Nike Dunk: From the leading basketball shoe to a real street style sneaker
Back in 1985, Nike Dunks were originally created as a pure basketball shoe that was designed by Nike for no fewer than twelve teams in the NCAA Basketball League at once. Originally marketed as the College Color High and then renamed at the Nike Dunk, the shoe and its features were explicitly tailored for the sport of basketball. As such, the basketball shoe was designed for more jumping power, previously unmatched stability, and high levels of comfort in intensive use. Players were universally enthusiastic and testified to the Nike design’s performance-enhancing effects. So it was clear: the Nike Dunk was already well on track for a place in the Basketball Hall of Fame shortly after release, as the ultimate in basketball shoes.
A tribute to college basketball: a color palette tailored to different colleges
After the first games in the NCAA Basketball League, real hype had already begun to develop around the Nike Dunk in the scene. This basketball shoe quickly began to be recognized as the sports shoe that fit its wearer best, thanks to its padding and the side-support system. In addition, the Nike Dunk used the natural grip created by the shoe to optimize their turns on the court. In addition to these purely functional benefits, Peter Moore’s design also created a sensation, from the silhouette (which subtly recalls the Air Force I, while this shoe featured strikingly innovative color combinations for the time). Additionally, the color spectrum in the first series of models was based on the colors of the Universities of Arizona, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, St. Johns, Syracuse und UNLV. From the very beginning, Peter Moore created seven distinct color combinations as well as offering different Dunks variants with unique laces.
The Terminator model becomes an instant cult object on a worldwide scale
Even though the dunks are now desirable basketball shoes and design classics, they also attracted a lot of attention off the court. By the time the Nike Dunk models were presented to the public as part of the “Be true to your school” campaign in the college colors of twelve different NCAA teams, something approaching mass hysteria broke out in the USA and, shortly afterward, in Europe’s big cities. The unique model for Georgetown University was a particularly hot topic. The design of this model differed from other models only in the most subtle differences, but the mere name quickly elevated the Nike Dunk to cult status. Everyone wanted it: the so-called Terminator model with the distinctive “Hoyas” writing. In principle, however, Nike Dunks were presented as an all-round hybrid shoe, reflecting the legendary Air Jordan in the design of the sole and the upper, with aspects of the Air Force I incorporated into the design.
Nike Dunk High Idenrod: a special model for the Wu Tang Clan
Over time, Nike deliberately engaged in a series of collaborations, creating all kinds of new Nike Dunk versions. They never hid their origins in the passion for basketball, but different variants were launched that practically revolutionized other scenes. In particular, special Nike Dunk models were highly sought after in the hip-hop scene. Above all, the original Nike Dunk High Idenrod became one of the most sought-after examples outright thanks to its popularity in the hip hop world. Nike had originally come up with the concept for the Iowa Hawkeyes basketball team, but due to their cooperation with the Wu Tang Clan, Nike eventually only released the Nike Dunk High Idenrod model exclusively to members of the famous hip-hop clan and their friends and family members, and in a highly limited run at that. In total, somewhere between 36 and 72 examples of the Nike Dunk High Idenrod series were produced. One of these special shoe models was later sold on eBay for a total of €13,400.
Nike Dunks create a stir in 1998 with a relaunch featuring innovative Colorways
Whether the Nike Dunk High or the Nike Dunk Low – this Nike range never completely disappeared from view over the next few years, despite the fact that Nike and other sports shoe manufacturers continued to launch innovative new models. From the basketball scene, to hip hop and skating – Dunks attracted cult status in many different scenes. However, the Nike Dunk range definitively earned their status as cult objects for youth in 1998, when Nike launched a new version. The design remained virtually identical apart from a few accents and nuances, but the color palette was no longer solely restricted to college athletic colors; instead, it was available in many, sometimes innovative combinations. In addition, a reinforced sole and a nylon tongue were incorporated.
Limited editions attract prices of €1,500 and up
The introduction of the Dunk SB series in 2002 triggered great excitement, particularly in the worldwide skater scene. Under the label of “What the Dunks,” Nike produced these special Nike Dunk Low models to reflect demand. Discounts for this Nike version were almost a taboo subject. If you want one of these models from eBay, for instance, you can expect to pay prices of €1,500 or more. The fact that Dunks (whether they are the Nike Dunk Low variant or one of the High Models) invariably reach very high values can partly be attributed to the fact that many famous stars site the shoe as a source of inspiration. For instance, Pharrell Williams used the Nike Dunk Low as the basis for the shoe collection that he launched in 2004. The surfer, Chris Lundy, presented a special version of the Nike Dunk Low model with an extra-low shaft, while the graphic artist, Futura, even used Dunks as a canvas.
Pure inspiration in our online store
When Jeff Staple launched a highly limited edition shoe, he sparked a passion that, so far, has remained unmatched by any shoe. Three days before the original release date, fans were already lining up in front of Nike Stores. When the release actually took place, pure chaos ruled, almost a state of emergency. Shoes were stolen from buyers, there were fights, and buyers ended up having to be escorted from stores by security. According to police reports, baseball bats and even machetes were confiscated from sneaker fans who were lining up. Even if this anecdote is true, there’s no need for you to worry – that won’t happen to you in our online store. You can look for and order your dream Dunks from us, risk free. We have created a truly special collection for you, featuring special design packs, extravagant color combinations and special attributes for specific target groups. See for yourself and let our Dunks inspire you. From the Nike Dunk Low to the Nike Dunk High version - Nike Dunks are an absolute must-have for your individual style.