The History of the Air Jordan 4

One of the greatest obstacles for any creative is following perfection.

The Air Jordan 3 – designed by Tinker Hatfield – is considered one of the greatest sneakers of all time. The model was instrumental in keeping Michael Jordan with Nike, introduced the sports world to the iconic Jumpman logo and gave basketball fans the distinct and remarkable “elephant print.” From a design perspective the Air Jordan 3 was revolutionary and a precursor for the outlandish and otherworldly designs that Jordan Brand would become known for.


So how does Tinker follow-up an arguably perfect design and feed the momentum of Michael Jordan in 1988?


The answer is that you create something vastly different, but just as iconic. In an interview with Highsnobiety, Tinker Hatfield reveals,

“My first one was the 3 and it was a pretty good success. So with the 4 I had to basically top the 3. So what I see in the 4 is Michael wanting to do better than the other guy, wanting to do better than the last shoe.

That competitive nature seeps through the design sensibilities of the Air Jordan 4. Nowhere is this more evident than its original “White/Cement” colorway. If the Air Jordan 3 was about the boldness of the elephant print against smooth leather, the Air Jordan 4 “White/Cement” revels in the simplicity of speckled black paint against grey on the midsole and pristine nubuck leather. Where the Air Jordan 4 truly differentiates from its predecessors is its construction. Whether it was introducing the unforgettable mesh on the upper to the Jordan line, the “Flight” script below the Jumpman or stability straps, the Air Jordan 4 speaks to the mindset of an early Tinker.

In the beginning I was trying to be disruptive. Like Renzo piano with the Pompidou center – and being disruptive is one way to call attention to your work and push the envelope, (Designboom).

The Air Jordan 4 is a clean and subtle masterpiece of sneaker design. Whether it was Jordan wearing them in the All-Star Game or moviegoers seeing a pair get scuffed in Spike Lee’s classic Do The Right Thing, the IV has always had a timeless and iconic appeal. Thankfully, Nike is releasing the Air Jordan IV Retro “Cement” again as part of its remastered program.


The Remastered Air Jordan 4 Retro “Cement” is all about quality this time around. The high quality leather screams perfection, “Nike Air” branding is back for the first time since 1999, and the paint splattered speckles more closely resemble the original model. If everything goes according to plan, the Remastered Air Jordan 4 Retro “Cement” should be the closest to the original pair Jordan debuted 28 years ago.


The Air Jordan 4 Retro “Cement” will be available in select KicksUSA locations on Saturday, February 13, 2016.


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