Jordan 1 vs Nike Dunk [Identical Twins or Mere Siblings?]

Written By Sunny

Nike Jordan 1 and the Nike Dunk stand out front when it comes to iconic sneakers. Being two of the most famous Nike shoe line, it’s quite difficult to choose one among them.


With that in mind, if you are caught between Jordan 1s and Dunks, this article is just for you.

Because here, I’m gonna point out the key differences between Nike Dunks and Jordan 1s to make your shopping hassle-free.

So stay put!

A Quick History of Nike Dunk and Jordan 1

Nike Dunk and Jordan 1 both have an affluent history in the sneaker culture. Jordan 1, however, gained instant popularity soon after its release and has maintained its reputation yet still. Whilst Dunks were down at first, now they are reigning in the skater world and social media.

Now, let’s know a bit more about the rich history of these two sneaker giants.

Overview of Nike Air Jordan 1

While designed by Peter Moore, a veteran sneaker designer, in 1985, the Jordan 1 was first introduced to the public as a professional basketball shoe. overview-of-nike-air-jordan-1

The shoe, however, was named after Michael Jordan, the up-and-coming basketball superstar who had just signed a lucrative endorsement deal of $500,000 per year with Nike.

At the time, the Jordan 1 was revolutionary with Nike’s new Air cushioning technology and a bold, eye-catching design. And within months, the Jordan 1s gained massive popularity due to the shoes’ rebellious look and design.

However, the shoe was initially banned by the NBA for violating uniform regulations, which only added to its mystique and appeal. And due to this, Nike has to pay a $5,000 fine for every appearance of the shoes in the game.

Overview of Nike Dunks

A few months after the release of Jordan 1, Nike hit the sneaker market with Dunks. Also designed by Peter Moore, Nike Dunks were initially released for collegiate-level basketball players. overview-of-nike-dunks

Nike tried to make the Dunks popular among the young through their “Be True to Your School” marketing campaign. But due to the ongoing hype of Jordan 1s, Dunks couldn’t rise to the expectation.

Although, Dunks Didn’t get enough attention as a basketball sneaker. The simple yet stylish design, and durable construction, made Dunks a favorite among skaters, who appreciated its low profile and grippy sole.

How Do Nike Dunks and Jordan 1 Compare?

Dunks and Jordan 1 are two of Nike’s most famous core product lines. However, both basketball shoes look identical, with a similar overall design. Yet, they differ in detailed features like colorways, ankle lace flaps, midsole design, or how they fit.

So, to pick the better one, let’s find out the key differences between Nike Dunks and Jordan 1.

1. Ankle Flaps

The Dunk High and Air Jordan 1 have different approaches to their lace flaps. ankle-flaps

Air Jordan 1 prioritizes full support. And here, the ankle straps are securely stitched to the eyelet area, providing a locked-in feel that helps prevent ankle injuries. With the supported ankle design, Jordan 1s are also good for skating.

On the other hand, Dunk High’s flaps are not tightly stitched down to the eyelet area, allowing for a trendy unlaced look.

2. Top Eyelets

Another difference between Nike Dunks and Jordan 1 is in their eyelets. Although both of them come with the same number of eyelets, which is nine in total, they differ in their placement design.

The Dunk’s eyelets are a standout feature, with a signature wavy design that runs up to the ankle. The AJ1, on the other hand, has a more traditional eye stays with an extra stitched panel at the front to extend the eyelets.

When it comes to the Swoosh, the Dunk’s placement is more integrated, merged with the heel counter and upper ankle panels. Whilst in the AJ1,  the Swoosh is stitched with the ankle panel at the edges.

And lastly, the absence of the unique Wing logo on the Dunk confirms that this is a whole different design than the AJ1s.

3. Sole Technology

Nike Jordan1 and Dunks differ most in their sole technology. Nike has incorporated Air technology in the midsoles of the Jordan 1s, which you will seldom see in Dunks. sole-technology

Conversely, most Dunks come with Zoom Air insoles, which you will find in Air Jordan1 SB and Air Jordan1 Zoom as well.

The Jordan1 features a cupsole design, meaning the sole is glued to the upper while wrapping up the sides of the shoe. This gives the shoe a sturdy, supportive feel.

The Dunk, on the other hand, has a traditional vulcanized sole, which is thinner and more flexible.

4. Treads

The tread patterns you can find in Nike Dunks are inspired by Air Jordan. While the basic tread layout is similar in both Dunks and Jordan 1s, AJ1’s pattern has more detailed sections. treads

Furthermore, the Dunks come with an extended outsole around the heel and forefoot area, which is missing in Air Jordan 1s. Because of that, Nike Dunks can be good for wide feet as well.

Also, the arch bridging of Dunk’s is somewhat narrower than Jordan’s.

5. Colorways

Both the Jordan 1 and Dunk are known for their extensive colorway options, with new releases dropping almost every month.

However, the Jordan 1 has a wider range of color options, and its collaborations with artists and designers have become legendary in the sneaker community.

With so many versatile design and colorways, you can wear these basketball shoes casually as well.

Initially, Jordan was released with black and red color shades, resembling the Chicago Bulls logo. colorways

Conversely, the very first colorways of Dunks were designed with a matching color tone as the selected school’s logos.

6. Price

The price difference between Nike Jordan 1 and Dunks is difficult to put linearly, it may vary depending on specific models, release dates, or availability.

On average, a new pair of Air Jordan sneakers can range from around $100 to $300 or more, while new pairs of Nike Dunks typically range from around $80 to $150.  For instance, I got my pair of Nike Air Jordan 1 Low UNC at a retail price of $250. price

However, limited edition or rare releases of either sneaker can command much higher prices, with some Air Jordan models selling for thousands of dollars on the resale market.

For example, being one of the most coveted models, The Jordan 1 OG “Chicago” can be sold for $25,000 in retail shops. jordan-1-og-chicago

Moreover, both Dunks and Jordan 1 are similar and different in their own ways. Before finalizing one between the Dunks and Jordan 1, consider reading their pros and cons to make the best choice.

Pros and Cons of Nike Dunks and Jordan 1

To make an informed choice, you must know every little detail of both Nike Dunks and Air Jordan 1s. Both sneakers come with a combination of up and downsides to being pointed out.

So let’s find out all the pros and cons of Nike Dunks and Air Jordan 1s.

Nike Air Jordan 1

  • »Iconic design.
  • »Excellent ankle support.
  • »Great air cushioning.
  • »Wide range of colorways.
  • »High resell value.
  • »High-quality and durable material.
  • »Overly priced.
  • »Less flexible.
  • »Less versatile.

Nike Dunks

  • »Versatile designs.
  • »Affordable.
  • »Comfortable for daily wear.
  • »Cushioned sole for extra support.
  • »Limited color options.
  • »Outsoles wear out quickly.

Which One to Choose Between Nike Dunks and Jordan 1?

Whether you’re a basketball player, a skater, or just a fan of classic design, both Nike Dunks and Jordan 1 have something to offer.

The Jordan 1, however, has better cushioning and ankle support, while the Dunk has a more flexible sole that’s better for activities like skateboarding.

When it comes to colorways, the Jordan 1 has more options and collaborations, but the Dunk is no slouch in that department either.

Ultimately, the choice between the two comes down to personal preference and what you value most in a sneaker.

So, if you prefer fashion over performance, pick the Jordan 1s as they got the most iconic look ever. But for a more versatile street look, you can choose any of the Dunks colorways.

Price is another thing you need to consider while buying your next Nike basketball sneakers. As most Nike Air Jordans are so expensive, go with Dunks if you need a budget friendly pair.

Final Thoughts

The Jordan 1 and the Dunk are more than just sneakers – they’re symbols of creativity, individuality, and self-expression. And you may get stumped when it comes to choosing one of them.

But, I hope, with all the detailed information provided in this article, you’ll be able to make the right choice.

And for any more quest on Nike sneakers, comment down below!

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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