ARTICLE BY Boon

The Best Nike SB Dunk Releases of 2020

nike sb dunk mashup sneaker freaker

We’ve spent all year documenting the contemporary renaissance of the Dunk, and it’s no surprise that Nike SB – the subdivision responsible for the silhouette’s early-2000s supremacy – was again right at the forefront.

While the Dunks from Beaverton’s main line were mighty sought-after, it was the brand’s skateboarding cohort that once again re-wrote the playbook on hype in 2020.

SB Dunks undoubtedly were the flavour of the year, with the inspirations ranging from sweet treats to a Thanksgiving favourite. Here’s a look back at the tastiest of the bunch – in no particular order, of course.

nike sb strangelove dunk on white

StrangeLove x Nike SB Dunk Low

After lusting over a few early GR colourways, the sneakersphere was truly hit by Cupid’s arrow with the release of the StrangeLove x Nike SB Dunk Low in February. The year’s first true SB Grail, the uber-plush colourway was inspired by StrangeLove founder Sean Cliver’s love affair with skateboarding.

The details were undeniably alluring, but the deluxe packaging delivered the premium exclamation point, which consequently gave the secondary market love-heart eyes.

travis scott x nike sb dunk low

Travis Scott x Nike SB Dunk Low

Releasing just weeks later, Travis Scott’s bandana-clad creation was arguably the highest Dunk in the room in 2020.

The release resulted in pandemonium across the sneakersphere. Ls were taken, pairs were jacked, while others were backdoored, and that was just the tip of Travis’ collaborative iceberg.​

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Nike SB Dunk High 420 'Reverse Skunk'

Nike SB Dunk High 420 ‘Reverse Skunk’

Correction: this was definitely the ‘highest’ Dunk of the year.

Nike SB are no strangers to hyped drops on 4/20, and they set the sneakersphere ablaze yet again with the Dunk High ‘Reverse Skunk’. Taking the unmistakable green and purple tones of the OG ‘Skunk’ colourway, and synthesising it into a gnarly new strain, the release was limited to just 420 pairs – duh!

nike sb dunk low 'safari'

Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Safari’

The reception for the ‘Elephant’ colourway may have been mixed, but this ‘Safari’ rendition did more than enough to rekindle the sneakersphere’s affections for Japanese retailer atmos.

While not an official collaboration, the colourway makes use of the classic ‘Safari’ print, which debuted in 2003 on atmos’ Air Max 1. Wild!

Nike SB Dunk Low ACG

Nike SB Dunk Low ‘ACG’

The global rollout for this colourway was severely impacted by COVID-19, but those who managed to cop will no doubt agree this ACG Air Terra/Nike SB Dunk mashup was well worth the wait.

Grateful Dead x Nike Dunk SB Dunk Lows
Grateful Dead x Nike Dunk SB Dunk Lows
Grateful Dead x Nike Dunk SB Dunk Lows

Grateful Dead x Nike Dunk SB Dunk Lows

These furry Dunks inspired by Grateful Dead’s ‘Dancing Bear’ iconography divided the community, but that didn’t stop every colourway from selling out instantly. They’re not the easiest joints to style, that’s for sure...

All three variations are known to fetch the pretty penny. However, the debut ‘Orange Bear’ is regarded as the collection’s head honcho.

Atlas x Nike SB Dunk High 'Lost at Sea' on white

Atlas x Nike SB Dunk High ‘Lost at Sea’

The famed San Francisco skate store’s design was inspired by the ‘Great Shoe Spill of 1990’, which saw a storm-battered cargo ship spill multiple containers of Nike shoes into the ocean – pairs of which then washed up on the shores of San Fran.

Interestingly, the washed up shoes included pairs of the Nike Air Flight, which was nodded to on the tongue branding of this modern-day release.

Concepts x Nike SB Dunk High 'TurDUNKen' side

Concepts x Nike SB Dunk High ‘TurDUNKen’

Deon Point’s Boston boutique Concepts continued their long-standing partnership with Nike SB, taking aesthetic cues from the Mallard duck to cook up the ‘TurDUNKen’.

Honouring the trifecta between food, football and friendship, the release included a Nike Dri-FIT chicken foot sock stuffed inside the duck-inspired Dunk, complete with turkey wrapping paper. Boxed in wild oven-inspired packaging, the design featured all your favourite holiday leftovers (including a family-dinner-themed turkey leg Nerf vortex football).

Is your mouth watering yet?

civilist x nike sb dunk low on white
civilist x nike sb dunk low on white

Civilist x Nike SB Dunk Low

Heading across the Atlantic to Europe, Nike SB once again linked with Berlin skate spot Civilist to deliver one of the collaborative highlights of 2020.

Manufactured with heat-activated uppers, the Civilist x Nike SB Dunk Low revealed a multicoloured design when exposed to heat, and monochrome black when exposed to the cold. They really turned it up a notch with this one.

Instant Skateboards x Nike SB Dunk Low on white

Instant Skateboards x Nike SB Dunk Low

The Land of the Rising Sun is always front and centre when it comes to sneakers, and the SB Dunk wave wasn’t about to sweep through without a local collaboration.

The Instant Skateboards x Nike SB Dunk Low celebrated the cult Japanese skate shop’s 25th anniversary, coming through with icy cold colours, a 3M reflective toe box, and signature crossbones motif near the heel. Sugoi!

Nike SB Dunk Low 'Chicago'

Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Chicago’

Love for the iconic ‘Chicago’ scheme hit fever pitch this year with the release of The Last Dance. So, unsurprisingly, this Dunk Low from Nike SB’s J-Pack line was one hot commodity.

Borrowing the Varsity Red/White/Black combo from MJ’s famed Air Jordan 1, the colourway was one of the most universally loved renditions among OGs and hypefiends alike.

nike sb dunk low chunky dunky side

Ben & Jerry’s x Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Chunky Dunky’

The sheer randomness of this collaboration is perhaps the perfect embodiment the Dunk’s 2020 comeback. If it wasn’t the most hyped release of the year, the Ben & Jerry’s x Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Chunky Dunky’ was definitely the sweetest!

Dropping in limited numbers worldwide, the rollout gave plenty of would-be coppers a figurative brain freeze. Safe to say, most of us screamed for this ice cream.

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