For the first time ever, the sought-after Air Jordan IV ‘Lightning’ is set to retro. For avid Jordan collectors, this iteration of the timeless AJIV is deemed as a “grail” due to its limitedness, colour and time of release.
In 2006, the AJIV Lightning released alongside the “Thunder” version which were inspired by MJ’s motorcycle teams. This commemorated Jumpman’s move to online retail as well as a push for LS – Lifestyle releases. Both exlsuive to online, the Lightning 4 released with a t-shirt whilst the Thunder came alongside a rare jacket.
Ever since 2006, the Lightning never saw a retro whilst the Thunder did in 2012. This kept the demand for the Lightning high and calls for a retro were coming thick and fast.
Now in 2021, alas, the wait is finally coming to a close. With a monochrome upper of nubuck ‘Tour Yellow’, the latest iteration is close to its original predecessor with keeping the grey hits and further nubuck on the wings. Grey details on the Jumpman tongue and heel as well as the outsole whilst black contrasts are on the netting. An updated look on the box is an addition to celebrate the return of a classic.
To celebrate the launch, we met up with collector Tom Ray who’s collection… archive is one to behold! Turning up in a rather fitting Chevy Camero, Tom couldn’t wait to see what Jordan Brand could achieve with this retro.
PLEASE TAKE TIME TO READ THE BELOW!
IN-STORE RAFFLE IS NOW CLOSED
ONLINE raffles will now be over on the Footpatrol app, CLICK HERE to download!
To enter, you’re required to sign up via the above forms, these WON’T be available in-store to sign up on.
In-store winners will be contacted via email informing them of their win. Within this email, winners will be given a set of dates in which they must collect their win from our London store. To collect, you will need to provide the winning email and a valid photographic government ID matching the winners name. NO ONE can collect on the winners behalf. Failure to provide this, or failure to collect within the given dates will mean failure to purchase your win.
Footpatrol: Tom, long time no see. How have you been?
Tom: Hi. Thanks for having me! As well as can be really in these mad times we currently live in. I’ve been fortunate enough to stay fit and well over the past however months, and glad to see that things are starting to get back to some form of normality. Good to finally get out and talk about sneakers to someone, and have a reason to wear something nice on foot once again. I know it doesn’t pale in comparison to what some folk have had to deal with, but it’s the small things!
FP: We normally ask everyone that we interview to give a little intro on themselves. You though, you are a pretty well known face in the UK sneaker scene! So for those enthusiasts who haven’t quite yet been blessed with seeing your collection. Could you give them a bit of a run down?
Tom: I’m just a normal guy from the Midlands, who really loves sneakers! You’ll find me at the majority of sneaker events up + down the country, and I’m always willing to discuss absolutely anything, whether that’s sneakers, sports or even the weather! As for my collection, I’d like to think I have a pair for everyone’s taste, whether that’s the latest “hyped” release, or an OG release from the 90s. Unless you’re looking for black pairs. Anyone who knows me, knows that I like colour, whether that’s on feet, or what I usually wear.
FP: What got you into collecting?
Tom: It started whilst I was at University in Chester, which feels like a VERY long time ago. I was a very shy/quiet person before then, and I’d say I struggled to express myself really. I met some weird + wonderful people during my time there, who really shaped me to who I am today. During my time at Uni, I developed an interest in brands such as BAPE, BBC + Almost Famous. My choice in clothing got loud, colourful and unique, and my choice in footwear soon followed.
FP: You brought a really nice mix of pairs down to the shoot! In terms of specifics though the Nike Zoom FP in the Transformers packaging… Where did you manage to find those?
Tom: I’m a HUGE Transformers fan, mainly Bumblebee, so much so, I have a tattoo on my leg of the great robot! They were released to coincide with the release of the second live action film back in 2009, and they have always been a pair I’ve had my eye on. From what I read, they only released over in US, meaning I had to buy via other means. Thankfully, I got what I deem a great price in the end. The packaging alone made it a bargain! I have always felt we needed more Nike x Transformers collaborations, even more so when the son (Travis Knight) of the co-founder of Nike (Phil Knight) became the director of the latest Bumblebee movie. Alas, nothing came of it, apart from a good, fun film!
FP: What about Jordans, you got some crazy wild pairs! Tokyo 5’s just to name one of them. Where did the appreciation for that start?
Tom: I’m no basketball fan. I’ve seen Space Jam more times than I have basketball games. However, I know full well that Michael Jordan is the GOAT. Can you even be into sneakers if you do not have even a slight interest in Jordans? I love pairs you do not see often. I love having a story behind them too, like the Tokyo 5s, a pair I picked up over in Japan whilst I was over there on a trip. Also, no matter what the “current trend” is, Jordans are timeless. They will never “go out of fashion”. That’s mighty impressive considering how quick trends can change!
FP: Now we have to talk about the car! Would you say the Camaro you brought down to the shoot is your dream car?
Tom: Dream car, yes. I’m no car fan, I’d struggle to tell you much about them. Probably not the best sort of car to have then, as some of the questions I get asked, I’m clueless! It gets me from A to B, is about as much as I can tell you! It’s the car I’ve always wanted, and I’m grateful to have it, and grateful to friends and family who helped me sort it out. You know who you are. x
FP: Can’t help but make an instant connection to Bumblebee, was this an intentional thing when it came to speccing?!
Tom: Yes. The only way I’d have had a Camaro, was if it looked like Bumblebee. It’s actually a Transformers Edition Camaro, styled after the vehicle seen in the “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Movie. Unfortunately, no Megan Fox came with it.
FP: Let’s revert back to shoes. The AJ4 Lightning. What are your thoughts now having seen the retro?
Tom: I’m just glad they have actually released! I think every year, for the past however many years, it’s been rumored, and I’ve had my hopes dashed when nothing came of the rumors. I did not actually believe it this year, until I had them in hand! I’m also pleased that everyone can have a chance at having a pair. It’s been a while since the last release, and there are a lot of new ‘heads out there now. I expect these to do well.
FP: Compared to the OG would you say you’re happy with how these came out?
Tom: I’d say Jordan Brand has done a tip top job! Very minimal changes, but nothing you’d really notice unless inspecting closely! And that box is stunning! I’m just happy to get a fresh pair on foot. Now if only we had nice weather to truly show these off…..
FP: Is there a AJ4 you would like to see make a return?
Tom: DB4. Not only for a good cause, but also some great little features on them. That Superman tongue tab gets me every time. Another pair that was released much more recently, is the OW4. Lovely pair, and I’d love another chance to grab!
FP: What about a Tom Ray AJ4 collab, what would that look like?
Tom: Oh man, the choices! I’d say the Lightnings are very close to what I’d do, colourwise at least. Maybe some premium materials on there, faux-fur upper would be right up my street. Autobots logo on the outsole, which i know can be done! Seen it on the Mark Wahlberg x Jordan 5. Speaking of which, if he wishes to part with a pair, drop me a message please! Worth a shot eh?
FP: Tom, thank you so much for coming down and spending time with us! Before we let you go, is there anything you would like to share to the Footpatrol readers and followers?
Tom: Thank you for having me, and letting me showcase some pairs. As I said, it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to talk and just let loose about sneakers. As for everyone else, keep doing your thing, buying pairs you like, and I hope to speak to + see many of you over the coming months.