Since 2002, Nike has taken over the skate world with their SB Dunks. Yet this model of the Nike Dunk line has only recently been picked up by the general public. In fact, its great popularity only arose in the year 2020. So all the reasons to go back in time and answer your most frequently asked questions!
The History of the SB Dunk
Given their popularity today, it is hard to realise that Nike was barely admitted to the skate community at first. While SB Dunks nowadays sell out everywhere within minutes, Nike did not appeal to skateboarders at all. This was because they saw Nike as a big, corporate company that would not fit into the underground culture. So how did Nike manage to gain such a position in the world of skateboarding?
Nike SB Dunk and Sandy Bodecker
The success all started in 2001. In that year, Nike appointed Sandy Bodecker as the head of Nike Skateboarding. Through a new approach, he managed to breathe new life into the Dunk series. Henceforth, upcoming SB Dunks would be released in small quantities rather than in large sports shops. After all, skateboarders didn't care about these shops. With that strategy in mind, the first SB Dunk models were released in 2002. These were the Shark, Flash, Loden and Wheat Hi.
So while people quickly link 'SB' to SkateBoarding, the name certainly also has a clear reference to Sandy Bodecker.
Nike SB Dunk collabs
The first notable popularity was seen after Nike entered into several collaborations. For example, with members of Nike's skate team such as Danny Supa, Paul Brown and Richard Mulder.
Surely the most bizarre of the time was the 2005 Nike SB Dunk Low 'Staple NYC Pigeon'. When news of a collab between Nike SB and Jeff Staple broke, queues quickly formed in front of Reed Space, Jeff Staple's Lower East Side shop. In fact, on the day of the release, the turnout had grown so large that the police had to come to keep order and make sure buyers got home safely. As a result, the Pigeon Dunk even ended up on the front page of the New York Daily News the next day!
From then on, things would only get better for Nike SB, you would think…. But the opposite turned out to be the case. The Dunk, once so popular, fell into oblivion. The shoes sold with difficulty and remained on shelves for a long time. Of course, this was an advantage for fans who actually wanted to wear the SB Dunks!
Many years later, around 2020, the hype around the SB Dunk revived, largely due to the Travis Scott x Nike SB Dunk Low Cactus Jack which entered the market. Even though it was one of the toughest cops that year, it brought new life to the Dunk. Moreover, Nike reached a new generation with it.
With many successful collabs with brands like Off-White, Ben & Jerry's, Parra and Grateful Dead, Nike SB managed to continue the hype. And the idea of an SB Dunk on sale or lying on the shelves? That no longer exists! Today, getting a pair of Nike Dunks or SB Dunks has become a serious mission. Luckily, we're giving you a head start on other sneaker lovers! That's because with our Sneakerjagers App, you are always up to date with the latest news around new releases and restocks.
The Ultimate Nike SB Dunk FAQ
The Nike SB Dunk falls true to size, but runs a little narrow. Do you have wide feet? Then choose half a size bigger. Also note that the SB Dunk does not have the same fit as the Dunk. The SB Dunk has been adapted for skating and is therefore tighter. The adjustment is noticeable by a thicker built-in padding in the tongue, forefoot and heel of the shoe.
2002 saw the first Nike SB Dunk release. Sandy Bodecker was then employed to head the department and under his leadership, the iconic SB Dunk made its debut. The first models were the Shark, Flash, Loden and Wheat Hi.
SB Dunks can be bought from Nike SNKRS or selected retailers. Many released dunks are only available on various marketplaces. An overview of these marketplaces can be found in our sneaker search engine!
The difference between the SB Dunk and Dunk is in its history and design. For instance, the SB Dunk has a thicker tongue, an SB Dunk logo and thicker laces. The outsoles and insoles are also different. The outsole has more finer rings that provide more grip and flexibility. The insoles are also more comfortable and include a Zoom Air pod on the heel.
There is also, of course, a difference in the name due to the 'SB'. SB refers to SkateBoarding and Sandy Bodecker, head of Nike Skateboarding during its initial release.
Nike SB Dunk was created in 2002. This shoe was released after the success of the Nike Dunk, which had emerged in 1985.
SB Dunks have become especially popular due to Nike's various successful collaborations. Through collabs with Off-White, Travis Scott, Parra, Ben & Jerry, Supreme and Grateful Dead, among others, Nike has been able to reach different generations and audiences and create hypes.
The SB Dunk collection's first collaboration was with members of Nike's skate team. As a tribute to Nike's skateboarders, they were each allowed to colour their own Dunk. Some of these models have become the most famous shoes ever.
The SB Dunks style best with a relaxed, skateboarding style. Think baggy jeans and cargo trousers. In addition, we often see the Nike SB Dunks in wild colorways. This allows you to keep your Dunk outfits relatively simple.
Are you as much of a fan as we are and have you even managed to score an iconic SB Dunk once? We hope with a bit of history and answers to the most frequently asked questions that we've been able to give you some new fun insights. Also be sure to keep an eye on our release calendar, as there are many cool SB Dunk releases to come!