Everything you need to know about the Nike Dunk.
Nike Dunk history and background.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the Nike Dunk is one of the most hyped silhouettes available right now. A retro model that has slipped in and out of fashion, it saw an explosion in popularity in 2020 when the American sportswear brand brought it back in full force for its 35th birthday. Now, you literally can't go anywhere without spotting a pair on someone's feet. Introduced in August 1985, it followed the release of four earlier Nike basketball shoes including the Air Force 1, the Legend, the Terminator, and of course, the Air Jordan 1. Borrowing elements and features from each of these pairs, like the outsole of the AF1 and the upper of the AJ 1, this amalgam became an instant success on the hardcourt, particularly when the legendary "Be True To Your School" Pack was unveiled.
"Be True To Your School," or simply "BTTYS," was Nike's first attempt at marketing the Dunk. Giving Division I college basketball teams and their fans a way to rock their favorite team's signature colors, each pair featured a specific palette that represented seven schools, including Georgetown, St. John's, Syracuse, UNLV, University of Iowa, University of Kentucky, and University of Michigan. While this was extremely sought-after at the time, the Dunk soon became old news in the basketball world, especially with Michael Jordan's meteoric rise as well as other technological advancements. Little did anyone know, however, that the vintage silhouette would make a comeback like no other over three decades later.
Whether you're a hardcore Nike Dunk collector or you're searching for your very first pair, you're in luck, as the Sole Retriever Nike Dunk Buyers Guide is here to answer all of your questions What are some of the best colorways and collaborations? What are they made of? How do they fit? What do they cost? You'll find out everything you need to know, and more, right here.
What are the best Nike Dunk colorways?
Over the years we've been blessed with countless must-own Nike Dunk colorways. Available in Low, Mid, and High renditions, the pair that you go for really depends on how you plan to wear them and what you're using it for. While all three models have been specifically engineered for hardcourt use, the Low is considerably more versatile and can be worn on the streets with no issues, while the High offers unrivaled support with every step. The Mid is the most underrated style of the trio. Providing the best of both worlds, some pairs even come with ankle straps for added range of motion.
2021's Off-White x Nike Dunk Low "Dear Summer" Collection is definitely one of the most iconic collaborations of all time. One of the last projects that Virgil Abloh worked on with Nike before his untimely passing later that year, it features fifty individual colorways including the "White" and "Black." Other collabs worth mentioning include the fragment design "City Series" which arrived in "Beijing" and "NYC" editions, and the Union LA project that was based off of three OG Dunks, including the "Argon," "Pistachio," and of course, the "Purple."
In terms of none-collaborative Dunks, the Nike Dunk Low "Panda" and the Nike Dunk High "Panda" are, hands down, two of the most sought-after sneakers of all-time. Originally released as part of Nike's Spring 2021 line-up, the sneaker world hasn't been the same since. You also can't talk about the best colorways without mentioning the "Ugly Duckling" Pack. Introduced all the way back in 2001 as a Japan-exclusive, the CO.JP line returned in the original "Ceramic," "Plum," and "Veneer" colorways in 2020. Keeping up-to-date with all of these can be overwhelming especially if you're new to sneakers, so make sure that you follow Sole Retriever over on Twitter and download our official Mobile App if you haven't already.
What material is the Nike Dunk made of?
The Nike Dunk was originally made from leather, but over the years the Beaverton-based brand has been experimenting with a vast range of different materials. Pairs like the "Kentucky" and "Syracuse" are still made from leather, but you'll also get the "Dark Russet" that's outfitted in a supple suede and the "Ice" that's equipped with soft velour finish. The "Teddy Swoosh" boasts fuzzy details throughout, while Edison Chen's CLOT collab from 2022 is decked out in a metallic silver finish that's unlike anything we've seen before. While it's not strictly a Dunk, the Cactus Plant Flea Market Flea 1 is based off of the same platform, and is covered from heel to toe in a grass-like texture that was specifically made to be shaved off.
How does the Nike Dunk fit?
Generally speaking, if you're looking for your first pair of Nike Dunks, like the Jackie Robinson or Social Status collaborations, you should go true to size. However, if your feet are a little on the wider side then feel free to go half a size up, but we would always recommend just going TTS. It's always best to try on a pair in-store before purchasing to be sure you’re getting the correct size.
How much do Nike Dunks cost?
When the Nike Dunk was first introduced back in 1985 it retailed for just $60, but things are a little different these days. 2021's "Coast," "Goldenrod," and "Michigan" cost $100 each, while more exclusive editions such as the "Cacao Wow" and "Safari Swoosh" begin around $120. Colorways such as the "San Francisco Chinatown" and "Somos Familia" can cost even more, but it doesn't end there, as retail prices are known to reach towards the $200 mark, for instance, on AMBUSH, Slam Jam, and UNDERCOVER collaborations. Today, the average GR Dunk retails for between $100 and $130. For your best chance to cop them at retail, follow us over on Twitter and download our Mobile App today.
Where do I buy Nike Dunks?
If you're looking to add the Nike Dunk to your collection, you're in luck, as most general releases can be bought on release day via Nike, the SNKRS app, and select retailers worldwide, from chain stores, to boutiques, to mom and pop stores. With that said, special collaborations like the aforementioned Off-White and Union LA and limited editions such as the "Chenille Swoosh" and the "Fruity Pebbles" will be much harder to come by. Hype surrounding this retro basketball silhouette is increasing by the minute, so if you still don't have a pair in your daily rotation, keep it locked to our Twitter and Mobile App where we’ll alert you on upcoming releases, raffles, and so much more.
What’s the hot take?
The Nike Dunk is arguably one of the most popular models in the Swoosh's current release roster. While it was somewhat overshadowed by His Airness' Jordan Brand line back in the '80s, it has since made a major comeback like no other. Every single time a brand new colorway gets announced, sneakerheads from across the globe are all over it, and there's really no questioning why. Coming in three distinct shapes and a vast range of styles and colorways, there are also countless coveted collaborations to choose from as well. For your best chance to cop, make sure you follow us over on Twitter and download the Sole Retriever Mobile App. We'll be sure to keep you updated with the latest news, release info, and raffle details for the Nike Dunk and more in the sneaker and streetwear world!