These Air Jordan 4s Are Exclusively for WNBA Players—and They’re Outrageously Good

Photographs: Nike

The WNBA is getting its own exclusive retro Air Jordan, and it’s one of the best-looking retro releases we’ve seen so far all year. The Air Jordan 4 “First Class” PE is a premium edition of the beloved silhouette, made for WNBA athletes who “continue to pave the way for change both in their sport and in the world around them,” according to the senior Jordan Brand color designer Kelsey Amy, who first teased the release on her Instagram late last year. She said the sneaker is in honor of these athletes “continuously setting the benchmark for women in sports and leaving a lasting legacy for future generations to come.”

Little was known about the exclusive PE, but official campaign and promotional images have now been revealed, showing the shoe off in all its glory. Wrapped in soft green suede with a cobbled leather toe cap, and using contrasting panels in mint and seafoam, it’s an understated colorway reminiscent of the fan-favorite Jordan 1 “Turbo Green.” Gold hardware, including gold Jumpman logos on the tongue and back tab, gives the sneaker a premium feel, while a diamond embedded into the Jumpman’s basketball elevates it to the level of luxury—though no word on whether the diamond is real. References to Portland International Airport on the hangtag adds to the airline motif suggested by the name.

As the WNBA continues to gain momentum and find a foothold in the sports mainstream, we’ve seen a steady rise in WNBA sneakers as well, with several recent signature shoes becoming marquee hits and crossover success stories. Most recently, Sabrina Ionescu’s debut sneaker with Nike, the Sabrina 1, has become a staple of the NBA as well as the WNBA, making it clear that the demand is there for top-quality sneakers endorsed by or designed for the league’s most popular stars. It’s a shame that the “First Class” Jordan 4 will not be available to the general public, if only because it’s such a stellar shoe. But it’s another step in the right direction for a league that’s become a footwear powerhouse.

Originally Appeared on GQ

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