The Nike Dunk has a very unique place in sneaker culture. Often viewed as the second cousin of the Air Jordan 1 and – to some – inferior to the Air Force 1, the Dunk was originally rolled out to the market as a college basketball shoe with the “Be True” set, with distinct two-toned colorways matching some of the nation’s most prominent programs. It re-emerged in the late 1990s as a skate shoe, with fattened tongues appeasing the fastidious riders of the sport, and as exclusives in Japan as part of the famed City Pack. Neither really made much of an impression, but the Dunk Low and High continued to roll out as “general releases” until the official formation of Nike SB. There was a palpable hype around the SB Dunk as it, in many ways, pushed the importance of collaborations and special edition colorways into the sportswear realm, despite Nike already working with the likes of Undefeated and Stussy and the Air Force 1 lightly laying the grounding in the latter front.
Still, the Nike Dunk – the non SB versions – were never in demand as much as they are today – even at its absolute peak in 2004/2005. It’s almost unthinkable that an outlet shoe from three years ago – the 2016 release of the Dunk High UNLV and Michigan – is now flipping for at least triple retail. The second wind caught by the original Viotech and the Ugly Dunkling Pack is unprecedented, and the most recent re-release is an example of Nike recognizing these anomalies and cashing in. We’re not even gonna touch on SBs – that’s an entirely different issue. But the rise of the Dunk shouldn’t be that much of a surprise; while the Air Force 1 is consistently front and center in marketing and energy-inducing collaborations, the Dunk was untouched for years – largely due to over-saturation and inferiority of the product from 2006 and beyond.
There’s no doubt that Nike has been paying close attention to Travis Scott and Virgil Abloh and even Kyrie Irving searching eBay for Dunks. The timing of this release is planned down to a surgical procedure, because there’s a lot more in store for the Dunk in 2020 that the Swoosh wants you to pay attention. For purists of the Dunk, the widened lacing system, swapped tongue, and Helvetica type on the medial is likely of little to no appeal. But for the hype obsessed, the Off-White x Nike Dunk is a dream that will soon become a reality – whether you like it or not. Official images of the shoes have now surfaced, so take a look and stay tuned for the official release on December 20th.
Off-White x Nike Dunk Low
Release Date: December 20th, 2019
Style Code: CT0856-100 (Pine Green)
Style Code: CT0856-600 (UNLV)
Style Code: CT0856-700 (Michigan)