The history of the Nike Dunk

With 2023 being the “Year of the Rabbit” the Nike Dunk Low comes with different styles, from very colourful (with highlights in blue, green, red and yellow) to a more discreet version in beige and brown.

All of them of course with the rabbit icon on the heel and all the little details we love so much!


This classic sneaker has been around for decades and has a rich history.

While we wait for the “Year of the Rabbit” release, you might want to read the wild story of the Nike Dunk.

1985 the designer Peter Moore presented the first Dunk under the name “College Color High” as a basketball shoe, but it quickly gained popularity among skateboarders and has since become a cultural icon.

While the first color mixes were all inspired by existing and well-known basketball schools, soon the Dunk was a symbol for team spirit. The series was known under the name “True to your school” and were a hit with both the players and the fans and helped to establish the Dunk as a versatile shoe.

With other basketball shoes conquering the market the Nike Dunk wasn’t that popular anymore. But through some updates like Nylon tongue to reduce weight, a shorter shaft, and a larger, thicker Swoosh the show became interesting for a completely different audience. The skaters.

The shoe's durable construction and padded collar provided the support and protection that skateboarders needed. The Dunk quickly became a favourite among professional skateboarders, and it was not long before the shoe was being worn by skaters all over the world.


But the real breakthrough was 1999 when Nike released the Wu-Tang’ Dunk. While this was actually just a special edition of the Iowa Dunk with "WuW" embroidered on the heel, Nike revamped the design and made 36 pairs - a nod to the essential album "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)" - that were given away to members and partners of the Wu-Tang Clan. As you know, scarcity breeds hype, and so the shoe became one of the most valuable and sought-after dunks on the market, selling for tens of thousands of euros.

2000 when the Jordan retro got a boost the Nike Dunk wobbled.

2001 Nike started to make subtitle changes to the Nike Dunk instead of recreating something completely new. With the changes they made the SB Dunk started to play a more and more important role in the skating industry. And not just that, it also bridged the gap between sneakerhead culture, streetwear and skateboarding.


When Nike released the Dunk SB ‘Pigeon‘ the hype was real. This lasted until 2010. With new shoes making their way into the market, the Nike Dunk fell into oblivion.

2015 - celebrating its 30s birthday - when also the trend to vintage sneakers became real the Nike Dunk set the foundation for what was yet to come. 


When the Travis Scott x Nike SB Dunk Low Cactus Jack hit the market in February 2020 the hysteria was real. A completely new, younger generation has started to clear the shelves.

Today, the Nike Dunk continues to be a popular shoe, and it is available in a wide variety of colours and styles.

In conclusion, the Nike Dunk has a rich history that spans several decades. The shoe was first introduced as a basketball shoe, but it quickly gained popularity among skateboarders and has since become a cultural icon. The Dunk's durability, versatility, and style have made it a favourite among sneaker enthusiasts and streetwear fans for decades and it's a classic that will remain in fashion for years to come.

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