The Best Nike Dunk Collaborations of All Time

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The Nike Dunk has had a great year – no one can deny that. The Nike Dunk used to be the neglected sneaker in everyone’s collection but has now become the star of the show. I don’t think anyone saw the rise of the Nike Dunk reaching the levels it has – I think we can safely say that it was one of the most popular sneakers of 2020 and 2021 (as of now). We can put down the rise of the Nike Dunk to a few vital collaborations (some of which are mentioned below) and a little bit of help from celebrities that made wearing the Nike Dunk ‘cool’. I have to say I’m still not a big fan of the Nike Dunk but no one can deny the great year it has had.

Chunky Dunky

To kick of this compilation of the best Nike Dunk collaborations, we have the perfect Nike dunk for those who love ice cream. For this Dunk, the creative minds at. I’ve locked horns with the most popular brand of ice cream in America – Ben & Jerry’s. What they came up with truly sent shockwaves through the sneaker community and it was an instant hit; the ‘Chunky Dunky’ (unique name I know) employs a range of different textures and colours to create a great looking sneaker. I think what caused these shoes to become so popular was the uniqueness of the design and the frankly weird collaboration- never in my wildest dreams would I have through that Ben & Jerry’s would release a Dunk in collaboration with Nike. The wild design of the Chunky Dunky’s made them extremely popular and the limited numbers they were released in cause prices to soar – they still sit above the $2000 mark if you want to get yourself a pair.

Grateful Dead x Nike

The next Nike Dunk on this list is the collaboration between Grateful Dead and Nike. This collaboration was another one that I didn’t expect to happen ever. Grateful Dead is a classic rock band that formed in California in 1965 – they are known for their new style that fused together other elements of music. This collaboration released in July 2020 and was well received by audiences – people either loved or hated the three colourways that were released as part of this collaboration. One pair is yellow and blue, the other is green and blue and the last one is orange and green. Each pair features logos taken from the band like their marching bears motif that can be seen on the tongue of the shoe. The marching bears originally came from the bands 1973 Listening Project which is called ‘History of the Grateful Dead, Volume 1 (Bear’s Choice)’ – the same marching bears also feature on the insole of all three colourways of the Nike Dunks. For the yellow version of the shoe, yellow faux fur adorns the toe, mid panel and collar of the shoe. Brown suede overlays cover the eyelets, toe cap and heel while blue leather swooshes feature on the medial and lateral sides of the shoe. An embroidered Nike detailing is featured on the heel of the shoe. Similar to the Travis Scott’s (which are still to come on this list), the Grateful Dead Nike Dunks feature a stash pocket on the inside of the tongue for you to hide anything you want. For the orange version of the shoe, orange faux fur replaces the yellow faux fur and a green, jagged swoosh replaces the blue one that is seen on the yellow version of the Grateful Dead Dunks. For the green version of the shoe, green faux fur replaces the yellow faux fur but the same swoosh remains. Personally, I prefer the orange and green colourway but that is my personal preference.

Off White x Nike Dunk Low

The next dunk on this list is the Off White x Nike Dunk Low – as always, whatever Virgil Abloh touches turns to gold. Maybe this is due to the pure hype around Off White but personally, I put the popularity of Off White and their collaborations down to the innovation that Virgil is able to bring. Virgil Abloh is able to do things that no one else does – he experiments using the canvas of Nike silhouettes and the end result is always a masterpiece. Abloh released a pack of 3 dunks on December of 2019 – they retailed for a price of $170 but of course, sold for much, much more on the secondary market. The Michigan colourway (from the pack of three dunks released by Abloh) has some heritage attached to it – this colourway was originally released in 1985 when Nike released colourways to honour 7 different American schools and Michigan was one of these. The Dunk’s upper is made of university gold leather and navy overlays, and a secondary lacing system, zip ties and the signature Off White text is added later by Virgil. Apparently, the secondary lacing system has been inspired by the lacing system on hiking boots. The other colourways are Pine Green and the UNLV colourway – the pine green colourway features white leather with green overlays while the UNLV colourway features grey leather with red overlays. All three colourways look great but the pine green colourway takes the spot for me.

Nike x Off White 'Dear Summer'

The next pack of Nike Dunks on this list is another Nike x Off White collaboration – this time for 50 pairs. Yes, you heard me right – 50 pairs. The creative minds at Off White and Nike teamed up once again to release the ‘Dear Summer’ pack. 49 out of the 50 pairs feature a white and grey colour scheme with subtle differences between all the pairs – white canvas or leather makes up the base of the upper for 49 out of the 50. The overlays for the Nike Dunks x Off White ‘Dear Summer’ pack are in either suede or leather but in the same grey colourway. The differences between the pairs comes in the insoles and the vibrant accents on the outside of the shoe – you’ll have to see it to understand what I truly mean but basically, the lacing and zip ties are different colours in all of them which either makes the shoe stand out or it makes it stealthy. The 50th pair from the ‘Dear Summer’ pack is black with a metallic swoosh – almost immediately, everyone’s eyes went to this pair because they stood out the most from the pack of 50. Each pair has variations in lace, tongue, sock liner, zip tie and they all have different ‘lot’ numbers. Overall, the pack was a huge success – many people were able to snag a pair and most pairs are still affordable today if you want to grab one now. Lot number 1 and 50 are the only ones that have been going in excess of $1000 still.

Nike x Travis Scott

The next dunk on this list is yet another collaboration- this time with rapper and icon, Travis Scott. Travis Scott is a big, big Dunk fan. We can attribute a bit of the Dunk’s sudden rise to popularity to Travis Scott; the masses just seem to love him and follow all he does. His instagram feed is graced by some of the best, most expensive Nike Dunks available on the market and it was just a wait until he got his own Dunk. The colourway for the Travis Scott Dunk is called black, parachute beige and Petra blue. The design for Travis Scott’s first dunk is similar to his Air Force in respects to the fact that they both employ a range of different materials to create a wonderful looking shoe. This pair of Dunks was made only available through select Nike SB stockists and not on SNKRS – I think this was a masterstroke by Nike as it made these dunks that much more hyped and desirable. The Dunk actually is composed of a suede upper with paisley canvas and plaid flannel overlays – the dunk used the same technology that was used on the Jordan 1 ‘LA to Chicago’ on the paisley overlay. With time and use, the paisley overlay wears off to reveal elephant print. These shoes debuted on 29 February 2020 for $150 but as with all Travis Scott touches, the prices soared on the secondary market. Overall, I think this is a great looking dunk and the technology used on the paisley overlays is just here cherry on the top.



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