Air Jordan V
Year released: 1990
Designer: Tinker Hatfield
Most Popular Colorways: White/Fire Red-Black, White/Black-Fire Red, Black/Metallic Silver, Grape, Laney, Raging Bull Pack
First Retroed: 2000
The Jordan V took only a few elements from the first four Jordans and that’s how Tinker Hatfield wanted it. He was inspired by the World War II Mustang fighter plane, which is most evident when it comes to the "teeth" on the front of the midsole. Hatfield thought of Jordan’s game to be one of the same with how an airplane strikes: "Floating around the edges of the game and coming out of nowhere to attack.” MJ did just that, dropping a career-high 69 points versus the—wait for it—Cavaliers. Jordan was obviously a rising star and the reflective thick tongue was in direct response to his success, adding a reflective material for the camera flashes.
The Air Jordan V also catered to off-the-court colorway demands by introducing the "Grape" colorway that still rates as one of the best Jordans of all-time even though he didn't even rock them on the court. Will Smith rocking them on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air might have been just as vital to the movement, bringing further attention to a sneaker line that already had massive popularity. Years later JB kept pumping out soon-to-be classics with the Laneys during the initial wave of retro releases in 2000 and the "Raging Bull Pack" in 2009.