What Makes the Nike SB x Air Jordan 4 a Skate Shoe?

OG shape, enhanced padding and improved grip allow the kicks to perform on the half pipe and the hardwood.

Footwear
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Since 2014, Nike and its Nike SB sub-label have been partnering with Jordan Brand for collaborative initiatives that polymerize and commemorate their style and spirit. Notable installments include the Lance Mountain x Nike SB x Air Jordan 1 colorways, Eric Koston-led team-ups and the Nike SB x Air Jordan 1 “LA to Chicago,” and now to further celebrate the cultural impacts, communities and connections that that hoops and skateboarding share, the duo is set to expand their catalog with the latest fruit of their labor: the Nike SB x Air Jordan 4 “Pine Green.” “The Nike SB x Air Jordan 4 is a way for two communities of sport to pay respect to one another, and represents the collision of basketball, skate culture and style that brings them both together,” says James Arizumi, Global Senior Design Director, Jordan Brand Special Projects.

To the untrained eye, this pair may appear like any other Air Jordan 4 that’s simply been fashioned in a palette that aligns with the festive season of St. Patrick’s Day. However, it’s the smaller, barely-noticeable modifications that Nike SB and Jordan Brand designers implemented here from an aesthetics and functionality standpoint here that give the kicks their power. The first element to call out is the shape. It has been reconstructed to match that of the original 1989 model to hearken back to the silhouette’s performance roots and to provide wearers with an improved fit. Features like the “wings” are re-engineered with a rubber compound build to be more responsive to grip tape and the tongue possesses beefed up padding for a more comfortable interior feel. Downstairs, the forefoot has been slimmed down and stripped of its Air unit cushioning. The intention for this is to assist skaters in achieving better board feel and control whether they’re cruising casually, preparing for a 360 pop shove-it or hitting a one wheel manual. Furthermore, the heel counters have been remixed with Nike SB branding and the outsoles feature a pair of gum panels for enhanced grip that can perform both on the half pipe and the hardwood.

In terms of its color story, the sneakers are dressed to reference the Jordan’s fourth signature model’s heritage. It can be compared to the 1989 “Military Blue” thanks to its mostly-white presentation that’s accompanied by “Neutral Grey” mudguards, but it’s been touched up with “Pine Green” accents for a modernized look.

Peep a closer look at the Nike SB x Air Jordan 4 “Pine Green” in the gallery above, and note that it’s scheduled to drop on March 17 via select skate shops and March 21 via SNKRS and affiliated retailers for $225 USD.

Elsewhere in footwear, first images of the Air Jordan 1 Low OG “Atmosphere Grey” have appeared.

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