Shoe Game: A Year of 5’s

We’ve seen an array of the Air Jordan 5 retroed this year, from white, to black, to elephant print, to wax laces and leather linings. With a single pair of retros being remixed or re-released numerous times in one year, someone’s bound to give them a ranking order. Off the top of my head, I can figure they’re were about eleven releases worth talking about, minus the Shanghai’s or “Black Laney” …Here’s my take on this year’s Retro 5’s — from worst to first:

11. Now we all know the story behind Nike’s incredible and heartfelt line of limited Doernbecher releases in both Nike and Jordan brand flavors. Some of the best non-OG a colorways come under the Doernbecher signature line. This year’s Retro 5 DB release, although with a unique glowing characteristic in tow, is, in my opinion at bottom of the list.

10. Next up, the second Fire Red’s. While this shoe sold pretty well — as most red and black Jordan pairs do — these were moderately bland as were the Grapes and the Laney’s. I can’t stand to see the Retro 5 with a mostly white color scheme, and this one falls into that category.

9. More of the same. The Grape colorway just paved the way for the aforementioned Fire Red’s. Same shoe, just a swap of red for purple, and too much white. Easy pass.

8. The 3Lab5 Elephant Print Retro 5 was a ridiculous colorway. The leather lining is a plus, but I don’t know if the $225 price tag could justify it. Other than that, the concept on the 3lab5 designs and materials is pretty dope.

7. While the Laney’s were just more of the same white colorway (think Grapes, Fire Red’s), the tribute to MJ’s high school alma-mater gave these a bump up the list.

Air Jordan 5 "Oreo"

6. The Oreo’s, while not an OG retro, and perhaps not a fan favorite, were certainly a formidable release. This is actually the only pair of Retro 5’s I picked up in 2013. These, the Fear 5’s and the Aqua’s (Black Grapes) were the only pairs really worth a consideration in my book.

5. I prefer the nickname, “Aqua” for this pair, but the Black Grape’s were also a great release in 2013. Leather may have set these off a bit more over the nubuck material Jordan Brand chose. Still a great cop, and even more so if you grabbed a pair because they were limited.

4. Number four, which prior to the Oreo’s and the forthcoming Infrared 3Lab5’s was even higher on my list, is the original Fire Red’s. Nike really took a wrong turn double dipping into the Fire Red on the color palette. This pair certainly outshines its black-tongued younger brother — the second Fire Red’s. This is a classic OG colorway — in which I can just visualize on Will Smith’s feet now. This is probably my favorite Retro 5 of all-time (outside of 2013).

3. The majority of quote, “sneakerheads” these days probably grew up in the 1990’s like myself. Jordan brand took a chance designing a shoe for the Fresh Prince fans to drool over. They did a good job with this pair as well — the eBay resale prices can attest to that.

2. This pair hasn’t even released yet, but it’s due out New Year’s Eve. It encompasses the ever-popular black and red (or black and “Infrared”) color scheme, throws in a bit of elephant print. Plus Jordan Brand also used leather all around the shoe. Granted it won’t be an easy cop, it’s one of the best looking 5’s out this year judging from the images we’ve seen so far.

1. Number One, the best Air Jordan 5 they came up with in 2013. And no it wasn’t an actual retro, but a completely new colorway. The Fear Pack 5. I love my fair share of Air Jordan’s in OG colorways, but this pair cleared all the bases. A nice new main color (Medium Olive), leather everywhere (the upper, the tongue), and the sure-to-yellow netting of the shoe was darkly colored (black). This pair was near perfect. This is the one pair that may give the black-bottom Fire Reds a run for their money as number one in my book, all-time.


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