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Introducing the Nike Dunk

Nike released the Dunk High in 1985 as a high-top basketball sneaker that combined four previous Nike models - the AJ1, the AF1, the Terminator and the Legend. Peter Moore, the former Creative Director, sketched the Nike Dunk first.

As the Air Force 1 inspired the look of this model, the outsole had the same traction, while the upper was a mix of the Air Jordan 1 and the Terminator, and the Legend was used to make the moulds.

Although Moore originally called the model the 'College Colour High', he changed his mind as the 40th anniversary of the first slam dunk coincided with the release of the model, and he named it the 'Nike Dunk' in honor of the occasion.

Early in the 1990s, the Dunk had fallen out of favor, which meant it could be purchased for very little money. The Dunk was lovingly adopted by skateboarders because of the subtle updates Nike made to the model, such as the new nylon tongue, making the sneaker more comfortable and lighter, and the fact that it was durable, easy to style, and available in many different colours.

With its simple, yet incredibly versatile design and colour-blocking style, the Nike Dunk is one of the most popular Nike models of all time. In the past few years, the silhouette has evolved from a college basketball sneaker to a staple of streetwear.

Did you know?

Nike made a smart decision with the 'Be True To Your School' series; it became a defining trademark for the Nike Dunk. With each Dunk colorway focusing on the colours of a specific team, first division college basketball teams and their fans could wear their team's colours.

Among the university basketball teams wearing the Dunk High were Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, St. John's, Syracuse, UNLV, and Georgetown.

Popular Nike Dunk Colorways

Nike Dunk low chicago split colourway

Chicago Split

The Chicago colorway is best known on the Air Jordan 1 model. However, the colorway also appeared on other silhouettes, such as on this Dunk Low. Nike Dunk Low 'Chicago Split' gives an additional distinctive twist to the original colorway, thus, as the name suggests, features split details.

Nike Dunk Low Phot Dust colourway

Photon Dust

The Dunk Low has become a firm favourite within today's pop culture. Nike plays on this all too well by creating neutral everyday wear colorways, an example of which is of course the WMNS 'Photon Dust' colorway. The silhouette came out in summer 2021 and now two years later is still a fine sneaker for summer.

Nike Dunk Low Sesame


In 2022, Nike released a tasteful premium Dunk Low inspired by a bagel sandwich. The sneaker comes in a bread-like shade of beige with blue branding. A closer look at the shoe reveals that the overlays feature tiny sesame seeds as a nod to the sandwich on which the sneaker takes its inspiration.

Nike Dunk low White-Plaid pack colourway

White - Plaid Pack

When creating a signature look, the Nike Dunk Low 'White' Plaid is a perfect choice. The patterned element makes the sneaker a true eye-catcher.

Nike Dunk Low red swoosh colourway

Red Swoosh

Do you have a soft spot for the 'Panda' colorway, but need just a little more spice? Then the 'Red Swoosh' is the way to go. The red Nike branding provides an extra signature edge on the model.

Nike Dunk low just do it colourway

Just Do It

The WMNS exclusive 'Just Do It' has a premium look due to the detail on the leather. The sneaker also makes use of several gold details. The crowning piece on this Dunk is the gold-coloured medal dubrae.

Nike Dunk low mini swoosh colourway

Mini Swoosh

Again, a similar alternative to the 'Panda' Dunk. Black overlays on a grey base, with the added detail of a small orange Swoosh, for which the sneaker is named.

Popular collabs

Although the hype around the model waned, there was a massive revival of the Nike Dunk on its 35th anniversary in 2020. Collabs with Virgil Abloh's Off-White brand and Travis Scott did much to bring the silhouette back on the scene.

It is now again highly sought after by sneaker fans and fashion fans alike.