Considering the contemporary resurgence in Dunk hype due to certain collaborations and recent retroed colourways, we’ve thought to give the shoe some appreciation from a past release.

Initially when the Nike Dunk was introduced in 1985, it was Nike's original basketball team shoe which proved perfect to be colour blocked to match several of the top American schools such as Kentucky, Syracuse and Michigan (check ‘Be True To Your School’). The shoe, in both its high and low forms, was (and still is) a great canvas for said color blocking, artistic expression and more, way further down the line.

Dunks were formative to the sneaker boom of the early-2000s including the Nike SB line that launched in 2002. It’s key to note that not all Dunks are SBs as many get it twisted nowadays. Many released styles went under the radar before garnering attention online via word-of-mouth on sneaker forums and the early inception of the blogosphere. What really made sneakers stand out were the different styles that individuals rocked.

In 2002, a rather eye-catching Hyperstrike release caught the scene’s attention. Not only because it was aesthetically pleasing (basic shoe design 101), but exclusivity was — and still is — a strong variable in its desirability to be sought after (we always want what we can’t have, to an extent of course). Hyperstrike releases — the most limited of limited — tend to be kept under wraps as long as possible and are released in extremely limited numbers; sometimes to only friends and family.

In this case, produced in a very limited run of only 24 pairs, this Nike Dunk Low Premium ‘Splatter’ Hyperstrike originally was thought as an Undefeated collaboration, since the shoe was sold at the brand’s Los Angeles store. Coming in a burgundy and sand upper, with a pastel pink Swoosh, the blue paint splatter sets them off and was actually a special makeup for LA-based fashion print publication, Metro.Pop — ‘The fashion magazine for the rest of us’, as told to us by Jesse Leyva who worked on the shoe.

Leyva is one of the most important people in the evolution of the Dunk, having been the Global Design Director for Nike Sportswear, his next role was at Nike’s newest division at the time, NRG (Energy) in 2006. He was responsible for the first Dunk collab ever — the Alphanumeric that set the bar high for what was to come.

As only 24 pairs were produced and since Travis Scott was seen wearing those Dunks last year, the desire for these shoes has shot up drastically and so has the value. A recent pair sold for over $35,000 and as pairs get sold, less and less become available. There are rumoured to only be a few pairs in the world in deadstock condition.

Two slightly more readily available Splatter colourways were released a few months before in Silver Ice/Team Red-Light Graphite and Myth/White-Deco, both men’s and women’s respectively. (Bear in mind that men’s and women’s shoes, even though they’re the same model, carry slight differences. The latter with a more narrow fit, unlike today’s one style in a full size run for all.)

Here’s a detailed look at the Nike Dunk Splatter Hyperstrike sample. Yep, it’s a pre-production version which is even rarer. To see and read more rare and significant sneaker gems, head over to Archive DNA on Instagram.