The Shoe That Survived Four Decades, Nike Dunk


Daniel Torres, Senior

During the 1980s, basketball and Nikes were very popular, especially in the college arenas. The energy of these games was astronomical with the number of students enthusiastically rooting for their school. Influenced by the excitement, Nike decided to release the Nike Dunk. 

In the “Be True To Yourself” campaign by Nike, 12 colorways of the Dunk were released, giving the people a variety of colors to choose from, so that they can represent their schools and themselves. However, the Dunk was overshadowed by the Jordan 1 and became a forgotten sneaker.

With the Dunk having similar features to the Jordan 1, skaters took interest and adopted the sneaker, skating around and showcasing the sneaker’s beauty.

During the early 2000s, skateboarding had an influence on many young people and Nike decided to start their line of skating products, Nike SB, starting with the Nike Dunks. Skater Erik Koston remembered how popular they were and stated, “They changed the sneaker game, every Dunk that came out people were lining up at skate shops and getting in fights…”

Nike would go on to do many collaborations with successful people like the founder of Diamond Co., Nicky Diamonds and Jeff Staple with the iconic Pigeon Dunk. However, Nike would gain the most attention when they worked together with Supreme New York and released the Dunk, now valued at over $8,000. 

The Dunk had fluctuations in popularity for four decades, where it would constantly fall in and out of style. Today, the Dunk is a very valuable shoe with each release selling out quickly and having modern icons, like Travis Scott, make Dunks an essential in his outfits. 

Nogales Senior, Gustavo Monjaras believes that these shoes are back in style and valuable once again: “The Dunks during this time are now very big and have been revived. Before they were seen as just skate shoes, but now they are mainstream and a fashion statement.”