Over the past year, Nike SB Dunks have resurged. From wide availabilities in the 2000s to skyrocketing resell prices, the demands are high. The drops are exclusive and limited. There are many big-name collaborations, and what seems like an endless variety of colorways. What once began as a skate shoe is now a staple in each sneakerhead’s rotation. And this shoe has rebirthed itself over the past 40 years. But what caused this resurgence?
Nike SB: The Dunk Book (Rizzoli) available for purchase on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nike-SB-Dunk-Book/dp/0847866696
SB Dunks had to work hard to prove themselves in the skate world. Nike brought on Sandy Bodecker to lead this project of creating a name for Nike in skating. Skate culture was misunderstood, and Nike’s original skate shoes were not resonating with skaters. The SB Dunks first debuted in 1985, the same year as Jordan 1s. Jordan 1s took the spotlight, overshadowing the Dunks. With similar canvases and designs, SB Dunks had various colorways and were designed specifically for skating. This included extra padding, better grip, and a custom-designed tongue. To launch these Dunks, Nike recruited four underground skaters, each with their own collaborations. Richard Mulder, Danny Supa, Reese Forbes, and Gino Iannucci were the four who led the collaborations. Nike also opted to sell SB Dunks at small skate shops. These releases with various colorways created the hype around these shoes. After capitalizing in the skate community, sneakerheads soon began to show interest in these shoes. From there, the lines, hype, and exclusivity only grew. Skaters turned into sneakerheads, and sneakerheads began to explore the culture of the skate world. SB Dunks were originally even sold at Supreme, before it was the hype brand it is today. From skating into basketball into fashion, Dunks are versatile and diverse.
What makes the SB Dunks so special are the stories that each sneaker tells. Each colorway and collaboration are unique and widely-recognized. Nike began to collaborate with brands outside of the skate world, and these collaborations continued to grow the demand and popularity of these sneakers. But after years of exclusive releases and high demand, the popularity began to slow down. Sneakerheads became uninterested in these skating shoes.
The recent resurgence can largely be accredited to the Travis Scott x Nike SB Dunk Low collaboration. This was one of the most highly anticipated sneakers of 2020. While Travis Scott can constantly be spotted wearing exclusive and collectible SB Dunks, his SB Dunk Low collaboration is now one of the most sought-after sneakers on the market.
It seems like everything he touches turns to gold. Scott has a massive influence in sneaker culture and has found his platform for creativity in designing sneakers. Travis Scott x Nike SB Dunk Lows originally dropped on February 29, 2020, for a retail price of $150. First released on his website, this exclusive drop comes in a paisley printed box. This box is even more exclusive than the red, yellow, blue, and green printed box that came with the second drop. These intricate sneakers are incredibly detailed. The sneaker features a mismatched paisley bandana print in black and white with beige staples. The inside swoosh is pink - a signature detail. While the shoe comes with cream-colored rope laces, pink and black laces are included. And, every feature you love about SB Dunks are included in the build.
The pristine bandana print paired with the beige staple pieces gives the shoe a clean-yet-detailed looked. These shoes are easily recognizable and highly sought out. Reselling for over $1,600, Travis Scott’s collaboration helped bring SBs back into focus.
Since then, many major and exclusive collaborations have only made the SB Dunks more popular. Some highly collectible Dunks include Ben and Jerry’s, Supreme, the classic NYC Pigeon, university's colorways in the "Be True To Your School" collections, and many more. And following the demand, Nike has recently been releasing more and more Dunks with new colorways and new collaborations.
What can we look forward to next? It seems like just about every colorway has dropped. But leave it to none other than Nike to continue to collaborate with new creators. The possibilities are endless, and the demand is higher than ever. Grab a pair when you can; the SB Dunks are here to stay.