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Hands-On Review: The Jordan 4 University Blue

An absolute stunner

 

With the ultra-popular Jordan 1 having reached its peak hype back in 2019, Nike has been milking its popularity throughout the last years. Bringing back retro’s, releasing weird colourways, switching up the materials, even adding new design features to the silhouette, and literally releasing two new versions every week, sneakerheads are becoming a little tired of it. It’s time for the Jordan Flagship to move aside, and make space for the younger brothers.

Especially the Jordan 2-6 models have seen immense growth in hype over the last months, thanks to their diverse designs, versatility, and crazy design potential. The Jordan 2 marked late designer Virgil Abloh’s latest Off-White x Nike collab, the Jordan 3 has been revived by brands such as fragment design and A Ma Maniére, the Jordan 5 has seen more releases lately, and Travis Scott’s takes on the Jordan 6 have become absolute grails.

The Jordan 4, however, seems to be the clear frontrunner of this comeback wave. Apart from the gorgeous collaborations with Union LA and Off-White, Jordan Brand has provided us with numerous absolutely stunning colorways of the silhouette. From the tonal “Shimmer” to the “Black Cat” retro, the Taupe Haze, the Thunder & Lightning editions, basically every Jordan 4 to release in the last years has been absolute fire.

The Jordan 4 University Blue is no exception. On the contrary, it may be the best Jordan 4 that the brand has released in the last decade. History, Design, Execution, Material, the sneaker excels in every criterion, demonstrating why its success continued to increase since its release.

Obviously, the resell prices are accordingly high. Before investing into a sneaker like this, it makes sense to ensure that your return is worth it. We therefore provide you with a Hands-On Review of the Jordan 4 University Blue.

 

History

The Jordan 4 has seen numerous gorgeous colorways released and retro’s since its original release back in 1989. In 2019, Jordan Brand released a “UNC” Jordan 4, a full-on blue suede sneaker dressed in MJ’s alma mata’s UNC blue tone. While the sneaker was absolutely beautiful, and would have undoubtedly gone mad, it was only released as a player exclusive for the current UNC basketball team. Sneakerheads were in dismay, since the hope for finally receiving a UNC-themed Jordan 4 seemed to be diminished at first.

 

Jordan 4 "UNC" Player Exclusive (2019)

 

However, Jordan Brand soon recognized the crowd’s opinion, and decided to roll out a “University Blue” Jordan 4 two years later, in early 2021. The result was just as striking as the PE, and fans were finally happy to at least be given the chance to cop it (even though it was virtually impossible to cop for retail). Nevertheless, the Jordan 4 University Blue instantly became a must-have for Jordan 4 fans, and definitely reigns as one of the biggest reasons for the silhouette’s comeback.

 

Design

 

 

The Jordan 4 University Blue is covered in a full-suede upper, dressed in the instantly recognizable UNC blue to pay homage to Michael Jordan’s Alma Mata. The blend between lifestyle and performance is further accentuated by synthetic mesh panels on the upper, which beautifully complement the soft suede. While many Jordan 4’s go for a monotone upper, the Jordan 4 sees the polymeric ankle straps and heel tab covered in a speckled grey to match the mudguard beneath. To add contrast and further blend the upper with the sole, the eyelets and Jumpman logo on the heel receive a full-black treatment.

This simultaneously ensures that the all-black outsole does not stand out too much, while still providing the necessary disparity to give this colorway the pop that it has. It’s an overall beautiful design, with a silhouette that is suitable for virtually any season and combineable with all minimalistic and colorful outfits.

With this colorway also being the first of its kind, not a retro, not an imitation of a previous Jordan 4, the University Blue stands out as an absolutely special sneaker that will remain an icon for years to come.

 

Material + Quality

 

 

While the hype around the Jordan 1 has drastically increased demand and therefore forced Jordan Brand to make some sacrifices with regards to quality and overall finish, the Jordan 4 has luckily not reached this stage yet. Further, limited stock releasing for this edition allowed the makers to fully indulge in using the most premium, high-end materials.

Obviously not every person is a fan of plastic paneling on a sneaker, but that’s the design of the 4, it’s how it is supposed to look. Plus, while plastic is generally perceived as lower quality, this high-end polymer actually contributes to the overall sneaker quality, providing robust and sturdy support on the ankle and midsole. So even if the material choice might scare you off at first, it definitely adds valuable components that are otherwise not achievable when creating a performance-lifestyle sneaker such as the AJ4.

 

Comfort

 

 

If you own a Jordan 4 already, you can probably skip this part. Any four-wearer will immediately boast about the comfort of this shoe. The Nike Air midsole provides strong cushioning without being too bouncy, but still enough Air to finally achieve your first dunk. The suede on the upper feels smooth and supportive on foot but is maybe not the top choice for those with more sensitive pores, especially on hot days.

However, the mesh provides breathability, so you won’t be sweating as much as with comparable models. Apart from that, the shoe provides crazy ankle support, preventing you from hurting yourself on- and off-court. It’s a performance sneaker made for lifestyle; the comfort levels are probably self-explanatory here.

Of course, if you’re still hesitant and would like to try it on before copping, come by our store at Rue de Lombard 11, 1000 Brussels, to try on this beauty for yourself!

 

Overall

 

 

The Jordan 4 silhouette is making a crazy comeback right now, people are finally appreciating the silhouette’s beautiful design and immaculate details. Aside from the collabs we have been blessed with, there are numerous “GR” (Nike interprets “General” in general releases wrongly) colorways which are just as stunning. The University Blue is 100% a frontrunner in this category and will remain as one of the most sought-after colorways for a long time to come. A definite 5/5.

 

by Freddy Schwoerer of Drip Drops

 


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