At 10 years old, your views of the world are infinite. You know you can be and do anything you want because you have a full life ahead of you. Your dreams are never bigger. At the same time, you've never cared less about them because responsibility isn't even on your radar at that age. You spend your time chasing girls at school and playing basketball on the playground as late as possible before racing home to beat the last moments of daylight to avoid getting in trouble. On the best days of your school week, you make it home just in time for the most important thing: seeing the Chicago Bulls game. Everyone wanted to watch Michael Jordan.
Michael had shown us how to fly in previous models of the Nike Air Jordan but there was something incredibly special about the Air Jordan IV. It was different. The midsole design had more detail to it than any other previous Air Jordan model. The heel tab was something never seen before. The mesh detail on the side panel and the plastic lace eyelets took the exact opposite approach from the previous version. Instead of the clean and subtle design of the III, the Air Jordan IV dared to be different in a bold way, the tongue of the shoe extended, much like its namesake posterizing opponents along the way to becoming legendary.
The Air Jordan logo, now known as the Jumpman, was perfect on its own but then Nike improved upon perfection. The scripted "Flight" was added below the Jumpman, making the elongated tongue the defining point of the Air Jordan IV, and the envy of anyone who wasn't fortunate enough to get their hands on a pair. If you couldn't afford them, you likely spent hours drawing the new Air Jordans and the scripted Flight logo over and over again. It was as close as you could get to stepping into MJ's shoes.
There were the classic Mars Blackmon commercials and the advertisements seen in magazines, the same ones that featured Michael Jordan on the cover, that made the Air Jordan IV even more unforgettable. Then there was the one thing that brought it all together, the "Wings" poster that released the same year. "No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings," read the William Blake quote below the picture of Michael and his outstretched arms.
It was the Air Jordan IV. Flight had a new meaning.
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