’s second Air Jordan wasn’t a huge departure from his original design — it was still a mid, still featured an enormous Nike
AIR on the exposed plastic heel counter as well as the now-ubiquitous “Visible Air” midsole — but it was distinctive enough to create a whole new wave of fans. Made from nubuck instead of the IIIs full-grain leather and lightened further by the use of mesh “windows” in the upper, the Air Jordan 4 (Air Jordan IV) was the best-performing, best-ventilated Air Jordan yet, and the only one to sport Nike’s new “Flight” script.
Not that the design was unimportant. Far from it. The initial white/grey Air Jordan 4 drop featured a splatter finish on the midsole and heel, while all models included contrasting open mesh over the tongue and side panels, and plastic “wings” on the sides that added extra support. Like the Air Jordan 3 (Air Jordan III), the Air Jordan 4 was initially produced in just four colors—like the III, it was basic black and white versions, followed by a more Bulls
-specific white and red, along with a nonspecific white and blue. And again, Mars Blackmon would serve as the primary pitchman. Lee went even further, making the Air Jordan 4 (IV) the centerpiece of a key scene of his magnum opus, “Do The Right Thing.” The Air Jordan’s off-court reach was ever-expanding.
As for Jordan’s own on-court performances, they were shifting from Slam Dunk contests to the season’s biggest games. This would be the Air Jordan that Michael Jordan
wore during one of his career’s defining moments, as he hit a game-winning jumper over Cavaliers guard Craig Ehlo to send the Bulls into the second round of the playoffs, winning the decisive Game Five on the road. It would forever simply be known as “The Shot,” and Michael Jordan would move on.