Air Jordan 4 ‘Black/Cement’ 1989 Original Vs 2019 Retro

The Air Jordan 4 ‘Black/Cement’ is re-releasing for the fourth time since its original 1989 release. How do they compare to the original? Let’s find out.


Thanks to Instagram user @_nostalgicfeels, we have a solid side-by-side comparison between the 1989 original and the upcoming 2019 Retro Air Jordan 4 in the classic ‘Black/Cement’ colorway.

While I’m very happy with the way the 2019 version came out, being they’re the closest thing to the 1999 Retro we’ve seen since 99, there is a pocket of OG enthusiasts that aren’t 100 percent satisfied as the shoe is clearly different than the OG.

Materials are probably the one thing that is the most comparable other than the midsole and outsole tooling. Everything else, from the shape to the Nike Air heel tabs, are a bit different is some way. They are very close but still not quite like the original.

Something I wonder is if these changes are by design or because manufacturing and material sourcing are simply not the way they once were in 1989. Perhaps it’s a bit of both. I’m sure it is possible to recreate a perfect looking Retro but it may come at a cost. Maybe there is no way to recreate a perfect looking Retro and this is the best we’ll ever get.

Personally I love to wear the shoes, so while I prefer the Retro to look as close to the OG as possible, I do understand that it just isn’t the reality of the situation – – at least not right now. If there ever is a perfect recreation of an OG, then I’m down for sure but if there isn’t, I’m just happy to be able to wear something that is as close as possible.

On a side note, there are enthusiasts that are unhappy with the 2019 version due to material quality. I’m not 100 percent sure what they’re referring to as the 1989 original clearly isn’t premium in any way; they feature synthetic nubuck, a material that Nike placed the marketing term “durabuck” to make the synthetic sound cooler.

No matter which side you lean on, there is no denying that the Air Jordan 4 in the ‘Black/Cement’ colorway is a beautiful shoe: it’s an icon and a classic.

Feel free to share your thoughts below in the comment section and let us know if you plan on grabbing a pair on May 4 for $200.

Images via @_nostalgicfeels

One Comment

  1. I think it’s important that every sneaker collector from all eras should simply appreciate retros for what they are. A re release of a classic shoe. Not meant to be the exact duplicate of the shoe that was released many moons ago. But if the effort is there to get it as close to the original as possible, then that should be good enough for everybody It gets to me from time to time the nitpicking that OG enthusiast will do to a retro. For educational and comparison purposes I find this to be awesome (Mjo23dan has some of the best I’ve seen when it comes to this). But when you talk down about it, or use your social media platform to gripe and complain that all the details are not there and say it’s an easy pass or trash, that kinda takes away the enthusiasm from some kid or someone who never had the OGs and is excited about the upcoming release. I greatly respect the OGs, and their original shapes, materials, etc. And I’m all for the shoes becoming closer and closer to the originals as possible! Would love to grab a pair, but it’s not in the cards for me at this time unfortunately. Life lol! I will wear my WC pair from 2016 in honor of the BC release, and hope everyone who wants a pair is able to get em. One thing I would love in my WC 2016 pair is that polyurethane insole! They’ve been putting those in recently and the really do help make those shoes feel so much more comfortable.

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