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How to spot the difference: Nike Dunk vs Nike Sb Dunk
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How to spot the difference: Nike Dunk vs Nike Sb Dunk 

Lately, Nike Dunks and Nike SB Dunks have dominated plenty of news feeds and you always tend to get confused between Nike dunk and Sb Dunk. So here is the street sense guide to differentiate between these two shoes:

SB and Dunks are both Nike products. Although these two types of shoes look similar in many respects, a close look at them will really reveal the difference between the two, especially in the design, the inner sole and the outer sole.

The Dunks were the first ones on the market. Nike launched the Dunks in 1985. Dunks came in several colors and in different sizes when it was reintroduced in 1985. In 1998 brand reintroduced Dunks with various changes. Nike transformed the Dunks ‘overall look from a basic basketball football to something relate-able to music, art, and culture. The brand SB was founded by Nike in 1998.

Material Differences: Nike Dunks To Nike SB

There have been some material changes. This marked a shift from the Dunk in the 1980s to a much more casual-oriented style. In the famous Dunks Pro B series, such as ‘Smurf’ and ‘Putty’ from 1999, Suede was heavily present. The use of 3 M reflection panels or mini packs with an upper handle of grip tape (1999 ‘Ross’) was also a useful upgrade.

nike dunks

Another notable feature of many Pro B Dunks was the padded mesh tongue, when the regular Dunks of that era featured a thin nylon version like the originals of 1985. Again, this was not applicable to all Pro Bs, including the Samba of 2001 or the Halloween of 2002.

Just before the first Dunk retros hit the market in the late 90s, Nike was also trying to reach out to other departments. They tried (and failed) in 1996 with skate-specific silhouettes such as Choad and Snak, but the Dunk was right there to take it.

nike sb dunk pine green

In March 2002, Nike tried again and launched his Nike SB arm. The Dunk served as the flagship silhouette, and got the new Dunk Low Pro SB name tag.


zoom air

Nike SB gave the Dunk new insoles with a Zoom Air pod on the heel and a spongy Poron foam forefoot insole. This significantly increased the comfort and responsiveness of the already great skate shoe. It’s all been performance.
Standard Dunks, on the other hand, have a relatively simple foam insole. The cloth cover still does the job, but obviously it’s not as detailed as the versions of SB.


nike sb cushioning

The padded tongue came from the pro-B era and was at the heart of the original golden age, but a few SB Dunks were created with unpadded mesh tongues around 2010. The following year, Nike rejigged the SB Dunk and withdrew from the padding until the sense prevailed and the puffy tongue returned a few years later.

The padded tongue improved fit, and the elastic strips running underneath the tongue along the arch had two-fold advantages. The dreaded effect of crooked tongues was non-existent, and laces could be kept loose for extra steez. That said, it didn’t stop a lot of casual wearers snipping those extra tongue pop straps. In fact, SB Dunks had no SB branding on the tongues until 2005.

Another difference is the upper quarter of the tongue, which has a folded  section to bend the ankle, leaving enough space for a rectangular label that simply reads ‘Nike.’


nike sb dunk outsole

The concentric curved tread pattern is great for rotating movements, so Nike improved it even more by making the rings finer for more flexibility and extra grip. Some Phylon foam was also injected inside the midsole for cushioning, as opposed to the solid rubber unit on OG Dunks.


nike sb dunk low laces

SB Dunks are more or less used with oval, slightly puffy laces. Non-SB Dunks have used flat laces of varying widths over the years, but there have been variations for the SB lace. Nike SB mainly uses thick laces, while Nike Dunk shoes have a wide range of textile laces.

That’s it for now folks we’ll be back with more interesting stuff soon! Till then-

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