Where is the Air Jordan 4 ‘Military Blue’ Retro?

Air Jordan 4 Military Blue 1989 OG
via Jordan Brand

This article was originally published on September 7, 2022.

Buoyed by both a new generation of fans and 1990s tragics, demand for Michael Jordan’s eponymous sneakers is at an all-time high, and Jordan Brand have responded accordingly by dropping retro reissues and newfangled colourways on what seems like a weekly basis. However, there is a conspicuous absentee whose void only yawns wider the longer it stays off shelves. The Air Jordan 4 ‘Military Blue’ is missing in action – and it needs to come back right now.

Air Jordan 4 ‘Military Blue’ 1989 OG
via Jordan Brand

The Blue Sheep

The AJ4’s original colourways all have some major historical significance – except the ‘Military Blue’. MJ’s on-court accomplishments in the ‘Fire Red’ and ‘Black Cement’ editions are well-documented, and Spike Lee’s Mars Blackmon character had a hand in making those pairs famous too. Another of Lee’s creative works, Do The Right Thing, immortalised the ‘White Cement’ combo – and its ‘$108, with tax!’ price tag – on the silver screen. As for the ‘Military Blue’? Zilch. No game appearances in 1989; no celebrity moments back then either. Is that a disincentive for JB to bring it back? Considering their core customers today likely weren’t even born when the AJ4 debuted, probably not. If anything, the odds have sadly been against its favour since day one.

,Air Jordan 4 ‘Military Blue’ 1989 OG
via radioclash77 (eBay)

Overdue Retros

It’s well established that Jordans don’t last forever. Foam will eventually crush your sole. Retros give fans an opportunity to wear the same sneakers again and again. JB have nearly perfected the timing of their reissues to keep fans hooked: just long enough between drops to keep them hungry, but not so frequently that the model gets stale.

The ‘Military Blue’ is however one of the few anomalies from this cycle. Its first-ever retro happened in 2006, which was anecdotally hampered by cracking midsole paint, and is now unwearable anyway. The next (and currently most recent) reissue was in 2012 and was an early example of the ‘Remastered’ series. They’re serviceable enough, but many pairs are likely on their last steps as they tick over ten years. So, from a timing point of view, another retro is well overdue.

Other OG AJ4s have seen much shorter cycles in the modern era. All four colourways retroed in 2012. From there, the ‘White Cement’ dropped again in 2016 with correct Nike Air branding, which was soon followed by unfounded rumours that the ‘Military Blue’ was next. What happened instead was the ‘Bred’ (aka ‘Playoffs’ and also ‘Black Cement’) in 2019, then the ‘Fire Red’ in 2020.

Air Jordan 4 Golf ‘Military Blue’
Air Jordan 4 ‘Military Black’
Union x Air Jordan 4

The Pairs That Almost Aired

Jordan Brand are perfectly capable of remaking the Air Jordan 4 ‘Military Blue’. Just last year, they had the audacity to release the Air Jordan 4 Golf in this OG colourway, using more or less the same upper and midsole as previous retros; the only difference was the cleated outsole. Talk about a sock tease.

They even had the gall to release the ‘Military Black’, which used practically the same colour-blocking as the blue OG. And to rub salt in the wound, collaborations with Union and A Ma Maniére received Nike Air branding, despite having no historical context to do so.

The back end of 2022 will see even more AJ4 colourways enter the mix, but none of them will be the ‘Military Blue’. Even the ‘Thunder’ is supposedly coming back, which it arguably has no business doing – at least not until its OG predecessor comes back first.

Alas, consider this a bit of a vent about a shoe’s continued absence that is likely frustrating a lot of sneakerheads. One of the all-time greatest Jordan shoes is still a no-show in 2022 and beyond. Where the hell is the Air Jordan 4 ‘Military Blue’?

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