Retro Rumble: Air Jordan 4 “Bred Reimagined” vs. 2019 Air Jordan 4 “Bred”

Diving into all of the adjustments that went into Jordan Brand’s reimagining of the OG colorway.

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The year is 1989, and Michael Jordan — still hungry for his first NBA championship — is set to make his fifth appearance at the All-Star Game. On his feet for the first time? The Air Jordan 4. With the star-studded stage set, his performance served as a reminder to the world that he was not only the future of the league, but the future of footwear as well.

The “Black Cement” (aka “Bred”) colorway Jordan wore during that game is celebrated to this day. After initially releasing in 1989, it returned for the shoe’s 10th anniversary in 1999. It wasn’t until the third release, which arrived in 2008, that the Jumpman logo would replace the heel’s Nike Air branding. Jordan Brand stuck to the non-OG Jumpman for the 23rd anniversary release of the “Bred” in 2012, before returning to the original branding in 2019 for its 30th anniversary.

Jordan first took the court in the Air Jordan 4 “Bred” 35 years ago, and to commemorate its history, Jordan Brand has assembled a special version of the colorway as part of its ongoing “Reimagined” series that brings black classic pairs with a twist. Dubbed the “Bred Reimagined,” the upper’s typical nubuck has been traded in for leather, while Nike notes that it “re-engineered the shape, fit and feel back to the original ‘89 specs.” In celebration of its global release this week, we’ve assembled another Retro Rumble — breaking down all of the pair’s differences from 2019’s “Bred” release.

Materials

Of the four original Air Jordan 4 colorways to release in 1989 — “Bred,” “White Cement,” “Military Blue” and “Fire Red” — only the “Bred” look lacked a leather upper. Instead, it utilized a soft nubuck across its build and has done so with all five of its releases to date. So, when it came time for the Jumpman team to bring a new construction to the “Breds” this year, swapping to leather was a natural fit. However, despite the silhouette’s ties to the style, many sneakerheads may find this “Reimagined” rendition too polarizing, a familiar fate for many of the shoes released within the series thus far.

Tongues and Collars

The “Bred Reimagined” favors thicker padding and a more substantial curve. With the 2019 iteration sporting a thinner form, it also sees more of the red trim visible from the front. As for the collar, the “Bred Reimagined” circles back to the OG ‘89 shape by resting slightly higher than the 2019 release.

Uppers and Soles

The remainder of the new sneaker differentiates itself from its 2019 predecessor more subtly. Looking first at the toe, the previous pair features an upward angle, whereas this year’s take has a smoother slope that is closer in style to the original. Elsewhere, the stitching beneath the “wings” of the shoe is tighter and higher on each side of the 2024 rendition — serving as another nod to the OG 1989 pair. Better centering of the heel’s Nike Air logo and cleaner black midsole paint for the “Bred Reimagined” are worth noting as well.

Packaging

Rather than stick to the traditional shoe box associated with the Air Jordan 4 “Bred,” the signature “Cement Grey” detailing of the body instead appears at the lid of the 2024 pair. Its typical red Jumpman logo and white “Flight” script remain at the lid’s top while the box applies the black from the original lid. Lastly, the latest release sees its Nike Air hangtag presented in black, rather than the usual orange.

 

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The Air Jordan 4 “Bred Reimagined” is set to release on February 17 via Nike SNKRS and select retailers such as TĀKOUT. Adult-sized pairs are priced at $215 USD.

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