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Behind the Design

Air Jordan IV 'Cool Grey'

In 2004, the 'Cool Grey' colour palette was introduced to the Air Jordan IV, adding a unique spin on the original silhouette. It has since become an iconic staple in the brand's sneaker lineage, as well as an inspiration for future creations. This year, it returns in its original form for the first time since its release 15 years ago.

The beauty of the 2019 retro is in the subtle details, with hits of colour and material updates setting it apart from any previous Air Jordan IV. As the most noticeable feature, the upper is comprised of a smooth grey nubuck that creates the iconic 'Cool Grey' look. A bold chrome Jumpman logo is featured on the heel, while small hits of Maize Yellow add flair to the tongue badge, visible Air unit and outsole. Just like the 2004 release, the 2019's signature wings embrace a grey nubuck, as opposed to the full plastic seen on the original 1989 Air Jordan IV, tastefully tying together the colours, tones and materials.

Originally debuting in 2001 with the Air Jordan XI, the 'Cool Grey' colourway quickly became a fan favourite. Not only did this release position the Air Jordan XI in a new light, it also laid the foundation and inspiration for the following iconic iterations. "Knowing that materials and textures can create dimension (on the same colour), I thought it would be cool to do a shades-of-grey shoe", says the Footwear Product Director at the time, Gentry Humphrey, revealing the inspiration behind the colourway's creation.

Combining the model's technical design with the simple palette led to an Air Jordan IV unlike any before it. It presented basketball and general consumers with a lifestyle-focused blank canvas that not only championed a familiar silhouette, but added a new and clean approach.