An Early Look at the Air Jordan 4 “Lightning”

Detailed look and history behind the anticipated colorway.

Michael Jordan’s retirement from basketball opened up new avenues for sneaker storytelling. Freed from the constraints of having to appear in Chicago Bulls-friendly colors or honor any specific on-court moment, the Air Jordan colorways of the mid-2000s often explored Jordan’s interests away from the game he once dominated. 

One of the best examples of what we’re talking about is the original Air Jordan 4 “Lightning” from 2006 that saluted Michael’s love of motorsports.

The “Lightning” was one of the Air Jordan 4’s first non-original colorways, joining classics like 1999’s “Oreo” and “Columbia,” and 2000’s “Bling” to appear in casual “lifestyle” designs meant to be worn away from the court. It was also the first Air Jordan shoe to honor Michael’s Jordan Motorsports club. And it wasn’t without a peer.