Summer is getting hotter by the week, and Nike, for one, is not showing signs of cooling down. Under the illustrious umbrella of the Jordan Brand, July brings several must-haves including the juicy “Alternate Grape” Jordan 5s. 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the original release of the 5th edition of MJ’s iconic line of footwear, which included a classic white-grape colorway.
The sneaker also referred to as “Purple Grape” is the inversion of the OG, bringing the dominant hue to the forefront. While white-based Jordans are always eye-appealing at first, everyone knows that one false step will lead to a smudge or a stain. The “Alternate Grape” J5s are the perfect pair for Air-aficionados who want to look awesome as they strut on the summer streets.
The Air Jordan 5 marks the third design born from the mind of legendary shoe designer Tinker Hatfield, a creative genius who felt the need to elevate His Airness into the stratosphere. Taking inspiration after World War II fighter planes, Hatfield added the shoe’s signature Sharktooth midsole to reflect the ferocity of MJ’s on-court dominance, as well as a winged heel collar evocative of American warplanes blasting through the clouds. The Jordan 5 also introduced the 3M reflective tongue, which would become a prominent feature in the line.
This edition originally dropped for the 1989-90 NBA season, a time when Michael’s laser focus was honed onto one thing- winning a championship. For the young folks out there who are accustomed to modern League play focused on lobbing and draining 3-pointers, the ‘80s was an era of true grit-n-grind. In the summer of 1985, the Chicago Bulls drafted a young guard out of North Carolina with high hopes that he would be the catalyst the team needed to ascend the ranks of the Eastern Conference. The 1980s were dominated by the rivalry between Magic Johnson’s Los Angeles Lakers and Larry Bird’s Boston Celtics, two teams that still maintain all-time championship records. However, with the 1990s around the corner, both east and west coasts were ready for a shake-up.
In the west, “Admiral” David Robinson was towering over the competition with his upstart San Antonio Spurs, while Clyde “The Glide” Drexler was burning through teams with the Portland Trail Blazers. The east was a far more vicious beast at the time, as a young Charles Barkley led the Philadelphia Sixers as they battled Chicago for second place. Above the fray were the Detroit Pistons, basketball’s “Bad Boys.” Detroit had fought hard and dirty to proclaim league-dominance in 1989 over the Lakers, commanded by Hall of Famers like Joe Dumars and Isiah Thomas. After the Pistons won back-to-back championships, Jordan was determined to carry his Bulls into the upper echelon. In 1990, Jordan scored 69 against the poor Cleveland Cavaliers in a pair of Jordan 5s, and the rest is history.
Sneaker Shields™ are the best way to protect all of your sneakers from creasing, whether they’re the hottest new Jordan reissue or a crispy pair of white-on-white Air Force Ones. Our Gen-X Universal makes the perfect shoe care addition to this stylish trainer and is fully-customizable with minimal trimming. Take care to ensure a snug fit into the toebox, as you may need to reduce the Shield’s™ lift size. All it takes is a pair of scissors to keep your collection creaseless with the originator, Sneaker Shields.
Looking at the history of Air Jordan 5s, the sneaker’s rise from simple athletic wear to coveted collector’s item is evident; the model has been re-released as a retro nearly 40 times since 2000. Beginning with the original three, it has been seen in countless colorways, yet it retains Tinker Hatfield’s original fighter plane-inspired blueprint. The “Alternate Grape” edition is bold, alluring, and as sleek as any aircraft. Purple suede envelops the upper of the sneaker, contrasted by a reflective black tongue and grey mesh side panels. Nike’s “new emerald” green slashes across the side of the sole in the signature Sharktooth pattern. The shoe’s heel is adorned with the classic Jumpman logo in the same seafoam-like hue. What lies at the bottom of the shoe is a simply spectacular sole, combining black and white with translucence, and a striking silhouette of His Airness in, of course, purple grape. This sneaker is a stunning sight, to say the least.
Instagram has become a major platform for showing-off style, so make sure to check out our exclusive offer for free Sneaker Shields if you want to stay photo-fresh. Our product is guaranteed to keep your J’s crease-free for years, either with regular wear or in storage. Nobody wants to be seen wearing Air Jordans that look cheap or busted, so make Sneaker Shields a part of your routine shoe care.
As always, Nike and Jordan Brand continue to pursue perfection while they provide the most picturesque footwear for collectors and connoisseurs alike. Air Jordan 5s are one of the most well-loved of the lineage, famously featured on the feet of the Fresh Prince himself. Before Jordan, there were few “sneaker celebrities” either on the hardwood or across the airwaves of television. However, when a young and charismatic rapper-slash-actor took his talents to TV, young Americans saw a reflection of themselves. Will Smith may have gone on to achieve Hollywood superstardom, but in the early ‘90s, he became a surrogate for mainstream hip hop culture. While the hardcore rappers were rocking black White Sox caps and Nike Cortez, Will and Jazz were sporting colorful and vibrant Jordan 5s, most notably the grape ice classic. Fans were finally given a second chance at freshness in 2018 when Nike released a limited-edition retro of the original, embroidered with “West Philadelphia” behind the tongue. Michael Jordan and Will Smith can thank themselves for helping transform urban fashion and making millions in the meantime.
With a retail price of $190, the Air Jordan “Alternate Grape” retros are sure to fly off virtual shelves in a flash, so whether you are a collector, reseller, or an everyday trendsetter, make sure to pick up some Sneaker Shields and keep your new J’s crease-free.