Nike Dunk

The Nike Dunk is a sneaker originally designed for basketball by Peter Moore for the North American sportswear company, NIKE, Inc. Debuted in 1985, the model has enjoyed newfound mainstream attention since 2017 thanks in large part to co-signs from Travis Scott and the late Virgil Abloh.

Initially named the “College Color High,” the shoe was originally sketched as a mash-up of various sneakers – including the Air Force 1 from 1982 and Air Jordan 1, which debuted just months before it. Although the Oregon-based company had amassed a formidable roster of hoops-ready sneakers by the mid 1980s, it was determined to capitalize on the off-court appeal basketball footwear had begun enjoying thanks to fashion trends, music-driven subcultures and film. The creative minds behind the Nike Dunk landed on said name because the final product was created on the same shoe last used to make what was widely considered as the best-fitting basketball shoes of the time: the Nike Legend.

Aware of network television's role in expanding college basketball's reach throughout the '80s, the Swoosh (as Nike is also referred to because of its iconic check logo designed by Carolyn Davidson) stylized its new design after 12 key schools so that fans could support their favorite teams from head to toe. Nike introduced the “College Colors” program via print advertising using the tagline “Be True to Your School,” with the original eight colorways drawing inspiration from the University of Kentucky, Iowa State, Syracuse University and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, among others. The Nike Dunk High was introduced in August of 1985 with color-coordinated apparel and bags.

Over the last 37 years, Moore's original design has been offered in a variety of trims, with Nike SB – the brand's skateboaring-focused category – utilizing the High, Mid and Low iterations interchangeably. Although the Swoosh didn't officially recognize the Nike Dunk as a skate shoe until March 2002, the month during which the late Sandy Bodecker took over the SB team after a failed first launch in the 1990s, countless skaters gravitated towards the basketball silhouette in the years following its debut: all the characteristics that made it a progressive option on the hardwood – lateral support, Air cushioning, pivot-oriented traction – helped Moore's design become a staple within the skateboarding scene.

Nike Dunk

A “Reverse Maple” Colorway Of The Nike Dunk Low Is Arriving Soon

For newer fans of the model, it can be hard to keep up with the deluge of Nike Dunk colorways we’ve gotten in the past...

By Matt Varga 11 hours
597

Reflective Laces Appear On The Nike Dunk Low

It won’t be long before Nike follows through on its plan to reduce stock of oversaturated models like the Dunk Low, but for now, the...

By Andrew Rizzo July 23, 2024
483

The Nike Dunk Low “Mink Brown” Is Ready For Fall Fashion

If you’re ready to move on from the levity of Pink Dunks and other soft-colored sneakers, Nike is ready to kick-start the changing of the...

By John Kim July 17, 2024
1394

“Green Suede” Grows On A Next Nature Nike Dunk Low

As an enduring tentpole model for the Swoosh, the Nike Dunk is a frequent choice for developing Beaverton’s continuing sustainability efforts. While efforts like Nike...

By Matt Varga July 17, 2024
357

The Perfect Pink Dunks Are Dropping This Fall

Still haven’t had your fill of Pink Dunks? Nike is ready to roll out yet another new colorway of the low-top classic with a quintessential...

By Sneaker News July 16, 2024
8294

The Nike Dunk High Dazzles Again In “Jade Horizon”

There was a time just a few years ago when a new Nike Dunk colorway would send sneakerheads in an absolute frenzy, drawing clusters of...

By Sneaker News July 16, 2024
454

The Nike Dunk Low Gets Icy In “Green Frost”

Looking to brighten up your summer wardrobe without going for a totally wild shoe? This “Green Frost” Dunk Low just might be the answer you...

By Matt Varga July 16, 2024
491

SB Sensibilities Mark The Nike Dunk Low “Monsoon Blue”

While Dunks continue to be crowd pleasers in metro areas worldwide, those who fell in love with the silhouette during its early 2000s heyday will...

By Matt Varga July 15, 2024
1278

“Royal Pulse” Surges On The Nike Dunk Low Next Nature

Nike’s strategy with Dunks is seemingly two-pronged; drops like the “Black Spiderman” Dunk that emerged this weekend lean into playful territory, and more reigned in...

By Matt Varga July 15, 2024
1143