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The History Behind The AJ 5

Almost all of the original Jordan sneakers combined on-court performance with off-court style. Nothing, however, turned heads quite like the Air Jordan 5. Debuting in 1990, the AJ 5 had a few carry-over features from previous models, like the mesh side panels from the AJ 4. But for the most part, the AJ 5 featured a completely new look.

The Air Jordan 5 was the first Jordan shoe to ever feature a translucent outsole, which eventually developed into a sneakerhead favorite and is still frequently used on new shoes today. Additionally, the AJ 5 was outfitted with a reflective tongue and lace locks for a fresh new look throughout the shoe.

The now-iconic shoe was created by legendary designer Tinker Hatfield, who drew inspiration for the shoe from World War II fighter planes. The famous “shark teeth” design on the midsole is an example of that inspiration.

The combination of all these new features definitely made a style statement. The reflective tongue, translucent outsole, and shark teeth design worked together to grab attention on the street and on the court. Popular colorways utilized bright colors for even more eye-catching style.

The shoe was in high demand when it first retro-ed in 2000. Since then, popular colorways like the Retro 5 ‘Grape,’ Retro 5 ‘Laney,’ Retro 5 ‘Fire Red,’ and many others have been highly sought after by sneakerheads.

The Jordan 5 also gained steam in the world of pop culture, thanks in part to the iconic Mike and Mars commercials and advertisements. The “Must Be The Shoes” spot featuring Spike Lee was especially popular.

The Retro 5s are most notable because of the truly unique and innovative design, but all of the original Jordans needed to perform on the court. Michael Jordan’s career was filled with iconic moments, and he arguably had his best game ever in a pair of Air Jordan 5s. The GOAT poured in a career-high 69 points in the Air Jordan 5 ‘Fire Red.’ For the 1989-90 season, MJ averaged 33.6 points per game en route to all-star accolades.

Back in the day, the Air Jordan 5s were considered one of the best shoes to play in, and now the Retro 5s are regarded as one of the best designs in the historic Jordan line. They’ve been a streetwear staple for decades already, and with hot colorways on the way, the Retro 5 shows no sign of slowing down.