Why are Nike SB Dunks so Popular? – We Explain Everything

In 2002, Nike teamed up with the late and great Sandy Bodecker to create a skateboarding division like no other. Combining their rich expertise and experience, the mission started with a closely-knit team who were led by nothing but innovation and thinking outside the box. At a time when every single shoe was churned out by boardrooms full of suits, for the first time ever, they were being designed and created by skateboarders, for skateboarders.

While most sub-brands tend to die off during their first few months, Nike SB actually celebrated its 20th anniversary two years ago. When you think about it, that’s older than most new school sneakerheads today. This massive milestone didn’t come as a walk in the park though. With the fierce growth of the skateboarding market and the untimely passing of Sandy in 2018, it wasn’t easy for SB to keep its soul.

With that said, from what we’ve seen after all of this time, the passion surrounding the brand is burning brighter than ever before. Even though new colourways and collaborations literally get announced on a weekly basis, we’re still totally obsessed with the Nike SB Dunk – and here’s why.

Firstly, SB Dunks are, hands down, some of the comfiest kicks of all-time. Even if you aren’t a half-pipe enthusiast, you can definitely appreciate how much time and effort has been put into each colourway to make it as cushioned as possible. From the extra fat tongue to the supportive stripes on the inside of the shoe, all the way to the Zoom Air midsole underfoot, you can wear these all-day everyday with zero dramas. The SB Dunk High also features an extended collar for added support, and a tiny pull tab around the back for extra convenience.

You can’t talk about the SB Dunk hype without mentioning the hundreds of coveted collabs to choose from. As we brought up before, a new one pretty much gets announced weekly, but that hasn’t stopped it from being one of the most popular models of the past decade. From StrangeLove to Travis Scott, there’s a unique style for every aesthetic. There’s also a vast range of unexpected pairs too, including an official one from Ben & Jerry’s and the VX1000, which is actually inspired by a camcorder that’s greatly-admired by the skating community.

Another reason that we’re in love with this silhouette is because it keeps its value. Unlike most other shoes which depreciate as soon as you take ’em out of the box, most SB Dunks can sell for retail (or even more) even after you’ve worn them a good bit. Examples of this include the Concepts, which is part of the lauded “Lobster Dunk” series, and the Parra, which actually features several hidden layers underneath.

Finally, even after all of this time, sneakerheads are still obsessed with the SB Dunk because it’s, in essence, a symbol of rebellion and individuality. When the shoe was first introduced back in the early Noughties, nobody really took skateboarding seriously. However, Nike entrusted a band of good-for-nothings with the keys to create a collection like nothing else out there, and the the result was two middle fingers up, and hundreds of products that became sought-after, essential, and truly iconic.