December 29th, 2011 by Aaron Kr.
#12 – AIR JORDAN V RETROS
In any other year, such a heaping helping of Air Jordan V Retros probably would have ended up quite a bit higher on this list, but 2011 was no ordinary year for Air Jordan Retro releases. Especially with the Air Jordan III being so well represented, the V’s took the backseat a little bit – still receiving a warm reception from consumers, but without the hoopla you might expect to see for the fan-favorite from the classic Air Jordan era. That’s not to say that Jordan Brand wasn’t coming with the heat, fearlessly trotting out this 1990 classic in a group of new colorways, as well as a quick revisit to one of the most endearing OG looks.
The latest wave of AJV retros also brought a bit of light to what may become a permanent modification on retro releases, the bluer shade of the translucent outsoles that was quite the topic of debate among the sneaker community this past year. After the Cool Grey XI’s came with the wet look last year, the Air Jordan V’s of 2011 seem to suggest that we should expect the tinted treatment going forward. Despite the minor changes to the materials and finer details of the OG Black/Metallic Silver version, the year was filled with an eclectic slew of Air Jordan V variations that gave fans of the model plenty to sink their teeth into in the last twelve months.
The lineup we saw this year was split down the middle between general release models and a set of exclusive drops that required a bit of work and cash if you wanted to get your hands on a pair. Anchoring the pack was August’s OG Black Air Jordan V, an original colorway that last popped up in 2007. Even heads who still owned a pair from the last go-around went back to the well on these, looking for a re-up on the aforementioned icy soles. Prior to those no-brainers, we saw the ‘Wolf Grey’ back in May, a versatile get-up that went a few shades off the beaten path, switching up the ‘Cool Grey’ formula for a different approach on the smooth nubuck body. The Independence Day flavored joints came in early July with a patriotic color scheme applied to the shoe with traditional AJV colorblocking.
Then there was the upper echelon of Air Jordan V releases, including the black leather Premio version that served as the latest chapter in the high end Bin 23 series and the Quai 54 colorway that never made its way stateside; that is, except for the super limited black version that made its way to only VIP members of the Jordan Brand friends and family circle. The list doesn’t even stop there, with the gone-in-a-flash Tokyo 23 drop, featuring a stunning yellow nubuck upper reminiscent of the Air Jordan IV ‘Lightning’. All in all, we’d say that’s a pretty good way to celebrate your 21st birthday, so hats off to this set of Air Jordan V retros which comes in, perhaps unfairly underrated, at number 12.