Sneakers - January 25, 2023

A Nike Dunk Color Story

Chloe Parr

Chloe is a Creative Content Manager + Writer @ StockX.

It’s time to step outside your color comfort zone. We’ve put together the Nike Dunks you should wear right now based on this year’s top hues.

It’s time to step outside your color comfort zone. We’ve put together the Nike Dunks you should wear right now based on this year’s top hues.

Let’s be honest, we’ve all been guilty of defaulting to our favorite neutrals when creating outfits. It’s an easy and safe palette option when getting ready in a rush. But if Pantone’s Color of the Year Viva Magenta is any indication, 2023 is going to be about being bold, fearless, and creative in your self-expression. So it’s time we all throw some shade on our personal style and experiment with new palettes. The Spring 2022/2023 runways were awash with a hybrid of colors, from punchy bold hues that made an impact (Off-White’s “CELEBRATION”) to soft subtle tones that looked understatedly luxurious (Acne Studios SS23). The best part about using color to try out new trends is that they easily translate from the runways to the streets. Just look at Rihanna, who never shies away from color whether it’s just a pop or a full monochromatic moment.  

While the fashion world designs with color palettes, in sneakers it’s all about colorways. And there’s no better sneaker to start your new 2023 color story than the Nike Dunk – a silhouette that has exploded in renewed popularity the past couple years, using colorways as their own canvas for storytelling with each release. With a seriously extensive catalog of options, the Nike Dunk has something for everyone – from the color curators to the neutral stans. Keep scrolling for our Dunk download based on this season’s trending colors. 

2022’s obsession with fuschia (looking at you, Jacquemus and Valentino) is finally taking a moment to breathe as a new bold color takes center stage. This year, blue is the new pink. And one specific hue has been the strongest color story to come out of recent runways: cobalt. Prominently seen at the Spring/Summer 2023 Off-White show “CELEBRATION”, this vibrant blue feels like a color to finally dethrone Barbie pink. A versatile color igniting both productivity and peace, cobalt blue is subtle enough to wear everyday but bold enough to feel like you’re taking part in the current color conversation. 

When it comes to Nike Dunks, a top pick for this trend is the Nike Dunk Low SP Kentucky. Released in 2020 as part of the 35th Anniversary of the Nike Dunk, this fan-favorite sneaker captures the celebratory feelings of the cobalt color story. Another on-trend option that is more literally on the trend is the Nike Dunk Low Retro Hyper Cobalt, paving a way for you to take a step bolder than the rest of the crowd. 


To make pastels groundbreaking for spring (hey, at least it’s not florals) opt for shades that are so watered down they look translucent. The Spring/Summer 2023 runways layered sheer fabrics over pastel tones to create an icy effect, transforming the typical spring palette into shades that looked current, fresh, and eclectic. Think ballet pink, grayish violet, periwinkle, and subtle mint. This color trend also acts as a new neutral, so even the most color-opposed can easily partake. 

The Next Nature White Mint Dunk is the perfect example of that “barely there” pastel. The classic white upper seemingly melts together with the subtle mint overlays, creating a delicate two-tone colorway that rips the rulebook on what a traditional spring palette should look like and crafts a new creative approach on this translucent trend. 


Head-to-toe beige had its moment last year, but for 2023 the new “It” neutral is all about shades of gray. It’s finally time for your groutfit (that is gray outfit) to have its moment. Taking notes from Prada’s Spring/Summer 2023 runway show, wearing monochromatic gray feels unexpectedly modern and cool for the new year. The key to elevating any groutfit is mixing in different shades of gray in cooler tones so that it looks less lazy uniform and more purposeful, fashion-forward ‘fit. 

To complete any monochromatic moment, try the Nike Dunk Low Two Tone Grey colorway. The light gray leather upper with the darker tonal overlays has that right mix of concrete shades, helping separate your sneakers from your outfit. If you don’t want to go full “groutfit” just yet, the Nike Dunk Low Grey Fog has a glacier shade in the overlays but paired with a classic white upper for a timeless sneaker staple. 


Last year catapulted us to space thanks to fashion’s love affair with metallics and futuristic styles. But now it’s time to come back down to earth. Shades of mossy greens, burnt yellows, and warm browns will inspire you to get in touch with your nature side for 2023. These rooted shades will plant you back in our simulated reality, bringing a calming, harmonious energy to your year ahead. The natural colorways will also complement the outdoorsy silhouettes of the once again trending Gorpcore aesthetic

For your earthy Dunk of choice, the Nike Dunk Low Medium in Olive is a settling shade often found in nature and doubles as the perfect transitional colorway to bring you from winter to spring. Another favorite is the Nike Dunk High Light Chocolate, composed of tonal brown and Sail hues with a mix of suede and leather construction, giving it a luxurious touch.


Whether you’re physically in a colder climate or mentally in a winter slump, a golden hour palette will provide you the needed warm remedy a TikTok sunset lamp can only hope to imitate. This time period usually casts soft, romantic hues of reds, oranges, yellows, and purples. A surprising yet optimistic hit at Courrèges and Etro’s runway shows, the ombre effect of sunset colors is what really makes this hour (and your look) magical. 

Any Nike Dunk colorway in these sunset shades will give you that warm glow all season long. For a more literal take on the trend, try the Nike Dunk Low Magma Orange. The two-tone orange colorway stylistically bleeds together on the toe box and midpanel, creating an ombre sunset effect. If the bold Magma Orange is too high in the sky for you, focus on a softer color to add just a sun-kissed touch to your outfit. A few favorites include the Nike Dunk Low Rose Whisper, Nike Dunk Low Harvest Moon, and the Nike Dunk Low Teddy Bear.


Photo credit: @off____white, 16ARLINGTON, Prada, Courrèges via Vogue