TBT: Nike Dunk University Red Is Killing the Game Since the 80s!

TBT: Nike Dunk University Red Is Killing the Game Since the 80s!

This week, our throwback will visit several different sneaker milestones. But in a way, they’re all the same! From the launch of Nike Dunk to a reimagination of the silhouette, we’ll discuss it all! And although the Dunk archive is pretty extensive, Nike Dunk University Red is a recurring theme. So what’s the secret behind it? And why is it so important to sneakerheads?

How It All Started: 1985

While everybody was busy going Back to the Future at the movies, Nike was busy creating the future of basketball kicks! The silhouette is actually a mashup of two other silhouettes by the same designer: Peter Moore. The silhouettes are the 1984 Air Jordan 1 and 1985’s Nike Terminator.

Jordan 1 OG

Nike Terminator

The Nike Dunks also made their debut release in 1985 in a variety of colorways, each with a meaning. The kicks dropped as college kicks known as the “Be True to Your School” pack. Each colorway was a tribute to a prominent US college, famous for their basketball team. The colleges were: University of Kentucky, Iowa, Syracuse, St. John’s Georgetown, Michigan, and UNLV. But because red sneakers always hit a little differently, the two Nike Dunk University Red pairs are our favorites!

BTTYS - Nike Dunk University Red

Our Favorite Nike Dunk University Red and the Revamps!

So 1985 technically introduced us to two Nike Dunk University Red pairs. The first is the St. John’s pair with the white and red leather upper. The second would be the very similar University of Nevada, Las Vegas pair in red and grey instead of the whites.

Nike Dunk University Red St. John’s

This is the OG pair that made us fall in love even more with the color red. Although the OG Air Jordan 1 was already doing that well enough, alternative red kicks won’t hurt. So, players from the St. John’s team wore that to their matches, and naturally, die-hard fans followed suit! The pair restocked in 2016 and it’s worth its price on the aftermarket since the OG is harder to get.

Nike Dunk University Red St John's 1985

Release Date: 7/1/2016
Retail Price: $120
Avg. Resale Value: $367

Nike Dunk University Red UNLV

Another 1985 OG that also restocked in 2016, and then a year later in women’s sizes. This one is in honor of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The kicks feature a grey and red upper, similar to St John’s, but not really! This pair is overshadowed by the St. John’s pair, but pretty profitable on its own too. This pair is probably the inspiration for Virgil’s 2019 Dunks, but we’ll get to that later!

Nike Dunk University Red UNLV

Release Date: 5/3/2016
Retail Price: $120
Avg. Resale Value: $294

Off-White Nike Dunk University Red

The UNLV colorway comes back to life with Virgil Abloh’s reimagination of it. With the extra orange laces, signature prints, and the zip tag, the low rendition of the kicks is something else! The kicks dropped in December 2019, just in time for the holidays. And lucky are those who managed to cop a pair!

Off White Nike Dunk University Red

Release Date: 12/20/2019
Retail Price: $170
Avg. Resale Value: $544

Nike Dunk University Red St. John’s Low

The 1985 Nike Dunk University Red came back in 2020 as part of the Dunk rebound plan! And let’s just say, it worked. Although the kicks don’t have anything special about them, the colorway pulled it off with force! That’s why it resells for more than three times its retail price on the aftermarket.

Nike Dunk University Red 2020

Release Date: 7/1/2020
Retail Price: $100
Avg. Resale Value: $369

Red Means Heat Is Coming!

In new surveys, people mostly associate the color red with heat. That’s probably why Nike Dunk University Red pairs serve absolute heat whenever we get them! So, if you’re looking for a pair of sneakers that’ll make your outfits pop and heads turn, you better get them in red! And because 2020 isn’t over yet, we still have some red kicks dropping soon! However, you’ll definitely need a sneaker bot to get these, so here’s a list of the best sneaker bots in 2020.

Air Jordan 4 Fire Red

Jordan 4 Fire Red


Release Date: 11/28/2020
Retail Price: $200
Avg. Resale Value: $258

Jordan 12 Reverse Flu Game

Jordan 12 Reverse Flu Game

Release Date: 12/26/2020
Retail Price: $190
Avg. Resale Value: $423

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