The Dunk was created by Nike as a signature shoe for the nation’s top college programs in 1985 following the release of the Air Force 1 in 1982 and success of the Air Jordan 1 earlier that year. The Dunk borrowed its high leather upper and perforated vamp from the Air Force 1, giving it the appearance of being a very similar shoe. However, it also had some of its own innovations that made it uniquely suited for the college game.
Since collegiate players often attack with more pace than their NBA counterparts, the Dunk featured a lower profile outsole compared to the Air Force 1. This change reduced the overall weight of the shoe and kept players closer to the ground and more attuned with the action on the court, thus making it a favorite of some of the nation’s best young point guards.
The Dunk’s “Be True To Your School” campaign became its hallmark as the shoes were routinely seen on the feet of some of the country’s best college players during the 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons, with some players even continuing to wear them in 1987-88. Here are the 10 Best Performances in the Nike Dunk.
Doug Sibor contributes to Sneaker Report, Complex Media, and Bleacher Report, and can often be found shuttling between Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium and TD Garden. If you wish to discuss sports, sneakers, reality TV or acceptable meats to use as pizza toppings, follow him here.