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Jordan 4 Retro X Union LA Bold Style

Tinker Hatfield changed up the game on his second of many Air Jordan designs by amping up the performance and breathability. He kept the AJ 3's mid-cut height, the visible Air unit in the heel and the "Nike Air" emblem on the back. Hatfield also retained the signature Jumpman logo on the tongue.

The Air Jordan 4 implemented a more utilitarian approach. Here's what made it stand apart:

  • Cost-effective Durabuck synthetic leather upper that wipes clean with ease
  • An encapsulated Air unit added to the forefoot
  • The word “Flight” incorporated into the Jumpman logo—Air Jordan is meant to fly, after all
  • The addition of “wings,” a multiport lacing system with extra holes for a customized fit and enhanced lateral support
  • A pull tab added to the heel for an easier wearing experience
  • “Over-molded” mesh paneling for increased breathability, the netting was coated with urethane, dipped in soft plastic, then air-blown to remove the plastic from the net’s gaps

History of the Air Jordan 4

On May 7, 1989, the world witnessed "The Shot", an impossible feat for anyone other than His Airness. Michael Jordan pulled off this legendary buzzer-beater with assistance from his Black Cement Air Jordan 4s. It was MJ's fifth year in the league and a brilliant display of his growing dominance as a superstar.

The same could be said for Tinker Hatfield, the lead designer for the Air Jordan line. After the tremendous success of the Air Jordan 3, Hatfield had his work cut out for him. Coming on the heels of one of the most popular sneaker designs ever, did he dare mess with the formula? He opted to keep the overall design similar to its predecessor but boosted the performance features.

If the Air Jordan 3 saved Nike's partnership with Jordan, the Air Jordan 4 cemented it—primarily due to the inspired design efforts of Hatfield.

Jordan 4 Retro x Union LA Off Noir 2020

This collaboration between Union LA and Air Jordan creates a particularly eye-catching version of the Jordan 4 Retro design. Though the Jordan Retro x Union LA Off Noir shoes mostly follow the shape of a standard Jordan 4, the wings on the side are solid plastic instead of having cut-out triangles. Another big difference is the tongue, which is a short, folded-over shape with a simple "Air Jordan" label instead of the usual large Jumpman patch. This refreshing take is completed with a colorful black, blue, red, and white upper and a tan sole.