The Nike Dunk has become one of the most iconic, recognized, and versatile sneakers since its introduction in 1985 as a college basketball shoe. Designed by Peter Moore, one of the brand’s most influential designers throughout its entire history, the Dunk differed from its Air Jordan 1 counterpart in the wide-ranging colorways that came to define it, as well as its trimmed down design.
Originally designed for specific college basketball teams under Nike (as part of the “Be True To Your School” collection), the sneaker shifted over time to the skate community, in large part due to its adoption of a nylon tongue that made the sneaker that much more comfortable, and then a padded tongue (still present in the SB Dunks) for stability and protection. Alongside numerous well-known and coveted collaborations throughout the sneaker’s history, it has cemented itself as a streetwear staple in today’s culture.
With so many Dunks out there, we’ve selected the best Nike Dunks Under $200 on StockX right now. Something to keep in mind: these shoes were under $200 for most sizes when we put the list together, but that may have changed by the time you got here to read it. They’re still worth considering, even if they’re a few extra dollars.
One of our favorite Dunks is the Nike Dunk High Championship Navy, originally released in October 2021. Also colloquially known as the “Nike Dunk High Villanova”, due to its Villanova University navy blue color scheme, the retro design harkens back to the sneaker’s 1980s roots. The white leather upper and navy overlays, complete with a matching woven tongue label and sole, give this particular Dunk a minimal and sleek look, practical enough to wear with any outfit, day or night.
Much like the aforementioned Villanovas, the Nike Dunk High Black Varsity Maize, originally released in 2020, calls to mind the label’s ‘80s “Be True To Your School” campaign. The yellow and black combination pays homage to the University of Iowa, one of the first colleges to partner with Nike. Also known as the “Golden Rod,” a black and yellow leather upper is complemented by a woven black and yellow Nike Swoosh tongue tag, white midsole, and Varsity Maize outsole.
Similar to the Iowa-inspired sneaks, the 2020 Nike Dunk High Michigan sport a Maize and blue colorway that originally debuted in 1985. Donning the University of Michigan Wolverine’s school colors – once part of Nike’s College Colors Program – the shoe’s upper is made of navy blue and Maize leathers. Rounded out by its white midsole and navy outsole, the High Michigan is one of our favorites for its tried and true color design and versatility.
Aside from the college basketball Nikes, another of our favorite Dunks is the 1985 Black Acid Wash. Originally released in 2021, this ‘80-inspired Dunk gives off a rad acid-washed, aged effect, thanks to its yellowed midsole and retro Nike tongue tag. But it’s the pale Lemon Drop leather upper with black and white splotches that really catches the eye and reinforces why the Nike Dunk is so loved in the first place.
If you’re really going for that ‘80s vintage vibe, though, you’ll want to consider the 1985 Orange Acid Wash, an extension of the very same pack as our last suggestion. Featuring a cream leather upper with washed out orange and blue overlays, “old school” cool truly defines the shoe. Boasting a dark grey leather upper, yellowed midsole, and red and black leather overlays, this Dunk seems transported from 40 years ago.
Still, if those two Acid Wash Dunks aren’t giving you all of the retro vibes you crave, look no further than at the Yellow Acid Wash – another from the very same pack. Celebrating the aged effects of sneakers over the years, washed out black and yellow overlays represent the wear and tear over time, while its yellowed soles give a nod to the oxidation process. This particular Dunk also stays true to the design’s original high-cut form, differentiating it from other Dunk Highs that have a mid-cut silhouette. While this colorway isn’t the most popular, and sort of feels like a fever dream-induced third incarnation of the famous Melvins Dunks, that keeps it very affordable.
Even though spring is right around the corner, grabbing these Dunk Low NH Winter Solstice is always in season. An embroidered winter-sun graphic sparkles throughout the suede overlay, with a cozy color palette reminiscent of cozy late autumn, early winter. Released late last year, the date and time of the 2021 solstice can be seen on the sockliner, easily of the coolest features we’ve seen, but don’t let this limit you: these are perfect all year round.
With a neutral medium grey and white scheme, any minimalist will appreciate the sleek and classic design of the Dunk Low Two Tone Grey. This sneaker is designed for daily wear, regardless of the occasion. And let’s face it: any two tone grey sneaker should be a staple in your closet anyways.