The Nike Dunk Low Retro, better known as the Nike Dunk Low Panda is one of the most simplistic pairs on the market. The shoe boasts only two colors of black and white leather, and is held by a white rubber midsole. Although it may seem like a boring shoe, not long ago these shoes were fetching a pretty penny on secondary markets like StockX selling for upwards of $300. Today you can’t go a day without seeing a pair on your schools campus, so how did one of the world's most coveted sneakers turn into one of the most basic sheep-worthy shoes?
Originally releasing in March of 2021, Nike kept stock numbers low adding the hype that was needed to fuel resellers into charging 3 times the retail price. The shoes retailed at $100, but since the release pairs were selling on secondary markets for around $300 up until the holidays were over. Nike also carefully distributed pairs to Nike athletes like LeBron James that also made the shoe more desirable. The Panda's simplistic design elements made the shoe easy to style for anyone, you could wear these for pretty much any event or occasion. After the release in 2021, GOAT's Nike Dunk sales drastically increased from a measly 3.64 percent to 29.73 percent.
Photo via StockX (Nike Panda Dunk Low Price History)
Nike took notice of the monumental success being created by the Nike Dunk Low Panda and decided to go full throttle. Nike has re-released the pair multiple times since 2021, it's hard to tell exactly just how many restocks have happened since the first release, but now there’s over 1 million pairs in existence. Nike has even gone ahead and bumped the price up to $110, citing supply chain issues as the main factor. Not only did Nike drop a million pairs of the original model, Nike took its greed a step further and also released a Nike Dunk Panda High, a reverse version, and a slew of different panda colorways. The sheer amount of Panda colorways in rotation has overshadowed what once was an amazing sneaker. The Dunk craze came and in 2023 looks to be nearing its end.
Photos via Reddit u/malunka212
Reps & Bots
Another factor that destroyed the hype of the shoe was the rise of replicas and the acceptance of replicas by the younger generation. The vast majority of the youth no longer see a problem with wearing replica sneakers, if you go on TikTok you’ll see people promoting replica websites and giving reviews of the replicas. Not only is there 1 million Nike Panda Dunks in the world, but theirs also an army of replicas out there. The shoe is so basic that no one would expect it to be a replica, and the price of replicas is usually less than half of the authentic pair. People are tired of waiting for restocks that they have virtually no chance in, sneaker bots will usually clear out the restocks in a matter of seconds, leaving the average joe with the decision to drop double for the shoe or buy a replica. In the past 3 days over 1900 pairs of the Nike Dunk Low Panda were sold on StockX for a premium, showing that the sneaker is still very much in demand despite the criticism it receives.
Regardless of what you have to say about the shoe, the Nike Dunk Low Panda will be sticking around. The pair has cemented itself in history by becoming one of the most basic shoes of our time. The pair still has the TikTok influencers and college campuses in a chokehold, and shows little signs of slowing down. Nike has also been releasing a wide range of different Nike Dunk colorways which could once again bring the Nike Panda Dunk to the peak of its hype. Fashion trends tend to repeat themselves, and a trend like the Panda-demic is no different. For more on the Nike Dunk low, and to stay up to date with the latest sneaker news and releases, connect with us on Instagram and Twitter. We love giving back to our followers, we regularly give away gift cards and host free raffles for sneakers, you won't want to miss them!