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Inside the Vault

Cool Grey

This year, the 'Cool Grey' Air Jordan IV returns in its original form for the first time since its release 15 years ago.

In 2001, the 'Cool Grey' colour palette was introduced to the Air Jordan XI, adding a unique spin on the original silhouette. "I woke up early one morning and wanted to do an Air Jordan XI version of the Air Max 95, but twist it up to make it right for the basketball consumer", says Gentry Humphrey, the Footwear Product Director at the time. It has since become an iconic staple in the brand's sneaker lineage, as well as an inspiration for future creations.

The next iteration of Cool Grey was released a year later in 2002 with the Air Jordan IX, featuring a nubuck upper with patent-leather overlays and a translucent outsole. This retro iteration of the Air Jordan IX mimicked the Air Jordan XI, and was also worn by MJ in the final years of his on-court career.

The 2004 'Cool Grey' Air Jordan IV symbolised the most unique iteration of the palette yet, combining the all-over grey tone with subtle hints of Maize Yellow white, black and chrome. This lifestyle take on the Air Jordan IV featured Jumpman branding in chrome, along with the model's signature "Wings" in premium nubuck.

In 2007, the grey tones continued with the Air Jordan III LS. Although this rendition didn't utilise the particular shade of 'Cool Grey', it would still be deemed synonymous with the iconic lineage.

As one of the most recent additions to the lineage, the Air Jordan VIII was released in 2017 featuring an eye-catching greyscale pattern on the heel. An Air Jordan XI Low in Cool Grey was most recently released in 2018.

Throughout the many renditions, the unique grey palette has found a way to bring tasteful subtlety to the Air Jordan line.