Kick Flippin’ Kicks: Nike Dunk Low SB

Nike Dunk Low SB 'Pigeon'

As we all know, Nike is never one to be left behind in the fast moving world of footwear fashion.  The sportswear giant obviously crafted its foundation through basketball, but they also eventually worked their way into all of the world’s other major sports including soccer, baseball and American football.  However, it took some concerted effort for Nike to scratch and claw its way into one of the biggest, if not the absolute biggest, mainstream street sports in the world – skateboarding.

While it may seem like Nike has always been in the market of skaters worldwide, it was only eight years ago in 2002 that they managed to find a break in the seam and rip right through, attempting to stake their claim next to skateboard powerhouses such as DC and Etnies.  It’s almost funny to think that rather than trying to develop something completely new, all it took was leaning on their bread and butter, the Nike Dunk.  Hence, the Nike Dunk Low SB was born and the rest?  Well, the history is still being written.

The face that saved a brand.

Despite the fact that Nike was using the Dunk as a base model, they did make the appropriate alterations.  For starters, to compensate for the constant grind endured by skating shoes, the Dunk SB was given Zoom air units for superior cushioning and comfort.  Additionally, the SB’s had extra padded tongues and collars for added support. To top things off, Nike also made the Dunk SB much sturdier with double and triple stitching to hold the sneaker tight and right.

Knowing that to really hit their mark, they’d need to put a face to their kicks, Nike signed one of the brightest and baddest studs in the game, Paul Rodriguez aka P-Rod in 2004, who was also given his own signature shoe, the Nike SB P-Rod in 2005.  Since then, other superstars such as Eric Koston, Stefan Janoski and Omar Salazar have been inked to Nike SB and it doesn’t look like they’re planning on slowing down anytime soon.

Nike Dunk Low SB 'Tiffany'

The Nike Dunk SB etched itself into the skating and fashion world through a phenomenal boom during the early and mid 2000’s.  Varying pairs of these kicks can sell for as little as $60, but specialty editions such as the ‘Charity Dunks’ were taken off the shelf for $30,ooo – ridiculous to say the least.

NYPD also had to intervene when the ‘Pigeon’ colorway was released in 2005.  Roughly 70 people gutted it out in the blistering cold overnight, but only 20 pairs were available for purchase.  The ‘Tiffany’ edition runs for a pretty penny, $700 retail even now as well.

Whether you’re a devoted skater or sneaker aficionado, the Nike Dunk Low SB can hold its own on a frontside 180 heelflip or simply strolling down the block. Don’t leave without watching the Nike SB commercial featuring Paul Rodriguez, Eric Koston and Kobe Bryant – yes, the Black Mamba himself.

[Original Release: 2002]
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