Why Aren’t the Jordan 4s Vivid Sulfur Selling Out?

Image from SoleRetriever

In recent sneaker news, the release of the Jordan 4 Vivid Sulfur has captured the attention of many, set for April 6th with a retail price of $210. Despite the buzz, early reviews, including a score of 6.5 out of 10 due to its mixed yellow shades and off-white midsole, suggest that these sneakers might not experience the instant sell-out phenomenon typical of Jordan releases. This women’s exclusive release, available in sizes up to 12W, presents an intriguing case in the sneaker world, especially considering its anticipated low resale value on platforms like StockX.

Our exploration dives deep into the heart of why the Jordan 4s, including this latest Vivid Sulfur edition, might linger on shelves longer than expected. We’ll compare its performance with past releases such as the Air Jordan 4 Black Cat and Retro 4 Craft, examining factors that contribute to a sneaker’s success or shortfall. By understanding these dynamics, we can gain insights into the potential future of the Air Jordan 4 Vivid Sulfur and what it means for the Nike Jordan 4 market.

Overview of the Air Jordan 4 Vivid Sulfur

Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the Air Jordan 4 introduces a new colorway, the Vivid Sulfur, bringing a fresh vibe to the iconic series. Set for release on April 6th, both in-store and online at Nike.com, this model is priced at $210. It’s a women’s exclusive design, available in sizes up to 12W, featuring a white leather base complemented by bright pops of Sulphur and anthracite accents. The primary color scheme revolves around white, with contrasting hues of black, yellow, and off-white “Coconut Milk,” making it a stand-out piece. The shoe includes the classic Jumpman emblem on the tongue and distinctive netting on the quarter and tongue panels, adding to its unique appeal.

Key Features:

  • Colorway: Dominant yellow with black accents on the wing eyelets, tongue, and heel tab. The midsole is white, creating a striking contrast.
  • Comfort and Support: The shoe features visible Air cushioning in the heel, ensuring comfort during wear. It’s not just about style; the Air Jordan 4 Vivid Sulfur is designed to provide support, making it suitable for everyday wear.
  • Unique Lacing and Design Elements: The “wings” on the sides allow for varied lacing techniques, offering personalization in how the shoes can be worn. Additionally, the shoe’s design references successful past releases like the “Thunder” and “Lightning” hues, emulating their color blocking for a nostalgic yet fresh look.

The Air Jordan 4 Vivid Sulfur, also known as ‘Coconut Milk’, has sparked interest for its unique colorway and quality. While it maintains the standard Jordan Brand quality in materials, it introduces a slightly different shape with a puffy tongue, distinguishing it from recent releases. This model is not just a nod to the past but a step into the future of women’s exclusive releases, capturing the same electrifying intensity and innovative attitude as Michael Jordan’s on-court moments. With an expected stock of around 225,000 to 250,000 pairs, and resale prices currently averaging around $160 to $230 because of the shoe sitting.

Factors Contributing to the Sneaker Sitting

Several factors contribute to the Jordan 4 Vivid Sulfur not selling out as expected:

Market Competition and Timing

  • The imminent release of the Military Blues Jordan 4s is casting a significant shadow over the Vivid Sulfur edition. With sneaker enthusiasts and collectors often planning their purchases around iconic releases, it’s plausible that many are holding off in anticipation of the more popular Military Blues.
  • Comparison with past releases that featured similar color blocking has shown a consistent trend where such colorways do not sell out immediately. This historical performance data suggests that the Vivid Sulfur’s sales trajectory may not be an anomaly but rather a pattern for Jordan 4 releases with this styling.

Consumer Preferences and Demographics

  • Despite being a women’s exclusive, the colorway’s appeal isn’t gender-specific, yet the limitation in sizing could be deterring potential male buyers. This exclusivity to women’s sizing, without a clear feminine design, may be narrowing the sneaker’s target market unnecessarily.
  • The lack of the new Air Jordan 4 remimagined shaping is also noted as a downside for some consumers, indicating that not just the colorway but also the design evolution plays a crucial role in the sneaker’s desirability.

Resale Value and Economic Considerations

  • The resale market is a significant factor for many sneakerheads in deciding whether to purchase a new release. With the Vivid Sulfur’s resale value hovering around the retail price, and in some cases only sizes 11W and up seeing any significant markup, the financial incentive to buy for resale is minimal.
  • Analysis of similar past releases, like the Seafoam 4s, shows that women’s Jordan 4s have struggled to hit the $300 mark in the resale market. This trend suggests a softer market for women’s exclusives, possibly affecting the Vivid Sulfur’s performance.

In summary, the Jordan 4 Vivid Sulfur’s struggle in the market can be attributed to a combination of timing with competing releases, design choices limiting its audience, and a less lucrative resale market for women’s exclusives. These factors together create a challenging environment for this particular sneaker to achieve the sell-out status seen in other Jordan releases.

Comparative Performance with Past Releases

When we look at the Jordan 4s and their performance over recent releases, there’s a fascinating trend that emerges, especially when we consider the mix of nostalgia and innovation that each drop brings to the table.

  • Air Jordan 4 “Bred Reimagined” (February Release): This release took a classic colorway and swapped the traditional nubuck for premium leather. It’s a perfect example of how Jordan Brand mixes heritage with modern craftsmanship. This blend of old and new tends to attract both long-time sneaker enthusiasts and newer fans, setting a high bar for subsequent releases.
  • Air Jordan 4 “Metallic Gold” (March Release for Women): This women-exclusive launch brought a luxurious touch to the Jordan 4 lineup. The choice of a bold, eye-catching “Metallic Gold” was a strategic move to appeal to a demographic that appreciates a blend of sportiness and glamour. However, exclusive releases like these can sometimes limit the broader appeal across all sneakerheads, which might influence the overall market dynamics.
  • Anticipation for “Industrial Blue”: Known to many as “Military Blue,” this upcoming release is highly anticipated, indicating that colorways with a story or historical significance continue to generate excitement. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of the Jordan 4 silhouette and its ability to adapt and resonate through different eras of fashion and sneaker culture.

Comparatively, the Air Jordan 4 “What The” launched on November 23, 2019, featured an innovative design with mismatched panels and contrasting colors. Priced at 200 USD, it showcased the brand’s willingness to experiment with bold aesthetics, pushing the boundaries of traditional sneaker design. This release, much like the others, highlights a pattern where Jordan Brand’s success hinges not just on nostalgia but also on innovation and the ability to surprise the market.

The Vivid Sulfur finds itself in a unique position, sandwiched between other notable drops like the plum dunks, trophy rooms, Venice beaches, and Phillies, all scheduled for April 13th. This clustering of releases could potentially overshadow the Vivid Sulfur, making it a challenge for this particular model to stand out. The timing of its release, amidst a sea of other appealing options, may inadvertently cause it to be overlooked by sneaker enthusiasts who are spoilt for choice during this busy release period.

This comparative analysis underscores the complex interplay of factors that affect the performance of each Jordan 4 release. From the choice of materials and colorways to the timing of the release and its place within the broader release calendar, each aspect plays a crucial role in determining whether a particular model sells out or sits on shelves.

Potential Future for the Vivid Sulfur

Given the mixed reactions to the Jordan 4s Vivid Sulfur, including my own rating of 6.5 out of 10 due to its colorway and design choices, the future of this sneaker seems to hinge on strategic plays by both buyers and sellers. Here’s a closer look at what could lie ahead:

Market Dynamics and Resale Strategy:

  • With an anticipated large release volume of 225,000 to 250,000 pairs, the market could initially see a dip, possibly pushing some sizes below retail. This saturation might seem discouraging, but it opens up avenues for specific strategies.
  • For those looking to invest, smaller sizes might offer long-term gains. Given the shoe’s limited release nature and the sneaker community’s unpredictable shifts, holding onto sizes like 12 W, 11.5 W, and 11 W could prove beneficial. These sizes, in particular, might be ripe for a quick flip or even pre-orders on the drop day, considering their potential for scarcity and demand.

Predictions on Resale Value:

  • Initial resale prices are expected to hover between $245 and $275. However, with the sneaker market’s ebb and flow and potential economic improvements, there’s a chance for these figures to climb to around $400 within the next couple of years. This projection suggests that while immediate gains might be modest, patience could yield a significant return.

Community Engagement and Popularity:

  • Despite the current skepticism, the Vivid Sulfur’s release is creating a buzz within the sneaker community. Discussions and debates over its worth and potential are rampant on platforms like TikTok, indicating a high level of engagement. This social buzz, coupled with the sneaker’s limited availability, suggests a sell-out is likely, driven by both its popularity and the narrative surrounding it.

In essence, while the Jordan 4s Vivid Sulfur might not be the instant classic many hoped for, its journey in the market is far from over. With strategic buying and selling, coupled with the sneaker community’s vibrant discussions, the Vivid Sulfur could yet carve out its niche, proving that even the most controversial releases have their place in the dynamic world of sneakers.


Throughout our meticulous examination of the Air Jordan 4 Vivid Sulfur, we’ve uncovered a mosaic of factors influencing its marketplace stature, distinct from traditional Jordan launches. From the initial anticipation marred by mixed reception on colorway choices to the strategic considerations for buyers and sellers, the narrative surrounding these sneakers unfolds as a complex tapestry of expectations versus reality. Emphasizing the key points, the Vivid Sulfur edition’s unique position — affected by timing, design evolution, and market dynamics — highlights the nuanced nature of sneaker releases, reminding us of the intricate dance between nostalgia, innovation, and consumer preference.

As we look towards the future, it’s clear that the Vivid Sulfur’s journey is emblematic of the broader trends impacting sneaker culture today. Whether discussing the potential shifts in resale value or the sneaker community’s vibrant engagement, these observations underscore the significance of each release in shaping the trajectory of iconic models. Thus, the Air Jordan 4 Vivid Sulfur, with its potential to grow in popularity and value, stands as a testament to the evolving landscape of sneaker releases — where every detail matters and each release tells a story, contributing to the rich tapestry of sneaker history.

Images from SoleRetriever


Current Status: Sold Out ( 1 week after release)

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