Closer Look: The Dunk

Closer Look: The Dunk

The Nike Dunk is a sneaker that needs no introduction. Since its debut in 1985, the Nike Dunk has solidified itself as a cultural icon, beloved by sneakerheads and skateboarders alike. But its story goes beyond just being a popular shoe. The Nike Dunk has a rich history that traces back to its origins as a college basketball sneaker and its evolution into a fashion statement. In recent years, the Nike Dunk has experienced a resurgence in popularity, cementing its place as a timeless classic in the world of sneakers.


The Nike Dunk was first introduced in 1985, with the goal of creating a high-performance basketball shoe for college athletes. Nike designers Peter Moore and Bruce Kilgore drew inspiration from classic sneakers like the Converse Chuck Taylor and the Nike Terminator, incorporating features like a padded tongue and a sturdy rubber sole. But what really set the Nike Dunk apart was its customizable colorways. 


Nike SB Dunk History


Nike offered the Dunk in a range of colors, allowing college basketball teams to match their uniforms and create a cohesive look on the court. This concept of customizable sneakers for specific teams would later become a staple in the world of Nike basketball shoes.


In terms of design, the Nike Dunk featured a low-cut silhouette and a sleek, streamlined shape. The upper was made of durable leather, with perforations on the toe box and sides for breathability. The sole was made of solid rubber, providing excellent traction and durability on the court. Overall, the Nike Dunk was a reliable and stylish choice for college basketball players.


Since its debut in the 1980s, the Nike Dunk has undergone various updates and changes to keep up with the evolving world of sneakers. In the 1990s, Nike released a number of new colorways and styles for the Dunk, including the highly sought-after "Be True to Your School" series, which featured colorways inspired by various college basketball teams.


Nike SB Dunk History


The early 2000s saw the introduction of the Nike SB Dunk, a skateboarding-specific version of the shoe. The Nike SB Dunk featured a number of updates to make it more suitable for skateboarding, including a padded tongue and collar for added support and a Zoom Air unit in the sole for cushioning. The Nike SB Dunk quickly gained a cult following among skateboarders and sneaker enthusiasts.


In recent years, the Nike Dunk has gained popularity beyond just the world of sports and skateboarding. The shoe has been embraced by various cultures, including streetwear fashion and hip hop. From its humble beginnings as a college basketball sneaker, the Nike Dunk has truly evolved into a cultural icon experiencing a major resurgence in popularity. This renewed interest can be attributed to a number of factors, including the shoe's timeless design and its versatility as both a performance shoe and a fashion statement.


Nike SB Dunk History


One of the biggest drivers of the Nike Dunk's popularity has been the various collaborations and limited edition releases that have come out in recent years. Nike has teamed up with a number of high-profile brands and designers to create unique, one-of-a-kind versions of the Dunk. These collaborations have helped to elevate the shoe's status and appeal to a wider audience.

  1. Supreme: Nike SB has collaborated with streetwear brand Supreme on a number of occasions, creating highly sought-after versions of the Dunk.
  2. Stüssy: Nike SB and Stüssy, another popular streetwear brand, have collaborated on several Dunk releases.
  3. Diamond Supply Co.: Nike SB has worked with skate and streetwear brand Diamond Supply Co. on a number of Dunk collaborations.
  4. Comme des Garçons: Nike SB has teamed up with luxury fashion brand Comme des Garçons to create unique versions of the Dunk.
  5. Off-White: Nike SB has collaborated with designer Virgil Abloh's brand Off-White on a number of Dunk releases.


In addition to collaborations, Nike has also released a number of limited edition versions of the Dunk, including retro releases and reinterpretations of classic colorways. These releases have sparked a frenzy among sneaker collectors and enthusiasts, further fueling the Dunk's popularity.

  1. Dunk Low "St. John's": Nike released a limited edition version of the Dunk Low inspired by St. John's University's basketball team.
  2. Dunk High "City Pack": Nike released a series of Dunk Highs as part of the "City Pack," each inspired by a different city around the world.
  3. Dunk Low "Shanghai": Nike released a limited edition Dunk Low inspired by the city of Shanghai.
  4. Dunk Low "Paris": Nike released a Dunk Low inspired by the city of Paris as part of the "City Pack."
  5. Dunk Low "Tokyo": Another release from the "City Pack," the Dunk Low "Tokyo" was inspired by the Japanese capital.


Nike SB Dunk History 


While the Nike Dunk and the Nike SB Dunk may look similar at first glance, there are a few key differences between the two styles.


One of the main differences is the material and construction of the two shoes. The Nike Dunk is made with a combination of leather and synthetic materials, and is designed as a high-performance basketball shoe. On the other hand, the Nike SB Dunk is made with a combination of suede, leather, and canvas, and is designed specifically for skateboarding. The Nike SB Dunk also features a padded tongue and collar for added support and a Zoom Air unit in the sole for cushioning, which are not present in the Nike Dunk.


Nike SB Dunk History


Another key difference between the two styles is their audience and intended use. The Nike Dunk is primarily marketed towards basketball players and casual sneaker enthusiasts, while the Nike SB Dunk is targeted towards skateboarders. However, both styles have a wide appeal and are often worn by people for fashion purposes as well.


In conclusion, the Nike Dunk is a sneaker with a rich history and a timeless design. From its origins as a college basketball shoe in the 1980s to its evolution into a cultural icon, the Nike Dunk has stood the test of time and remained a beloved sneaker for over three decades.


Whether you're a sneakerhead, a basketball player, a skateboarder, or just someone who loves a classic, stylish shoe, the Nike Dunk is a shoe that has something for everyone. Its rich history and timeless design make it a must-have for any sneaker collection.

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  • DR

    A few of these I could never touch and will always want Freddy at the top, Skunk, Cheech and Chong, Huxtable, Ferris Bueller’s, Diamond Low, and so many more. We need remakes or from high to lows like they done in the past.

  • Jaime P

    The Travis SBs were just on another level. Funny thing is I had no idea what they were called when I first saw them so I referred to them as the Cholo SBs. Everything about this shoe says cholo
    Great article

  • Joshua Majana

    I need these 4 Tha toe

  • JS

    Wanted the Travis SBs so bad. Was late to Space Village by 10 minutes. Forever searching!

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