Back in December, we made a semi-bold prediction: the Nike Dunk Low was about to have a major 2020. After a relatively quiet decade, the iconic ‘80s hoops shoe was just then starting to regain some serious momentum—thanks in no small part to co-signs from the biggest kingmakers in the Nike stable, Virgil Abloh and Travis Scott. Since then, the Swoosh has kept the Dunk hype simmering with a steady stream of OG colorways (like the Syracuse orange and Kentucky blue editions from 1985’s legendary “Be True to Your School” pack) and big-name collaborations (like this week’s Comme des Garçons link-up). And yet, for all the buzz those drops have generated, none of them have felt entirely earth-shattering—the kind of sneaker that breaks necks, blows minds, and causes mass hysteria on the ‘gram. Today, those Dunks have finally arrived—and man, are they ever a doozy.
This morning, after weeks of speculation and frenzied debate over a series of leaked images, Nike officially announced the Nike SB x Ben & Jerry’s Dunk Low Pro—better known, according to the official press release, as the “Chunky Dunky.” It is, to put it plainly, one of the most delightfully preposterous sneakers ever created. Beyond merely flipping the shoe in the ice cream moguls’ signature colors, the SB design squad went the extra mile to make these Dunks look and feel more like a pint of Half Baked than the genuine article. That meant panels of actually-hairy cow print, stitched-on clouds in the hilly diorama, a drippy golden Swoosh that looks good enough to lick, and the Vermont creamery’s trademark blocky font on every logo hit and label. All of that’s topped off with a fully tie-dyed lining and insole, a far-out nod to the actual Ben and Jerry’s hippie roots.
You might think a sneaker this balls-to-the-wall out there seems a little out of character for a sporting monolith like Nike, but it actually belongs to a long and storied lineage of totally bonkers SB Dunks. Back in its mid-aughts heyday, the Swoosh’s neophyte skateboarding division was responsible for some of the freakiest, extra-iest Nike kicks of all time: among others, there was the furry “Three Bears” pack; the blood-splattered “Freddy” Dunks; and the crustacean’d-out “Red Lobster” Dunks, complete with a rubber band around the toe box. With the Dunk Low finally relevant again, it feels only right for SB to get its doing-the-most groove back—and this Ben & Jerry’s collab is about as strong and strange a return to form as the new Fiona Apple record.
The Chunky Dunky isn’t going to be for everybody, of course, but it’s exactly the kind of lightning rod this fledgling Dunk Renaissance needed to get the real heads talking, arguing, lusting, hating, and paying full attention. If you happen to like your sneakers extra sweet and piled high with all of the toppings, the Nike SB x Ben & Jerry’s Dunk Low Pro drops at select skate shops on May 23 and via the SNKRS app on May 26. Scoop ’em (sorry) while you can.