Nike SB

Nike SB is NIKE, Inc.’s skateboarding subdivision. Founded in March 2002 and formerly led by the late Sandy Bodecker, Nike SB is often credited for modern-day sneaker collecting because of its limited, concept-driven releases.

While Nike SB as it’s known today began in the early-2000s, The Swoosh’s earliest attempt to enter the skateboarding space took place in the 1990s. With the help of a young Brandon Cole “Bam” Margera, Nike launched the Choad, Snak, and Schimp to little commercial success and interest from skaters. (Margera notoriously skated in non-Nike shoes and taped swooshes on them.) The late Bodecker, who began working at the brand in 1982, recognized that die-hard skaters had already been using Nike silhouettes like the Air Jordan 1 and Blazer Mid.

Under Bodecker’s guidance, the imprint officially launched its first and most popular silhouette, the SB Dunk, as a skate-ready take of the Dunk High for basketball. The re-engineered sneaker featured a fat, padded tongue, Air Zoom insole, raised, exaggerated profile logo on ollie areas, and modified rubber sole for traction. While appreciated by skaters, these details arguably came second to Nike SB’s revisited marketing strategy. Unlike the brand’s previous corporate-style strategy (which directly opposed common anti-establishment sentiments among skaters), Bodecker’s approach was grass-roots-oriented: releases would not be mass-produced and distributed through big-box sportswear retailers. Instead, pairs would be available directly through select, independent skate shops.

Over the years, Nike SB has hosted professional skaters the likes of Lance Mountain, Paul Rodriguez, Stefan Janoski and Shane O’Neill. Nike SB’s earliest team included Richard Mulder, Reese Forbes, Gino Iannucci and Danny Supa, all of whom received the first four SB Dunk Lows.

Collaborations with Diamond Supply Co., Supreme and Jeff Staple, just to scratch the surface. Some Nike SB releases, like “Paris,” “Raygun” and “What The Dunk” versions of the SB Dunk Low, have garnered grail-status among many collectors, fetching six-figure buyouts on the after-market.

Although the skateboarding-division experienced mainstream lull throughout the latter 2010s, it’s regained widespread attention from casual consumers this decade, thanks in large part to Travis Scott and Virgil Abloh. Enthusiasts of both the sport and imprint have been enjoying and skating in models like the SB Blazer Low and SB GTS Return, among others.

Shopping Links

Nike SB

The Orange Label Nike SB Janoski Comes Coated In Black

Just as all-white versions of the Nike SB Dunk Low, Blazer Low, and Janoski start hitting skate shops, we’re now learning more about other upcoming...

By Andrew Rizzo July 17, 2024

Grant Taylor Celebrates “20 Years” With Nike SB On The Blazer Low

One of the biggest names in skateboarding is checking off a major milestone with Nike SB, and they’re releasing a collaborative shoe for the occasion....

By Matt Varga July 12, 2024

Official Images Of The Nike SB Dunk Low “City Of Cinema”

We’ve said it before, we’ll surely say it again: Nike is amid a full court press for the Paris Olympics. As mainline offerings far and...

By Matt Varga July 9, 2024

Nicole Hause Gets Her First Nike SB Dunk Low Collaboration

Updated July 5th, 2024: More images of the Nicole Hause x Nike SB Dunk Low have been uploaded courtesy of @iamricosuav. The new gallery unveils...

By Andrew Rizzo July 1, 2024

The Nike SB PS8 Surfaces In “Black/Clear”

Nike SB unveiled its most advanced skate shoe to date at the Nike: On Air event in Paris back in April, and while we’re still...

By Andrew Rizzo June 26, 2024

An Early Look At A Nike SB Dunk Low “Smoke Grey” Sample For 2024

2025 is shaping up to be one of the books. Along with some cross-category projects within Nike that include the Nike SB Air Force 1...

By Sneaker News June 24, 2024

The Nike SB Ishod 2 Hits The Range In “Oil Green/Safety Orange”

As the Nike SB Ishod 2 looks forward to its first collaboration thanks to Verdy later this year, compelling general release colorways have continued to...

By Andrew Rizzo June 20, 2024

The Nike SB Vertebrae Cooks Up An Eccentric Blend Of Nature Notes

While certainly the SB Dunk is always a consistent generator of headlines, quiet as kept, the Nike SB roster is as deep as it’s ever...

By Matt Varga June 19, 2024

Nike SB Set To Debut A Budget-Friendly Skate Shoe Called The Malor

Nike SB is in a great place. Some high-profile announcements like the Nike SB Air Max 95 and sequel efforts with the Jordan 4 SB...

By Matt Varga June 19, 2024