We may receive a commission when you click on links and complete purchases for products from advertisers. The information and views given are our own editorial content and we pride ourselves to make sure it is original and accurate. Privacy Policy

Nike Dunks are expensive due to hype, limited collaboration, and only selected stores stocking them. Demand for Dunks is the most common reason why they are so expensive. 

Reasons we will cover in this article:

  • Manufacturing costs.
  • Supply and demand.
  • Marketing
  • Reselling marketplaces

Are you a die-hard Nike Dunk fan, or do you know a sneakerhead who is? 

Discover 27 amazing sneakerhead gifts that will give your Nike Dunks a fresh look, secure storage, and lasting protection. 

From stylish accessories to handy gadgets, it is perfect for any occasion.

Related Article: Discover why Nike Vapormax sneakers are expensive and last long!

Reasons Nike Dunk Is Expensive 

Manufacturing Costs 


Midsole – ​​The midsole is constructed of EVA Zoom Air-cushioned foam and is made exclusively at Nike subcontracted factories worldwide. Nike does not directly control manufacturing plants, so the shoe cost increases slightly. 

General release Dunk “Pandas” are mass-produced economies of scale that allow Nike to lower the cost of production. In the UK, they retail for £80 – £120 ($90 – $140), which is inexpensive but often sells out, causing them to resell for 3x the retail price. 

Nike Patents – According to Insights By GreyB, Nike has 25762 patents globally. Out of 25762 patents, 28755 patents are active. Specific patents related to Nike Dunk designs are active, and managing patents adds to the cost. 

Leather Manufacturing – General release Nike Dunks consist of different grades of synthetic leather coated in polythene plastic (synthetic material) with a fake leather embossed print. This process is costly. Machines are constantly running, with workers rotating shifts to ensure the production line doesn’t stop. 

Related Article: Did you know the Nike VaporMax costs £100 ($115) more than the Dunk? Here are 5 Fascinating Reason You Didn’t Know.

Limited Releases and Collaborations


Any Quickstrike (limited edition release) Nike Dunk released usually commands a higher price than the general release pair inspired by.

For example, the Concepts x Nike SB Dunk “White Lobster” were released exclusively as the retail store’s friend and family pack. Usually, such limited models require more creative development, another reason why the Dunk is so expensive. 

The “Viotech” Nike Dunk Low was released in 2001 as a Japan-exclusive Co.Jp and in 2013 and 2019 for the rest of the world at select Nike retailers. They were released for a retail price of $120, but they resell on the StockX marketplace for close to $400. 

Supply and Demand 

General release Nike Dunks are expensive because only certain retailers with Tier 0 accounts get certain premium sneakers. Nike chooses Tier accounts (retailers). Nike determines the markup, but as they are only in selector stores, demand for such pairs is high, which makes them pricey. 

Similar to a limited edition, collaborations and endorsements pair their scarcity pushes to make them expensive. To meet demand, most retailers like END, Footlocker, and Size?

Rely on raffles to make the process of buying in-demand sneakers fair. Some retailers collaborate with Nike, which are more expensive than general release pairs.


From the various models of Nike Dunk released, the marketing campaigns around the sneaker are centred around the target audience. The promotional video campaign was titled Nike SB “Today Was A Good Day” with professional stake-boarder Paul Rodriguez. Such marketing strategy and material require a significant upfront initial investment, making the Dunk more expensive than other sneakers. 

Resell Marketplaces 

Whether it’s a general release, limited edition, or collaboration model, Nike Dunk commands high resell values due to the hype around the sneakers. The main reason Dunks are so expensive is that sneaker enthusiasts are willing to pay above retail for the sneaker. 

Nike Dunk FAQs

Why are Nike Dunks so much?

Supply and demand, hype, and collaborations increase the price. They cost so much because people are willing to pay if they see the value in the shoe. Nike SB Dunk Supreme Stars resells for 630% more than the retail price. Supreme collaborations usually bring about a lot of hype in the sneaker community. 

What is Nike Dunk for?

Modern Nike Dunks are casual lifestyle sneakers. When released in 1985, they were college basketball sneakers with different colours representing each school. But between 1995 and 2005, they were used by stake boarders for their excellent features, flat sole, grip, and leather upper under the Nike SB branding. 

How much are Nike Dunks worth?

The simple answer is whatever buyer is willing to pay. General release Nike Dunks retail in the UK between £100 – £125 ($115 – 145), often selling out, pushing the price 3x more than retail. Limited edition collaborations retail for a similar amount or slightly higher but often resell for 300% more than retail on aftermarket platforms.

If you found the Why Nike Dunks Are Expensive article helpful, check out the latest trainer reviews and video content by following @saucedby on Instagram and Pinterest or liking our Facebook Page.

Add to cart