We spent 8 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

12 reasons to buy

  • A good number of reviewers appreciate the no lacing style for the perfect lockdown fit of the Nike Air Penny IV with the adjustable ankle straps.
  • Several basketball players like the one-piece design that gives a solid look to the shoe.
  • Fans of Penny Hardaway like the One-Cent logo detailing on the upper’s ankle straps and the Penny symbol on the upper as it gives them a nostalgic vibe of the basketball star’s heydays.
  • The retro basketball sneaker has an affordable pricing of $160 per pair according to many sneaker fans.
  • Many buyers claimed the shoes have a versatile style that is worn inside the basketball court and outside as a casual shoe.
  • A large number of basketball players complimented its good fitting that helps them do different movements on the court.
  • Numerous reviewers have grown to love the Nike Air Penny as the silhouette reminds them of the late 1990s when the shoe first came out and worn by Orlando’s Penny Hardaway.
  • Some basketball players find these kicks well-built with the sole having durability and traction that can last for months.
  • Several reviewers praised the Nike designers for retaining the spirals and herringbone pattern on the shoe outsole as it provides a really good grip on the basketball court.
  • In terms of cushioning, some reviewers claimed the visible Heel Air Unit has been retained giving the shoe a softer feel and bounce.
  • Tumbled leather all over the Air Penny IV from Nike according to some online critics looks very promising and beautiful while it also lessens break-in time.
  • A lot of users praised the wider carbon fiber shoe base and strap in providing support to the entire basketball sneaker.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Some reviewers noted that the flex grooves all over the forefoot tend to make the shoe look visually bulky.
  • A few reviewers were disappointed that the forefoot Zoom Air unit seems missing from the original release as it doesn’t have the same level of cushioning as before.
  • A few online reviewers are worried that the one-piece upper and ankle strap might not hold up in the long run as the hidden lacing system could eventually loosen up and affect the fit.
  • For ventilation, some reviewers claimed the all leather upper could pose problems on breathability as the only ventilation is on the tongue and might also affect in shape retention.

Bottom line

The underrated Nike Air Penny IV pays homage to NBA legend Penny Hardaway. While sidelined after its release during the career of the basketball star, the shoes’ retro release in 2012 up to the present is just the right time for it to finally steal the limelight from the other basketball sneakers that were released during its time.

For its $160 price tag, basketball sneaker fans should take hold of this classic as it gives real value for money compared to other overhyped up shoe releases of other NBA stars.


Expert Reviews

  • First look | Nightwing2303

  • First look | PAT is DOPE

  • First look | Sneaker Files

  • First look | D 'n' P Sneakz

  • First look | Shaad

  • First look | Sneaker Shop Talk

Become an expert

The Nike Air Max Penny IV runs true to size with a perfect fitting on the feet. The snug fit is maintained by a one-piece all-leather upper and hidden lacing system secured by a wide adjustable ankle strap to secure the feet and support various court movements. The basketball shoe is in standard medium width – D issued for men. Size ranges from US size 7 to 13.

With noticeable 1-Cent logo badges, details at the tongue, side panel and the bottom that serve as a fitting symbol of a Penny Hardaway presence, the style of the Nike Air Penny IV was inspired by another classic, the Air Jordans by designer Tinker Hatfield, that is often seen offering retro releases.

The original Black and Blue colorway representing the Orlando Magic’s colors are further highlighted by the unique collar strap and visible Max Air cushioning at the heel back. All premium leather upper material is accented by parallel stitching while popular soles with herringbone patterns complete the look of this 1990s retro sneaker that does not only look pretty dominating on the court but also on the streets as it transitions into a lifestyle basketball sneaker.

Aside from its retro sneaker looks, the Nike Air Penny IV’s most notable features are the visible Max Air heel cushioning, the Phylon midsole, and the adjustable ankle straps. All these together with the premium leather upper material make the shoe a solid and reliable sneaker on and off the court.

Unveiled to basketball sneaker fans more than 15 years after it was first released, the retro Nike Air Penny IV had its fitting comeback in 2013. The shoe is the last of the Nike collaborations with Penny Hardaway when he was with the Orlando Magic.

Originally released in 1998, the Hardway collaboration was the fourth installment and the most memorable for the Orlando Magic star who donned this sneaker at the peak of his career. The shoe was designed by Eric Avar, the same creative genius also behind basketball kicks such as the famous Kobe Bryant line, the Nike Foamposite, and the original Hyperdunk.

With the original Orlando colorway representing the team’s black and blue colors. The shoe feature tumbled leather with synthetic nubuck overlays on its ankle strap. The shoe is also equipped still with a reliable Air Max unit as heel cushioning but missing in action is the forefoot Zoom Air unit that has been present in the 1998 release.

After its re-issue, other colorways that pay tribute to Hardaway’s heydays in Orlando came out that include the Black Blue color variation. Another variation of the Nike Air Penny IV was released in April 2017 that includes the True Red colorway representing the time when Penny Hardaway spent his time playing for the Miami Heat.

  • As early as 2013, other colorways of the Nike Air Penny have released aside from the Black-blue “Orlando” colorway. These are the “Copper” and “True Red or Chicago” colorways.
  • Among celebrities spotted wearing Nike Air Penny silhouettes include T.I., Earl Clark. Bow Wow, DJ Kast One, Victor Cruz, and Eminem.
Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.