The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 65 — The Dunk's new era is here

The Chunky Dunkys are the start of a new wave

Gooood morning, family! Welcome back to the Kicks You Wear! Let’s make this week a fantastic one.

Sending big shouts to all of y’all who celebrated Eid al-Fitr over the weekend! Hopefully y’all were able to celebrate safely this year. In related news, coronavirus sucks.

With that out the way, let’s dig in.

The Chunky Dunky is the Dunk’s new era

(Photo by Cain Beaudoin on Unsplash)

SB Dunks have officially crossed over into the mainstream. There’s no denying that after seeing the frenzy the Chunky Dunky had everyone in this weekend.

Yes, Dunks were already in the midst of a comeback over the last few years or so. The Diamond Supply Co. drop of 2018 serving is the boiling point. In that span, we’ve gotten just about everything a sneakerhead could’ve ever wanted.

  • We’ve seen countless models retro’d including classics like the Pigeons, Lobsters, Rayguns and more.

  • We’ve also seen a couple of big collaborations with the Dunk done through Travis Scott and Virgil Abloh — Nike’s two biggest names right now.

But the Chunky Dunky is what we haven’t seen. This is a collaboration that came seemingly out of nowhere with no connection to Nike SB. It’s a shoe that kind of exists in its own moment with no precursors or prior history. Yet everyone went crazy over it.

The shoe is already fetching around $1,500 on the aftermarket. Bump that up to $6,000 in the special Ben & Jerry’s packaging. We’re going to be talking about this shoe as one of the decade’s most hyped drops in 2030.

For some people that’s great news. For others it’s awful. Here’s why.

  • The Dunk’s golden era in the mid-to-late 2000’s was built on counter culture. Having an original, authentic pair of SB’s meant you were part of a special group into these things.

  • The Chunky Dunky is not that. This is a commercial shoe built for hypebeasts. This is the shoe that your mom asks you about when she sees it floating around the internet. It’s not a shoe most skaters would be caught dead doing a kickflip in.

That distinction is what turns OG SB Dunk lovers away. It’s also what causes some of the skate shops to create all of these ridiculous stipulations for their raffles and contests.

The truth is this shoe, and other’s like it, ain’t going anywhere. This energized the dunk in a way we haven’t seen in years. Sure, sometimes drops like this will get canceled with enough pushback like the 7-Eleven. But more often than not, they won’t.

SB Dunk lovers have to get used to these new circumstances. There’s a new market for the Dunk and it’s here to stay — at least for the near future. And it’s going to be prioritized.

The other side of this is that Nike SB still has to maintain that delicate balance and appease their core audience. That’s where all this started. Keeping those roots alive is important. Commercial drops like the Chunky Dunky cut those roots. They can’t overdo it.

Sneakers aren’t binary. Shoes like the Chunky Dunky have to exist. But for every Chunky Dunky, we also need to see a StrangeLove or a Strawberry Cough. We’ll see if they can keep that balance as the Dunk continues to evolve.

If they do a good job? This amazing run the silhouette is on probably lasts for a while. If they don’t? It’s back to obscurity.

Now, if only I could get my hands on a literally any of them. That would be amazing.


Travis Scott and THE RANGE

(Photo by David Lezcano on Unsplash)

At this point, I’m convinced Travis Scott could sell water to a well. His influence is stretching across so many demographics.

  • Need to sell shoes to the kids? Easy. He’ll just do a virtual concert on Fortnite.

  • Need to sell a new shoe to old heads? Cool. He’ll just call MICK FREAKING FOLEY out of nowhere.

Travis Scott’s Air Max 270 is set to drop later this week on the 29th and Scott called upon wrestling legend Cactus Jack to do it.

As part of the rollout for the 270, Nike dropped a brochure featuring Foley as the model in Travis’ new gear.

SNKR_TWITR @snkr_twitr
Site list #AD

The website on the brochure is also legit. It features all of the sites that are dropping the 270 along with a web store. Not all of the products on it are real, but the novelty is what matters here.

This all speaks to Scotts’ versatility as an endorsee. No one else has this kind of range right now.

  • Most people, maybe, 25 years old and under aren’t going to care who Mick Foley is or why he’s on a Nike ad for Travis Scott. But for older folks who loved 80’s and 90’s wrestling? They’re in.

  • All of a sudden, a shoe that most people outside of the Nike and Travis Scott core weren’t paying attention to just became a bit more appealing. They caught another set of eyes here.

This is one of the better, more creative sneaker rollouts we’ve seen in a while. I’d say it’s a potentially good blueprint for others to copy, but everyone doesn’t have Travis Scott.

The greatest signature shoe line of ever

The Athletic’s Jovan Buha put together a survey of the 25 best signature sneaker lines in NBA history (subscription).

It was a pretty solid list, honestly. It featured all of the no-brainers like Michael Jordan and LeBron James but also had some pretty deep cuts like Chris Webber and Jason Kidd, for example.

  • He missed a few names, but it’s also the best 25 signature lines so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. No big deal. No major names were missed.

I voted in the survey and, by the time I finished, I had some general thoughts about signature lines I figured would be good to share here.

  • First, no one got a 10 from me. Not even Jordan. He and Penny Hardaway were the only players to get 9’s from me. Jordan didn’t hit 10 because of everything after 2004. Penny didn’t hit 10 because the depth wasn’t there.

  • Second, the vote gave me some real perspective on what I value with signature shoes. I tried to grade based on aesthetic, depth (how long it lasted) and quality moments on the court in that order. And, man, it was TOUGH.

  • Third, man, it’s a damn shame how good basketball shoes were in the 90’s. And it’s also a shame how generally bad they got after 2012 or so.

The results of the analysis are coming this week and I cannot wait to see them.

Sidenote: This isn’t really relevant, but it’s WILD (and also very refreshing) to see The Athletic diving into sneaker content. Sneakers should be taken seriously as a coverage area. More outlets should do this.

Speaking of the Chunky Dunky…

Please, y’all. We have to stop eating things out of our shoes. First, cereal. Now ice cream? This is wholly unnecessary. I swear you don’t have to do this. I’m not even mad, y’all — I promise. I’m just disappointed.

Full disclosure: The man in this video is Hikmet Sugoer. He’s the founder of Solebox — the German sneaker boutique that you’ve probably heard of. They’ve launched a bunch of different collabs over the last couple decades. He’s a made man.

With that being said, this is still #headass behavior. And I cannot condone it. Like, how do you have the Chunky Dunky in hand and still manage take an L? That’s wild.

My thing is if you’re going to do this to the shoe, just throw it in the garbage. It’s much easier and doesn’t require wasting 5 minutes of your time putting ice cream into a shoe and 30 seconds of mine watching you.

Just food for thought. Anyway, y’all, good luck on Tuesday’s draw.

What’s droppin’, bruh

That’s it for Monday, family! Thank you for rocking with your boy and giving me a bit of your time today.

Don’t forget to tell your friends to subscribe! We’re steady on our way to 1,000 subs and, when we get there, we’re raffling off two pairs! Get your folks on here so y’all can win together.

I’ll holla at y’all on Friday! Stay safe out here. As always, peace and love. Be easy. Be well. Be kind.

Signing off.

Sykes 💯