Nike has never been scared of celebrating the ultimate stoner holiday, 4/20, at least through its skateboarding line. In fact, one of the most heralded releases from Nike SB was the Dunk High "Skunk," a 2010 release done up in various shades of green and a purple Swoosh, all in appropriately hairy suede. Now, 10 years, later, we're getting a different strain.
The SB Dunk High "420" is an inversion of Nike's dankest shoe, channeling "Purple Haze" this time around. The weed-centric shoe is rumored to drop on April 20 (when else) and likely be highly limited with only 420 pairs release, if the debossing is to be believed. If you thought Chemdog 91 was hard to find, securing these shoes will be an even greater challenge.
A brief history of Nike SB's love affair with weed — The "Skunk" Dunk — which cheekily featured the actual animal on the shoe's insole and a stash pocket inside the tongue for, well, precious goods — marked the high point for Nike SB's weed-themed releases, but it wasn't the beginning. Six years prior, in 2004, Nike SB released Dunk Low made of hemp that began the trend, albeit more safely. Like this year's drop, only 420 pairs were released.
In 2011, the stash pocket returned for another 4/20 release, the "Cheech and Chong" Dunk High. Instead of taking the weed theme at face value, design cues included a red paisley print inspired by Chong's bandana and a fuzzy red Swoosh culled from Cheech's beanie. The shoe's greatest flourish was hidden, as the white canvas upper could be worn down to reveal a green layer underneath.
Other 4/20 releases have followed since, but they just haven't hit the same. The designs have been dull or, in the case of the "Intergalactic" Dunk Low, didn't have a strong tie-in to the theme.
Inspecting the Purp — It doesn't appear as if the stash pocket will feature this time around, a shame even if you have nothing to hide, but the invocation of marijuana's most exotic color is thrilling nonetheless. Put the hairy suede under a microscope and you could easily fool yourself into thinking you're looking at the ganj itself. Instead of a skunk, the insole graphic looks to be some sort of purple, bearded creature with red eyes, calling to mind the wizard-like elders you can't miss at any 4/20 celebration.
In the midst of the Dunk Low's resurgence, it's also nice to see the High get a little love.
Stay tuned for release details — Nike has yet to announce any official details on the "420" Dunk, so keep your eyes out for proper release details. And maybe stay sober when it's time to cop — you don't need your senses inhibited when it comes to securing a pair this coveted.