In 1990, Michael Jordan was reaching the peak of his career. During this season, Jordan was able to lead his team to the best overall record the Chicago Bulls have had in their entire franchise. Throughout this season, Jordan had many career performances but some of the most notable performances were against Cleveland where Jordan scored a personal best of 69 points.
Jordan was also racking up many awards throughout that year, including the NBA Scoring Title, nominated for the All-Star team, All-Defensive Player, and First Team All NBA. The debut of the Air Jordan 5 could not have come at a better time in Michael Jordan’s career. It was the stepping-stones for Jordan’s career to flourish into the magnificent career that was soon to come.
The Air Jordan 5 was released in 1990 and was established with new innovative technology and designs. Designed by the great Tinker Hatfield, who 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 lace locks, a clear rubber sole and a reflective tongue. While the reflective tongue was for fashion and the lace locks for practicality, the Jordan 5 caused a frenzy by introducing the translucent sole. At first, fans and players alike were thrilled for the better traction, but over time the soles turned yellow and eventually became an amber shade of orange, which ruined the colourway 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.
The Jordan 5 originally released in three colourways: white/black-fire red, black/black-metallic silver, and the first ever for a sneaker from any brand, white/grape ice – new emerald. The Jordan 5 retro was also the first Jordan to cross over into the women’s footwear game. With the 2006 silver/shy pink-stealth, girls were now in the Jordan game. Nike saw an upside to yellowed soles when it came time to retro the Air Jordan 5 in 2000. The Jordan 5 retro would have sold well either way, but with so many collectors looking to replace their yellowed soles, they sold out even faster!