Dunk, move away for the four!
2022 will bring about many changes, many movements, many trends. Nike has a lot on their schedule, new Dunk Low’s, new Jordan 1’s, the same routine as always. Milking the successful products, pushing the hyped shoes to the max. However, there is one silhouette that the American brand has been creeping in quietly but disruptively over the last months. The return of the Jordan 4.
Already expected to make waves in 2021, the Jordan 4 definitely gained popularity, but reached nowhere near the levels of its potential. Even though gorgeous colourways and collabs were rolled out, the masses are still fixated on the 2020 wave of Dunks and AJ1’s. The Fours are ready, though. And when the storm hits, the first retro releases of 2021 are bound to become unobtainable.
So before all this happens, before the Union LA Jordan 4 reaches 2000+ Euro resell prices, before the Black Cat lands in sneaker-museums, it seems appropriate to honour these sneakers. Without further ado: the best Jordan 4 colourways of 2021.
Starting off with a banger, the University Blue is unarguably one of the best Jordan 4’s of all time. Back in 2019, Jordan’s Player Exclusive (PE) line-up produced highly limited versions of an all-blue Jordan 4 for the University of North Carolina’s basketball team. With only 23 pairs produced, sneakerheads were disappointed to have to skip this beauty. However, in 2021, Jordan Brand decided to give us all a chance to cop this beauty – at least a similar version.
The Jordan 4 University Blue features the titular blue upper made from premium suede, feeling more luxurious on feet than one can possibly imagine. Combined with the speckled grey elements on the upper and mudguard, the overall finish is a shoe for good vibes and good weather. It’s just an overall flawless interpretation of the iconic basketball silhouette, with a nod towards the legendary Michael Jordan’s alma mater. Its similarities with the 2018 Travis Scott x Nike Air Jordan 4 adds yet another push to this sneaker’s glory.
Definitely one of the best releases of 2021, ranked by many as the sneaker of the year. A must-have for Jordan fans, and a shoe that will be recognized as a grail for years to come.
For those (all) of us who stood no chance to cop the ultimate grail of Jordan 4’s – the Off-White Jordan 4 Sail – back in 2019, Jordan Brand gave sneakerheads a second chance to cop a nude-toned 4. The “Shimmer” gives its name all glory with a beautiful tonal leather on the upper. Combined with the Off-White inspired semi-translucent caging and a crispy white outsole, the shoe is easy to wear and will catch any eye.
The reason for this sneaker’s mention lies beyond its first-glance beauty. The Jordan 4 “Shimmer” reflects the AJ4’s potential to be minimalistic and elegant. Many casual sneaker fans are often turned off by the silhouette’s bulkiness, especially combined with vivid colours and materials. But the Shimmer defies the cliché “Too-street-for-red-carpet” opinion by showing sneakerheads that the silhouette is more versatile than a swiss pocket-knife.
Shimmer – “To send fo(u)rth light”
Most of the time, the originals are better than the new version. However, the Jordan 4 White Oreo was a slam dunk from Jordan Brand. Reviving the 1999 “Oreo”, but inverting the colourway simply enhances this shoe from head to toe-box. A white upper on a Jordan 4 –as on most sneakers – always looks incredible. Mix it up with a speckled grey and you have yourself something sweeter than milk’s favorite cookie.
Jordan 4 Oreo (1999)
Regardless of the shoe, even after all hypes are over, after all waves are surfed, after all cows are milked, some colorways remain iconic. And there are rare moments where one of these colourways is not a crispy white version. The Jordan 4 “White Oreo” encapsulates the rigidity, elegance, simplicity and athleticism of this silhouette gorgeously, making it one of the best versions ever. A sneaker to cop now and flex later. Make sure to keep it crispy with Crep Protect, though!
“What? This is not a Travis Scott collab?”
I was certainly not the only one asking myself this question when the Taupe Haze was first leaked. The sneaker screams La Flame, and righteously so. An earth-brown / black Jordan 4 with Fire Red elements is Cactus Jack in the form of a sneaker. However, the sneaker was indeed a Jordan-exclusive release, no collab, no affiliation with the renowned rapper. The final product is just as magnificent, and we can count ourselves lucky that Trav didn’t slam his signature on it… the prices would’ve been ridiculous.
What we are left with is a beautiful Air Jordan 4, dressed in Taupe Haze suede and leather on the upper and a black/white outsole. Fire Red elements complete the sneaker on the tongue and inner lining – absolutely flaming-hot. The best part – while resell-prices are obviously high, they could be much, MUCH higher. The sneaker is an instant classic and while remain in the grail-realms for a while, especially once the AJ4 wave really hits us. It’s worth a cop now, you won’t regret it.
There are countless honorable mentions to this list. The Off-White Jordan 4 Sail is a grail, the quadruple-line-up from Union LA takes the AJ4 beyond limits, the “Lightning” strikes like thunder. All of these will soon have the Dunk-status, but these four Jordan’s are the ones to keep an eye out. They’re affordable now, but their potential is colossal.
Any Jordan 4’s you had wished to see on the list? Let us know in the comments below.
by Freddy Schwoerer of Drip Drops