Underrated Dunk Models: The Soulland Dunk High
With the resurgence of the Dunk as a model continuing as Nike pumps out colorways, I wanted to take a second and talk about one of my favorite versions of the shoe. The Soulland x Nike SB Dunk High “FRI.day 02” came out in December of 2017 and has been one of my favorite designs on the model ever since. The Danish menswear brand created a deconstructed design for the silhouette, just a few weeks after Off-White’s “The Ten” collection by Virgil Abloh first launched. In fact, I still see this shoe as what an Off-White version of the Dunk High should look like. Since then, Virgil has added his touch to a few different versions of the Dunk Low. However, a Dunk High colorway has yet to become a reality.
The details in this shoe are what makes it such a great collaboration. From the small layered jewel Swoosh to the exposed foam on the heel, this design was one of the first to use trends that would soon dominate collaboration styles. Combining the quality suede and leather in a neutral colorway gives the perfect balance of daring yet wearable. Despite all of this, I still feel that this colorway is underappreciated and underrecognized by the community in large. This may be in part due to the preference in the community currently towards the Dunk Low. While Soulland did also create a Dunk Low for this collection, it was much different in design. Although an original sample of the shoe featured a mostly similar design to the Dunk High just cut down, this version was never released to the public.
Prior to the price hikes in 2020, this pair was going for just over $200 on the secondary market. When you consider how low the production numbers are on most Nike SB collaborations and the quality of materials put into this shoe, it really seemed undervalued at that price. The current market for unworn pairs is around twice that, but sales are quite scattered. This pair is the perfect example of what I love about Nike SB collaborations and what drew me to the Dunk as a model. So many stores and designers have put their spin on the Dunk to show their identity. Before Sacai or Off-White was ripping apart a silhouette or adding layered details, there was the Dunk Low. Nike seemed more inclined to let creators use different materials or patterns on the Dunk, something that now has become increasingly common on more mainstream models.
Part of me hopes that an Off-White Dunk High is never made. If it does, I hope that Virgil can do it justice the same way that Soulland did. Regardless, this shoe is just one of many brilliant collaborations that tell a story through the Nike Dunk. Each new collaboration brings a new story to tell and that is what I find exciting about the Nike SB brand. Soulland continues to work with Nike, with their catalog now including 5 different Nike SB models. I can’t wait to see what story they decide to tell next.
By Justin DiRe
Nerdthusiast Sneaker Content Writer