Will 2021 be the Year of the Nike Dunk?

In 2020 Nike Dunks went crazy, 2021 will be more of the same

By: Christopher Claxton

5/8 pairs of the Nike Dunk High from the 1985 Be true to your school collection. Credit: Carlkho_

Let’s see if I get this right. Nike reveals a new Dunk drop, you get all hype about it, enter raffles, wake up at 10am on release day to enter on Nike SNKRS, and you take an L. You continued to try again and again for releases all throughout the year, but multiple tries didn’t help and you end up with no Dunks and crushed dreams. 

I know this tragedy all too well. I only managed to get 2/5 Nike Dunks I have in my collection for retail throughout last year. Although many weren’t able to secure a pair of Nike Dunks for retail, or at all, by the end of 2020 multiple pairs of the Nike Dunk made many people’s shoe-of-the-year list. 

  Nike drove up demand with collaborations and extremely limited drops. It’s safe to say the Dunk was one of the most coveted shoes of the past year especially due to celebrity influence. 

Travis Scott received his very own collab on the Nike Dunk SB, Virgil Abolh remade the shoe, and when Kylie Jenner posted an Instagram photo wearing the Nike Dunk High SB “Ferris Bueller”, the prices saw close to a 50% increase on resale platform StockX. 

Now in 2021, they’ll pour out a bunch of GR (general release) colorways for the people who couldn’t acquire the hype pairs; it’s very clear that Dunks are here to stay once again since their rise and fall in popularity in the early 2000’s. 

Nike is ensuring the Dunk hype lives; I counted 9 Nike Dunk releases in January and there could’ve been some that I missed. 

At this very moment, February 4th at 10am, the Ambush “Cosmic Fuchsia” Nike Dunk High just released, but guess what? 

I didn’t get them. 

Nike SNKRS handed me another L which is expected. 

Nike Dunk High Michigan On feet. Credit: Christopher Claxton

The Nike Dunk has been on the feet of basketball players, skaters, the average consumer, and sneakerheads for some time and right now they’re hotter than ever. It’s crazy how Nike was hinting at a Nike Dunk resurgence since 2018-2019, releasing some notable colorways like the Nike SB Dunk Low Concepts “Purple Lobster”, The SB Dunk Low “Canary Diamond” and the Nike SB Dunk Low Pro “Panda Pigeon”. All this time Nike was preparing for a peak in Nike Dunk popularity.

This begs the question that will 2021 be the year of the Nike Dunk? 

Yes and no? We all know life runs in cycles, especially when it comes to sneakers. 

A sneaker pops off, it’s wildly popular in the sneaker community, brands see how well the model is doing, makes a bunch of GR’s, and then the sneaker fades into oblivion. 

Take a look at the Adidas Yeezy line. At first it was very limited. 

You had to be in the now to secure your pair, and not just anyone could get their hands on the Adidas Yeezy 350, 750 and the 700’s. Now Adidas and Kanye release a pair every week. 

Sneakerheads stopped caring for the shoe. They lost all their hype and value when they became so saturated because you would see them sitting on shelves in Footlocker. Now they’re being made for the average consumer, who wants to join the wave that has already washed away. 

Nike Dunk Low Ceramic on feet. Credit: Christopher Claxton

Yes, the Adidas Yeezy line didn’t fade into nothing but it did in the eyes of the sneaker community who gave the line popularity and drove average consumer interests in the collection to begin with. Sneakerheads are no longer going crazy over the drops, but everyone else still is. 

The sneaker community makes a small percentage of brands overall yearly sales, so to the brands it doesn’t matter if sneakerheads no longer care as long as people in the world are still buying. 

  Right now the Nike dunk is close to its peak but what goes up must come down. Nike will release a bunch of Dunks this year and it’ll get to the point where it’s too much and the sneakerheads take a step back. That certain level of hype for the shoe in the sneaker community will die but the average consumer will buy as many as they please. 

Remember the sneaker community drives the interest in sneakers and what they wear influences what everyone else wears, so eventually when they’re no longer feeding the hype, the average consumer will no longer buy the model. The Nike Dunk will see success, but this year could be the end of it, mark my words. 

Credit: Christopher Claxton


Categories: Opinion

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