So I finally got to unboxing and taking pics of the “Wolf Grey” Jordan V’s I scooped up about a month or so ago. Notice the above image taken with the flash off. Now look at the pic below where I’ve utilized the flash. See a difference? The tongue portion in the “flash off” pic appears to be very flat or matte in color. In contrast, the flash brings out a shiny silver or tin foil looking tongue that really jumps out at you in the bottom pic. I never understood why the Jordan Brand manufactured the V this way. I mean how often is someone going to focus on your feet as they’re taking a pic? Well apparently there is an explanation behind these shiny tongues after all.
In 1990 Tinker Hatfield designed the original Jordan V sneaker. His inspiration came from the Wold War II Mustang fighter plane, as seen in the midsole shark teeth design. He also decided to feature a reflectve tongue, comprised of 3M material. Hatfield wanted them to be structurally sound and revolutionary on the court. But it was only in snapshots of MJ that he believed the sneaker would really “shine.” What better way to sell his design than to have them literally glaring at you in a poster of Mike facializing Patrick Ewing? The photographer’s flash would set off the 3M tongue at any moment of Michael Jordan’s brilliance, thus providing a perfect compliment to any poster or Sports Illustrated cover.