Last year was, undoubtedly, the year of the Nike Dunk. The sneaker world’s hottest players—everyone from Virgil Abloh to Travis Scott—gave the shoe their own hype-heavy spin. Two of 2020’s most sought-after Swoosh collaborations were Dunks made (in partnership with hippies, weirdly enough): first with Grateful Dead, and then with Ben & Jerry’s . If you thought that Nike might ease up on the gas pedal for the new year, you’d be sorely mistaken. The brand just unveiled a preview of several 2021 Dunks, and it looks like the beloved silhouette won’t be going away anytime soon.
The Dunk will hit the ground running in the new year with a stream of general release drops. The first three colorways of the Dunk Low will arrive next week, the type of classic and expected Nike fare: black and white, red and grey, and sail and coast. In February, things get turned up a notch with another Dunk Low in black and hyper cobalt. And then, in March, the Dunk High drops in a white and orange blaze.
None of these sneakers will come with buzzy designer co-signs or an ultra-rare release. And they don’t really need to. Over last year, Nike laid the foundation for the Dunk’s rise, building the hype and demand through strategic drops and big-deal collaborations. It’s a move the brand has done repeatedly: generate excitement and buzz for a silhouette and then release a limitless supply for the masses who couldn’t get their hands on the rare stuff.
Longtime Dunkheads will know this is actually the second coming of the chunky sneaker. Back in the mid-aughts, the Dunk was the red-hot shoe within the rising streetwear scene. The Diamond Supply Co. “Tiffany” Dunk and the Staple Design “Pigeon” Dunk—alongside several others—helped elevate the sneaker into something that streetwear fans lusted over. It fizzled around by the 2010s and stayed under the radar until it came back with a full force last year. It is pretty rare for a sneaker to get a second round in the sun like this, which is a true testament to the Dunk’s lasting design appeal. Only time will tell how long the once-forgotten sneaker can stay this hot, but at least for now, get ready for another year of Dunks on Dunks.