Popular when it first arrived back in 85′, even more popular now.  The Nike Dunk entered the sneaker scene in 1985 as the premier Basketball shoe of the brand. Popularised by the Nike Dunk “Be True To Your School” campaign in the collegiate ranks, the Dunk went on to become more than just an on-court weapon. Welcome to the Nike Dunk effect.

The story of the Nike Dunk dates back to 1985, where designer Peter Moore emphasised on design lines and complementary colour blocking. Nike Dunk wasn’t its first name, it was first called College Color High. Furthermore, the shoe was a combination of different trainers. A usual routine for Nike Basketball during the 80s.

Available in both high and low versions, the Nike Dunk features the same traction pattern as the Air Jordan 1; which was also designed by Peter Moore and debuted a few months ago. Another basketball shoe inspiration of the Nike Dunk was the Nike Terminator. All of these sneakers were designed by the same group of people. Hence the similar aesthetics.

Meant for the college Basketball scene, the Nike Dunk quickly grew in popularity as Nike equipped their sponsored schools with their corresponding uniform colours. Teams such as UNLV, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Syracuse, Georgetown, Kentucky, and more, were part of the “Be True To Your School” campaign.

Responsible for the Nike Dunk’s popularity decades later is the wide assortment of colourways and overall style. It may have been meant for basketball, but the Dunk also dominated the skating parks as skaters chose the model as their footwear staple of choice. Because of this, the Nike Dunk transcended into skateboarding in 2002 with the release of a new model called the Nike SB Dunk. The SB edition features a thicker tongue, a different traction pattern, and a Zoom Air unit in the heel to give skaters a more comfortable footwear.

The Nike Dunk is also subject to some of the most iconic moments in sneaker history. In 2005,

and Jeff Staple’s (born Jeff Ng) Staple Pigeon teamed up for an extremely limited Nike SB Dunk “Staple Pigeon”. Days before the actual release in New York City, people lined up hoping to cop a pair. As the numbers grew, things escalated into a riot as the police tried to break up the line. It was one of the most insane moments when it comes to sneaker culture.

Collabs with Supreme, Off-White, Travis Scott, Grateful Dead, and more, were likely the main reason why the 1985 basketball shoe remains popular today. Just like the Air Jordan 1, it feels like the Nike Dunk just has that timeless aesthetic that instantly boosts an outfit.

Aside from the skateboard-centric Nike SB Dunk, the Nike Dunk also arrived in a women’s exclusive Nike Dunk High Rebel. It features a higher cut, a thicker sole, double Swooshes, and multiple overlays.

Undeniably a shoe that’s already immortalized in the sneaker hall of fame.

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