Size and fit

The Nike Dunk Ultra has remained true to size through the years. The shoes have a tight-fitting collar that is secured by a round shoe lacing system that starts from above the ankle all the way down into the toe box for a snug fit. 

Nike Dunk Ultra Style

Transcending decades and has evolved from Nike basketball heritage to a fashion statement, the Nike Dunk established 30 years ago is now a skater-slash-casual street sneaker coveted for its simple aesthetics overlays. The basketball shoe became popular for its street style influences from the older Nike Air Force 1 but with a low cut and bold designs and color.

However, through the years the venerable shoe has taken its style off the court and into the streets. Coming from this long-running legacy of the Nike Dunk basketball sneaker, the Nike Dunk Ultra now comes in exciting and vibrant Black, Racer Blue, Red, and String/Sail colorways. Don’t forget the tartan lining on the tongue, the plaid inner lining, and the umbrella logo on the tongue that gives the shoe a versatile all-weather edge over other sneakers.

Notable Features

The retro silhouette and vibrant colors of this trainer-turned lifestyle sneaker are its major draw. But beneath its stylish looks, most notable is the weather-resistant rubberized leather in a sleek silhouette that makes these sneakers prepared rain or shine for inclement weather.  Further boosting its features is the stitched rubber outsole that gives it a durable character.

Nike Dunk Ultra History

The Nike Dunk came at a time when the multi-billion dollar shoe company was only a decade old and slowly making its name in the footwear industry.  Released in 1985, the Nike Dunk came at a time when the company is still gaining an audience among basketball fans.

Nike designer Peter Moore was the man who sketched the first designs of this iconic shoe. Initially dubbed as the College Color High as a way to introduce team colors into footwear, the Nike Dunk was a result of combining elements of four other basketball shoes including the Nike Air Force One, the Nike Terminator, the Nike Legend, and the Air Jordan I.

Known for their low profile and lightweight upper, the shoes were initially aimed to improve pivotal movements and blocking in the hardcourt. To further draw the basketball crowd, the company signed up 8 universities by sponsoring shoes for their teams. The earlier Dunks featured in colorways of the schools and often dubbed as the Be True to Your School series.

Eventually adopted by the skateboard community, the Nike Dunk was loved by skateboarders. For their superior traction and lightweight design, the shoes were often identified with a low midsole and lateral support, cushioning, and traction that is ideal for pivoting and leaping in skateboards.

The Dunk is also a favorite among retailers collaborating for new designs and colorways which made this shoe an enduring design for its adaptability to new colorways and materials. Now more than 30 years since it was first released, the company released the Nike Dunk Ultra in 2016 with its Umbrella logo at the tongue and high top silhouette to boost the iconic shoes’ identity as an all-weather type of sneaker.

Additional Info

  • The high-top sneaker has a heel pull tab for easy on and off.
  • Solid rubber was used on the outsole for additional traction while a perforated vamp enhances airflow all over the foot.
  • Celebrities who have worn the Nike Dunk Ultra include NBA star Jeremy Lin, musicians Trinidad James, Chris Brown, DJ Steph Floss, rocker Joel Madden, and actor Jerry Ferrara.


How Nike Dunk Ultra ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 4% sneakers
All sneakers
Top 2% Nike sneakers
All Nike sneakers
Top 6% high sneakers
All high sneakers


The current trend of Nike Dunk Ultra.
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.