: A Classic Two-Tone Colorway
In March 2021, dropped a new version of a classic two-tone colorway ” , or . The “the Panda as it gets commonly called, is a fan-favorite featuring a minimalist white and black colorway. The shoe was released in the low-top style.
The shoe is another entry in the modern revitalization of the iconic silhouette, which has been pushing more since 2020. has flooded the market with new variations of the , hoping to recapture its past popularity while also honoring a shoe that played a massive role in forming modern-day culture.
was designed to make the shoe widely accessible and available. Most major retailers stocked it, and there were options for every wearer, including toddler and women-specific versions. ’s rollout for the
The shoe’s base is smooth , with adding and a black swoosh. The midsole is white, sitting atop a . The contrasting colors combine to create a clean, classic-looking shoe that features everyday versatility and goes well with a variety of outfits.
Sometimes it’s Better to be Lucky than Good
The is a shoe in high demand. Fans love the simplistic yet bold black and white design. continues to drop periodic restocks on its SNKRS app.
It isn’t easy to find a pair because the Panda Dunks are so coveted by enthusiasts, sneakerheads, and casual wearers.
The SNKRS app operates using a raffle system, meaning if you want to get a pair of shoes, you need to get lucky. It’s a notoriously hard app to buy shoes from because of the lottery system, and every new sees scores of sneakerheads missing out on collectible shoes.
continuously updates the SNKRS app to ensure users a better experience and combat bots. Bots entering raffles thousands of times was a huge complaint of the SNKRS experience, with many users losing coveted shoe drops to bots and greedy resellers.
Sneakerheads who want to stay updated on all SNKRS releases should opt for a SNKRS Pass.
The SNKRS Pass is a Member Reward granted to select users of the SNKRS app. The SNKRS Pass previously used a first-come, first-serve reservation system that enabled members to secure a pair of shoes at a retail store. However, this system depended on users being on the app as soon as the reservation window opened, which allowed bots to exploit the system and instantly secure shoes. Bot purchasing was a regular occurrence, leaving many users frustrated that they missed shoes due to an unfair system.
To defend against bot entries and ensure an even playing field, has switched the SNKRS Pass to a raffle system. Users will be allowed to make reservations as before, but the entry window is longer, and once it closes, entries will be drawn at random. has also implemented bot-filtration tools onto the app, so copping a shoe is still up to chance, but the playing field has been slightly leveled.
A pair of sells on SNKRS for a of $100. Unfortunately, if luck is not on your side, the shoe’s resale value ranges from $200 to $400.
If it Ain’t Broke…
The colorway is also a favorite colorway over at .
It continues to make an appearance in new , iterations. The Panda color scheme has been implemented on the a women’s , a women’s only Next Nature (part of ’s increased sustainability efforts where they produce eco-friendly shoes made with recycled materials).
In January 2022, black and white colorway to a pair of again added the men’s .
It seems the Swoosh will utilize this clean, minimalist colorway any way they can. If will keep the colorway in the mainstream. keeps pumping Dunks onto the market, you can guarantee the popularity of the
A Legacy Spanning Almost 40 Years
The basketball shoe, the has enjoyed a lasting legacy away from the hardwood. In fact, as a basketball shoe, it underperformed and was heavily overshadowed by the is one of the most iconic and collectible shoes in the pantheon. Originally a 1s.
Since its , the has shined as a staple of various subcultures, particularly affecting the skateboarding community. The clean silhouette of the is ripe for expression and exciting colorways. It’s become a symbol that many subcultures, including fashion, art, street culture, skateboarding, punk rock, and hip-hop, have strongly identified with. The is a blank canvas that people want to make their own, using it as a vehicle to represent what is important to them.
How the Came to Be
Peter Moore, the same designer responsible for the 1s, created the in 1985. and Moore were looking to an alternative to the 1s that was also an evolution on the then discontinued Air Force 1s.
The ’s primary purpose was as a shoe for the NCAA. In 1985, one of the most significant sporting events in the United States was the NCAA Final Four. executives noticed how passionate the young college students were about their teams. That year, the energy in the stadiums was electric, with raucous fans and school pride fully on display. noticed the seas of school colors filling arenas in the form of apparel, painted faces, and posters. They wanted to capitalize on this craze by providing branded, school-specific footwear.
achieved this result with the .
The was one of the first basketball shoes to feature color blocking. infused large blocks of color onto the shoe to represent a college or university and make the shoe team specific.
Seven high-profile college basketball teams were chosen as part of ’s successful “Be True To Your School” campaign to wear the Dunks. Each participating school received a specialized pair in their school colors. The University of Kentucky, the University of Michigan, the University of Iowa, Villanova, Syracuse, St. John’s, and UNLV all rocked custom Dunks for the 1985-1986 seasons.
The black and white continues the long-standing tradition of color blocking. However, instead of focusing on a specific team, opts for a neutral colorway that everyone can enjoy this time around.
The ’s college marketing saw success with fans and students buying pairs to show support for their teams and connect with the athletes.
However, the Dunks faded into obscurity thanks to Michael Jordan and his marketing dominating 1, which featured a wide variety of color variations like the .
The Becomes a Skate Icon
In the early 1990s, the found a second life as a popular shoe amongst skateboarders.
At the time, the technology in basketball shoes featured many elements that skateboarders wanted in their shoes. They had lateral support, a flat bottom, solid grip and traction for quick pivots, and a lot of cushioning to lessen the impact of skateboarding on the body. Plus, they were cheap, and the fact they looked similar to Jordans made for an appealing aesthetic.
As skateboarding’s popularity grew in the mid-90s and skate companies started mimicking the ’s design, saw an opportunity to capitalize on the ’s success and become a prominent player in the skateboarding market. In 1996, released skate shoes such as the Choad, Snak, and Schimp.
The shoes were nothing like the and failed to capture what skaters loved about the . ’s skate shoes were clunky, overbuilt, and lacking visual appeal. Not to mention, skaters were wary of and did not trust that a big corporation had their best interest in mind.
Skaters avoided like the plague, claiming that the corporation did not understand them and was only interested in generating a financial gain. After this failed attempt, it would not be until years later that broke into the skate market.
The Rise of
Although failed to impact the skate market, the continued to be a go-to shoe for skaters. On the West Coast, a shoe retailer had the idea of producing Dunks in a wide range of colors and fabrics. ’s manager of Dunks on the West Coast heard this retailer out, and they started making unique Dunks in crazy colorways.
Together they helped create the Pro B and Co.JP (the Japanese version of the Dunks).
These shoes featured elements that would become skate shoe staples, such as a fatter tongue and additional padding. The skate community identified with the creativity and customization on display in the Pro B.
Skate communities are tight-knit and follow the same trend, but the skaters themselves are individuals. Skaters pride themselves on their unique culture, skate styles, and personalities, and the wild colors and fabrics on the Pro B let the world see an extension of their individuality.
The writing was on the wall for ’s future skateboarding success when they released The Alphanumeric Pro B. Created in 2001, The Alphanumeric remains one of the most in-demand Dunks. Created by streetwear pioneer Alyasha Owerka-Moore, the Alphanumeric Pro SB. featured a fatter tongue and an Air Zoom insole, which would become staple features of the
Sandy Bodecker Helps Build
The success and hype surrounding The Alphanumeric and Pro Bs caught the attention of footwear tester Sandy Bodecker. Bodecker played a significant role in building the brand.
Bodecker ingrained himself within skate culture, gaining knowledge of skateboarding communities and getting direct feedback from skaters. He was pivotal in giving skateboarding a voice at the global footwear behemoth.
Bodecker’s key takeaway from his extensive research was that skaters liked to skate in the Pro B and Dunks. This realization led to lean into the ’s already established success, and the Pro SB was created.
The first Pro SBs released were the “Colors By” series in 2002. enlisted four highly-respected skaters to build signature SBs: Danny Supa, Reese Forbes, Gino Iannucci, and Richard Muller.
This new version of the saw a major overhaul from its basketball origins. The Pro SB included a fat tongue, a Zoom Air Bag in the , a re-engineered sole for grip tape traction, a cushioned sock liner, and came in a variety of colorways.
The Pro SB was a massive hit amongst skaters. ’s year of technological advancements and shoe innovations meant skaters were receiving a highly functional shoe that gave an incredible ride experience. Smaller skate shoe companies just couldn’t compete with the resources had at its disposal.
sneakers, which led to a considerable boost in the shoes’ resale value. took the Low Pro SB to new heights by teaming up with creatives and artists to create engaging, valuable collaborations. The collaborative pairs of Dunks become collector’s items. The limited supply helped create a massive demand for the
While not mainstream, the SB had a passionate niche of sneakerheads worldwide. SB communities popped up around the internet for sneakerheads to build a network of other collectors so they could trade rare shoes.
However, mismanaged the SB, oversaturating the market and depleting resale value.
Around the mid-2010s, the started to re-build momentum. In 2015, dropped a re- of the retro colorways from the “Be True to Your School Pack.”
then went on to build hype by once again releasing exclusive collaborations. In 2016, fashion brand Comme Des Garçons dropped its take on the icon, taking the from skateboarding to the runway. and CDG continue to collaborate, and the partnership has been instrumental in the finding new life as a streetwear staple.
In 2019, the once again generated buzz when commissioned Off-White founder Virgil Abloh to create a signature series of Dunks. The x Off-White released in three vibrant colorways, received inspiration from the original “Be True To Your School” sneakers.
The Off-Whites were wildly successful and showed the allure surrounding the Dunks was far from over. Young sneakerheads were introduced to the shoe, scouring the internet for new releases and rare versions.
February 2020 saw the SB come all the way back when collaborated with rapper Travis Scott. Scott’s fame drew a lot of attention to the shoe, and the Travis Scott SB quickly became one of the most sought-after shoes on the market.
Today, the version of the shoe is yet another popular entry in the ’s long legacy. It’s so popular that continues to update the colorway and find new ways to implement it. revival continues with periodically dropping new pairs. Their strategy ranges from widespread availability to exclusivity. The
In 2022, the company plans to a variation of the colorway, flipping the Panda scheme with a upper with a white swoosh and white laces. The midsole remains white, and the outsole is still black. They also plan to a colorway, featuring a predominately white with a black swoosh, tongue tab, back tab, sock liner, and outsole.
If the past few years are any indication, plans to keep Peter Moore’s iconic design going strong. The blank canvas the provides makes the design possibilities limitless.
As continues to add new colorways and collaborates with brands, artists, and creatives, new generations of sneakerheads are discovering the , meaning it’s only a matter of time before they leave their mark on the classic silhouette.
How to Buy
If you want to score a pair of or any exclusive Dunks, you must keep your eyes open and ears to the ground. occasionally drops a limited quantity on its SNKRS app. They do this on short notice, though, and don’t tend to market these releases.
However, being a collector’s item, most Dunks are available on resale for a price premium, depending on the version of the you want and your shoe .
- The Panda and the , variations usually resell between $200 to $400.
- The Travis Scott SB usually resells between $2,000 to $4,000.
- The Off-White SB Dunks usually resell between $500 to $1,000.
- The “Be True To Your School” Dunks typically resell between $200 to $500.
Check out prominent shoe resale websites such as StockX, GOAT, Stadium Goods, Flight Club, and Sole Supremacy to buy a pair.
The black and white , the Travis Scott SB, and the Off-White Dunks, is giving younger generations of sneakerheads the chance to experience the cultural icon for themselves. has a long, noteworthy history at and with modern culture. Thanks to new releases like the