2020 has been the year of the Dunk. The sneaker's true heyday was in the 2000s, but its recent revival by Nike has been so welcomed that even the main line, non-collaborative pairs have instantly sold out. High or Low, Nike or Nike SB, it doesn't matter. Sneakerheads quite literally can't get enough of the Dunk, and Nike now has a documentary to explore the enduring phenomenon.
The Story of Dunk, a six-part documentary on the basketball shoe turned skateboarding staple, will premiere Friday on Nike SNKRS. With not long to wait, Nike has released a trailer for the doc that teases a deep dive into the 35-year-old sneaker. As you'd expect for a Swoosh-approved project, it's got a stellar lineup of key figures from the history of the Dunk and includes interviews with Jeff Staples, Chris Gibbs, Paul Rodriguez, Eric Kosten, and many more.
An unlikely tale — The Dunk was first released in 1985, the same year as the similar Air Jordan 1, as a hightop basketball sneaker. It's initial campaign focused on color treatments for college basketball powerhouses under the banner "Be True to Your School." But by the '90s, the sneaker was adopted by skaters because, also like the Air Jordan 1, it offered top-notch cushioning, support, and traction.
This relationship would become even more solidified in 2001, when Sandy Bodecker took over Nike SB and redesigned the Dunk to cater to skaters specifically. Even more cushioning was added to support the impact of skateboarding, and the tread was tailored for better traction in grip tape as opposed to its origins on the hardwood. The most meaningful, and visible, change, however, came in the fat tongue — a common sight in skateboarding shoes of the era.
Not only did the Dunk become a premier skating shoe, it also became just as beloved for its appearance off of a board. Nike SB capitalized on this duality by releasing widely available versions, as well as collaborations that would become more adventurous and daring than anything Nike proper was doing at the time. The more chaotic takes today on the sneakers Nike once considered possible have been made possible only by the success of the SB Dunk.
It looks like the doc will be a weekly series — With the first episode dropping tomorrow, it looks as if we're in for six weeks of installments on the sneaker with many lives. It'll be must-watch content for any true sneakerhead, but all any of us really want is for at least some Dunks to become easily accessible again.