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Nike SB Dunks: A Complete History of the Skateboarding Legend!

By January 17, 2019July 15th, 2022Nike, Sneakers

UPDATE Nike SB Dunks History - AIO BotNike SB Dunks – the Dunks in general – is one of the most legendary Swoosh creations in Nike history. Ever since its debut back in 2002, the SBs have become the most iconic and hype-worthy sneakers of the game. And, although their original purpose was skateboarding, they’ve become every sneakerhead’s favorite lifestyle sneaker! A staple in any sneaker collection.

The simple color-blocking design of the basketball sneaker turned skateboarding icon gave it much of its charm. So, to understand the history behind the SBs, we have to start with the source – the Nike Dunks! Keep reading to find out more and check out the list of Nike guides for the extra info!

Nike_SB 1 - AIO BotMore Nike Guides
Best Nike bots
How do Dunks fit?
How to clean your Dunks?
Buy Nike sneakers online at retail
How to use the Nike SNKRS app?
How to style your Nike Dunk sneakers?


Nike_SB 2 - AIO BotSo, the history of the Nike SB Dunks dates back to the time when the actual Dunks split into Dunks and SB Dunks. This was when Nike decided to make a few subtle changes that were groundbreaking for skateboarders everywhere. Therefore, let’s go through the timeline leading up to the SBs!


Nike SB Dunks History GFX - AIO BotIn 1985, Nike introduced the Nike Dunk through the “Be True to Your School” campaign. This was also around the same time that the longstanding Jordan 1 VS Nike Dunk debacle started. Peter Moore created both the Air Jordan 1 and the Nike Dunk around the same time. And so, the chicken or the egg sneaker debate won’t ever be put to rest!

By the mid-90s, the Nike Dunk became a cult favorite amongst the basketball community. And, soon enough, with the skate culture growing, the demand for a proper skateboarding sneaker became IMPERATIVE. And, although Nike had extremely failed attempts with The Choad, the Snack, and the Schimp; they finally had it. Skateboarders had adopted the Nike Dunk!

Especially because it was cheap, accessible, and provided the right amount of cushioning, support, and traction.


Nike_SB 3 - AIO Bot

Nike began to recognize the need for an official skateboard sneaker! So, the Nike SB Dunk historical design was put in motion. The Swoosh revamped the Nike Dunks and came out with the original colorways of the shoes. But, it wasn’t until Sandy Bodecker became general manager of the SBs that the shoe actually took off!


Nike_SB 4 - AIO BotIn March of 2002, the first Nike SB Dunks dropped! They updated the Nike Dunks with a nip here and a tuck there to accommodate for skaters. The SBs came with a thicker tongue, elastic straps, and a new sock liner. Also, they inserted a new Poron foam bed in the sole with a Zoom Air Unit in the heel. 

And, to further reinstate their place in the skateboarding community, Nike signed its first skate team. It consisted of Danny Supa, Gino Iannucci, Richard Mulder, and Reese Forbes. Together they dropped the first collection called the “Colors By” series. 


Nike SB Dunks 5 - AIO BotIn 2006, the Nike SB Dunks went through more developmental and structural changes. Nike introduced the Mid version with velcro straps that they incorporated into the SBs. this also helped with durability and skateboarding tricks!


2021 – Present

After the Nike SB Dunks became the official skateboarding sneaker of the industry, it became a staple. And, for years, it was doing pretty well with top-notch sneaker collaborations with crazy resale values! Soon enough, the SBs held some of the most expensive resale values in history.

Best Nike SB Dunks Collaborations
– Levi’s
– Stussy
– Futura
– Concepts
– Jeff Staple
Diamond Supply

So, the Nike SB Dunks became firmly recognized for being a lifestyle and performance skateboarding sneaker. In recent years, mostly starting in 2020, the Nike Dunks witness a GIGANTIC surge! This was something quite unprecedented. And, no matter how many times people expected the Dunks to die out, they kept coming out strong!

This was mostly due to its most notable sneaker collaborations including the Ben and Jerry Chunky Dunky. And, there’s the Travis Scott collaboration with the $2,000 resale!

The Nike Dunk is another sneaker that crossed from the hardwood to the concrete. Today, it’s an example of both performance and street style. You can dress it up or down to your liking, wear it to work, after work, and for play. And, we assume that it’ll keep riding the trending sneaker wave for quite some time!

Nike SB Dunk History GFX - AIO Bot