Nike Black and White Dunks: A Classic Two-Tone Colorway

black and white low dunks
Table of contents
  1. Nike Black and White Dunks: A Classic Two-Tone Colorway
  2. A Legacy Spanning Almost 40 Years
  3. The Dunk Becomes a Skate Icon
  4. The Rise of Nike SB 
  5. How to Buy

Nike Black and White Dunks: A Classic Two-Tone Colorway

In March 2021, Nike dropped a new version of a classic two-tone colorway Nike Dunk. The “Black WhiteDunk, or the Nike Dunk Low Panda as it gets commonly called, is a fan-favorite Dunk featuring a minimalist white and black colorway. The shoe was released in the low-top Dunk style. 

The shoe is another entry in the modern revitalization of the iconic Nike Dunk silhouette, which Nike has been pushing more since 2020. Nike has flooded the market with new variations of the Dunk, hoping to recapture its past popularity while also honoring a shoe that played a massive role in forming modern-day sneaker culture. 

Nike’s rollout for the Black White Dunk was designed to make the shoe widely accessible and available. Most major retailers stocked it, and there were options for every sneaker wearer, including toddler and women-specific versions. 

The shoe’s base is smooth white leather, with Nike adding black leather overlays and a black swoosh. The midsole is white, sitting atop a black rubber outsole. 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 Black White Dunk Low is a shoe in high demand. Fans love the simplistic yet bold black and white design. Nike 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 Dunk 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 release sees scores of sneakerheads missing out on collectible shoes. 

Nike 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 Nike 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 Nike 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, Nike 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. Nike 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 black and white Dunks sells on SNKRS for a retail price 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 Black White colorway is also a favorite colorway over at Nike

It continues to make an appearance in new Dunk iterations. The Panda color scheme has been implemented on the Dunk Low, a women’s Dunk High, a women’s only Nike Dunk Low Next Nature (part of Nike’s increased sustainability efforts where they produce eco-friendly shoes made with recycled materials). 

In January 2022, Nike again added the black and white colorway to a pair of men’s Nike Dunk High

It seems the Swoosh will utilize this clean, minimalist colorway any way they can. If Nike keeps pumping Dunks onto the market, you can guarantee the popularity of the black and white Dunks will keep the colorway in the mainstream. 

A Legacy Spanning Almost 40 Years

The Nike Dunk is one of the most iconic and collectible shoes in the Nike pantheon. Originally a basketball shoe, the Dunk has enjoyed a lasting legacy away from the hardwood. In fact, as a basketball shoe, it underperformed and was heavily overshadowed by the Air Jordan 1s

Since its release, the Nike Dunk has shined as a staple of various subcultures, particularly affecting the skateboarding community. The clean silhouette of the Dunk 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 Dunk 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 Dunk Came to Be

Peter Moore, the same designer responsible for the Air Jordan 1s, created the Nike Dunk in 1985. Nike and Moore were looking to release an alternative to the Air Jordan 1s that was also an evolution on the then discontinued Air Force 1s

The Dunk’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. Nike 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. Nike 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. 

Nike achieved this result with the Nike Dunk

The Dunk was one of the first Nike basketball shoes to feature color blocking. Nike 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 Nike’s successful “Be True To Your School” campaign to wear the Nike 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 Dunk continues the long-standing tradition of color blocking. However, instead of focusing on a specific team, Nike opts for a neutral colorway that everyone can enjoy this time around. 

The Dunk’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 Air Jordan 1, which featured a wide variety of color variations like the Dunk.

The Dunk Becomes a Skate Icon

In the early 1990s, the Dunk 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 Dunk’s design, Nike saw an opportunity to capitalize on the Dunk’s success and become a prominent player in the skateboarding market. In 1996, Nike released skate shoes such as the Choad, Snak, and Schimp

The shoes were nothing like the Dunk and failed to capture what skaters loved about the Dunk. Nike’s skate shoes were clunky, overbuilt, and lacking visual appeal. Not to mention, skaters were wary of Nike and did not trust that a big corporation had their best interest in mind.

Skaters avoided Nike 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 Nike broke into the skate market.


The Rise of Nike SB 

Although Nike failed to impact the skate market, the Nike Dunk 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. Nike’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 Nike Dunk Pro B and Nike Dunk 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 Dunk 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 Dunk Pro B let the world see an extension of their individuality. 

The writing was on the wall for Nike’s future skateboarding success when they released The Alphanumeric Dunk Low Pro B. Created in 2001, The Alphanumeric Dunk remains one of the most in-demand Dunks. Created by streetwear pioneer Alyasha Owerka-Moore, the Alphanumeric Dunk featured a fatter tongue and an Air Zoom insole, which would become staple features of the Dunk Low Pro SB.

Sandy Bodecker Helps Build Nike SB

The success and hype surrounding The Alphanumeric and Dunk Pro Bs caught the attention of Nike footwear tester Sandy Bodecker. Bodecker played a significant role in building the Nike SB 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 Dunk Low Pro B and Dunks. This realization led Nike to lean into the Dunk’s already established success, and the Nike Dunk Low Pro SB was created. 

Nike Dunk Low Pro SB

The first Nike Dunk Low Pro SBs released were the “Colors By” series in 2002. Nike sportswear enlisted four highly-respected skaters to build signature SBs: Danny Supa, Reese Forbes, Gino Iannucci, and Richard Muller

This new version of the Dunk saw a major overhaul from its basketball origins. The Dunk Pro SB included a fat tongue, a Zoom Air Bag in the heel, a re-engineered sole for grip tape traction, a cushioned sock liner, and came in a variety of colorways. 

The Dunk Low Pro SB was a massive hit amongst skaters. Nike’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 Nike sportswear had at its disposal. 

Nike 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 sneakers, which led to a considerable boost in the shoes’ resale value. 

While not mainstream, the Dunk Low SB had a passionate niche of sneakerheads worldwide. Dunk SB communities popped up around the internet for sneakerheads to build a network of other collectors so they could trade rare shoes.

However, Nike mismanaged the Dunk SB, oversaturating the market and depleting resale value. 


The Dunk Revival 

Around the mid-2010s, the Nike Dunk started to re-build momentum. In 2015, Nike dropped a re-release of the retro colorways from the “Be True to Your School Pack.” 

Nike then went on to build hype by once again releasing exclusive collaborations. In 2016, fashion brand Comme Des Garçons dropped its take on the sneaker icon, taking the Dunk from skateboarding to the runway. Nike and CDG continue to collaborate, and the partnership has been instrumental in the Dunk finding new life as a streetwear staple

In 2019, the Nike Dunk once again generated buzz when Nike commissioned Off-White founder Virgil Abloh to create a signature series of Dunks. The Nike x Off-White Dunk Low, released in three vibrant colorways, received inspiration from the original “Be True To Your School” sneakers. 

The Off-Whites were wildly successful and showed Nike 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 Dunk Low SB come all the way back when Nike 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 Dunk revival continues with Nike periodically dropping new pairs. Their strategy ranges from widespread availability to exclusivity. The Black White version of the shoe is yet another popular entry in the Dunk’s long legacy. It’s so popular that Nike continues to update the colorway and find new ways to implement it. 

In 2022, the company plans to release a variation of the Black White colorway, flipping the Panda scheme with a black leather upper with a white swoosh and white laces. The midsole remains white, and the outsole is still black. They also plan to release a White Black colorway, featuring a predominately white sneaker with a black swoosh, tongue tab, back tab, sock liner, and outsole.  

If the past few years are any indication, Nike plans to keep Peter Moore’s iconic design going strong. The blank canvas the Dunk provides makes the design possibilities limitless. 

As Nike continues to add new colorways and collaborates with brands, artists, and creatives, new generations of sneakerheads are discovering the Dunk, 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 Black White Dunk or any exclusive Dunks, you must keep your eyes open and ears to the ground. Nike 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 Dunk you want and your shoe size

  • The Panda black and white dunks and the black white, white black 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 Nike Dunk has a long, noteworthy history at Nike and with modern sneaker culture. Thanks to new releases like the black and white Dunk, the Travis Scott SB, and the Off-White Dunks, Nike is giving younger generations of sneakerheads the chance to experience the cultural icon for themselves.


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