The Air Jordan 4 Blue Thunder is one of the most anticipated sneaker releases in recent years. This iconic Jordan Brand shoe first debuted in 1989 and the Blue Thunder colorway is inspired by the original Thunder & Lightning campaign. Sneakerheads and Jordan fans alike are eagerly awaiting the return of this legendary kick.
An Overview of the Air Jordan 4 Model
The Air Jordan 4 was designed by Tinker Hatfield and was released in 1989. It was the first Jordan model released after Michael Jordan’s retirement from the NBA. The shoe became an instant classic due to its innovative design features.
The most recognizable feature of the AJ4 is the plastic lace locks on the upper eyelets. This gave the shoes a unique style and allowed for customization. The AJ4 was also the first Jordan model to feature visible Nike Air cushioning. An encapsulated Air unit was added to the forefoot for maximum comfort.
The outsole featured a solid rubber tread pattern made specifically for multidirectional traction on the basketball court. Overall, the combination of comfort, support, style, and performance made the Air Jordan 4 an iconic shoe.
The Origins of the Thunder & Lightning Campaign
In 1989, Nike launched an ad campaign titled “Thunder & Lightning” to promote the Air Jordan 4. It featured a young Michael Jordan along with upcoming rookie B.J. Armstrong. The dynamic duo was compared to Thunder & Lightning, an unstoppable force on the basketball court.
The print ads and commercials showed Jordan as Thunder, the proven MVP superstar. In contrast, Armstrong was positioned as Lightning, an energetic rookie with promising talent. Together, they demonstrated the perfect pairing of experience and fresh excitement.
The Thunder & Lightning concept highlighted the passing of the torch from Jordan’s established dominance to the next generation of rising NBA stars. It was a fitting metaphor for the Air Jordan line’s own evolution and growing legacy. The campaign helped cement the AJ4’s status as an all-time classic.
The Return of the Blue Thunder Colorway
The original Blue Thunder AJ4 featured a white leather upper with black, blue, and gray accents. It had a vibrant blue outsole and tongue lining that really made the nickname pop. The striking blue shades contrasted the white and black for a bold, lightning-like effect.
In 2022, Jordan Brand announced the long-awaited retro of the Blue Thunder colorway as part of the Air Jordan 4’s 35th anniversary celebration. It will look just like the OG version with its white/black/blue color scheme. The premium leather upper will be combined with gray accents on the midsole wings and heel tab.
Of course, the blue-tinted translucent outsole will be back again. This blast from the past will transport sneakerheads back to the magic of 1989. The retro Blue Thunder 4s will release in full family sizing too, so all ages can enjoy this historic Jordan colorway.
Breakdown of the Blue Thunder 4s Design Details
Here is an in-depth look at what makes the remastered Blue Thunder Air Jordan 4 special:
- White Leather Upper: The white tumbled leather upper provides a clean base for the blue and gray accents to pop. The premium textures give the shoe a high-end look.
- Black Tongue: The iconic Jordan 4 tongue returns in black with blue Jumpman branding on top. This matches the tongue lining underneath.
- Blue Accents: Vibrant blue shades are featured on the outsole, heel tab, tongue lining, and sections of the midsole. This lightning bolt colorway lives up to its name.
- Gray Wings: On the midsole side panels, elephant print gray wings provide contrast and visual interest. The wings almost appear to be flapping as you walk.
- Nike Air Branding: The retro will remain true to OG form with the visible Air cushioning unit and branding on the heel.
- Cement Details: Near the lace locks, the speckled grey cement print adds texture and dimension against the white leather.
- Blue Thunder Logo: On the insoles, a special Blue Thunder logo in blue and white pays homage to the original advertising campaign.
Release Information for the Blue Thunder 4s
Jordan Brand has confirmed that the Air Jordan 4 Blue Thunder is planned for a global release in 2022. They will be available in full family sizing ranging from toddler to adult.
The launch is set for November 16 on SNKRS and at select Jordan retailers worldwide. The adult sizes are expected to retail for the standard Jordan 4 price of $210 USD. Keep an eye out for updates as the release date approaches.
Given the popularity of both the AJ4 and blue-based colorways, this retro promises to be one of the most coveted drops of the year. The Blue Thunder 4s are sure to sell out instantly online and at stores.
Sneaker enthusiasts planning to go for this release should prepare early with multiple entries for the best shot at securing a pair. This is a true collectible that will likely resell for a high premium after launch.
Why the Blue Thunder 4s Are So Iconic
Here are just some of the reasons why the Air Jordan 4 Blue Thunder is such a legendary colorway:
- Nostalgia: The OG Blue Thunder AJ4 is a sentimental favorite for longtime Jordan fans who remember the original launch.
- Legendary Color Combo: The white, blue, gray, and black palette is simple yet eye-catching. The mix of colors really pops.
- Rarity: This will be the first retro of the Blue Thunder colorway in over 30 years. Its re-release is long overdue.
- Cultural Impact: The AJ4 Blue Thunder carries the legacy of the pivotal Thunder & Lightning campaign.
- Timeless Design: Even decades later, Tinker Hatfield’s Air Jordan 4 design still looks fresh and feels modern.
- Material Quality: The white tumbled leather and elephant print gray accents create premium appeal.
- Resale Value: As a limited drop, the Blue Thunder 4s will be in high demand on sneaker resale markets after launch.
The Air Jordan Legacy Continues
Over 30 years after its debut, the Air Jordan line of sneakers is still relevant and influential in basketball, fashion, and pop culture. The Jordan Brand’s commitment to retroing classic OG colorways in remastered form allows new generations of sneaker lovers to experience pieces of history.
The Air Jordan 4 Blue Thunder is the absolute pinnacle of this concept. Its return combines nostalgia and current hype seamlessly. When it finally re-releases after decades in the vault, the Blue Thunder 4s will electrify the sneaker world once again. Just like lightning, this Jordan 4 colorway is sure to strike hard and leave an impact.
The Air Jordan 4 Blue Thunder is one of the most legendary Jordan Brand colorways ever created. Its story includes the iconic Thunder & Lightning campaign, the AJ4 shoe model’s instant popularity, and decades of anticipation for its retro return. In 2022, the wait for the Blue Thunder 4s will finally be over.
This blast from the past promises to be one of the biggest sneaker events of the year. The instantly recognizable white, blue, gray, and black color scheme still looks as bold and vibrant as it did in the late 80s. Add in the nostalgia factor and premium details, and it’s easy to see why the retro release of the Blue Thunder 4s will be such an unforgettable moment.