Nike Dunk vs SB Dunk [Spotting the Key Differences]

Written By Sunny

Within the iconic Nike universe, two shoes stand out in particular, the Nike Dunk and the SB Dunk.

Both have loyal followings and have become cultural touchstones over the years. However, while choosing one over another, you may wonder whether these two Nike beasts have any differences at all.


Just stick to the end of this article!

Because, here, I’ve compared the similarities and differences between Nike Dunk and SB Dunk to help you decide which one is right for you.

A Brief History of Nike Dunk and SB Dunk

Before comparing Nike Dunk with the SBs, let’s know a bit more about their humble beginning.

Nike Dunk

In 1985, Nike released a new addition to their basketball shoes called Nike Dunk. The sneakers were designed by Peter Moore, who also happens to be the designer of the iconic Air Jordan 1.

The Dunk came in a variety of colors and designs and was quickly adopted by college basketball teams across the USA.

However, in the early 2000s, the Dunk became popular among skateboarders and other alternative sports enthusiasts, who appreciated the shoe’s durability and style.

SB Dunk

The SB Dunk, which stands for Skateboarding Dunk, was introduced in 2002 as a collaboration between Nike and professional skateboarder Richard Mulder.

The shoes were designed with features specifically for skateboarding. And this includes a padded tongue and Zoom Air insoles for better cushioning and impact protection.

However, SB Dunks quickly became popular among skateboarders, with limited edition collaborations with artists and musicians such as Futura and Supreme.

But the SB Dunks gained mainstream attention when worn by characters in the popular 2004 movie “Lords of Dogtown”.

And today, the Nike Dunk and SB Dunk are popular among sneaker enthusiasts, becoming a symbol of streetwear and urban fashion.

The brand, however, continues to release new designs and collaborations for both the Dunk lines. And each new release of both the Dunks is creating a buzz among sneaker collectors and fans.

Follow our guide on how do Dunks fit.

How Do SB Dunk and Classic Nike Dunk Compare?

When both typical Dunk and SB Dunk look pretty much the same, they do have some distinguishable features. For instance, they differ in price, lace and sole design, cushioning, and purpose. Yet both the Dunks have similarities regarding their material and comfort. nike-dunk-and-sb-dunk-compare

So, let’s find out the similarities and differences between classic Dunks and SB Dunks:

1. Purpose

The primary difference between Nike Dunks and SB Dunks lies in their design purpose. The Dunks were originally designed for the basketball court but became popular among street skaters with their simple and durable design.

Conversely, SB Dunks came as an improvised version of Nike Dunks and was designed specifically for skateboarding.

2. Zoom Air Insoles

Another key difference between the Nike Dunk classics and SB Dunks is the insole design.

SB Dunks have Zoom Air cushioning and a springy Poron foam on the forefoot insole. This feature provides excellent board control while giving a rapid off-the-ground feel. zoom-air-insoles

On the other hand, the original Dunks come with a relatively basic foam insole design.

Although the simple foam design is functional, it pales compared to the intricate insole details found in SB versions.

3. Padded Tongue Design

Another noticeable difference between Nike Dunks and SB Dunks is their tongue. Where Dunks come with a thin mesh tongue, the SBs offer a padded tongue design. padded-tongue-design

SB Dunks come with a reinforced tongue to provide extra protection and support. While fitting snugly to the feet, this padded tongue prevents slipping or twisting.

Plus, the tongue is attached to the laces by an elastic strap, which you won’t find in the classic Dunks. This tongue feature of SB provides additional safety while allowing easy slip on and off.

4. Outsole Grip Patterns

As we all know, like the Jordan 1, classic Nike Dunks come with the same concentric curved outsole tread patterns. With this grippy sole, the Dunks perform great while pivoting in the court.

But while designing the SB Dunk’s outsole, the team decided to make the treads finer while increasing the number of tread rings. outsole-grip-patterns

This change in tread pattern made the sneakers more flexible, providing extra grip while skating.

Unlike the classic Dunks, the SB Dunks feature an inserted Phylon foam in their midsole for extra cushioning. Except for the OG Dunks, which has a solid rubber sole without any foamy insertion.

5. Price

Both the SB Dunks and classic Nike Dunks are pretty expensive. However, their regular price is quite similar, with a slight variation.

For example, the price of Nike Dunks ranges from $100 to $150, and for SB Dunks, the price goes from $100 to over $130.

But you may find a big difference while comparing the retail prices and resale values of these two iconic Nike sneakers.

However, On retail platforms like Amazon, SB Dunks are sold at much higher prices than the classic Dunks.

For instance, in retail platforms, you may find classic Dunks in a price range from $100 to $500. But for SB Dunks, the price ranges from $200 to over $3000.

And to confront the resale value, a pair of SB Dunk low Paris was sold for 133,000 US dollars by the Proxyeed sneaker club. price

6. Lace Difference

When it comes to the laces, Nike Dunks come with flat laces of varied widths. This lace design performs well on the basketball court but is not good enough for skating.

Conversely, the SB Dunks come with round and puffy laces to endure the rigorous stunts and movements of skating. These improvised lace designs also help the shoes to last longer.

7. Colorways

In terms of colorways and collaborations, both models have a wide range of options.

Side on, the SB Dunk has become known for its unique and often wild designs thanks to collaborations with artists, musicians, and other brands. colorways

The Nike Dunk, on the other hand, has more classic and straightforward colorways, however, it has its fair share of collaborations as well.

Overall, classic Dunks and SB Dunks have their own similarities and differences. Before deciding which one to buy, try both the Dunks to find the perfect one for you.

Pros and Cons of Dunk Classic and SB Dunks

Nike Dunks and SB Dunks are stylish sneakers with a bunch of outstanding features. However, along with the awesome features, both have some downsides as well.

So, let’s check out the pros and cons that come with Dunk Classic and SB Dunks.

Nike Dunks

  • »Minimalistic design.
  • »Grippy outsoles.
  • »Durable material.
  • »Good for wide feet.
  • »Affordable.
  • »Less cushion support.
  • »Basic foam insoles.
  • »Flat laces.

Nike SB Dunks

  • »Excellent zoom air cushioning.
  • »Padded tongue.
  • »Elevated tapping and reinforced forefoot.
  • »Exclusive designs.
  • »Grippy outsole with finer treads.
  • »Relatively pricey.
  • »Not so suitable for wide feet.
  • »Limited colorways.

Which One Should You Buy Between Nike Dunks and SB Dunks?

Both the classic Dunks and SB Dunks have great features to offer. So which one to choose between them depends on your need and preference.

If you’re a basketball player or just prefer a bulkier shoe, the Nike Dunk may be the way to go.

However, if you want a skateboarding pair with unique and eye-catching designs, the SB Dunk is likely more up to your alley.

From a casual viewpoint, SB Dunks are more suitable as streetwear with their zoom air cushioning and responsive soles. To give you an example, I use my pair of SB Dunk Pogo for skating as well as daily wear.

Regardless of your choice, both models are great examples of Nike’s commitment to high-quality footwear.

So, go to your nearest sneaker shop and try out both models. And pick the one that matches your preference.

You may also like to read Nike Dunk Vs Blazer.

Wrapping Things Up

The Nike Dunk versus SB Dunk debate will likely continue among sneakerheads for years to come.

But hopefully, the finest details I’ve provided here will help you to pick the best one among the two.

So, without any hesitation, grab your favorite dunk. And don’t forget to share your experience through the comment box.

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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