Nike Dunk Vs Air Force 1 [Which Is The Better Nike Release?]

Written By Mahia

If you are planning to spice up your shoe collection with a pair of Nike,  Dunk and Air Force 1 are the best pairs on the line. These silhouettes are hard to pass on, let alone select one.


Therefore, you need to know every minutia of AF1 and Nike Dunk to buy your spot-on sneaker.

In this article, I will tell you every nook and cranny you must know about these versatile Nike shoes. So, stay tuned.

What’s the Difference Between Nike Dunk and Air Force One?

Nike speaks for itself through their countless stock out sneaker models, such as the Dunk and Air Force 1.

Though Nike Air Force 1 debuted as basketball shoes in 1982, soon this multipurpose sneaker became the symbol of comfort, fashion, and style. With countless versions, there is one pair in every category and every aesthetic.

On the other hand, Nike Dunk was released in 1985, and with similarities with Jordan 1, the Dunk skateboard shoes won the heart of sneakerheads and are still reining more brightly than ever.


Now it’s time to discover the parting features that make each of these Nike gems individual.

Here are the five variances between Nike AF1 and Dunk sneakers:

1. Price

It’s not unknown that Nike shoes are a bit pricey, and this range differs from model to model.

The market value of Air Force 1, both low and high-top, are higher than Dunk high or low-top sneakers. Even Dunk SB shoes are cheaper than AF1.

When Nike SB Dunk Low costs $124, a pair of Air Force 1 Shadow is 140 dollars.


Even if you compare shoes released around the same time, like Nike AF1 ’07 and Racer Blue Dunk Low, the price of AF1 is almost double.

However, you can buy them at similar prices on the retail market. And even a few models, such as Nike Dunk See Through, cost more on the resale market than Air Force 1.

So, in some cases, Nike Dunks are more expensive than a pair of iconic AF1 sneakers.

2. Design

AF1 is designed to provide you with the ultimate comfort. My Air Force LE has air bubbles as cushioning which gives me ease whenever I wear them. And also comes with a larger midsole due to air bubbles.

I love the ankle straps, which are not there in Dunk shoes.


However, Nike Dunk also has a prolonged midsole and a similar layout with different color options. Nike always comes up with different models that have something new compared to the previous model.

Likewise, if you are a fan of steel-toe shoes, find out whether Nike makes steel toe shoes.

3. Toe Box

At a glance, the toe box of both AF1 and Dunk seems similar but, actually, that’s not the case. In Nike Dunk sneakers, there is a prolonged notch where your foot bends in the toe box.

Also, Dunk’s toe box elongates up to the back of the tongue thus giving it a slimmer look.


On the contrary, the toe bumper of the Air Force goes up to the eyestays and also connects to the U-throat that ends at the end of the toe edge. It gives more volume to the forefoot area.

My brother has wider feet, so he loves his Lunar Force 1. If you have broad feet before your purchase check out if Nike Dunk is also good for wide feet.

4. Sizing

Nike Air Force 1 has more length than Dunks and the toe box is also roomier. It’s more squared and thus gives you a more relaxed fit.

Also, Nike Dunk sneakers have a regular fitting and are true to size so, you just need to buy your actual size.

However, AF1 has a larger fit. In this case, go half a size down to achieve a comfortable fit. If you want a more snug fit, buy a full-size down AF1 than your regular size.

To get a clear idea about how Nike Dunks fit, you must wear them in stores. This way there will be no chance of getting the wrong size.

5. Ankle Support

A supportive sneaker is a must to maintain the good health of your feet. When it comes to ankle support, Nike Air Force has a removable ankle strap called “proprioceptive belt”.

You can keep them on or remove them according to your need. This feature is not available in Dunks.

High-top AF1 gives more ankle protection than Dunk High-tops.


Still, Dunk sneakers have two flapped wings that cinches the ankle and provide enough support. Moreover, Dunk SB comes with fixed straps which are quite similar to Air Force1.

Pros and Cons of Nike Dunk and Air Force 1

Nike is famous for their versatile silhouette. AF1 and Dunk are such models that you can pair with most of your outfits. But they have some benefits and disadvantages which you must know before your purchase.

Let’s see the pros and cons of Nike Dunk and AF1:

Nike Dunk

  • »Versatile.
  • »Wide toe box.
  • »Various color options.
  • »Gives more ankle support.
  • »Comfortable fit.
  • »Runs big.
  • »Costly.

Nike Air Force 1

  • »True to size.
  • »Comfortable.
  • »Versatile.
  • »Less ankle support.
  • »Snug fitted.


Air Force 1 is a staple and timeless piece, but if you are looking for a less expensive pair, Dunks have come a long way and you will get similar features just like AF1 within a budget.

If you need more toe room, AF1 has a wider toe box. In this shoe, your feet will get more space.

Nike Dunks are not so bad either, with a regular feet size you won’t have many issues. Moreover, these are true to size so, you can buy any model without changing your actual size.

However, Nike Air Force 1 runs big. For those who love loose-fitted sneakers, this is an advantage for them. If not, you need to go half a size down.

Though compared to the best qualities of Air Force 1, Nike Dunks still has to improve a lot.

So, you can get a Dunk low-top for your daily use or invest in an AF1 according to your needs and preference. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

dunk low


Why are Nike Dunks popular?

Nike Dunk skateboarding shoes are famous for their comfy cushioning and support, including the traction these versatile sneakers come with.

Which is better, Air Force or Dunk?

With Nike’s Air Technology, Air Force sneakers are on the next level, and Dunks are also a good pair with similar features.

Are Air Force 1 comfy?

Yes, with durable leather, air bubble-infused footbed, and synthetic lining, AF1 shoes are super comfortable and relaxing.

Final Words

Nike always maintains the quality of their sneakers. No wonder famous stars, models, and players are fond of this brand.

For a staple pair, you can always count on Air Force 1, and if you are in for a good quality Nike sneaker within your price range, Nike Dunk will never disappoint you.

You got all the differences you needed to know to buy your preferred Nike. Thanks for keeping up.

About The Author
Since childhood, Mahia is a shoe freak. And this is what lead her to do more research and gather knowledge about shoes.Mahia has always wanted to share her skill and knowledge about footwear with a mass audience, which ended her up in this amazing workplace.When Mahia is not writing, you can almost always find her in the kitchen experimenting with different recipes to upgrade her catering menu.

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