker features a predominately white leather upper with red and black details, staying true to the Chicago Bulls’ color scheme. The “Fire Red” captures the spirit of Jordan’s on-court intensity and remains a hot favorite among collectors.

Air Jordan 4 Retro OG 'Fire Red' 2020
Air Jordan 4 "Fire Red"

Air Jordan 4 "Oreo"

The Air Jordan 4 “Oreo” stands out with its textured leather and the iconic speckled midsole. First released in 1999, and later seeing a retro in 2015, the “Oreo” colorway takes a subtler approach to the AJ4’s design with its monochrome color scheme, offering a versatile and stylish option for sneaker enthusiasts.

Air Jordan 4 Retro 'White Oreo'
Air Jordan 4 "Oreo"

Air Jordan 4 "Green Glow"

The “Green Glow” brings a touch of the unconventional to the Air Jordan 4 family. Released in 2013, it doesn’t actually glow in the dark, but the cool grey, green, and black color palette give this sneaker a mysterious and modern vibe, making it a standout release that added a fresh twist to the legacy.

Air Jordan 4 Retro 'Green Glow'
Air Jordan 4 "Green Glow"

Air Jordan 4 "Toro Bravo"

Drenched in a fiery red nubuck upper, the “Toro Bravo” is impossible to ignore. Released in 2013, it features contrasting black and white detailing and has been a fan favorite for its bold use of color and its standout presence. This sneaker demonstrates the versatility of the Jordan 4’s design and its ability to adopt different personalities.

Air Jordan 4 Retro 'Toro Bravo'
Air Jordan 4 "Toro Bravo"

Air Jordan 4 "Fear Pack"

Part of the “Fear Pack”, the Air Jordan 4 “Fear” is inspired by the fear Michael Jordan instilled in his opponents. Released in 2013, it features a gradient design that fades from black to white, symbolizing MJ’s “Fade to Black” mentality during crunch time. This colorway stands as a unique story-driven piece in the Jordan 4 collection.

Air Jordan 4 Retro 'Fear'
Air Jordan 4 "Fear Pack"​

Air Jordan 4 "Thunder"

The “Thunder” colorway brings a jolt of energy to the Air Jordan lineup. Originally released in 2006 alongside the “Lightning” version, this black and yellow sneaker quickly became a coveted item for its limited availability and its sharp, racecar-inspired color scheme. The “Thunder” is a true collector’s item and continues to be a highly sought-after release.

Air Jordan 4 'Thunder' (2023)
Air Jordan 4 "Thunder"​

Air Jordan 4 "Lightning"

Rounding out the list is the “Lightning” Air Jordan 4. This bold yellow sneaker, paired with black and white accents, was initially released in 2006 and then again in 2021, making a splash each time. It’s often paired with the “Thunder” as two of the most vibrant and energetic AJ4 releases ever.

Air Jordan 4 Retro 'Lightning' 2021
Air Jordan 4 "Lightning"​

Conclusion

These ten Air Jordan 4 sneakers represent the pinnacle of the silhouette’s rich history. Each one tells a story and embodies the spirit of innovation and excellence that Michael Jordan brought to the court. Whether you’re a die-hard sneakerhead or a casual fan, there’s no denying the lasting impact these shoes have had on the culture.

As we celebrate these top ten iconic releases, it’s clear the Air Jordan 4 isn’t just a sneaker—it’s a legacy that continues to inspire and captivate with every new generation. Whether you’re looking to reminisce about MJ’s glory days or experience the latest in sneaker technology, the Air Jordan 4 remains a staple of basketball culture and style.

Frequently Asked Questions

What year was the first Air Jordan 4 released?

The first Air Jordan 4 was released in 1989. It was designed by Tinker Hatfield and introduced several new design concepts.

What are the original colorways of the Air Jordan 4?

The original Air Jordan 4 colorways released in 1989 were “White Cement,” “Bred” (Black and Red, also known as “Black Cement”), “Military Blue,” and “Fire Red.”

Why is the Air Jordan 4 "Bred" so iconic?

The Air Jordan 4 “Bred” is iconic due to its historical significance in Michael Jordan’s basketball career. It was the shoe he wore during “The Shot” in the 1989 NBA Playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Has the Air Jordan 4 "White Cement" been re-released?

Yes, the Air Jordan 4 “White Cement” has been re-released several times, with the most recent retros featuring the Nike Air logo on the heel, staying true to the original 1989 design.

What makes the Air Jordan 4 "Military Blue" unique?

The “Military Blue” Air Jordan 4 stands out due to its striking blue accents, which provided a unique and refreshing colorway contrasted against the white leather upper upon its original release.

What are some of the most memorable collaborations on the Air Jordan 4?

Some memorable collaborations on the Air Jordan 4 include partnerships with brands and individuals like Levi’s, Travis Scott, Undefeated, and Kaws, each bringing a unique take to the iconic silhouette.

Are Air Jordan 4 sneakers good for playing basketball?

While Air Jordan 4s were originally designed for basketball, modern iterations are typically more suited for casual wear due to advancements in performance technology for sports footwear. However, some players still choose to wear retro models on the court.

What is the significance of the "Nike Air" logo on some Air Jordan 4s?

The “Nike Air” logo on the heel of some Air Jordan 4 models is significant as it replicates the original branding from the 1989 release, offering a nostalgic touch that resonates with collectors and purists of the brand.

Can the Air Jordan 4 "Oreo" be considered a lifestyle sneaker?

Yes, the Air Jordan 4 “Oreo” with its premium leather and monochrome colorway is often considered a lifestyle sneaker, easily transitioning from performance wear to fashion statement.

What is the inspiration behind the Air Jordan 4 "Fear"?

The Air Jordan 4 “Fear” is inspired by the fear that Michael Jordan would instill in his opponents during games, particularly in the final moments, reflecting his dominance on the court.

How can you tell if a pair of Air Jordan 4s are authentic?

To verify the authenticity of Air Jordan 4s, check for high-quality materials, correct colorways, precise stitching, the proper shape of the silhouette, and authentic packaging. Purchasing from reputable retailers like Novelship can also ensure authenticity.

Are Jordan 4s still trendy?

Jordan 4s remain highly sought-after and revered in sneaker culture. Their timeless design, comfort, and cultural significance ensure that they continue to be regarded as cool.

Jordan 4s boast a distinctive design characterized by their visible Air cushioning unit, supportive ankle collar, and iconic plastic “wings” on the sides. This combination of style and performance has contributed to their enduring popularity.

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