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Jordan Retro 5

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Retro 5 helps the past take flight

Countless opposing forces have felt the bite. And designer Tinker Hatfield felt there was no better way to capture that relentless on-court competitiveness of Michael Jordan than with a reference to the P-51 Mustang fighter plane that dominated Allied skies in World War II.

That’s what the sharktooth design at the forefoot of the outsole on the Air Jordan V represents. Lurking silently before striking like a flash when they least expect it.

All Jordan. All Flight.

The Air Jordan V debuted in February 1990 in its OG Black/Metallic Silver colorway for $125. It emerged during a season when MJ would earn his sixth straight All-Star appearance, his fourth straight league scoring title, and be named to the All-NBA First Team and All-Defensive First Team.

Like MJ himself, the shoe kept what was working. It carried over the visible Air-Sole unit first seen in the AJ III and AJ IV, as well as the mesh side panels from the AJ IV.

And while it didn’t represent MJ’s first league championship, it did mark some other firsts. The tongue featured an embroidered Jumpman logo, and “Air Jordan” was stitched inside.

The shoe also debuted an offset ankle collar. Designed to optimize support while maximizing flexibility, the shoe’s overall silhouette was higher than preceding models.

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The Jordan brand, which Nike spun off into a life of its own in the mid-1990s, began re-releasing this sneaker as the Jordan Retro 5 in 2000. It’s dropped in numerous colorways since, including the “Bel Air” in 2013, which paid homage to the original shoe’s usage on a popular sitcom in the early ‘90s.

And it’s no longer just available in men’s sizes. The Retro 5 is available in kids’ sizes, too, enabling new generations to carry a bold look into the future by honoring a history of greatness.