The All-Time Greatest Nike SB Dunks: Part 2
Paring down all of the Nike SB Dunks to a couple of 'best-ever' lists is no easy task. Aside from maybe the Air Force 1, it seems as though no silhouette has had as many hyped releases as the Swoosh's skate-ready classic.
Nonetheless, with SB hype finally in full swing once again, we took a look back at a few of our faves in part one of this retrospective, included everything from Danny Supa's OGs and Supreme's first Dunk colab to Staple and Diamond's unimpeachable all-timers.
Now we're back with part two, which includes the likes of Futura's understated classic from '03, a trio of White Dunk Exhibition exclusives, and a whole lot more.
Peep our picks below and stay tuned for more of our 'All-Time Greatest' retrospectives as we continue to highlight the best footwear of all time.
Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Paris’ (2005)Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Paris’ (2005)
Created in the early 00s, and one of the highlights of the travelling White Dunk Exhibition that kicked off at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the SB Dunk Low ‘Paris’ is one of the most limited Dunks ever made. There were only 202 pairs of the design, which coupled a tan suede base with deep red accents and canvas overlays sporting the artwork of French painter Bernard Buffet. And making the Parisian release even rarer? The paintings were applied differently on each and every sneaker, so no two pairs are exactly alike.
Futura x Nike SB Dunk Low (2003)Futura x Nike SB Dunk Low (2003)
NYC graffiti legend Futura joined forces with the Swoosh back in '03 to cook up his own skate-ready Dunk design, taking the silhouette in an unexpected direction. Instead of employing his signature motifs, Futura went with an urban-inspired Black/White/Nightshade/Shark colour palette, and a suede, leather, and mesh build. The results prove that you don’t need over-the-top branding or colourways for a slick colab.
Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Heineken’ (2003)Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Heineken’ (2003)
Nike probably wouldn’t be able to get away with these nowadays, but in 2003 the Swoosh paid tribute to one of the Netherlands’ most famed exports with a ‘Heineken’ Dunk. These weren’t nearly as subtle as 2008’s nod to Newcastle, and even put Heineken’s red star front and centre – there was no mistaking what inspired these. Supposedly Heineken were not too happy with Nike, and even reached out to eBay sellers to request that they remove the Heineken name from their listings.
Nike SB Dunk Low ‘London’ (2003)Nike SB Dunk Low ‘London’ (2003)
Another highlight of the White Dunk Exhibition that travelled around the world, London’s SB Dunks came clad in shades of grey across a suede upper. The real crowning achievement of the design, though, was the appearance of the Thames, which was embroidered in deep blue near the heel. These were originally supposed to drop at the aforementioned exhibition, but were ultimately made available via Footpatrol instead – and all 202 pairs were scooped up in a flash.
Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Hemp’ Pack (2004)Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Hemp’ Pack (2004)
Way back in 2004, Nike celebrated 4/20 with one of their more subtle nods to every pothead’s favourite ‘holiday’. As the name suggests, the three-part ‘Hemp’ pack reimagined the Dunk with a hemp upper and came complete with a gum rubber midsole. Naturally, the ‘Bonsai’ colourway was far and away the most popular.
Nike SB Dunk Low ‘California’ (2004)Nike SB Dunk Low ‘California’ (2004)
The inspiration for these couldn’t be more obvious: the California state flag! A nod to West Coast skate culture, the ‘Cali’ Dunks are one of the most iconic ever. P-Rod even borrowed the design for his own signature shoes in 2011 before Nike celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the OG in 2014 with a high-top edition.
Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Tokyo’ (2004)Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Tokyo’ (2004)
Arguably the single cleanest pair of SB Dunks ever, the SB Dunk Low ‘Tokyo’ was the official shoe of the White Dunk Exhibition’s stop in the Japanese metropolis and is, frankly, the best and most literal of the ‘White Dunk’ drops. These were also limited to just 202 pairs and sold via raffle, with each muslin-coloured canvas pair sporting gum rubber outsoles. The Swoosh even ditched the usual Nike branding on the tongues and heels, making the pair all the more timeless.
HUF x Nike SB Dunk High ‘Tie Dye’ (2004)HUF x Nike SB Dunk High ‘Tie Dye’ (2004)
Keith Hufnagel’s HUF originally made a name for themselves in San Francisco, and in 2004 they paid homage to the city by the bay with their SB Dunk colab. Not only did the high-top channel the hippie aesthetic of Haight-Ashbury’s heyday, but it even came clad in black and orange as a nod to the hometown Giants.
Stussy x Nike SB Dunk Low (2005)Stussy x Nike SB Dunk Low (2005)
Neapolitan ice cream was the name of the game for Stussy’s 2005 SB Dunk collaboration, which saw the low-top in tasty chocolate, vanilla and strawberry hues. Designer Robbie Jeffers even went so far as to put a cherry on top with delicious little tongue tags.
Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Freddy Krueger’ (2007)Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Freddy Krueger’ (2007)
This blood-soaked Dunk has to be the best-ever footwear nod to a horror villain. Not only did 2007’s tribute to the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise rock Freddy Krueger’s signature striped sweater, but it was highlighted by splattered beige leather and metallic silver Swooshes as the perfect homage to his weapon of choice.
Soulland x Nike SB Dunk Pack (2017)Soulland x Nike SB Dunk Pack (2017)
You already know how Sneaker Freaker feel about Soulland’s 2017 Dunks, so in lieu of waxing poetic, we’re just going to take another opportunity to shine a spotlight on the single most underrated SB collaboration ever. While most are content with a special colour-up and logo application, the Soulland crew went above and beyond with their thorough makeovers.