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.
- Reselling marketplaces
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Reasons Nike Dunk Is Expensive
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
I’ve been reviewing, buying, selling, and rocking sneakers since high school. Learned a lot since my first pair when I was 7 years old were And 1s (if you know you know). A lot has changed since the brand started in 2017 from reselling sneakers to now reviewing and writing informational content. The aim is to be authentic and honest with my opinions. Saucedby Lee out 🙂