Jordan 5 Green Bean: Shine Bright
Price: $200 MSRP [Sold Out; Check eBay for Current Prices]
The Jordan 5 Green Bean brings back a versatile color pattern, and offers an interesting material make up, all for a below retail price.
The Jordan 5 Green Bean’s reflective upper makes it less comfortable, and less durable.
|Materials||Plastic / Cloth / PU / Rubber|
|Weight||621 g / 1 lb 5.9 oz|
|Country of Origin||China|
The Jordan 5 has long been one of my favorite Jordan silhouettes. There is something so incredibly 1990’s about them. Like Hi-C Ecto Cooler and a see-through blow-up chair had a baby. Sure, it doesn’t carry the same stories about Jordan himself that some of the other sneakers do, but who cares?
As one of the core silhouettes of the Jordan line up, the Jordan 5 started to see rereleases in 2006. While the Green Bean make up wasn’t an originally from 1990, it was one of the first in 2006. However, while some of the 5s from back then – like the real Fire Reds and the Grapes – were huge hits, this Green Bean colorway… wasn’t. Ask anyone who was around and these were just not a popular pick up.
While you might think Jordan brand would want to bury the Green Bean like so many other failed colorways, they seem to have a soft spot for them. First, they were one of the major influences on the “What The” Jordan 5s from 2020. Then, Jordan brand announces they were re-releasing them. With them currently sitting around retail, should you pick up a pair? Let’s dive in.
In photos and in regular room lighting, the Jordan 5 Green Bean almost seems like a muted sneaker. With the majority of its panels coming in a dusty grey, they are not as in-your-face as most Jordan 5s. In fact, if you’re wearing pants that go over the sneaker, you’ll completely miss the green hits on the sock liner and tongue.
Of course, as soon as the light hits them just right, the whole sneaker comes to life. Each of the grey panels is highly reflective – though it only pops in direct light. For the photos in this review, I tried to grab several where the sun is only partially hitting the shoe to give you an idea. It almost makes you feel like they are glowing.
One word of warning though – this type of material does not crease well. They will crease fast, and deep. If that bothers you, move along.
Moving into the details, the stitching on my pair is really good. Especially for a Jordan brand product. There isn’t a single stitch out of place, other than a bit of wonky edging where the sock liner meets the laces. The grey mesh is attached well, too, and the Jumpman on the back and tongue are both just about perfect.
Inside, the green sock liner is the older soft style. This isn’t my personal favorite, but it’s closer to the original so it’s kind of a wash. The color does offer a nice pop, though.
There is really only one major thing to complain about. There is a lot of extra glue along the midsole. Maybe this material just shows it more than others, but in every pair I’ve seen in this colorway, this is an issue.
Mid- and Outsole
The midsole of the Jordan 5 Green Bean is a lot like the upper, fairly plain. Sure, there are the neon green shark teeth, but without any splatter. The paint on the rest is just a plain dark grey. Not that there is anything wrong with that. The only other pair of 5s in my rotation right now are the Alternate Bel Airs and, while I love those, they are definitely not a subtle sneaker.
As you flip the Green Beans over, you’ll see what is probably my favorite detail – the bright green Jumpman. I know it isn’t exclusive to the Green Beans, but with green being my favorite color I appreciate it. On top of that Jumpman – and in the back – icy blue rubber pads with a herringbone pattern provide most of your traction. A harder rubber section with “JORDAN” in the middle finishes things off.
I wish the outsole on this pair was as well put together as the upper. Straight out of the box there were paint scratches, voids in the midsole foam, etc. It isn’t the end of the world, but this is the type of thing Jordan brand should be fixing before they move the price up on their sneakers, instead of after.
The Jordan 5 Green Bean does a great job of playing both the subtle sneaker (as much as a Jordan 5 can be subtle), and the sneaker with pop. In most situations it’s a primarily grey sneaker with a couple small hits of green. However, when they are hit just right, bright green tones mix with highly reflective panels and really stand out.
The drawbacks of that reflective material are real, though. They are going to crease in a really ugly way. The versatility can also work against them. If you just want a subtle sneaker, having them light up like a disco ball when the sun hits them might not be the best.
Still, if you’ve owned reflective sneakers before and don’t mind the drawbacks, I think you’ll like this pair.
Fit & Comfort
The Jordan 5 Green Bean fits like every other Jordan 5, but not like most other Nike sneakers. They are much more true-to-size, being slightly shorter and slightly wider than something like a Jordan 1 or the Air Max line. I think that most people will want to keep their Nike size, however, because of the heavy padding in the sneaker, you could probably go down .5 size if you wanted a more 1 to 1 fit.
That being said, the materials used on the upper of Green Beans has basically no stretch. If you’re on the line, I’d definitely suggest going up rather than down, as they will not conform to your feet the way real leather sneakers will.
I take these in a size 13, which is my “go to” first size when trying sneakers. For comparison, I wear a 13 in the Jordan 1, 12.5 in the Stan Smith, and 13 in the Adidas Ultraboost. For a full list of sizing for every shoe reviewed on this site, click here.
The Jordan 5 overall is a surprisingly comfortable sneaker. With an air unit under both your heel and forefoot, and a soft foam midsole, the support is surprisingly good for a sneaker designed more than 30 years ago.
They are also really well padded. Unlike something like a Jordan 1, which offers support by being tall and restrictive, the Jordan 5 offers support through large foam pads around your ankle.
Really, the only drawback is the same one I’ve mentioned several times before. Where most Jordan 5s use some form of leather that will soften with time, the reflective panels used here will always be somewhat stiff.
That doesn’t mean these sneakers are uncomfortable. They are perfectly fine for a retro basketball sneaker. Just take your expectations of comfort down a peg or two from what you might be thinking based on other 5s.
Materials & Construction
Since it’s been mentioned so much already, let’s jump into the materials on the Jordan 5 Green Bean. Starting with the upper, most of the panels are made with a reflective plastic coating on top of a cloth backing. The other upper pieces are plastic and rubber, and the sock liner is made of polyester.
Below your feet, the insole is a simple open celled foam. It probably isn’t going to be very supportive if you plan on playing in them, but it’s fairly standard for most sneakers these days.
Moving down further, the majority of the midsole is made up of polyurethane. Polyurethane, or PU, is a material that is nice and soft, but is responsible for the dreaded sole crumble. While it might seem counter intuitive, the best way to keep your sneakers long term is to wear them. Compressing and decompressing the midsole keeps its elasticity.
Inside that PU, two air units – front and rear – do a lot of heavy lifting in the comfort department. Finishing everything off, rubber on the bottom in dual densities should provide fairly long life.
The Jordan 5 Green Bean is primarily made with cemented construction, though there is a bit of stitching on the front of the toe to provide a bit of extra durability. If you want a more in-depth guide, click here. For a short version, the upper of the sneaker and the mid and outsole are held on with what is basically glue.
Cemented construction has been the standard in sneakers for a long time. While there are draw backs – it is one of the least durable constructions available – there are real pros as well. Cemented construction is the cheapest, lightest, and most flexible way to build a pair of shoes. For something that at least pretends to be for playing basketball, it makes sense to use this.
Ease of Care
Taking care of the Jordan 5 Green Bean is extremely easy. The plastic upper means almost everything will bead right off, or come off with a simple wipe from a wet rag. For the deeper stuff like scratches – well, there isn’t anything you can do, so don’t worry about it.
That being said, maybe more than any other sneaker, you’ll want to keep shoe trees in these. Shoe trees help minimize creasing by not letting them set overnight. I would suggest something wooden if you can, though the cheaper plastic options will do 80% of the job for less than half the price.
Pricing & Value
The Jordan 5 Green Bean came in at the new normal price for 5s of $200. Having the price of a pair of GR Jordans start with a 2 is a tough pill to swallow, but the good news is that these are available under retail in most sizes.
At time of writing, pairs on eBay were as low as $175, with most going around $190. That makes them one of the most affordable pairs of Jordan 5s you can find today, with the recent Easters, Jades, and Raging Bulls going for more. If you’re looking to get into a pair of 5s, these might just be your best option.
I want to start out with my standard disclaimer. Almost no Jordan is worth the price based on the sneaker itself. You can find sneakers that are more durable, more comfortable, and better for walking/running/hooping for less money, even from Nike themselves. Jordans are an emotional purchase, and you’re paying for that emotion.
With that out of the way, how does the Jordan 5 Green Bean hold up from a value perspective? I think the answer really depends on how you view the reflective upper. The material is less comfortable, cheaper to make, and will probably be the first thing to fail on the shoe. From an objective angle, that should hurt the sneaker.
The other side of that coin is that this is something different. If you just want a leather 5 there are a ton of options. If you want a fully reflective one, this is the only choice you’ve got. These are just about the most affordable 5s you can get at the moment. And the reflective uppers can look great sometimes.
The Jordan 5 Green Bean is the retro that not many people asked for, but it’s one I’m glad Jordan brand released. When the Jordan 5 first retro’d in 2006, we were 16 years away from the first release, and lots of sneakerheads were excited to pick up the pairs they couldn’t afford as kids. In 2022, we are 16 years away from those 2006 retros, and it’s exciting seeing the same thing happen.
Of course, everyone yells that sneakers are bricks if you can’t flip them for a profit, but I don’t think we should be complaining about finally being able to pick up pairs again. The Jordan 5 Green Bean might not be for everyone, but choices – especially when you’re able to make them outside the pressure of a 10 minute SNKRS window – are great.