The Iconic Nike Dunk Is the 2020 FN Shoe of the Year

The iconic Nike Dunk has earned the 2020 Shoe of the Year nod by FN and will be honored in December at the first virtual FN Achievement Awards.

Thirty-five years after the sneaker was introduced for the basketball court, the Nike Dunk celebrated arguably one of its biggest years yet. Throughout 2020, the Swoosh delivered several iterations of the performance-turned-lifestyle shoe, with every style turning into an instant sellout.

Its recent popularity was largely fueled by needle-moving collaborations, which turned into big money earners on the resale market. Toward the beginning of the year, Houston rap megastar Travis Scott’s take on the Nike SB Dunk Low became one of the sneaker’s most sought-after by collectors and resellers alike.

However, as the year progressed, Nike continued to deliver hit after hit.

For instance, a look with Ben & Jerry’s, dubbed “Chunky Dunky,” arrived in May to much fanfare. And in July, Nike released a series of Grateful Dead-inspired sneakers that enticed sneaker fans of all ages, many of whom weren’t alive to enjoy the rock band during its heyday.

And non-collaborative styles also intrigued longtime fans of the silhouette, most notably the college-inspired Dunk Low colorways that included the coveted “Syracuse” and “Kentucky” looks.

Nike SB Dunk Low Ben Jerry's Chunky Dunky
Nike SB Dunk Low x Ben & Jerry’s “Chunky Dunky.”
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nike

Also, the power of celebrity — although secondary to the year’s collaborations — helped fuel the shoe’s recent popularity.

According to StockX, sales of the various Nike Dunk looks on the secondary market were boosted whenever celebs Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner shared an image on social media in a pair.

For instance, the “stock market of things” revealed that there were 10 sales of the Nike SB Dunk Low “Newcastle” within three hours of Scott sharing a photo on July 30 via Instagram, with prices climbing 40%. And with Jenner, prices of Nike SB Dunks climbed anywhere from 30% to 50% whenever she laced up in a pair.

Kylie Jenner Off-White Nike Dunk Low University Red.
Kylie Jenner on Aug. 11 in Los Angeles wearing the Off-White x Nike Dunk Low “University Red.”

For 34 years, the annual FN Achievement Awards (often called the “Shoe Oscars”) have celebrated the style stars, best brand stories, ardent philanthropists, emerging talents and industry veterans. Previous Shoe of the Year winners have included the Adidas Yeezy Boost and the Fenty Puma Creeper.

The first virtual FNAAs will air online Dec. 8 and are sponsored by The Style Room Powered by Zappos, and FDRA. Other honorees include Cardi B as Style Influencer of the Year, Salehe Bembury as Designer of the Year and New Balance as Athletic Brand of the Year — plus many more.

Click here to RSVP for the show.

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