Jordan 5: A complete OG history
Jordan 5: Bring on the Ice
The 1989-90 NBA season didn’t just see the release of another Tinker Hatfield design with the Jordan 5, but it was also the year that brought Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson together. The legacy was forming; Jordan made his sixth consecutive All Star appearance and received his fourth straight scoring title. In a season that included 92 three-point shots and 69 points in one game, Jordan was on fire. With as much fire power as MJ was having on the court, the Jordan 5 had a lot to live up to and a lot of talent to support on the court.
Hatfield was said to have taken aesthetic elements from a World War II Mustang Fighter plane, which was often compared to a shark because of its sleek grey body and rounded nose. Because of the resemblance, the plane was often painted with a sharks eyes and teeth, which makes sense that Hatfield designed the Jordan 5 with the shark teeth design on the mid-sole. Also new to the Jordan brand were lacelocks, a clear rubber sole and a reflective tongue. While the reflective tongue was for fashion and the lacelocks for practicality, the Jordan 5 caused a frenzy by introducing the translucent sole. At first, fans and players alike were stoked for the better traction, but over time the soles yellowed and eventually turned an amber shade of orange, which ruined the colorway of the shoe. Even worse was the loss of grip – when the Jordan 5 was exposed to dust, the sole became slippery and lost a lot of its game appeal. Nike wouldn’t catch on to this problem until well after the 11 and still had problems with the 16.
The Jordan 5 originally released in three colorways: white/black-fire red, black/black-metallic silver, and the first ever for a sneaker from any brand, white/grape ice – new emerald. Nike saw an upside to yellowed soles when it came time to retro in 2000. The Jordan 5 retro and retro+ would have sold well either way, but with so many collectors looking to replace their yellowed soles, they sold out even faster. The Jordan 5 retro was also the first Jordan to cross over into the womens footwear game. With the 2006 silver/shy pink-stealth, girls were now in the Jordan game. 2007 and 2009 retros also included womens releases, giving way to a full on entrance of women sneakerheads.
September 2013 also saw a hot Jordan 5 release with a retro “Doernbecher”. Named after the children’s hospital, which receives proceeds from the shoe line, the 2013 Jordan 5 Doernbecher is a tribute to Issac Arzate, a patient at the hospital who passed before the shoes release. The super posh shoe lays down a glow in the dark colorway and features a number of remembrances to Arzate, including his baseball and basketball jersey numbers on each side of the heel and the pattern is taken from the words of a poem he wrote the day before he passed. The Jordan brand has become more than just a performance shoe or even a street wear necessity. With releases like the Doernbecher it has also found a way to bring the every man together with the jumpman.