ARTICLE BY Gabe Filippa

The All-Time Greatest Air Jordan 5s: Part 1

Air Jordan 5

First taking flight in 1990, the Air Jordan 5 is still one of the baddest silhouettes from the Jumpman hangar. Inspired by America’s WWII P-51 fighter jets, Tinker Hatfield’s design helped fuel Michael Jordan’s aerial attack against the Detroit ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons during the 1989-90 NBA season. From the Air Jordan 5 ‘Grape’ (immortalised by Will Smith’s Fresh Prince) to more recent iterations like the Air Jordan 5 ‘Green Bean’, Jordan’s fighter jet has no shortage of classic colourways. Join us as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Air Jordan 5 by taking a look back at the greatest colourways it has ever worn.

Air Jordan 5 ‘Metallic Silver’ (1990)Air Jordan 5 ‘Metallic Silver’ (1990)

The Air Jordan 5 ‘Metallic Silver’ was an instant classic. One of four original colourways, the ‘Metallic Silver’ rendition is arguably among the finest Jordan Brand designs we’ve ever seen. The sneaker world continues to be fascinated by the showstopping original colourways, and this guy was recently reworked by Virgil Abloh’s Off-White label, with ‘Fire Red’ and ‘Reverse Grape’ renditions also expected to appear in 2020. Worn throughout the 1990 NBA Playoffs (including the seven-game series against the Detroit Bad Boys), the ‘Metallic Silver’ is proving more culturally relevant than ever.

Air Jordan 5 Metallic Silver

Air Jordan 5 ‘Tokyo’ (2011)Air Jordan 5 ‘Tokyo’ (2011)

Commemorating the opening of Jordan Tokyo 23, the Air Jordan 5 ‘Tokyo’ combines sunny suede uppers with classic 3M reflective tongues and ‘Wolf Grey’ webbing. Featuring the unique ‘23’ symbol on the sidewalls, the Air Jordan 5 ‘Tokyo’ pays homage to the Shibuya ward of Japan. Available only to Japanese accounts, the Pittsburgh Steelers–style colourway continues to shine bright almost a decade after its release, and is still one of the best Japan-exclusive Jordans of the 2010s.

Air Jordan 5 'Tokyo'

Air Jordan 5 ‘Green Bean’ (2006) Air Jordan 5 ‘Green Bean’ (2006)

These beans were making everyone damn green with envy back in 2006! Going HAM on the 3M detailing, the Air Jordan 5 ‘Green Bean’ completely covered the uppers with reflective material, making it one of the most idiosyncratic designs from the Jumpman hangar. Still routinely picking up enviable resale prices online, the Air Jordan 5 ‘Green Bean’ is literally one of the flashiest sneakers you will ever see!

Air Jordan 5 Green Bean
Flightclub

Air Jordan 5 ‘Grape’ (1990)Air Jordan 5 ‘Grape’ (1990)

Popularised by Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the Air Jordan 5 ‘Grape’ is a pop cultural behemoth from the 1990s. Still as straight fresh as the Fresh Prince himself, the Air Jordan 5 ‘Grape’ was one of four original colourways in 1990. Composed with classic white leather uppers and breathable mesh panels, the grape extracts the real juice, the intoxicating ice panelling and ‘New Emerald’ accents making this a genuine icon in the Jordan vault.

Air Jordan 5 Grape

Air Jordan 5 ‘Raging Bull’ (2009)Air Jordan 5 ‘Raging Bull’ (2009)

Is there anything sexier than a sneaker completely wrapped in red suede?

Taking cues from the bandanas worn during Pamplona’s running of the bulls, the Air Jordan 5 ‘Raging Bull’ reared its horns in 2009, and quickly became one of the most sought-after colourways in the AJ5 bullpen. With translucent outsoles, and bloody sharktooth detailing, the Jordan 5 ‘Raging Bull’ was released as part of the ferocious Raging Bull Pack.

Air Jordan 5 Raging Bull
Flightclub

Air Jordan 5 ‘Laney’ (2000)Air Jordan 5 ‘Laney’ (2000)

Paying homage to Michael Jordan’s formative years at Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina, the Air Jordan 5 ‘Laney’ debuted in 2000.

Although Jordan failed to make the Laney High School team in his sophomore year, he would go on to use the experience as a driving force behind his illustrious career, even citing the experience in his Hall of Fame induction speech in 2009.

Coloured in ‘Royal Blue’ with accents of sunny contrast, the Air Jordan 5 ‘Laney’ also featured the number 23 stitched on the side panels (Jordan wore the same number during his years at Laney High School).

Air Jordan 5 Laney
Air Jordan 5 'Laney' (2000 vs 2003 comparison)

Air Jordan 5 ‘Fab Five’ PE (2017) Air Jordan 5 ‘Fab Five’ PE (2017)

A collaboration between Tinker Hatfield and Dan Sunwoo, the Air Jordan 5 ‘Fab Five’ pays homage to the unstoppable Michigan Wolverines of 1991. The first team in NCAA history to compete in a championship game with all freshman starters, the so-called ‘Fab Five’ included future NBA stars Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson. Featuring ‘Hail To’ and ‘The Victors’ on each tongue, the Air Jordan 5 ‘Fab Five’ takes aesthetic cues from Michigan uniforms, while a Fab Five graphic is printed on each heel.

A certified champion of the Jordan arsenal.

Air Jordan 5 'Fab Five'

Air Jordan 5 ‘Fire Red’ (1990)Air Jordan 5 ‘Fire Red’ (1990)

Reappearing in the Jordan Brand schedule this year, the Air Jordan 5 ‘Fire Red’ is a perfect example of aesthetic restraint. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the ‘Fire Red’ colourway still burns, and the famous colourway was the first AJ5 to feature the ‘23’ stitching on the side panel.

Air Jordan 5 Fire Red
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