Staying true to their core belief of having fun, Vermont-based ice cream company Ben and Jerry’s recently teamed up with Nike to produce an ice cream inspired skating shoe. The ‘Chunky Dunky’ Nike SB Dunk Low released in limited quantities this past Tuesday at 10:00am via the Nike SNKRS app and at various skate shops across the US. The base of the sneaker’s upper has the same colors as Ben and Jerry’s iconic packaging, which features green hills, a turquoise sky, and puffy white clouds. Faux cow hide covers the rest of the shoe, giving a nod to the cow that can be seen on almost every Ben and Jerry’s ice cream container. The inside of the dunk is lined with a tie-dye pattern, perfectly matching the vibes of Ben and Jerry’s. The yellow material used for the swoosh further contributes to the sneaker’s eye-catching aesthetic, which goes beyond the stitching on the bottom, making it look as though the swoosh is dripping like melting ice cream.
It was extremely difficult to purchase the Chunky Dunkys due to the limited amount of stock that was produced and distributed to retailers. Many skate shops did raffles for them on their Instagram pages or websites; however, the number of people trying to buy the shoes and the quantity of pairs available made for very poor odds. For some reason, though, numerous influencers on social media were posting pictures wearing these kicks weeks before the release date. This raises the question of how they were able to come across such a limited item before it was even made available to the general public. Sneaker reselling is massive industry, with estimates valuing the market at nearly $2 billion. As a result, back-dooring sneakers and limited streetwear items has become a common problem. When stores receive shipments of a product for a limited release, employees sometimes set aside pairs for themselves to sell on their own and pocket the profits. As a result, you often see pairs of unreleased shoes on StockX and Goat days before the actual release. For the release of the Chunky Dunky, it is apparent that a decent amount of the pairs were never even sold for retail and went straight out the backdoor.
Reselling of the Chunky Dunkys peaked on the same day as the release at nearly $1,900, but has since leveled off around $1,500. However, this price only applies to those who received their dunks in the red, green, blue and yellow striped Nike SB shoe box. The shoes were also distributed to a select few in a ‘Friends and Family’ box, which was designed to look like a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream container. Although there were no changes to the actual sneaker, Chunky Dunkys with the F&F packaging have been selling for as low as $2,900 and as high as $4,400. I understand that some people like to collect rare iterations of sneakers, but I find it strange that people are willing to spend an additional two thousand dollars just for a special cardboard box.
The Chunky Dunky comes in a wake of Nike SB dunk releases, which seem to have had a revival in the past year. The concept of camping out for sneakers was birthed with the release of the Nike Staple Pigeon Dunk Lows of 2005. Dunks were some of the most popular sneakers of the early 2000s but lost some of their popularity in the 2010s, when sneakers such as Yeezys took over. Nevertheless, in the past two years, some of the most popular and coveted shoe releases have been dunks, including the Strangeloves, Travis Scotts, Off-Whites, and Purple Lobsters.
Every single release of Nike SB Dunk Lows has sold out in the past few months and now sells for at least double its retail price, with the exception of perhaps one or two pairs. Many people speculate that rapper and designer Travis Scott has influenced this revival in popularity. Each time Scott is seen wearing an older colorway of a dunk, the shoe seems to have a massive spike in popularity. For example, the 2005 Stüssy x Nike SB Dunk Low had remained in the $400-$500 price range for quite some time; yet after Scott was photographed wearing the shoes, the price jumped into the thousands on platforms like StockX, with one pair even selling for $10,000. This phenomenon has become known as ‘The Travis Effect’. It will be interesting to see in the future if this trend continues to take place.