TBT: A Hot Throwback to the Iconic Air Jordan 5 Fire Red [1990]

    In the mood of the upcoming summer heat, this week’s TBT screams Chicago Bulls: the Retro Air Jordan 5 Fire Red. Crisp white leathers, Fire red details and black highlights all made this shoe an instant classic back in 1990. In addition to the OGs, this “Fire Red” came back in 2006 and 2013, and once again last year, this time, with the “Nike Air”.

    Air Jordan 5 ‘Fire Red’ [1990]: The First ‘90s Baby

    The first Air Jordan in the decade of classic sneakers during the 90s, was the Air Jordan V. The model released in 1990 at a retail price of $125 USD. The model dropped in four colorways during its initial run. After the Air Jordan 5 Fire Red’s first launch, we saw a first retro during 2000 when they were announced as the first Air Retro of the new millennium. After that the pair released once again in 2013, and most recently in 2020. Since then, we’ve seen over 40 retro drops of new and old colorways, mashups, and more recently, low tops.

    air jordan 5 catalog

    What’s the Story Behind this Air Jordan Fire Red?

    What happens when you mix a fighter plane, Marty McFly kicks, and a Chicago Bulls colorway? You get the Original Air Jordan 5 Fire Red. Jumpman’s fifth Air Jordan sneaker was yet another masterpiece by the one and only Tinker Hatfield. The main design of the Air Jordan 5 was inspired by the World War II era Mustang fighter jet that looked like sharks. To portray this, the shoes had zig-zag shark tooth-like graphics stamped on them.

    We’re all used to signature sneakers releasing in a countless number of colorways, these days. The Air Jordan 5 though, only dropped in four, back in the day. The OG colorways included the two similar whites: White/Black/Fire Red (with the 3M material tongue) and the reversed White/Fire Red/Black. The other two versions were in Black/Metallic Silver, and the fans-favorite “Grape”.

    So many key features made the Jordan 5s so famous. If you still don’t know why, check them out.

    • The Flashiest Air Jordan: Tinker stroke again, adding the 3M reflective grey tongues to the Air Jordan 5. The genius Architect intended to bring attention to the all-new Air Jordans. And that happened probably every time MJ made a move on hardwood: that tongue lit up! Only two of the original four colorways got the chance to wear these flashing tongues. And for sure, our beloved ‘Fire Red’ is one of them. This cool material went on to become one of the most iconic features of the AJ5s. From 2006’s all-3M “Green Bean” to the black version from the “Raging Bulls” collection, this flashy textile appeared on all.air jordan 5 fire red 3m tongues
    • See-Through Soles: Another success with the Air Jordan 5 Fire Red and its sisters was introducing clear outsoles to the sneaker game. Today, we can see translucent rubber on sneakers everywhere. But imagine how sick it was to see that Jumpman peeping at you from below soles for the first time back in the 90s. 

      air jordan 5 fire red soles

    • Locked Laces: Along with being the first with reflective fabric and translucent outsoles on a b-ball sneaker, these Air Jordans were the first to have lace-locks. This type of lacing dropped later on both Air Jordans 6 and 17.
      air jordan 5 fire red lace locks

    All of that? Well, we aren’t done, just yet.

    If you were a 90’s kid (or grown-up, who knows?), you sure remember seeing the AJ5s on the streets, as well as on screens. The sneakers gained further recognition from the original ‘It’s Gotta Be the Shoes’ commercials, Nike’s campaign by Mars Blackmon, and Spike Lee from the movie ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ in 1986.

    Why the “Fire Reds” Though?

    As special as the Air Jordan 5s are in general, the “Fire Red” colorway is at the top of the line when it comes to this series. And this time, we decided to throw it back to this one for a good reason.

    air jordan 5 colorways

    Today, almost every Air Jordan 5 Retro drop with the embroidered #23 present for granted. But back in the day, unlike the rest of them original AJ5 retros, the Air Jordan 5 Fire Red was the ONLY one with MJ’s number on the heels. As for the rest of the colorways that came along, only Jordan himself got that 23 on his pairs. After the year 2000, though, with the drop of “Laney” and “White/Metallic”, that “23” was there on almost every version of the shoes.

    But that’s no special detail no more since you’ve all got them 23’s on your kicks now, anyway.

    What’s exclusive about the Air Jordan 5 Fire Red was Jordan’s personal achievement while rocking them. The Air Jordan 6 gets the honor of being the first Air Jordan MJ won a title in. But what about the 5?

    Michael Jordan hung in the air to knock down “The Shot” over Craig Ehlo and win the series during the 1989 NBA Playoffs. And on his feet? The Air Jordan 5 ‘Fire Red’!

    This pair does get all the bragging rights it has. Being the sneaker on the legend’s feet for one of his biggest career moments as he scored 69 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers is no small talk. This ain’t a lovely throwback, if you don’t relive one of the greatest moments in NBA history, so you better watch it again, here.

    Yup, March 28, 1990: We shall never forget this day!

    A Close-up of the All-Time Winner Retro

    Air Jordan 5 Fire Red
    The Air Jordan 5 Fire Red featured a White, Black, and a Fire Red color combination.
    The upper is a full-on White leather and the tongue is made up of a silver 3M Reflective material. The “Fire Red” is spotted on the lace lock, the Jumpman, on-top of the Black midsole and liner. Of course, don’t forget the “first” translucent outsole and the Nike Air branding on the heel in the Fire Red tone, as well.

    Looks pretty familiar. Huh? That’s because we have seen this version of the Air Jordan 5 release a handful of times. And most recently with last year’s Air Jordan 5 OG “Fire Red” [2020]. More onto that later, though.

    The OG Air Jordan 5 Fire Red [2020]

    Jordan remastered a 1990s masterpiece with the release of last year’s version of Jordan 5 Retro Fire Red Silver Tongue [2020]. This baby is the fourth iteration of the original colorway.

    As depressing as 2020 has been, it surely witnessed some dope sneaker releases. Retro after retro, one of 2020’s best OG drops was the Air Jordan 5 “Fire Red”. This Retro is the closest to the 1990 retail release that we’ve witnessed in the last two decades. Very closely matching that of the 1990 OG, the pair still held the iconic colorway as well as the silver flashy tongues. Whites still appeared towards the lining and the midsole accents. “Nike Air” branding was there too, while monochrome tones dressed the midsole and upper of the shoe. This time around, soles were in icy blue. Even the shoebox and packaging are original-retro-true.

    In a nod to the OG colorway, the Nike Air and Swoosh logos return to the heels of the sneakers, replacing the Jumpman that was featured on the 2013 retro release. This news was definitely pleasing to Jumpman traditionalists.

    Air Jordan 5 Fire Red [2020]

    Air Jordan 5 “Fire Red” [2020]
    Color: White/Fire Red-Black
    Style Code: DA1911-102
    Release Date: May 2, 2020
    Retail Price: $200
    Average Resale Price: $240


    What Hot ‘Red’ is Coming Up Soon?

    Back in Feb of 1990, the OG Air Jordan 5 Fire Red released with a price-tag of $124.99. As a general release, the sneakers could be found anywhere. Today, though, you won’t be able to find a pair of those vintage retros wherever you look. Nope! Not even if you head down to our dear StockX or GOAT.

    BUT don’t get so frustrated if you’re hung up on these ‘Fire Reds’. Coming up soon is another Retro Red hit, the Raging Bulls 5, set to release next week on the 10th of April. Or you could always grab one of the come-back pairs from the past years. The most recent 2020 pair is actually reselling for a very fair price of only $240. They do look quite the same, anyway. So, you better hurry and cop these Reds before their price fires-up!


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