Looking Back at Previous Nike 'Valentine's Day' Dunks

Looking Back at Previous Nike 'Valentine's Day' Dunks

Haven Neiman

Although the Nike Dunk made its initial appearance to the world in 1985, the design has undergone tumultuous changes and reputations since its nearly 40-year legacy. The Nike Dunk debuted as a basketball sneaker, and it was originally tied to iconic colleges in the United States, such as the University of North Carolina and the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Besides basketball, the sneaker also made an impression on different facets of subcultures such as skateboarding. The Nike Dunk went underground shortly after the 2000s hit, but in recent years has received a new life as one of the most sought-after sneaker models in the industry.

The Nike Dunk is well-versed in celebrating special occasions and moments in pop culture, and this includes widely-celebrated holidays, such as Valentine’s Day. With the convenient timing of the Nike Dunk Low ‘Valentine’s Day’ releasing Tuesday, February 7th, and of course, the official Valentine’s Day holiday arriving exactly a week later, join us as we take a look back at unforgettable moments in time when the Nike Dunk has gotten romantic with the launch of special-edition Valentine’s Day iterations.




Releasing nearly two decades ago, Nike started off its Valentine’s Day Dunk legacy strong with the debut of the first love-inspired holiday silhouette. Releasing exclusively in women’s sizing, this design authentically celebrated the romantic holiday with its heart icons that made an impression on the forefoot and tongue patch. Shades of Varsity Red and White made an impression throughout the design as well, further nodding to the romantic day.



2014 brought many things, including the revival of the Dunk. With that in mind, there was no better way to celebrate than with the proceeding Valentine’s Day Dunk. Released in a timely manner on February 14, 2014, the Nike Dunk Low Premium SB ‘Valentine’s Day’ sneaker accurately honors the ‘80s classic along with the love-inspired holiday by incorporating a color scheme that spotlighted shades of University Red and White. The two-toned shoe spotlighted premium shades of soft suede leather and contrasting smooth overlays to complete the design.



Right on schedule, Nike came back a year later with another ‘SB’ Nike Dunk ‘Valentine’s Day’ iteration. They kept it simple yet elevated with a bright Gym Red pebbled leather upper and Sail suede paneling, while the signature leather Swoosh aligned with the crispy midsole. The thick padded tongue and the gum rubber outsole made an impressionable finish on this love-inspired sneaker.



The Nike Dunk didn’t seem to be much interested in the iconic holiday for a handful of years, but they came back in 2020 with a bag in the Nike x StrangeLove Dunk Low SB ‘Valentine’s Day.’ Made in collaboration with StrangeLove Skateboards, this design featured a chaotic creative expression heavily influenced by skateboarding aesthetics. Pastel and soft pink hits blended seamlessly with the hues of Bright Melon and Gym Red, while embroidered skull illustrations from StrangeLove made an impression at the heel. 




Valentine’s Day…in the summer? That was the case for the Nike Dunk in the year 2021. Due to delays, 2021’s Nike Dunk Low ‘Valentine’s Day’ was fashionably late, but its premium love inspiration surely made up for it. The silhouette arrived exclusively just for the kiddos, as it was debuted in grade school, preschool, and toddler sizing options. Smooth pastel leather compromised the upper, while the matching liners, laces, and outsoles joined alongside it. Additional branding such as the Swooshes rounded out the design in an anatomically-inspired heart-colored red.



A year later, Nike introduces its next ‘Valentine’s Day’ Dunk Low in a Team Red and Pink Prime color scheme, making a bold impression to celebrate the month of love. The hints of white seen on previous Valentine’s Day edition Dunk Lows are removed, while the pink-lace-inspired fabric outlined the Swoosh. The overall crimson coloring and pink aesthetic made nothing short of a statement and authentically made it a true celebration of love in its entirety. 



We end the current Nike Dunk Low ‘Valentine’s Day’ legacy with this year’s arrival. Releasing Tuesday, February 7th, this latest love-inspired iteration arrives in a blend of Pale Ivory, Medium Soft Pink, and a less commonly-seen color: Night Maroon. The design’s premium leather build offers color blocking seen at the overlays, Swoosh, and heel tabs. Mesh tongues are provided, while the pink tongue labels make an impression along with the insole branding.

To enter the draw for this year’s Nike Dunk Low ‘Valentine’s Day’ (DR9705-100) release, click here.

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