Nike Dunk

From the Courts to the Concrete: the Nike Dunk’s Rise to Fame


The return of the NIKE DUNK is one of the big success stories of the past few years. The rapid rise in the shoe’s popularity has been matched with a strong line-up of releases from Nike: over the past 18 months, we’ve almost seen the full gamut of Dunk models, ranging from the hyped and limited collaboration drops through to the slightly-more-attainable general release editions. With a kaleidoscopic range of colours on offer, a notably keen price point and with relatively widespread distribution, the appeal of the Nike Dunk in 2021 is easy to understand.

It goes without saying that the Dunk has proven itself to be a timeless design, looking just as good today as the original release did ways back in 1985. The recent Hyper Cobalt and Women’s Orange Pearl Low releases (as featured throughout this page) show why the shoe remains a winner in 2021: premium leather uppers, bold colour blocking and simple styling make the Dunk one of the most versatile products within the Nike catalogue.

Click and drag the slider above to compare the current day editions of the Nike Dunk Low and the Nike Dunk SB Pro Low


The Dunk’s history is well-publicised: originally released in 1985, the clue to the shoe’s intended purpose was in the name. The shoe became lost in time over the years, until the 1998 retro campaign for Asia, as part of Nike’s program. The transition from performance shoe through to lifestyle essential was almost complete – but that didn’t mean that the performance aspect was going to be totally lost: others had realised that the Dunk offered a lot more than traction on the court… After several earlier attempts to crack the skateboarding market, the debut of the Nike SB subdivision in 2002 presented us with four pro model Dunk Low Pro SBs that had been re-engineered with padded tongues and extra cushioning. Richard Mulder, Reese Forbes, Gino Iannucci and Danny Supasirirat (AKA Danny Supa) were the recipients of these shoes, and each colourway went on to become a classic in the history of the Dunk.

The differences between the Dunk and the Dunk SB models are subtle but significant to anyone skating in the shoe. The most notable difference is the super-thick padded tongue on the SB Low editions, whilst the regular Dunk Low tongue remains unpadded. The Zoom Air insoles and the outsole pattern are also points of difference, but slight anomalies in the shape of the shoe are also noticeable when you put them side by side.

The current wave of interest in the Dunk is the third cycle that we’ve seen over the past twenty years but despite the inevitable shift when the crowds eventually gravitate to the next big thing, the Dunk will always have its fans. To make sure that you’re in the loop with all the latest Nike Dunk release information, make sure that you’re connected with our social feeds and that you check back here regularly: we’ve got you covered. In the meantime, you can check out the latest offerings at NIKE by clicking the banner below.

Organising the Chaos

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