My, How Nike’s Panda Dunk Has Aged


Of the many shoes to challenge Nike’s Air Force 1 for sole supremacy, who could’ve expected Nike’s “Panda” Dunk to take the number one spot? Well, perhaps it’s not such a huge surprise upon further reflection — guess what? Regular colorways of normal shoes are popular! — but the sheer demand is nonetheless impressive.

For instance, StockX asserts that over 1,400 pairs of 2021 Nike Panda Dunk Retro sneakers have sold in the past three days alone — that’s not even including other variations, retros, and women’s pairs or the shoes sold on different secondhand sites.

Need further proof? Go to your local mall (do people still go to the mall?) and cast a glance downwards, or skim streetwear-related Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok pages. You’ll almost assuredly see several pairs of Panda Dunks.

Point is, the kids like Pandas and the shoes are gonna keep restocking forever ’til demand eventually, if ever, shrinks.

The latest revision of the red-hot sneaker comes by way of a vintage-tinged Panda Dunk High for men, with a tentative release date set for September 2022 and a price of $125.

We first saw this style earlier this year and, following “Champion” Panda Dunks, reversed Panda Dunks, and even some Panda-inspired Air Max 90s, it’s the Panda Dunk High that’s getting some time to shine.

And it’s exactly what the Panda Dunk High has already looked like in the past, basically. You’ve got the usual black and white paneling upon the leather upper, exposed tongue padding, and contrasting Nike branding on the ankle strap.

The single new element comes by way of the faux-aged midsole that’s now a lived-in tone of yellow.

That’s it! Nothing else new. But it’s enough that this shoe is all but guaranteed to sell out as quickly as any other Panda Dunk High, which most recently re-released in 2021.

But this is the stuff that pays the bills. Sure, the Lil Yachty collabs and extra-cushioned Scorpion are indicative of progressive tech and cultural shifts but all folks are really after are slight tweaks to the shoes they wear every day.

Hence, this rather tame but ultimately palatable high-top Panda Dunk. It’s all grown-up and aged, but no less covetable.

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