Why Are Dunks So Expensive?

Why Are Dunks So Expensive

It’s not a secret that Nike Dunks are in high demand, to the point where you really have to get them at a retail price.

But why are Dunks so expensive in the resale market? What makes the cost skyrocket ten or even twenty times higher?

Let’s discover the mystery behind the unimaginable price and the myth of one of the most iconic sneakers ever!

8 Reasons For The High Price Of Dunks

Although most of us can agree that the name Nike comes with quality in both design and comfort, the huge price tags we see are still bewildering at times.

And here are the factors that might more or less contribute to the overall cost.

High-quality Manufacturing

The manufacturing of Dunks is ensured by premium materials and innovative technologies. The first factor to be considered is the management fee for exclusive patents.

Secondly, they generally use synthetic leather of various grades coated with a plastic called polythene and a faux print for leather. The cost of keeping the machines running through various shifts with rotating workers is certainly not low.

Another crucial feature of Nike is the Zoom-Air soles with EVA foam. They are made in Nike’s factories in different countries all over the world, so the increase in operation costs is to be expected.

In return, the longevity and the performance of Dunks are never in doubt, hence both casual customers and sneaker enthusiasts find the investment worthwhile.


Check more: 11 Most Expensive Men’s Shoes In The World

Stylish & Versatile Appearance

The first thing about Dunks that people notice is the stylish appearance. These shoes are sporty without being too simple or complicated, so you can find them everywhere.

Furthermore, when Nike doesn’t start a new trend, they will be quick to catch up and maybe release a new colorway for special occasions. If customers want to own something seasonal, they usually don’t mind the extra fee.

The Panda Dunks are a great example of an extremely simple color theme inspired by the famous pandas in China. They even have a fuzzy texture to remind you of the lovely animal, and customers are in love with the little details.

Nike Dunk Mid “Panda”
Nike Dunk Mid “Panda”

Comprehensive Footwear

Most Nike shoes fit wide, which works in injury prevention and comfort supply. So, you can say Dunks is a jack of all trades: not too heavy, relaxing enough for recreational purposes, and still supportive enough for sports.

Interestingly enough, the sellers for Dunks are on two ends of the spectrum too.

If you are careful and lucky, you will find retailers who are devoted to footwear of all types. Otherwise, suspicious sellers will be more than happy to take a chunk out of your budget.

Limited Supply & High Demand

When Nike releases a special or premium model, the retailer accounts in Tier 0 are the only ones who have the chance to bring them to their stores. Therefore, the demand is extremely high and thus the price only goes up.

Endorsements by celebrities and collaborations with big names can generate a similar effect to what a limited edition can do, specifically the limited supply in response to the high demand.

Various Collaborations

Ever since Nike Dunks were released on the market, they have had multiple collaborations with the most well-known names at the time in various fields: sports, arts, or music.

They opened up more ideas in both design features and inspired colorways, and sneakerheads don’t want to miss out on special editions.

With the marketing campaigns needed for these collaborations, the popularity of Dunks simply goes up another notch and results in the permanently long waiting line.

The resale market will be more available, and of course, more expensive.

Gundam Nike SB Dunk High
Gundam Nike SB Dunk High

Successful Marketing Plans

It’s easy to tell how much effort Nike has been putting into promoting Dunks to consumers. They want to get the hype from fans, so the limited quantity can make Nike Dunks more desirable and exclusive than ever, which validifies the increased price.

The strategies Nike uses are all quite thorough, with celebrities wearing the Dunks and influencers creating new trendy outfits. It is the direct kind of appeal, convincing the buyers that they can look as stylish as the person they look up to.

Valuable Collection

The collaborations Nike has with celebrities and franchises are quite hard to get, though sneakerheads would rather pay more than miss out on the chance to own such rare shoes.

As long as Dunks have a voice in the resale market, it means they still hold a certain meaning for collectors. Any collection will be upgraded with the presence of a special Dunks edition.

Similar Popular Designs

It may sound absurd, but if you think about it, Nike is generally a well-known brand for sneakers, hence the purpose of each design is similar to one another at some point.

For example, the Air Jordan from Nike is also an iconic model, and it has the same creator as Dunks. The mutual popularity helps both of them become more popular and sought after.

But, Are All Dunks Expensive?

If you don’t know how many Dunks are in retail stores, you will be under the impression that all Dunks are expensive.

However, the retail price of Dunks usually ranges between $60 – 250, with the higher prices belonging to the special collaborations.

The price tags for Dunks only hit the sky in the resale market, where sneaker lovers go, because securing special Dunks is nearly impossible for normal customers.

Some Most Expensive Dunks

Here are some of the most expensive Nike Dunks that you can hardly imagine.

Model Retail price Resale price
Nike SB Dunks Low “Paris” N/A $19,500
Staple x Nike SB NYC Pigeon Dunks Low $200 $11,965
Nike SB Dunk Low “Freddy Krueger” N/A $9,250
Concepts x Nike SB Dunk Low “Yello Lobster” N/A $6,845
Reese Forbes x Nike SB Dunk Low “Denim” $65 $5,399
Nike SB Dunk Low “London” $60 $5,047
Nike SB Dunk Low “What the Dunk” $120 $4,893
Nike SB Dunk Low “Tokyo” $60 $4,531
Michael Lau x Nike SB Dunk Low $250 $4,213
Parra x Nike SB Dunk Low (Friends & Family) N/A $3,054
Girls Don’t Cry x Nike SB Dunk Low (Friends & Family) N/A $2,895
Supreme x Nike SB Dunk Low “Black Cement” 2002 $65 $2,000

Final Words

Nike Dunks are expensive because they are one of the most desired shoe models on the market. However, many people will tell you Dunks are worth it because they come with style, comfort, and reputation.

Every factor adds up to the seemingly sky-high price, so people are still tempted to invest in an iconic all-rounder.

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