There’s not many fashion trends, let alone sneakers, that have been so successfully re-purposed like that of the Nike SB Dunk. Here is a chunky shoe born on the hardwood, first seen as a basketball silhouette back in 1985. At the time this was amongst Nike’s best-sellers but it wouldn’t be until 17 years later that the Dunk would get reinvented and become a universal fashion statement!
The launch of the first Nike SB Dunk in 2002 was a pivotal moment. This once dated basketball sneaker made an unprecedented leap to become a skate-ready silhouette. This culture shift brought with it new connotations. The Dunk now represented effortless street-style.
Of course, it was brands like Supreme who set this sneaker on a path of greatness. Their first collaboration in 2002 is still remembered by many as the ultimate grail. Soon major skaters were endorsing the shoe, many releasing their own signature pairs.
The hype would continue long into the noughties and today, the Nike SB Dunk is becoming more popular than ever. A recent revival makes this one of the most talked about silhouettes from Nike of 2020. That said, what better time for us to look back on the 30 best Dunk colourways of all time?
Supreme x Nike SB Dunk Low (2002)
Supreme’s long line-up of SB collaborations can be traced right back to this Jordan 3 inspired release. Sporting Nike’s iconic cement print, this is widely considered one of the best ever SBs – so much so that these still fetch over £4,000 on the resell market. It was also the inspiration behind an anniversary colourway released by Supreme in 2012.
Nike SB Dunk Low “Danny Supa” (2002)
The official debut of the SB Dunk consisted of four colourful pairs each assigned to Nike’s team riders: Reese Forbes, Gino Lannucci, Danny Supasirirat and Richard Mulder. Admittedly, each one was a best-seller but Supa’s orange and blue rendition is remembered as the highlight, a release which paid homage to the streets of NYC.
The Grateful Dead x Nike SB Dunk Low (2020)
As we’ve mentioned before, Nike SB Dunks are often on the wild side, and those that love them share the same wacky taste as the designers, so that’s exactly why the The Grateful Dead x Nike SB Dunk Low Pack from back in 2020 was a huge hit! Released in “Opti Yellow” to the masses, green and orange versions were also launched but were way more limited in comparison. The pairs drew inspiration from the San Francisco rock band’s iconic bear mascots, and came complete with fuzzy uppers and jagged Swooshes. Definitely one for the collection!
Staple x Nike SB Dunk “Pigeon” (2005)
These were famously so popular that a riot broke out amongst collectors in New York City on the day of release – a story covered in the New York Post. But that shouldn’t detract from why these are still remembered as a classic to this day. There’s been follow-ups since from Jeff Staple such as the Staple x Nike SB Dunk Low Panda Pigeon, but nothing comes close to this OG grey pair which features that signature pigeon graphic on the heel.
Nike SB Dunk Low “Paris” (2007)
Like any great piece of art, these Nike SB Dunks don’t come cheap. In fact, if you’re planning to invest in a pair on the resell market these can set you back as much as £80,000! That’s no exaggeration either, these are amongst the most valuable sneakers of all time. Only 150 to 200 pairs launched back in 2004 across a small handful of retailers. What’s even more impressive is that arty print which is completely unique on each and every pair.
Carhartt x Nike SB Dunk Low (2004)
Like your favourite Carhartt jacket, this pair gets covered in hard-wearing canvas. This work-wear transformation released in 2004 with two colourways up for grabs. Both were quick to sellout but the “shale” colourway might just take the edge over that “triple black” pair. After all, this is Carhatt’s signature colour, a theme which is perfect for the autumn and winter months.
Nike SB Dunk Low “Rayguns” (2005)
The Roswell Rayguns was a fictional basketball team dreamt up as one of Nike’s more unusual marketing campaigns from the 70s. It might have been forgotten if it weren’t for this SB Dunk colourway that pulled inspiration from the fictional team colours. The look even celebrates the UFO theme that was used in the original campaign with a ray gun motif embroidered across the heel. This dunk colorways remains iconic, with a 2019 re-issue in the form of the Nike SB Dunk Low Raygun Tie Dye.
Sean Cliver x Nike SB Dunk Low "Holiday Special" (2020)
Back in 2012 Sean Cliver unveiled the Nike SB Dunk Low “Krampus” as his first-ever Christmas-themed sneaker, and 2020 saw the legendary artist and skater return once again with a brand-new festive pair. Titled the “Holiday Special” the pair were decked out in a unique light-blue and white colour scheme and boasted gold Swoosh logos along with an ice-blue glittery outsole. The look was rounded off with a special graphic pair of insoles that depicted Christmas elves. Many sneakerheads tried and failed to get their hands on this release, meaning these are still ultra-desirable for collectors.
Nike SB Dunk Low “Newcastle” (2008)
Beer and sneakers; could this be the ultimate combination?! Although it’s not an official collaboration, there’s no denying this colourway is inspired by Newcastle Brown Ale. A simple colour blocking theme features different shades of brown off set by a vibrant blue swoosh. As far as ale-inspired sneakers go, it doesn’t get more satisfying than this.
Ben & Jerry's x Nike SB Dunk Low "Chunky Dunky" (2020)
Released back in May 2020, the Ben & Jerry’s x Nike SB “Chunky Dunky” is arguably one of the sneakers that rocket-propelled Nike SB back into mainstream popularity. The sheer bizarity of the collaboration was an instant hit with sneakerheads, who are often renowned for their weird and wonderful tastes. The pair was ultra-limited and also released alongside a specially packaged version that actually came in a supersized ice cream tub. If you’re looking to splash the cash and flex some heat then these are the kicks for you!
Nike SB Dunk Low “Tokyo” (2004)
Muslin-coloured canvas, a gum outsole and tonal details throughout; could this be the cleanest of all the SB Dunks?! Not surprisingly, this was another hype-fuelled launch as Nike released only 202 pairs via raffle as part of their “White Dunk Exhibition”.
Nike SB Dunk High “FLOM” (2005)
Another stupidly expensive sneaker here, this limited-edition Dunk arriving in 2005 at the hands of famed graffiti artist Futura. Named the “FLOM”, short for “For The Love Of Money”, the uppers get decked out in a print of all the world’s major currencies. Only 24 of these released which would explain today’s eye-watering resell prices.
Nike SB Dunk Low "What The P-Rod" (2021)
Without a doubt, Paul Rodriguez is one of the most influential skaters of all time, and he’s also one of the most decorated Nike SB team riders. He’s had plenty of signature sneakers over the years, however the perfectly executed mash-up that is the Nike SB Dunk Low “What The P-Rod” is easily a stand out for us here at The Sole Supplier. Combining colourways and designs from nearly every Nike SB P-Rod shoe, these Dunks are totally mismatched and on paper really should not work - however they absolutely do and look epic on feet! If you’re really looking to turn a few heads on the street then search no more as these are what you’ve been looking for.
Stussy x Nike SB Dunk Low “Cherry” (2005)
Stussy founder Robbie Jeffers looked to his favourite food, Neapolitan ice cream, for the inspiration behind this 2005 release. The cherry even came on top with a fruity graphic stamped to the tongue. This mouth watering exclusive launched as part of Nike SB’s “Team Manager” series.
Nike SB Dunk Low “What The” (2007)
Can’t pick a favourite Dunk colourway? You needn’t as Nike put to use the designs of no less than 31 iconic Dunk styles, combining them all into this “What The” exclusive. Not everyone was convinced at the time but these have since garnered a cult like status.
Nike SB Dunk High “Skunk” (2010)
As the name would suggest, the furry suede of this Nike SB arrived as a homage to marijuana. It launched right on cue during the annual pot head celebration of 4/20. The forest green colourway makes these especially wavy along with special graphics which feature to the inner sole. A re-release of this colourway was seen in 2020 with the Nike SB Dunk High 420 Purple Skunk
Nike SB Dunk Low "atmos Elephant" (2020)
Referencing a legendary sneaker collaboration from back in the day, the Nike SB Dunk Low “atmos Elephant” launched in 2020. While not an official collaboration with the Japanese retailer, the pair showcase the exact same colour scheme and elephant print that we all know and love from the Air Max 1. While this colourway is exceptionally clean, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear that it’s not even too pricey on the resell market, so if you’re looking to add these to your collection then don’t hesitate!
Diamond Supply Co. x Nike SB Dunk Low “Tiffany” (2005)
Arguably one of the most luxurious SBs arrived at the hands of Diamond Supply Co founder, Nicky Diamonds. Not only does this feature crocodile-embossed leather and a chrome Swoosh, this pair gets doused with Tiffany-inspired blue – a shade synonymous with grandeur. A high-top arriving in a similar theme followed up in 2014.
Parra x Nike SB Dunk Low (2019)
Following on from the sellout success of the 2018 Air Max 1 and Spiridon, Dutch brand Parra returned the year after with a design just as eye-catching with the Parra x Nike SB Dunk Low White. The familiar colours of red, pink and blue this time featured in the form of a soft chenille Swoosh. The look was kept pleasantly low key with white leather uppers but in true Parra style, a funky graphic was utilised for the inner lining.
Nike SB Dunk Low Pro “Heineken” (2003)
Another beer-inspired colorway, this time a homage to the legendary Dutch brewery. These were never approved by Heineken though and Nike were forced to halt production following an initial stock run of only 4,000 pairs. With vibrant suede overlays and a set of red laces, these are just as eye-catching as they are controversial.
Parra x Nike SB Dunk Low "Abstract Art" (2021)
Another Nike x Parra collab. While this wasn’t the first time that renowned Dutch graphic-designer and artist Parra has joined forces with Nike SB, we’ve got absolutely no doubts that this collaborative effort is the best yet between the duo. The pair showcases Parra’s signature colour palette and are covered in a unique “abstract art” print that immediately catches the eye. Combine this with all the usual premium Nike SB features and you’ve got an instant winner. Let’s not forget how well the gum sole finishes these off too, the Piet Parra x Nike SB Dunk 'Abstract Art' is a must cop!
StrangeLove x Nike SB Dunk Low (2020)
There’s not many Valentines-inspired sneakers that are remembered in the Nike Hall Of Fame which makes this collaboration from StrangeLove Skateboards all the more unique. Designed by Todd Bratrud and Sean Cliver, the StrangeLove x Nike SB Dunk Low Pink is also one of the few SBs to sport velvet crafted uppers. StrangeLove branding completes the look along with a clear pink outsole.
Nike SB Dunk Low Pro “London” (2004)
Up there with the most limited of SB Dunks, Nike released only 202 pairs of these as part of a “City Series” in 2004. First intended to launch at a sneaker exhibition, the release was later moved to London’s Footpatrol store. Only a lucky few managed to get their hands on this grey suede exclusive, complete with a embroidered blue graphic depicting the River Thames.
Nike SB Dunk Low “California” (2004)
If there was ever a shoe more at home in The Golden State it would have to be the laid back Dunk. That said, you can’t be surprised that California provides the inspiration for this release from professional skater, Paul Rodriguez. Subtle references to the Cali state flag can be seen throughout.
Travis Scott x Nike SB Dunk Low “Cactus Jack” (2020)
For the younger sneakerheads of today, there’s likely one Nike SB Dunk colourway that will have started a future obsession with this silhouette. That’s right, it can only be the Travis Scott x Nike SB Dunk Low 'Cactus Jack'. With other unique details, like rope laces and a pastel pink coloured Swoosh, these also happen to be one of the most unconventional releases. It somehow works and it’s hard to question the appeal given these resell for well over £1,000. These are also credited as re-igniting the hype in 2020, setting the stage for a big revival which places the SB Dunk as one of this year’s most sought-after styles.
All of the latest and upcoming Nike SB Dunk styles can be found here. Take a look and stay glued to The Sole Supplier for more essential sneaker guides like this.