Sneakers, Sports Memorabilia & Modern Collectibles

10 Nike Dunks You Need in Your Collection

By Zoë Vanderweide
Shop rare and collectible Nike Dunks at our online Sneaker Shop and Instagram handle @sothebyssneakers .

Since debuting in 1985, Nike Dunks have become among the most iconic sneaker styles of all time. Conceived as a basketball shoe, the Dunk quickly became a cult favorite in the skate community, a connection that was codified in 2002 with the launch of Nike SB. Since then, the division has become known for its experimental limited runs and unbridled creativity. Our Streetwear and Modern Collectibles team specializes in selecting the best of the best: exciting collaborations, exclusive releases and other rare Nike Dunks that live up to the hype. Read on to discover our favorite styles to cop now, from era-defining SB Dunks like the Nike Dunk Low Supreme to legendary grails like the London Dunk.

Nike Dunks Every Sneakerhead Needs

1. Nike Dunk Low Pro B Putty

Nike Dunk Low Pro B Putty

While the Dunk was originally designed as a hoops shoe, by the mid 1990s it was clear that Nike Dunk Lows had become a sleeper hit among skaters. Before the official launch of Nike SB in 2002, Nike began to fine-tune the Nike Dunk Low design with skaters in mind. A counterpart to the Dunk Low Pro Smurf, the Nike Dunk Putty emerges from the sought-after 1999 Nike Dunk Low Pro B series. The Nike Dunk Putty, featuring a putty-gray suede upper atop a gum sole, is one of the first silhouettes to use premium materials, fat laces and a padded mesh tongue. An exploration into Nike SB before the division was ever created, the Nike Dunk Putty exemplifies the brand’s innovative spirit.

2. Nike SB Dunk Low Pro Reese Forbes Denim

Nike SB Dunk Low Pro Reese Forbes Denim

Released in 2002, the Nike SB Dunk Reese Forbes is considered among the most sought-after pairs of its era. The second ever SB Dunks from skateboarding legend Reese Forbes, the iconic Dunk Low Pros were designed in partnership with fellow skater Natas Kaupas. The Reese Forbes Dunk stands out for its pioneering use of material and color. Two shades of Indigo denim with frayed detailing sit atop a contrasting red outsole, channeling the quintessential American aesthetic. A true original, the Nike SB Dunk Reese Forbes has earned its place in the sneaker canon, serving as inspiration for a new generation of designs. The influence of the Reese Forbes Dunk can be seen not only in the Nike SB Dunk High of 2017, but in countless other pairs to introduce frayed denim on their uppers.

3. Nike SB Dunk Low Pro Supreme Black Cement

Nike SB Dunk Low Pro Supreme Black Cement

In 2002, Nike teamed up with world-famous skate brand Supreme to drop two of the most iconic SB Dunks ever publicly released: the Nike Dunk SB Low Supreme Black Cement and White Cement. Combining the skate brand’s edge and Nike’s heritage in an entirely new way, the Supreme Nike SBs have become grails for sneaker collectors worldwide. In what would become an instant classic, Supreme borrowed the famous Air Jordan 3 elephant print and placed it on the Nike Dunk Low Supreme, marking the iconic pattern’s first appearance on another shoe. Sold exclusively through Supreme stores, only 500 pairs of Supreme Nike SBs were produced. This pair, the Nike Dunk SB Low Supreme Black Cement, is dressed in the famous Cement Grey elephant print across the toe, heel panels and lacing tabs. The balance of the Nike Dunk Low Supreme is smooth black leather with a black Swoosh and red inner lining. Given their age and collectible status, pairs of Supreme Nike SBs in deadstock condition are an exceptionally rare find.

4. Nike SB Dunk Low Pro Chocolate

Nike SB Dunk Low Pro Chocolate

The Nike Dunk Low Chocolate, named for West Coast skate label Chocolate Skateboards, commemorates Chocolate team rider Keenan Milton. Released in 2002 alongside its East Coast counterpart “Zoo York,” the Nike Dunk Chocolate ranks among Nike SB’s earliest and most iconic skate brand collabs. Nike SB team member Richard Mulder selected a black and anthracite colorway for the Chocolate Dunks, with uppers featuring a double-stitched design. An embroidered cross graphic on the lateral heel of the Nike Dunk Chocolate, designed by Chocolate skateboarders, serves as a tribute to Milton.

5. Nike SB Dunk Low Pro London

Nike SB Dunk Low Pro London

These London Dunks originate from one of Nike SB’s most iconic early series. In 2003, Nike launched the White Dunk: Evolution of an Icon event, a traveling exhibition in which 25 Japanese artists were tasked with reimagining white Nike Dunks in abstract works of art. In conjunction with the show, Nike planned a series of four SB Dunks, each themed around a major city at which the exhibition would take place. When the London show was unexpectedly canceled, Nike instead released the 202 pairs of Nike Dunk Low Londons through the famed sneaker retailer Footpatrol. The London Dunks pay homage to the city of London with a sleek tonal gray suede upper reminiscent of the Big Smoke’s foggy skies. An outline of the river Thames is embroidered in dark blue at the heel, while dark blue Nike logos and laces add the final touches to the Nike Dunk London shoes.

6. Nike SB Dunk Low Pro Hemp Green Bonsai

Nike SB Dunk Low Pro Hemp Green Bonsai

The Nike SB Dunk Low Green Hemp is one of three styles from 2004’s “Hemp Pack,” Nike SB’s first 4/20-inspired release. Subtly commemorating the informal holiday, Nike dropped the Hemp Nike Dunks in April with themed materials. The Nike Dunk Lows mark the first offering from the brand to feature full hemp uppers. The design team also experimented with a unique gum midsole, and an outsole matching the color of the Swoosh. Of the three colors released, the Nike SB Dunk Low Green Hemp is the rarest, with a rumored production run of less than 450 pairs. While all three colorways – Green Bonsai, Mahogany and Cascade – share the muted hemp upper and gum midsoles, the Green Bonsai Hemp Nike Dunks are distinguished by a deep green on the Swoosh, outsole and laces.

7. Nike SB Dunk Low Pro Diamond Supply Co. Tiffany

Nike SB Dunk Low Pro Diamond Supply Co. Tiffany

In 2005, Nike SB enlisted Nick Tershay of LA skate and lifestyle brand Diamond Supply Co. to design a Nike Dunk Low for its “Team Manager” series. The result? An iconic pair of Dunk Low Pros which some regard as the most beautiful Nike Dunk Lows of all time. Dressed in crocodile-embossed leather with panels in a vibrant aqua reminiscent of Tiffany Blue, Tershay described the Diamond Supply Co Tiffany Dunks as the era’s most hyped and luxurious shoes. Contrasting with the Dunk Low Pro’s blue panels and black crocodile overlays, a Chrome Swoosh adds a metallic touch. A tongue tag, featuring the Diamond Supply Co logo, completes the look. The distinctive Dunk Low Pro was so influential that Nike SB invited Tershay back in 2013 for a follow-up collab, a high-top version of the Diamond Supply Co Tiffany Dunk. In 2018, Nike and Tershay teamed up yet again to release three new colorways featuring the same motifs.

Nike Dunk High Tiger Woods Sample

8. Nike Dunk High Tiger Woods Sample

In 2006, Nike debuted the “Collection Royale,” a series of sneakers commemorating great athletes including LeBron James, Serena Williams and Michael Vick. The collection’s final installation, an Dunk High, was originally intended to honor longtime Nike athlete Tiger Woods. This rare Nike Dunk sample from 2005 is dressed in vibrant red and crimson leather in homage to the golfer’s signature red polo shirt, and is adorned with motifs related to his sport. The lateral panel of the Nike Dunk sample features a golf bag placed on the face of an Ace of Clubs playing card, and on the printed toe box, a small ‘TW’ logo can be found. The Tiger Woods shoes, however, were never released – rumor has it that Woods rejected the design. Nike ultimately released a similar Dunk High commemorating MLB pitcher Dontrelle Williams, with a full patent leather finish instead of the matte finish found on the Tiger Woods shoes.

Nike SB Dunk Low Premium Baby Bear Sample

9. Nike SB Dunk Low Premium Baby Bear Sample

In 2006, Nike SB paid homage to the age-old fairytale Goldilocks and the Three Bears with a trio of bear-inspired SB Dunks. Nicknamed the Baby Bear Dunks, these Nike SB sample shoes showcase the Nike Dunk Low silhouette. A mid (“Mama Bear”) and high (“Papa Bear”) were also released as part of the “Three Bears Pack.” These Baby Bear Dunks are striking for their use of shaggy, soft faux fur, which mimics that of a bear, alongside contrasting blue panels. Much rarer than general release pairs, this Nike Dunk sample pair is an especially enticing find.

Nike SB Dunk Low Premium Entourage Friends & Family

10. Nike SB Dunk Low Premium Entourage Friends & Family

An ode to the hit HBO series Entourage, Nike SB created a friends and family exclusive Nike Dunk Low in 2011 to commemorate the show’s final season. The Entourage Dunks strike a sleek, on-theme aesthetic with tonal black uppers and contrasting white midsoles. Dressed in black elephant print with black suede panels on the lace guard, heel and Swoosh, the Nike SB Dunk Low Entourage also features Entourage branding on the tongue and one side of the insole. “The End” is inscribed on the other insole of the Entourage Dunks, nodding to the show’s concluding chapter. This rare edition of the Nike Dunk Low was never released to the public.

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