Unquestionably the most popular sneaker around in the early to mid ’00s, the Nike Dunk is back at the top of every sneakerhead’s release radar thanks to a concerted effort by the Swoosh to restore the silhouette to its former greatness. It all started when Nike rehired former SB designer James Arizumi to lead its skateboarding division in late 2018. Hyped collaborations with the likes of Supreme, Diamond Supply Co., and CNCPTS followed, before Virgil Abloh and Travis Scott’s co-signing of the model helped bring it back into the spotlight. With high-profile collaborations seemingly releasing every week — most recently the Nike SB Dunk Low Grateful Dead AKA the decade’s loudest design — the Dunk is going nowhere fast.
With a new generation of sneakerhead now being exposed to the Nike Dunk, it can sometimes be hard to separate the hype of a collaboration such as Off-White™ x Nike Dunk or the recent Ben & Jerry’s sneaker with the essence of skate and Nike SB culture. That’s why we’ve rounded up our favorite Nike Dunks (both SB and mainline) for you below. Our selection consists of a mixture of older colorways from Nike SB’s heyday, as well as some of the newer collaborations from the past 18 months. We’ve tried to keep the selection relative wallet-friendly, with a good mix of styles so everyone can find what they like.
Our favorite Nike Dunks available to buy right now
Nike Dunk Low Brazil
Seeing its rerelease at the end of May this year, the Nike Dunk Low Brazil had its heyday in the early 2000s but hasn’t lost any of its eye-catching appeal since. Resplendent in the green and yellow of Brazil, this pair is a summer essential which is sure to capture the attention of any Dunk aficionados.
Ben & Jerry’s x Nike Dunk Low
Everyone’s favorite ice cream maker, Ben & Jerry’s teamed up with Nike SB earlier this year for the Chunky Dunky and the loud style took off. Now selling for up to $2,300, this is a collab for the ages and is sure to go down in Dunk history.
Grateful Dead x Nike SB Dunk Low
Hard to miss and even harder to forget, The Grateful Dead brings faux fur and thunderbolts to the Dunk Low. The details make this shoe, from textures to the secret zip pocket in the tongue, this one is sure to please Deadheads.
Nike SB Dunk Low Denim Sashiko
Nike’s Dunk Low Denim Sashiko is a fairly understated component of today’s roundup. While other designs opt for bright colors to make their mark, this Japan-inspired design looks to a two-tone denim upper and elegant stitching instead.
Nike SB Dunk Low “Safari”
This Nike SB Dunk Low is dressed in the “Safari” colorway that was first seen on atmos’ collaborative Air Max 1 in 2002. Since then, the colorway has been re-appropriated on a number of classic and contemporary silhouettes alike by the Swoosh. While this Dunk is not an atmos collaboration, it celebrates the spirit of early ’00s collabs, while keeping the tradition of logo and colorway flips — a hallmark of sneaker culture — alive.
Nike SB Dunk Low “J Pack Shadow”
The Nike Dunk — as its name suggests — was once a basketball shoe before being adapted to the needs of skaters. That’s why we’re big fans of this year’s “Shadow” Dunk Low, which takes the classic Air Jordan 1 colorway and puts it on the low-top skate shoe. The original “J-Pack” Dunk Low was released in 2005, albeit with the iconic “Royal” Air Jordan 1 color scheme.
Nike Dunk Low “Viotech” 2019
What’s there to say about Nike’s famous Viotech colorway that hasn’t already been said? Originally released as a Japan exclusive in 2002, the Viotech’s vibrant color scheme design became a big hit for sneakerheads in that era and was brought back with updated colors in 2013. Last year’s drop stayed true to the OG.
Parra x Nike SB Dunk Low
Dutch artist Piet Parra and Nike have a longstanding relationship, which has produced a number of beautiful and highly-collectible sneakers. That’s why it was no surprise to anyone that their collaborative Dunk Low would turn out to be one of the most popular releases of the summer in 2019. The Dunks dropped alongside a pair of Blazer Lows, which are equally as beautiful.
Nike Dunk Low SP “Syracuse”
The “Syracuse” Dunk Low is named after the college basketball team featured in the original Be True To Your School (BTTYS) Nike Dunk pack from 1985. Unlike the original release, Nike opted for a Low version this time around. Rumor has it, that Nike will be bringing back the entire BTTYS pack in low-top versions.
Nike Dunk Low “Plum”
Everyone who said purple was a hard color to wear was the first one in line to cop the Nike Dunk Low “Plum” when it dropped earlier this year. The sneaker was initially part of 2001’s “Ugly Duckling” pack and it was retroed for the first time in 2020. Just like the OG, the new version finds multiple shades of purple coming together throughout the suede sneaker, with red accents complementing the branding, laces, heel tab, and outsole.
Nike Dunk Low SP “Kentucky”
The other BTTYS Dunk Low to drop this year is this blue and white “Kentucky” version, which was seen on University alumnus Devin Booker and coach Calipari. It’s slightly less obtrusive than the “Syracuse” version above, and might be a better pick for those wanting a subtle “if you know, you know” Dunk low.
Off-White™ x Nike Dunk Low
As mentioned above, Virgil Abloh became the latest celebrity to cosign the Nike Dunk when he released his three-pack of collaborative Nike Dunk Lows. The sneakers, like anything Abloh touches, were immediately hyped to the heavens, however, the hiking-inspired lacing system gives enough of an intrigue that they can’t be ignored — both for their influence and their design.
Travis Scott x Nike SB Dunk Low
Travis Scott is arguably today’s most famous Nike SB fan, his Instagram feed often an exhibition of some of the rarest and most expensive Dunks ever released. After much speculation, it was confirmed that he would be getting his own Dunk low, which features a removable upper around the toe and sides. Only time will tell how these will stack up to some of the classic releases, though rest assured that the hype is out of this world.
- Curator: Rhianna Matthews