Affiliation: Sneaker News
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Grail: Air Jordan IV "Black/Cement"
Released: 1999

Back in '99, before they started releasing Jordans on Saturdays to avoid precisely this type of truancy, I skipped out on my morning college classes to go scoop up the first ever retro release of the black Air Jordan IVs. A friend and I headed out early to the Carousel Mall in Syracuse about a half-hour before Finish Line opened, and when we arrived, there were about four people waiting in front of us and the line grew to maybe 12 by the time the doors opened. We walked in and checked right out with no hassle. Box price was $100 and there were no raffles, wristbands, campouts or Twitter RSVPs required to get the job done. It's great for the sneaker business that demand has exploded into what it is today, but it hurts to accept that the process will never be this clean again.