This one is controversial, but based on how many Nike Dunks we're spotting on the daily, the silhouette might just be the new Air Force 1.
The AF1 has been a go-to sneaker for all ages since the dawn of time, and nothing has been able to replace it. We've seen plenty of silhouettes try, such as the adidas Stan Smith, or the New Balance 550, but none have come close. That is, until last year when it began raining Dunks.
At first, it was exciting. Back in 2020, I got my first pair, the Dunk Low "Brazil," and instantly loved the shape and simplicity of the shoe. Turns out that the rest of the world did, too.
Demand skyrocketed, and all of a sudden, the Swoosh was dropping new colorways left and right like there was no tomorrow. High-top versions, low-top, Dunk SB's – you name it, they're all included.
Because of the massive hype surrounding the silhouette, it has trickled down from sneaker lovers to the general masses, who have turned the shoe, dare I say it? Basic.
Don't get me wrong, there's absolutely nothing wrong with being basic. I too love a Dunk, because it is in fact a great shoe – especially considering the multiple women's releases! @jessngyn #dunks #pandas #nike #sneaker #sneakerhead ♬ Nikes on My Feet - Mac Miller
It seems as if the black-and-white Dunks, also known as "Panda," have unofficially become the uniform for plenty of Gen Z and millennials out there, and TikTok knows it first-hand.
One video, in particular, piqued my interest, capturing a handful of people on the same day wearing the "Panda" Dunks. Since I already spent an obscene amount of time on the platform, I decided another hour couldn't hurt and proceeded to dig deep into the "Dunks" tag.
For reference, the tag has over 922.6 million views.
Among the sea of videos are plenty of "how to style" videos, with users breaking down how to wear the sneakers. Most pair them with jeans, a T-shirt, and a jacket. Perhaps a pair of sweatpants, maybe even a skirt. The point is, they can be worn by anyone, with anything.
Because of the shoe's simple nature and growing popularity on social media, it has become a goldmine for resellers, who are constantly selling the colorway at a much higher price, despite the plenty of restocks. Currently, someone is asking for over $400 for a pair on StockX, which to me, seems like extortion for shoes that retail at $100.
As a result of the increased resell price, TikTok users are also sharing guides and information on how to get your hands on a pair when they drop, as well as rumored restocks, and so on. @xaviervictor.kicks Strategy for Dunk Day #sneakers #dunks #dunk #nike ♬ Lazy Sunday - Official Sound Studio
But, not everyone can secure a pair on release day – or pay the resell – so plenty of TikTok users have also resorted to purchasing fake pairs from various suppliers across platforms like DH Gate, Aliexpress, and eBay.
Plenty of people have made videos comparing real pairs to the fakes, and for $50 USD, you can secure a pair that is as close to the real deal as you can get. It's not just the "Panda" colorway – you can get any type of Dunk.
It doesn't seem to matter whether the shoes are fake or not, because the trend has become so big that owning a pair of Dunks should be obvious.
What seems to be happening is that Nike frequently decides to re-release some of its most popular colorways, which always seem to be a white base accented by a contrasting color. Its colorful iterations just don't seem to hit the same.
A quick glance at StockX prices prove that Dunks are still very much money makers, but with the "Panda" colorway absolutely dominating TikTok, they are a gold mine.
"TikTok has ruined personal style" and "TikTok ruined Dunks" are only some of the comments that trickle in on videos featuring the shoe, and it seems like plenty of sneakerheads are ready to say goodbye to the silhouette for good.
Whether Dunks are here to stay remains to be seen, but currently, it is hard to step out of the house without spotting at least a handful of pairs. The Air Force 1 has ruled the streets for as long as I can remember, but the Dunk Low might just be able to knock them off their previously rock-solid pedestal.