WORDS BY JOSEPH FURNESS
Like many of you reading this article, rapper Dave is a sneakerhead. And, in his new-ish song Clash (ft. Stormzy), the artist declares that there are only two Jordan models he’s paying attention to at this moment in time – Jordan 4s and Jordan 1s. Naturally, the rapper's shout out has created more hype around the two already sought-after basketball sneaker silhouettes.
Out of the two, the former is patently the scarcer silhouette; however, if the hype around the Air Jordan 4 sneaker continues, we expect the silhouette to be just as ubiquitous as the AJ1 model. So, if you haven’t already, why not get ahead of the curve?
Below, we’ve rounded up the top 20 Air Jordan 4 colourways – from the Air Jordan 4 ‘Fire Red’ to the Union x Air Jordan 4 – each available on FARFETCH.
We currently want everything Travis Scott touches, including this pair of Air Jordan 4 the rapper designed back in 2018. The sky blue hue that adorns the upper pays homage to the Houston Oilers (that’s the artist’s favourite American football team, FYI) and the logo on the inner sole and the left heel references Scott’s Cactus Jack record label.
Sure, collaborations are fun, and new colourways can be exciting, but is there anything better than getting your hands on an OG colourway? We’re talking about the pairs that Michael Jordan actually wore on court, such as the Air Jordan 4 ‘Fire Red’ that’s just as hot as the name suggests.
Like the Air Jordan 4 ‘Fire Red’, the ‘Military Blue’ colourway was part of the original 1989 lineup. Naturally, sneakerheads are champing at the bit to get their hands on a pair. Fortunately for them, rumours are pointing towards a 2022 retro release – but if you can’t wait that long for a pair, you can purchase some right here, right now on FARFETCH.
Off-White may be renowned for its grandiloquent, industrial aesthetic, but Virgil Abloh recently proved that he's able to turn his hand to minimal design with the release of the Off-White x Nike Air Jordan ‘Sail’. Sure to become the cornerstone of your sneaker rotation, the phantom cream-hued sneaker is practical, versatile and highly admired by the sneaker community.
In the same year that the first Jordan was released, Nike dropped an Air Jordan 1 metallic pack consisting of various white Air Jordan 1s, each set apart by colourful metallic details. 35 years later, Jordan Brand brought this design concept to their Air Jordan 4 silhouette to create the Air Jordan 4 ‘Metallic Green’, ‘Metallic Red’, ‘Metallic Orange’ and, our favourite, the ‘Metallic Red’.
One year on from the drop, we’re still desperate for some Union x Air Jordan 4s, preferably a pair of the super fruity ‘Guava Ice’ kicks.
The Los Angeles-based streetwear boutique refreshed the retro sneaker silhouette by folding and sewing the tongue, creating the model’s signature wings using a translucent material, layering suede over mesh on the upper and adding a small yet noticeable Union LA tag to the sidewall.
Michael Jordan has various nicknames, one of them being ‘Black Cat’. Par for the course, Jordan Brand took this nugget of information and used it to design a sleek and sexy all-black shoe reminiscent of a panther.
The Levi’s x Jordan collaboration lived up to high expectations. The denim-clad sneaker adopted various Levi’s signature details – including the quintessential red tab, tobacco-coloured stitching and leather logo patch – and used them to transform the Air Jordan 4 silhouette into a truly special grail. The question is, are you brave enough to rock a triple denim fit?
If a blue denim Levi’s sneaker is a little too on the nose for you, consider the collaboration’s white sneaker offering. Versatile, durable and highly sought after, there really is no reason not to consider adding the Levi’s x Air Jordan 4 ‘White Denim’ to your collection.
In 1999, Jordan Brand released a black and white speckled Air Jordan 4 colourway inspired by Oreo, the popular American cookie brand. 21 years later, a ‘White Oreo’ AJ4 was released that blatantly took inspiration from the white cream inside an Oreo rather than the cookie itself. If truth be told, we prefer the newer colourway.
In 2015, Jordan Brand got experimental and combined the signature glossy patent leather finish of the Air Jordan 11 with the Air Jordan 4 to create the ‘11Lab4 Black’ and ‘11LAB4 Red’. We’ve always gravitated towards the louder of the two, the red colourway, simply because it makes more of a statement and looks less like an everyday sneaker.
As we all know, Nike has a super-rich back catalogue – thus, the Portland-based sportswear brand enjoys the luxury of referencing itself. For example, in early 2020, Jordan Brand dropped an Air Jordan 4 based on the highly admired Nike Air Max 95 ‘Neon’. The result? A must-have sneaker.
Like Elvis, we’re suckers for a pair of blue suede shoes, which is just one of the reasons why we felt the Air Jordan 4 ‘University Blue’ deserved a place on our top AJ4 colourways list. Other reasons include the meaningful concept behind the colourway – it’s inspired by Micheal Jordan’s alma mater, the University of North Carolina – the jock tag-adorned tongue and the fun speckled finish.
The ‘Bred’ colourway of the Air Jordan 4 is beloved by the sneaker community – it’s a foolproof classic sure to be appreciated by generations to come.
Fun fact: the 2019 Retro release of the ‘Bred’ colourway was the first to bring back the Nike Air branding since 1999.
In 2017, Jordan Brand teamed up with New York-based artist Kaws to create one of the most coveted sneakers on the planet, aptly named the Air Jordan 4 ‘Kaws’. Redolent of a Kaws BFF plush collectable, the soft to the touch sneaker is primarily constructed from grey suede and features Kaws iconography on the heel, hang tag and translucent sole.
In 2006, Jordan Brand released the ‘Thunder and Lightning’ pack consisting of two Air Jordan 4 colourways inspired by Jordan’s motorsport team. ‘Lightning’ was characterised by its yellow upper and black accents whilst ‘Thunder’ flipped the colours and featured a black upper with yellow accents. Why did we pick ‘Thunder’ over ‘Lightning’? Simply because it’s a hell of a lot more versatile.
If there’s any colour that defines 2021 style, it’s brown. Especially greyish-brown hues like taupe. To reflect the era, Jordan Brand released the Air Jordan 4 ‘Taupe Haze’ – a brown suede sneaker offset by black and red details.
Sneakers don’t get much fresher than the Air Jordan 4 ‘Pure Money’ – a colourway originally released in 2006 and then again in 2010 and 2017. Special details include the metallic silver lace locks, white leather wings and ‘Pure$’ embroidery on the back of the heel tab.
The Air Jordan 4 NRG ‘Raptors’ takes inspiration from the Air Jordan 7s OG ‘Black, Dark Charcoal, True Red’ colourway: a black, red and purple colourway that’s reminiscent of the Toronto Raptors.
The 2018 release was shortly followed by the limited release of the ‘Raptors Drake OVO’. This take on the shoe subtly added Toronto-born rapper Drake’s signature to the tongue patch to appeal to his fans and special edition sneaker collectors.
The Air Jordan 4 ‘PSG’ is a collaborative effort between Jordan Brand and professional football club, Paris Saint Germain. Based on the ‘Fire Red’ colourway, the ‘PSG’ is set apart by its use of bordeaux-coloured layers and components, PSG logo on the heel and ‘Paname’ tab tucked under the sneaker’s grey suede mudguard.