The Air Jordan 4 “Fear” sneaker stands out as one of the most iconic and coveted sneakers in the storied history of the Air Jordan line. Nicknamed the “Fear” edition, this colorway of the Jordan 4 combines elements of style and design that continue to capture the imagination of sneaker enthusiasts and Jordan Brand fans decades after its original release.
A Brief History of the Air Jordan 4 Model
The Air Jordan 4 was first released in 1989 and was the first Jordan model designed by legendary Nike designer Tinker Hatfield. It featured a number of innovations for basketball shoes at the time, including a lightweight phylon midsole, visible air sole unit, and oversized “wings” lace locks.
The cut of the AJ4 was also lowered compared to previous Jordan models, creating a lighter and more streamlined silhouette. This aided agility and quickness on the court, complementing Michael Jordan’s fast-paced playing style.
The Story Behind the Infamous “Fear” Colorway
The Air Jordan 4 “Fear” takes its nickname from the unique color scheme, which incorporates the colors black, white, and red. It first released in 2006 and then again in 2013 as part of the sneaker’s 23rd anniversary.
The black represents the darkness, the red symbolizes blood and danger, and the white contrasts it all to striking visual effect. This color scheme was inspired by Michael Jordan’s iconic “Black Cat” alter ego, which represented his fierce and relentless competitive spirit.
The “Fear” Jordan 4 is sometimes also referred to by the colorway code “Toro Bravo.” This bullfighting reference alludes to the bold red accents contrasted against the black upper.
Notable Design Details That Define the “Fear” Jordan 4
Beyond the symbolic color scheme, the Air Jordan 4 Retro “Fear” also stands out for its unique material choices:
- Black nubuck leather upper with perforations for breathability
- Red accents on the midsole’s “wings” and rear tab
- Translucent red outsole with black traction patterning
- Red suede detailing on parts of the upper
- Black laces with red tipped aglets
- Red inner lining
- “Fear” embroidered in red on the black padded tongue
The combination of premium black nubuck, red suede, and translucency in the outsole makes for a bold but refined look. These details come together seamlessly to create the legendary “Fear” aesthetic.
The Significance and Legacy of the “Fear” Colorway
Because of its striking appearance and connection to Michael Jordan’s on-court persona, the Air Jordan 4 Retro “Fear” has become one of the most beloved non-original colorways in the Jordan line.
It has only been retro’d a handful of times since its debut, making it stand out as one of the rarer Air Jordan 4 iterations. The “Fear” 4 is instantly recognizable even to less knowledgeable sneakerheads because of its daring color scheme.
This Jordan 4 encapsulates the attitude of intimidation and rival intimidation that defined MJ’s career. For both practical basketball reasons and cultural legacy, the Air Jordan 4 “Fear” maintains its status as a grail-level sneaker over 25 years after its original release.
The “Fear” Jordan 4 Still Commands Respect on the Resale Market
Because of its prestige, the Air Jordan 4 Retro “Fear” carries a hefty resale value in today’s secondary sneaker market. Deadstock pairs in size 10 can easily fetch over $500. Even used pairs in decent condition resell for well above the original retail price of $150.
As Jordan Brand continues retroing other beloved colorways, the “Fear” Jordan 4 stands out as one that draws interest whenever it drops. Given its rich background and meaning, sneaker enthusiasts continue eagerly anticipating its sporadic re-releases.
Fit and Sizing of the Iconic “Fear” Jordan 4
The Air Jordan 4 runs true to size for most wearers. Here’s a rundown of the standard sizing:
- Men’s sizes run from 6 up to 18
- Runs slightly narrow so wide-footers may want to go up .5 size
- Women can go down 1.5 sizes from standard women’s sizing for best fit
- Medium width in the toebox and forefoot
- Lightweight phylon midsole provides responsive cushioning
- Padding around the collar supports the ankle
It’s smart to try these on in store if possible to gauge fit and comfort. But most find the AJ4 fits very well right out of the box.
Closing Thoughts on the Legendary “Fear” Jordan 4
Over two decades after its debut, the Air Jordan Retro 4 “Fear” still represents one of the most iconic non-OG colorways ever created. The silhouette maintains its legendary status thanks to the standout black, white, and red color scheme.
It’s a shoe that evokes power and intimidation, perfectly capturing Michael Jordan’s competitive spirit at the height of his career. For both cultural legacy and style, the “Fear” Jordan 4 rightfully takes its place among the most coveted Air Jordans of all time. Its rarity and grail status will only continue as the years pass.