Debuted in February 2020, the Nike x Off-White Rubber Dunk merges elements of the Nike Pegasus line with the Nike Dunk to honor Nike’s legacy in technical innovation and nod to skateboarding’s history of experimentation.
“Highlighting the Air is part of the early logic of the collaboration,” says Virgil Abloh. “The shoe is about incorporating past ideas in a new era — designing with purpose and cultural relevance to come up with something new.”
The shoe considers the moment, with skateboarding having been set to feature in Tokyo, and connects the dots between historical moments in sport. It’s what happens when memory grants the same potency to visions of a gold spike streaking across the track in Atlanta as it does to an Air Max 95 above a board in Philadelphia’s Love Park.
“The shoe is about incorporating past ideas in a new era — designing with purpose and cultural relevance to come up with something new.”
An exposed Air bag in the heel roots the design. The Air unit sits in a flexible, cored-out sole, itself a testament to technical innovation — few rubber cupsole designs reveal Air. “It’s safe to say one of the greatest inventions in modern footwear is Nike's approach to the idea of Air, and adding it as a cushioning element,” Abloh says. “Air is foundational to my understanding of what innovation can look like.”
The upper takes its shape from consideration of late ’90s and early 2000s technical runners. “We loved the extra overlays, offsets and printing that went into running shoes of this era,” notes Gerald Sullivan, Nike Design Director of Collaborations.
For its colorways, the Rubber Dunk is presented in three versions with references to different eras. The gold celebrates Atlanta ’96 directly, the white is homage to general release color schemes of the 2000s and the black, well, says Abloh, "A black sneaker is my go-to for everyday life."
The Nike x Off-White Rubber Dunk releases globally October 1 in extended adult, pre-school and toddler sizing on SNKRS, and at nike.com and select retailers. Each colorway will release with exclusive regional availability: the Black, White and Green Strike colorway in the Americas; the University Gold and Black colorway in China and Asia-Pacific; the White and University Blue colorway across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.