A Look Back Review: Nike Air Jordan V

Air Jordan V Retro 'Raging Bull 3M'

Statistically, the 1989-1990 NBA season was one of Michael Jordan’s most impressive as he averaged 33.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg and 6.3 apg, all while shooting 53% from the field.  He carried the Chicago Bulls all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals where they would lose to the eventual champions, the Detroit Pistons, in seven games.

Despite the gut-wrenching loss, it would be the last year that MJ would ever lose a playoff series with the Bulls in a full season.  The early exit in 1995 doesn’t really count because he was just coming back from his baseball excursion.

Air Jordan V Retro 'Fire Red'

The weapon of choice during the 1989-1990 season was none other than the Nike Air Jordan V.  Tinker Hatfield drew the inspiration behind his design from World War II Mustang fighter planes, which you can spot aesthetically through the sharp teeth imprint that intimidate on the midsole.  However, Hatfield had a deeper understanding of what he wanted to accomplish through the Air Jordan V adding, “He would be floating around the edges of the game and come out of nowhere to attack…As I worked through the design of the shoe, I thought I’d try to make it look a little bit like a fighter plane.”

MJ had his #23 jersey stolen before a game at Orlando on Valentine's Day.

The shoe features a full leather upper with a few distinctive traits to boot.  Right on the midfoot, we can see TPU mesh netting that immediately steals your glance.  The high ankle collar has a quad of eyelets on both sides that also wrap a noticeably fat tongue.  The beefy tongue set a brand new innovation for basketball sneakers as they were layered with a reflective material that was intended to add flair whenever camera flashes hit.  The midsole encapsulated an Air-Sole unit while the clear rubber outsole set its own precedent, a design element that is still a hit with sneakerheads today.  Finally, we can also spot Jordan’s number, 23, stitched near the heel side of the upper.

Michael may have endured a painful exit from the NBA Playoffs in these kicks, but he did set his career high for a single game with 69 points at Cleveland while ripping down 18 boards and leading the Bulls to a thrilling overtime victory.  Then again, can you really say that you’re surprised by that feat?  Exactly.  He’s MJ.

Before you jet, check out the old school commercial for the Nike Air Jordan V featuring none other than, Mars Blackmon.

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