ARTICLE BY Gabe Filippa

The All-Time Greatest Air Jordan 5s: Part 2

Taking flight in 1990, the Air Jordan 5 is still one of the baddest silhouettes in the Jumpman hangar. Originally 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 ‘Trophy Room’, 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 of all time.

Air Jordan 5 Doernbecher ‘Isaac Arzate’ (2012)Air Jordan 5 Doernbecher ‘Isaac Arzate’ (2012)

Regularly linking up with the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Oregon, the Jordan Brand continues to give kids the opportunity to design their own Jordans, the program resulting in some of the most inspired colourways in recent memory.

One of the highlights was Isaac Arzate’s rendition in 2012, the young artist writing a poem that featured on the sneaker’s uppers. Built with polished black patent leather, Arzate’s poem is illuminated under blacklight, and also features Arzate’s jersey numbers 9 and 31 on the heel.

Arzate tragically passed before the sneaker’s release, but the Jordan Brand continue to provide huge support for the program, the Doernbecher collaboration raising over $24 million since its inception in 2003.

Air Jordan 5 Doernbecher
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Air Jordan 5 ‘Jordan Motorsport’ (2008)Air Jordan 5 ‘Jordan Motorsport’ (2008)

Michael Jordan’s need for speed didn’t just translate to the basketball court. He also loved motorsports. The ultra rare Air Jordan 5 ‘Jordan Motorsport’ never released to the public, the Friends and Family sample only handed out to Jordan Brand’s Motorsport team in 2008. Limited to a run of just 23, the 3M reflective tongues and translucent outsoles were accented by baby blue detailing, while classic sharktooth motifs and Jumpman emblems complete the design. Who else is keen to see a refuel of the ‘Jordan Motorsport’?

Air Jordan 5 ‘Jordan Motorsport’ (2008)

Air Jordan 5 ‘Army Olive’ (2006)Air Jordan 5 ‘Army Olive’ (2006)

A polarising colourway that landed in 2006, the Air Jordan 5 ‘Army Olive’ is composed with militant mossy suede uppers and a burst of orange accents on the shark teeth. Originally mistaken for an UNDEFEATED collaboration, the Air Jordan 5 featured as part of the Jordan Brand’s ephemeral LS (lifestyle) line, but has nevertheless endured as one of the best AJ5 colourways of all time.

Air Jordan 5 ‘Army Olive’ (2006)
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Air Jordan 5 ‘Shanghai Shen’ (2013)Air Jordan 5 ‘Shanghai Shen’ (2013)

The Air Jordan 5 ‘Shanghai Shen’ debuted exclusively in China in 2013.

Turning the lights out on the iconic ‘Laney’ colourway, the ‘Shanghai Shen’ features a traditional medallion detail on the heel, while the black synthetic nubuck uppers and sunny hits of blue and yellow make this one of the more luxurious AJ5 colourways.

Air Jordan 5 Shanghai Shen
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Air Jordan 5 'Quai 54' Friends and Family (2011)Air Jordan 5 'Quai 54' Friends and Family (2011)

One of the most expensive Jordans of the past decade, the Friends and Family edition of the ‘Quai 54’ AJ5 is a straight-up classic. The only streetball tournament in the world sponsored by the Jordan Brand, 20,000 fans routinely converge on Place de la Concorde in Paris every year to check out the two-day tournament (including the wild slam dunk tournament). Framed by the Eiffel Tower in the background, the tournament has also been known to drop some of the rarest sneakers in the game.

Air Jordan 5 'Quai 54' Friends and Family

Air Jordan 5 Trophy Room ‘University Red’ (2019)Air Jordan 5 Trophy Room ‘University Red’ (2019)

Limited to just 223 pairs, the Trophy Room x Air Jordan 5 ‘University Red’ is inspired by the real-life trophy room in Michael Jordan’s house! With translucent soles and wood-grain patterns reminiscent of the court-style flooring in Jordan’s trophy room, the Air Jordan 5 stamps the numbers 23 and 5 on the silhouette’s heel – commemorating the numbers of MJ and his son, Marcus.

Air Jordan 5 Trophy Room 'University Red'
Trophy Room

Air Jordan 5 ‘Bin23’ (2011)Air Jordan 5 ‘Bin23’ (2011)

The most luxurious Jordan of the bunch, the Air Jordan 5 ‘Bin23’ reworked the silhouette with premium Italian black leather. Belonging to the Jordan Brand’s Bin23 program, the sneaker was limited to just 2133 pairs, and was designed by former Cincinnati Bearcat Alex Meacham. Retaining the enduring DNA of the OG ‘Metallic Silver’ release of 1990, the overhauled edition features the kind of material properties that keep us up all night long.

Missed Part 1 of this list? Check it out here.

Keen to read more on the Air Jordan 5? These are five things you must know about the legendary silhouette.

Air Jordan 5 Bin23
Now ReadingThe All-Time Greatest Air Jordan 5s: Part 2

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