The History of 10 Popular Nike SB Dunks
Why am I just publishing an article on Nike SB Dunk history? One of many questions that I ask myself.
With the resurgence of Nike Dunks and Nike SB Dunks, I figured now is a great time to educate. As the saying goes, "better late than never!" I've been paying attention to the increasing interest in SB Dunks, and there are a lot of younger people who weren't around during Nike SB's heyday.
That said, there's a high demand for older Nike SB product, but a huge lack of knowledge. For the majority, they want the Dunks Travis Scott or Kylie Jenner posted on Instagram. That's fair and understandable since most people new to Nike SB were kids in 2002-2007. I stopped at 2007 because from my observation most of the sought after SB Dunks today range from those years.
What's the most popular Nike SB Dunk in 2020? If I had to guess I'd say What The Dunk or Stussy. If you were around when Stussy Dunks dropped in 2005 you know that was one of the EASIEST Dunks to buy for retail which was $65. Today, the Stussy Dunk is in high demand thanks to Travis and Kylie.
In my opinion, the most popular SB Dunk in the sneaker community is the Tiffany/Diamond and Pigeon due to each shoe's crazy history. Nike SB is responsible for shifting sneaker culture, introducing people to the shoe game, and the true start to reseller culture.
The Dunks highlighted in this article are popular because of history/impact or thanks to Instagram.
Now let's talk history!
All Photos via Flight Club
NOTE: Dunks are listed in order released.
Related: Outfit Ideas for Wearing Nike Dunks
Paris Nike SB Dunk Low - 308270 111
In my opinion, this is the most unique SB Dunk to date. It's literally a piece of art... wearable art at that! The Paris Dunk is also one of the rarest Dunks ever released to the public, said to be limited to only 202 pairs. Released in 2003 by way of Nike SB's White Dunk Exhibition, featuring printed artwork of French artist Bernard Buffet. The truly unique part is the fact that none of the pairs are identical. Recent pairs have sold for as high as $50k!
Heineken Nike SB Dunk Low - 304292 302
This is the first Nike SB Dunk I ever wanted. Due to the colors and star logo one could only assume this is an official Heineken and Nike SB collaboration. However, that is not the case. Back in the day Nike SB got away with a lot of "inspired" colorways. This Dunk released in March 2003, packaged in a silver Nike SB box.
Unkle Nike SB Dunk High - 305050 013
Fun Fact: the Unkle SB Dunk is the first Dunk to release in the legendary pink box. In collaboration with MoWax artist Futura/UNKLE and designed by Futura. The shoe released in September 2004 and is even more popular in 2020, thanks to rapper Travis Scott.
Rayguns Nike SB Dunk Low (Home) - 304292 803
This lovely color-blocked Dunk released in January 2005 (and February at some shops), packaged in a famous pink Nike SB box. The Home colorway (above) was released in the US and the Away colorway (White instead of Black) was released outside of the states. The Dunk is inspired by fictional ABA team Roswell Rayguns. According to Nike, this Dunk is the first Dunk to feature Nike SB's logo on the tongue.
Stussy Nike SB Dunk Low - 304292-671
Released in July 2005 as part of the Team Manager series. The series was designed by the leader of various team manager's including Stussy, Diamond Supply Co., Real, Alien Workshop, and Nike SB manager. The Stussy Dunk is inspired by neapolitan ice cream, complete with a cherry on the tongue. Robbie Jeffers designed this now world-famous Dunk that respectively came packaged in a pink Nike SB box.
Tiffany/Diamond Nike SB Dunk Low - 304292 402
The official name is Diamond Dunk, but everyone calls them Tiffany Dunks due to the Tiffany Co. inspiration. This Dunk is also part of the Team Manager series and was the most sought after shoe in the series when released in August 2005. Designed by Diamond Supply Co.'s very own Nick Tershay. The true definition of a game-changer because this shoe introduced a new audience to the world of limited edition sneakers. Nothing was the same!
De La Soul Nike SB Dunk High - 305050 231
It's been said that 90s skate culture really embraced the music of rap group De La Soul. The colorway pays homage to the group's 3 Feet High and Rising album. Released in November 2005 in a pink Nike SB box. There is also a De La Soul Dunk Low, but the High is the most popular of the 2.
Pushead Nike SB Dunk Low - 313233 001
Designed by artist Pushead, known for his work with Metallica and Thrasher. This is hands down the darkest SB Dunk to date. Although this Dunk released in 2005 during the glory days of the Pink Box era, this Dunk comes packaged in its own box with artwork similar to the design of the shoe.
MF Doom Nike SB Dunk High - 313171 004
The mysterious underground New York rapper MF Doom landed a collaboration with Nike SB in July 2007. The hype was real even though a lot of people in the sneaker community had never heard any of MF Doom's music. The shoe features his mask logo on the tongue and "DOOM" embroidery as well as MF Doom graphics on the outsole. Nike released this shoe in a black Nike SB box.
What The Dunk Nike SB Dunk Low - 318403 141
The shoe that started Nike's ongoing "What The" concept is the What The Dunk. Released in October 2007 in super limited numbers to commemorate Nike SB's first film Nothing But The Truth. Nike SB also released a Nothing But The Truth book. The shoe features 31 different SB Dunk designs making "What The?" the perfect name.
Fun Fact: Nike SB team skaters toured worldwide Fall 2007 to promote the film. I was lucky enough to interview a few Nike SB skaters (watch below) during their Atlanta stop. It was crazy to finally speak with the skaters responsible for the Supa, Hulk, and Shimizu Dunks. Also, the interview went down in history, thanks to Todd Jordan. If you know, you know - but I'll definitely put it in a book one day. Ha!
Bonus: Freddy Krueger Nike SB Dunk Low - 313170 202
Extremely RARE for the simple fact this Dunk never released to the public. There are only a few samples that exist which explains the high prices. The shoe features Freddy's look with his sweater, skin, and the chrome Swoosh as a nod to his razor blade glove fingers. Freddy Dunks will always be a Dunk that many people wish Nike SB released, but rumor is the shoe never released for legal reasons. You never know, Nike SB might surprise us one day.