(Featured: Welcome Skate Store Blog, 10th February 2015.)
The last couple of years have seen Nike SB breath new life into some of their classic models. Starting with Grant Taylor in 2014, combining traits of the Blazer Low and Bruin resulted in the GT Blazer Low. As the popularity of rubber toe-capped shoes has resulted in a range of slim yet durable footwear from various brands; developing an old tennis classic for Cory Kennedy brought us the All Court CK last fall. Now, the latest in what could be considered a trilogy of redevelopment with Nike’s heritage models is the Ishod Wair Dunk Low Pro. Here’s our impressions of the Ishod Dunk from the first few hours of skating.
“I couldn’t really skate the Dunk Lows because they were too bulky. But preferably I would rather skate a low shoe but the Highs happened to be less bulky than the Lows at the time. An opportunity was presented to me and I was like “Hell yeah! Dunks are dope, I’m down.”
It’s no secret that the Dunk is a staple of Nike footwear and the SB line up, with an iconic reputation that extends to sneaker heads. Diamond, De La Soul, Futura, Pushead, Supreme, Quartersnacks; the list of collaborating individuals and themed colourways are endless.
Finer details of the Dunk have shifted twice over the years. The Dunk’s 2002 debut as an SB model added a Zoom Air insole and padded out the tongue with the last major update being in 2011. This saw a revamped sole tread, addition of forefront lace flaps and altering the shape and construction of the toe. For fans of the shoe since it’s pre-SB days, the tongue has been a simple yet polarising feature; with Ishod’s take on the Dunk stripping it back to a thinner tongue and fit throughout.
“There was a lot of controversy because a lot of the people that buy Dunks happen to be sneaker heads and they are all about the fat tongue. I think nowadays, slim is better. I can’t mess with that big ass shoe so I was like “Yeah you gotta slim that shit up… I didn’t really have to do anything because aesthetically it’s already an amazing looking shoe.”
This scaled down approach is the key difference in what separates the Ishod Dunk from its forebear. As previously mentioned, the tongue is subtly cushioned and the heel area has also been scaled back for a close and supportive fit. Tongue centring straps are in place, creating an internal fit system which provides comfort, a close to the foot feel and stability. In this respect, the Ishod Dunk is definitely a tighter fit than the standard SB Dunk and anyone with a wider foot should consider going half a size up.
Whereas the outsole is thinner than before, the insole has received an upgrade to compensate for this. The Zoom Air insole unique to this model has a custom tread to aid in flexibility and is also about twice thicker than that of the sole found in a standard Dunk. The mix of a thinner outsole and thicker insole allows for overall better board feel without sacrificing impact support either. The outer tread pattern remains the same however a softer rubber utilised on the Ishod Dunk aids with improving the overall board feel and reducing the break in period of the shoe. Thanks to the fit and thinly padded interior of the shoe, it takes to the shape of your foot without becoming floppy once broken in.
Features carried over from the original SB Dunk includes Nike embroidery on the heel, the option to fix the laces in a cross via the top four lace holes, two hidden lace loops at the base to help avoid blow outs and a perforated toe box to help your feet breath. Unfortunately, as quite typical with Nike models, if your ollie tends to catch the very side of your foot then there’s a good chance the swoosh may be begin to peel up slightly, though this easily be held back down with glue.
The toe box on the Ishod Dunk has been narrowed with the only disadvantage of streamlining this area being that it can pinch your little toe during the break in period. However, combining the narrower toe with the use of the softer rubber allows for much improved flick than that of the regular SB Dunk. Finally a combination of tough and stiff suede in the main hotspot areas of the shoe maintains durability whilst the use of leather in other areas adds to that while giving a few stylish highlights to the Ishod Dunk.