The Nike Dunk High and what’s special about it
The Nike Dunk High, originally released in 1985 made a return in 1998 and has since been one of the most iconic shoes to date. When it was released it came only in what was called ‘college colors’, designs that matched the basketball uniforms of seven colleges. They were bright and flashy, creating an instant sensation among fans and players alike. The lighter soles and side paneling was designed to keep them closer to the ground and help with pivoting and blocking. These features also made the Nike Dunk High popular with skateboarders later on.
While the Nike Dunk High has since stopped using the nylon tongue and arched foot supports, they still remain a desirable shoe among athletes and fans alike. The Nike Dunk High now comes in many colors and can even be customized to the wearers taste. The ability to create these Custom Shoes are called the NikeiD. The online application lets customers choose the colors of every aspect of the shoe. The colors available now include: Orange, red, pink, purple, blue, light blue, electric green, yellow, white, grey and black. Different textures and material can also be found. Suede, leather, textured leather and corduroy are all options.
As a promotional campaign, Nike has released the Nike Dunk High in limited editions. In 2011 they released a Valentine’s Day version, outfitted with pink and red leather and heart designs on the sides, heel and toe. On St. Patrick’s Day they released a green leather shoe with four leaf clovers instead of hearts. It was reported that they sold well and that Nike might be continuing with these releases. Unfortunately they are only available online or overseas, fans can expect U.S.A. releases soon. Similar models include the Nike Dunk High “Be True To Your Street” edition.
Several of the Nike Dunk High limited editions have close ties to movies, celebrities and other sponsors. In conjunction with the 2009 movie Coraline, 1000 pairs of themed Nike Dunk High shoes were made. In order to receive the shoes, fans had to watch the movie and wait until the end of the credits to see the special promotional code to enter online. They were outfitted with one shoe as a cat and another as a mouse, with matching tails. All of them came with glow in the dark soles, but it was rumored that 50 pairs of these shoes came with props from the movie.
While the designs can be debatable, with some going for the classic look and others enjoying these new designs, everyone agrees that they are diverse. The cultures and sources that the Nike Dunk draws from are too many to count. They have drawn from local “street” cultures and exotic Asian cultures. Skateboarders, ball players and casual fans can appreciate the Asian brocade put on Geisha Nike Dunk High or the simple pleasure of the Nike Rivalry Series.
Currently Nike is making shoes for Skateboarders based off of the original Nike Dunk High. Without the foot arch and with a lighter sole it helps the Skateboarder successfully land tricks. Called the Nike Dunk SB, it has since grown in popularity along with its predecessor the Nike Dunk. Since its humble beginnings in 1985, the Nike Brand has had to increase the production of shoes to match the increasing demand. Their high top dunks regularly sell for over 120USD and it isn’t uncommon for a limited edition to appear for sale years later for much more than their original buying price.
Collectors have sprung up, buying all the limited edition and many of the normally made shoes as well. Kept in mint condition, these collections cost thousands of dollars to create and are expected to cost upward of three times that in a couple decades. These collectors, both casual and professional, have created their own type of subculture, fueling the production of more unique designs. Recently a Nike Dunk with light-up soles was released and was considered too expensive and cheesy for most, but collectors bought it up. This type of consumer base accounts for some of Nike’s most devoted buyers.
Not only is the Nike Dunk popular on its own, but on several occasions it has be crossed with other designs to make hybrids. Recently the Nike Dunk has been crossed with the Nike ACG, to create more an off terrain shoe-style. It has the comfort of the Nike Dunk while maintaining the durability of the ACG. These shoes come in suede styles and are designed to resemble hiking boots. They come in several colors, the newest in tan. This crossover resembles the change that was made to them to create the Nike SB; the fluffier tongues and changed soles.
Appeal is what the Nike Dunk brings to all crossovers. It has top-notch features, designs and science backing it, but in the end it’s about the appeal a Nike has. When first produced in 1985, the “college color” program had a profound effect. It became Fashion, and Nike’s became more fashionable. In their later release in 1998, one of the soul reasons Nike released the Nike Dunk High’s again was to create a fashion brand. They wanted a symbol that would stand for wearable, durable and sports related fashion. They needed to look no farther than their own product made several years earlier.
As stated by fans and non-fans alike, Nike succeeded in making a brand. Once the image of a Nike Dunk was easily recognizable by everyone, they were able to grow their business and expand into other areas of sports. They now do jerseys, women’s shoes, children shoes and many more. Low tops have become popular in recent years because of the success of the high top. It isn’t uncommon to hear a friend or relative talking about the new Nike Dunk design, or see a famous celebrity endorsing it. They have become as much a part of American culture as Hotdogs and TV dramas.
By making products that cross over into uniforms and accessories, the shoes experience a boost. As part of the rivalry series, a couple sets of shoes were released, as well as new jerseys. The Nike Dunk was part of the rivalry set, designed for the “North”. Fans are anxious to get both the jerseys and the matching shoes for the value a set would hold. Ebay auctions and other sales on community sites are not uncommon after a new shoe or jerseys in the rivalry series comes out.
Whether fans think they’re ugly, or the finest piece of art, no one can object to the brand’s dedication to their craft. Independent artists and partnerships with other companies are occasionally formed to create a new shoe. When Converse was acquired by Nike it was generally considered a good move, as Nike knows how to advertise and produce quality products. The quality and appeal that first drew fans to Converse was maintained and appreciated by Nike.
What started off as a small company has grown to become one of the most popular and desirable shoe brands known today. Sought after by collectors and the average Joe alike, this is one shoe that will stick around for a long time. Widely considered well-worth the price of a couple hundred dollars, fans will always be lining of for their daily fix of Nike shoes.