In 2024, the spotlight in the sneaker world looks to be heading its bright lights on the Air Jordan 4 as it commemorates its 35th anniversary with an apparent flurry of special releases. This iconic silhouette, beloved by sneakerheads worldwide, looks to be bettering itself every year with a catalogue of more releases. The return of the Nike SB variant of the Air Jordan 4 adds another layer of excitement to the mix, reviving a trend that garnered immense popularity last year. The months ahead look to be an extremely influential time period for the AJ4.
The Air Jordan 4, renowned for Tinker Hatfield’s innovative design, debuted in four distinct colorways throughout its inaugural years following 1989. Most notably including the iconic 'Black Cement' colourway famously worn by Michael Jordan during 'The Shot' in 1989. It was in a crucial game against the Cleveland Cavaliers that Jordan clinched victory donning the very 'Black Cement' sneakers that would forever etch themselves into basketball folklore. Beyond its on-court triumphs, the Air Jordan 4 soared in popularity, becoming a symbol of athletic prowess and style made famous by Jordan himself.
The silhouette made a memorable appearance in Spike Lee's seminal film "Do the Right Thing," where actor Giancarlo Esposito's character laments the scuffing of his pristine white Air Jordan 4s in an unforgettable scene, cementing the sneaker's place in both sports history and pop culture.
Hatfield's design for the Air Jordan 4 is distinguished by its innovative features, prominently showcased through the incorporation of a mesh panel on the upper. While staying true to its predecessors: the Air Jordan 1 and 3, this model introduced key enhancements tailored for the basketball court moving away from a predominantly leather only sneaker. Crafted with performance as a focal point, the Air Jordan 4 boasted lightweight materials such as breathable mesh and synthetic leather, ensuring optimal agility and comfort for the time period. Notably, its padded tongue and enlarged Air unit in the midsole provided additional cushioning for players during intense gameplay.
In a notable crossover event in 2023, the Nike SB x Air Jordan 4 collaboration emerged, marking a significant venture for both brands. While the Nike SB line had previously explored collaborations with the Air Jordan 1 model, delving into the Air Jordan 4 represented a first venture into this territory for the Nike SB team. The outcome of this collaboration was the highly acclaimed Nike SB x Air Jordan 4 'Pine Green,' a release that captivated sneaker enthusiasts worldwide and swiftly earned the title of the sneaker of 2023 for many including us at Story.
For many the Nike SB x Air Jordan 4 'Pine Green' distinguishes itself as the perfect AJ4 as it addresses some key issues such as with a wider fit, a characteristic trait reminiscent of skate shoes. This unique feature not only enhances comfort but also pays homage to the roots of the Nike SB line. Following its resounding success in 2023, anticipation is high for the continuation of the Nike SB x Air Jordan 4 collaboration in 2024. Speculation is rife with rumours suggesting the release of several new colorways on the same silhouette.
It begs the question however, will SB Jordan 4s kill the demand and value of “normal” Air Jordan 4 releases?
You see, in the past three and a half years, the Nike dunk has made an outstanding resurgence in popularity and value… but has also made a very quick and outstanding drop in value in the same time. This is largely down to the SB line of the Nike Dunk. Sources show that the value of dunks have decreased by 20% in the past 6 months and the value of SB dunks have increased by a further 5%. Human nature often drives the notion of history repeating itself.. So will we see this unfortunate fate happen to the beloved AJ4 silhouette? Only time will surely tell


Adam Jordan Moosa