Air Jordan 4 vs 5: A Sneakerhead’s Guide to the Key Differences

When it comes to comparing Air Jordan 4 vs 5, what’s the difference? Our pros are diving into the unique details and features of each here.

Even if you’re not an avid sneaker collector, you probably know someone who is. The global sneaker market is expected to reach a value of $120 billion by 2026.

Sneakerheads are driving this industry, but they’re not the only ones willing to seek out the perfect pair of kicks. Even if you’re only looking for one timeless pair of sneakers to add to your footwear collection, it makes sense to reach for a pair of Air Jordans.

The question is, what is the difference between Air Jordan 4 vs 5? Both are extremely popular and to the untrained eye, they might not look that different.

Read on to learn everything there is to know about Air Jordan 4 vs. Air Jordan 5.

Air Jordan History

It’s no secret that Michael Jordan is one of the most famous and iconic basketball players of all time. Even before he had proven himself by winning six championships for the Chicago Bulls, Nike knew that making him a signature sneaker would have a massive ripple effect on the brand and the culture.

The original Air Jordan first appeared in 1985. Though the NBA banned the shoes because they didn’t meet the league’s uniform policy, Jordan continued to wear them on the court, accruing a $5,000 fine per game (with Nike footing the bill). 

As predicted, the shoes were so popular that a second design was released the following year. Since then, we’ve seen countless designs, collaborations, retro re-releases, and more, making Air Jordans some of the most popular sneakers of all time. 

Jordan 4 vs 5: The Basics

If you’re going for the most classic look, you may want to stick with the Air Jordan 1 Retro design. However, Jordan 4 and 5 do stand out from the pack, and almost every sneakerhead will have one or the other (or both) in their closet.

It’s worth noting that Air Jordan 4 was the first pair to hit the international market. This was way back in 1989, and the shoes flew off the shelves around the globe. The following year, Air Jordan 5 came out to just as much fanfare. 

Today, you can still purchase the Jordan Retro 4 and 5. The question is, what makes these shoes different? 


At first glance, Air Jordan 4 and 5 may seem similar in design. However, there are some key differences between Air Jordan 4 features and Air Jordan 5 features, including:

  • a classic mid-top design on the Jordan 4 and a high-top design on the Jordan 5
  • the option for a reflective tongue on the Jordan 5
  • the firetruck sole on the Jordan 5
  • plastic “wings” on the Jordan 4
  • visible air bubbles on the Jordan 4

The Jordan 4 comes in colorways including black, white, off-white, yellow, green, pink, purple, and blue. You can get the Jordan 5 in black, green, pink, pink, purple, cream, gold, orange, and gray, plus an additional multi-color option.


Truth be told, neither shoe has great arch support, meaning they aren’t suitable for long excursions on your feet. Both have padding made of polyurethane in the midsole.

If you’re looking for more lockdown, Jordan 4 is the way to go. If you’re looking for more comfort and support around the heel, choose Jordan 5. 


Both of these sneakers maintain significant popularity year after year. As we mentioned earlier, you’re going to find one or both in the closet of any avid sneakerhead. 

Air Jordan 4 is a popular choice because of its role in sneaker history. As the first Air Jordan to go international, it changed the landscape of sneaker collecting for good.

Air Jordan 5 is a popular choice due to updates on the Air Jordan 4 design that made it, in some ways, a more comfortable shoe. Plus, it offers desirable features and colorways that can add more flare to your getup. 


One of the many factors bolstering the popularity of Air Jordans is their notable durability. They’re built to mold to your feet and withstand years of wear and tear on the court before giving out. 

Air Jordan 4 is constructed from a combination of patent leather, canvas, mesh inserts, and suede. Air Jordan 5 contains mesh inserts, alone. Either way, you get a tough, breathable shoe. 


You’re going to find both of these sneakers available at a wide range of prices. The more unique or rare (hello, limited edition collaborations) the style, the more expensive. 

Air Jordan 5 tends to fetch a higher price because there are so many different options to choose from, some of which are hard to find. However, the resale value will always come down to the condition of the pair in addition to objective factors like rareness. 

How to Pick Between Air Jordan 4 vs Air Jordan 5

At the end of the day, choosing between Jordan 4 vs 5 will come down to personal preference. Both are suitable for things like everyday wear, basketball, light gym training, and casual walking or running. Some do find Jordan 5s more comfortable, while others think that the difference is negligible.

While you may think that Air Jordan 4 offers a more limited range of options, there are still tons of different features, colors, and collaborations (hello, Eminem, Carhartt, and Levi’s, to name a few) to choose from. 

Which Sneakers Will You Add to Your Collection?

Whether you’re building up a collection or looking for one great pair of sneakers to invest in, Air Jordans are a great place to start. If you’re new to the game, however, you may struggle to detect the differences between one line and the next. Use this guide to understand Air Jordan 4 vs 5 to make the best choice for you.

Looking for more helpful guides, tips, and tricks? Take a look around as we cover everything from finance to entertainment and beyond.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *