Nike's Grateful Dead Sneakers Are Here

Nike’s new line of sneakers is not for everyone. For fans of ‘The Grateful Dead’ though, these are everything.

The ‘Nike’ SB Dunk Low Grateful Dead’ cater to Deadheads everywhere, and come in three different colorwaves: yellow, green, and orange.

Ultimate Classic Rock noted that the shoes’ distinctive features include the faux fur and suede exterior.

Bear’s Choice

However, what makes these psychedelic sneakers truly remarkable for Deadheads is the inclusion of the band’s most lovable symbol -- the dancing bears.

According to Nike, fans were first introduced to the bears through the back cover of the group’s 1973 vinyl record, ‘History of the Grateful dead, Volume 1 (Bear’s Choice)

The band-inspired shoes feature a frayed Nike Swoosh reminiscent of the bear’s collars, and a circular imprint of the furry ambassador on the tongue.

Just from the detailing of these shoes, the impact of Augustus Owsley Stanley III -- nicknamed Bear -- is crystal clear.

Not only was he the Grateful Dead’s audio engineer, patron, and logo creator -- he was the soul and the pockets behind the band.

In an NME report, band archivist and legacy manager David Lemieux spoke of Bear’s incredible part in the group’s success.

Many times, his influence is likened to that of Nike SB founder Sandy Bodecker’s unparalleled legacy as far as skate culture is concerned.

They were talented musicians,” Lemieux assured fans. “But they would not have had the financial freedom to forego jobs, move to Los Angeles, and practice for 14 hours a day. The band wouldn’t become what it is today without Bear’s innovations and contributions. 

“The same fiercely independent spirit from Bodecker helped create that authenticity.” 

Where To Get a Pair

With Nike’s new line, Deadheads everywhere can play their part in paying tribute to such an influential man. 

In return, NPR host Steve Inskeep said fans would be delighted to know about the hidden pocket in the tongue of the shoe, which can be used to stash stuff.

The only question left to ask is: where do you get a pair?

The orange version will drop on July 18 at the FTC Skateshop, while the other two colorways will arrive on July 24 via Nike’s SNKRS app.

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July 18, 2020




Rosabell Toledo


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