WearTesters is reader-supported. When you make purchases using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Why trust us?

Air Jordan IV (4) Retro Performance Review

Hit the jump for full review…

Buy Air Jordan IV (4) Retro

Traction – The traction is pretty solid. Whether you are moving from front to back or side to side, the traction can keep up. I do think the newer style of herringbone is much more functional but overall you can’t complain. I will say this though… the Air Jordan I has had the best overall traction – in my opinion – at this point in the line.


Cushion – Pretty much the same thing as the Air Jordan III… encapsulated Air in the forefoot with a heel Air unit along with a Polyurethane midsole. It’s still dense with some minor compression… exactly what you’d come to expect. I am getting used to the setup though as I have had less pain while playing in this type of construction as time goes on, however, after long periods of play and the following day are painful for my knees and ankles… this could be due to my age.


Material – I’ve said this before in a previous teaser; the PU coated leather is very durable. While I personally preferred the softer leather featured on the Air Jordan III Retro, the leather used here will last you for a greater length of time. I guess you can consider that one of those ‘more bang for your buck’ attributes. Again, I’d personally prefer something softer but as for what was given they will hold up just fine.

Keep in mind, break-in time is needed so if you plan on playing in a pair you may want to wear them around the house for a while until they loosen up a bit or opt for a pair with a nubuck upper.

Fit – I absolutely loved the fit. The Air Jordan III had a surprisingly good midfoot to heel lockdown and these are even better. Those forefoot lace wings hug and tightly hold your forefoot into place while the rear wings will provide you with a lockdown fit once you adjust the laces. There was not one moment where my foot slipped inside the shoe so the fit was much improved.


Ventilation – A much appreciated change in ventilation took place going from the Air Jordan 1-3 into the Air Jordan IV. I had gone over this in detail in my last Performance Teaser if you wanted to take a look. Basically, the side panels offer a very good amount of ventilation while the tongue is slightly restricted yet still encompasses much more air flow than the previous models.


Support – Not much support is in place as far as today’s standards but the molded arch and superior lockdown provide you with enough support throughout to make these enjoyable to play in at positions 1-4.


Overall – There is something very nostalgic about playing in these Retro classics. While they may not be the most comfortable at times, they have all been pretty darn performance worthy. Of course there are better options available but realistically… who wouldn’t want to play in a pair of classic Air Jordan’s?

Buy Air Jordan IV (4) Retro
  1. Good work Nightwing. I’ll never play in retros though my feet and knees can barely handle current ball shoes but its good to know yet are playable.

      1. Do jordan 4s run true to size because I normally use 10.5 but I thought about going to 10 for these or 11 because they are the last sizes left

  2. I thought you were being harsh on the cushion grades… Until I balled in my V’s today. The cushioning has no give, not even a slight bounce. Thatnks for putting your knees on the line for science tho

  3. Hey nightwing, this is a legit question thats not about how you collect all your kicks, but.. whats your job? id love a job that i can play however much you play (i think i remember hearing like 4 hours a night 5 days a week?) Just wondering! Thanks!

  4. nice review, and the advantage of the leather used is that later you wouldn’t went all buggin out and said that your shoes are broke, and i noticed that you have the AJ 1 KO, I was wondering why you didn’t try them unless you though that the canvas would rip which i would agree with.

  5. Another great review man, keep it up! Good to see someone playing hard on his pair of grails. More power!

  6. This review just made me double up on the 4’s one casual and one for ball. keep it up man!

    By the way could we expect a Lebron or Kobe Project when your done with these? hahaha

    1. Awesome! Lol, not a kobe or lebron project right now… But there is another project id lime to start once im closer to being done – at least halfway – with the jordan project.

  7. Awesome review man as always.

    BTW, why do sneakerfiles.com still upload your performance videos? I thought you’ve gone separate ways..

  8. hi night wing great review i have a question I’m a shooting guard in basketball I’m really fast and do a lot of cross overs like at least 20 per game do you think they will slip when i do a cross over and also will they hurt when you play in them in a aau game so about i have 25 min of playing time so will my feet hurt or legs or knees

  9. Hi Nightwing – quick question, I’ve heard these run a bit large and wide. I fit perfectly into a Kobe vi in a size 9. Should I stay in a 9 or should I go down half a size?

    LOL the reason that I’m asking is that the footlocker where I am at will not let me try the iv’s on because they are collector’s items and I have to buy them outright (which I find ridiculous).

  10. Hey Nightwing! I think I know you indirectly via 12&Up on FB…
    Anyway, great review as always, just curious about one thing that Nike doesn’t seem to reveal clearly on their own site: Do the modern Retro IVs (say, CDP Black Cement thru Present) have PU/Polyurethane midsoles or do they have Phylon like DubZeros were blessed with (makes for a great donor midsole ;)??

    There are dudes out there destroying new IVs to swap into old ’99s (which I too am doing) & it seems like a pretty bad idea if their PU foam & NOT Phylon, which per your review, appears to be the case.

    Thanks for clarifying for me!

    1. Its PU, I didnt know that the DubZeros used Phylon. I remember the older Retro models used a much nicer PU vs the hard stuff they use now but the new stuff lasts longer which is why its used.

  11. Hey nightwing,

    love your youtube channel… ever had issues with the aj IV chafing at the achilles area of your back leg (due to the tab)?

Add a Comment

Related Posts