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Air Jordan 1 vs. Air Jordan V: Whose Year Was It?

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2013 was an incredible year once again for Jordan, a brand with the luxury of enjoying yet another dominant four seasons of releases that continue to stay at the top of most-wanted lists across the globe. With this year in particular being the special 23rd Anniversary of the Air Jordan V, we can now reflect on all the amazing drops that fell before us – the return of OGs like the Grape, Fire Red, etc. and the introduction of new colorways and concepts like the “Black Grape”, Doernbecher, and the 3Lab5. But it can be argued that highlight Air Jordan model of the year wasn’t the one celebrating the milestone birthday, but the very first model that had been re-released a countless number of times. So why was the ubiquitous Air Jordan a such a trendy topic? Because of one tiny, relatively superfluous detail – Nike Air.

Beginning in January, Jordan Brand started releasing Air Jordan 1 Highs as part of an interesting subplot that piqued the interest of the older generations – those who might’ve strayed away from the brand’s goal for even more widespread fame with intense colorways. There’s no doubt this string of  AJ1s brought back a crowd of sneakerheads that may have deemed the Retro Jordan as something of the past, but it also gave the newer followers a history lesson of sorts. With a promise of more to come in 2014 (and perhaps headed toward more Nike Air-branded models), the Air Jordan 1 might have had a greater impact than the Air Jordan V did this year. So which model do you think dominated 2013? Get a run-down of all the Air Jordan 1 and Air Jordan V releases below and let us know which silhouette ruled 2013.

Air Jordan 1 High “Bulls”
Release Date: January 5, 2013

How much more incredible would these have been with Nike Air? We’re just glad they were the original High cut.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Knicks”
Release Date: January 5, 2013

The first of the “Nike Air” labeled AJ1s was, surprisingly, not an OG. However, these were still widely popular due to the pleasant NYC-inspired composition.

Air Jordan V “White/Fire Red”
Release Date: January 26, 2013

Michael Jordan did a ton of damage back in 1990 when he rocked these. Even during a third Retro release, this original flavor is still as fresh as ever.

Air Jordan 1 High “BHM”
Release Date: February 9, 2013

This all-reflective upper doesn’t feature a Nike Air logo on the tongue, but instead something that represents so much more.

Air Jordan 1 High “Year of the Snake”
Release Date: February 9, 2013

Another high-top Air Jordan 1 with a different tongue label is this multi-colored affair giving homage to the Year of the Snake.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Royal”
Release Date: February 16, 2013

One of the most coveted AJ1s is the original Black/Royal colorway that last appeared in 2001. Without question, these are regarded as one of the best releases of 2013.

Just Don x Air Jordan 1 Retro High “Black History Month”
Release: Late February via eBay auction

Jordan Brand rarely employs the help of others, but for this special BHM release, Just Don threw in his ideas and created this amazing spectacle of an Air Jordan 1. The shoes were released via eBay auction with all proceeds going to charity.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Celtics”
Release Date: April 6, 2013

The Celtics have been on Jordan’s bullseye for the early part of his career, and his 63 point effort against that New England powerhouse was proof enough that Jordan would take over in due time. This AJ1 commemorates Jordan’s epic performances against the East rival, as the upper detailing mimics the Boston hardwood floor.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Metallic Gold”
Release Date: April 13, 2013

There are Air Jordans that fetch high dollars, and there are these surprising Retros that really shake things up. The OG mix of black patent leather and gold was one of the most limited releases of the year, hitting the most select stores and being given to the young athletes as part of the Jordan Brand Classic.

Air Jordan V “Grape”
Release Date: May 4, 2013

One of the most revered OG colorways of all-time made a return in 2013. This early May release would easily earn its spot as one of the most significant moments of the year.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Black Toe”
Release Date: May 25, 2013

The Black-toe was a popular pick throughout the years, making an appearance in 2007 as part of the Old Love/New Love Pack.

Air Jordan V “Black Grape”
Release Date: June 15, 2013

A complete “flip” of the OG Grape was the “Black Grape” edition of the Air Jordan V. Very rarely do reversed colorways garner the praise as the originals.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Shadow”
Release Date: July 13, 2013

One of the true sleeper hits of the year was the original “Shadow” colorway of the Air Jordan 1.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG XQ
Release Date: July 26, 2013 – Asia Exclusive

In 2007, Jordan Brand dropped a limited edition pair of Air Jordan 1s to celebrate the energetic spirit of basketball in China. In 2013, Jordan Brand brought it back for a second run as an Asia exclusive.

Air Jordan V “Fear”
Release Date: August 24, 2013

One of the more underrated Air Jordan Retro drops of 2013 was the “Fear” induced by this Air Jordan V. Featuring a dark mix of Sequoia, Olive, and Black with hints of red, this release represented the fear that Michael used within to drive himself to greatness.

Air Jordan V “Fire Red”
Release Date: August 31, 2013

Another OG colorway of the Air Jordan V made its return – the “Fire Red” that last hit stores in 2006.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Highlight Reel”
Release Date: September 7, 2013

A tribute to MJ’s battles with the Atlanta Hawks and his face-off with Dominique Wilkins in the Dunk Contests was this special colorway of the Air Jordan 1.

Air Jordan V Doernbecher
Release Date: September 14, 2013

Preceding the unveiling of the Doernbecher Freestyle X, Nike chose to release the Air Jordan V model that was originally intended to drop last year. The shoes were designed by Isaac Arzate in January of 2012. In an unfortunate turn of events, Arzate passed away in the following April.

Air Jordan 3Lab5
Release Date: September 21, 2013

The Air Jordan Elements collection debuted with the Air Jordan 3Lab5 – an amalgam of the Air Jordan V silhouette with a pure invasion of elephant print on the upper.

Air Jordan V “Shanghai Shen”
Release Date: Late September, Asia Exclusive

Another Asia-exclusive drop was this special colorway of the Air Jordan V that some dubbed the “Black Laney” – a play on the Black Grape. These would never release in the U.S., being available in very limited numbers in Shanghai exclusively.

Air Jordan V “Bel-Air”
Release Date: October 5, 2013

Channeling the spirit of the popular 90’s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Jordan Brand created this energetic Air Jordan V colorway that featured a wild interior lining and alternate color-blocking.

Air Jordan V “Laney”
Release Date: November 2, 2013

Often regarded as an OG colorway, the “Laney” originally released in 2000 as one of the earliest Retro+ colorway of the Air Jordan in the post-retirement era (err, post-Bulls-retirement, that is).

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Laney”
Release Date: November 16, 2013

The familiar yellow-and-blue from Jordan’s High School made its way onto the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG, although this release wasn’t nearly as coveted as the original Air Jordan V version.

Air Jordan V “Oreo”
Release Date: November 29, 2013

Jordan Brand’s Black Friday release was this simple mix of Black and White dubbed “Oreo”. Available in a full range of sizes, the Oreo V is deemed to be one of the best Air Jordan Retro releases of the year.

Air Jordan 1 Hi Premier
Release Date: December 2, 2013

A true out-of-nowhere appearance for these Premier AJ1s (originally hitting stores in 2008) made for quite a worthy pick-up for those who couldn’t wait to spend their holiday savings.

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Bred”
Release Date: December 28, 2013

The most recognizable colorway of the AJ1 is the last of 2013, coming packaged in the daring Black/Red combo with Nike Air on the tongue.

Air Jordan 3Lab5 “Infrared 23”
Release Date: December 31, 2013

The final Air Jordan Retro release of the year is, not surprisingly, an Air Jordan V. A follow-up to the first 3Lab5, this new release introduces “Infrared 23” to the family of familiar Jordan color tones.

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