The Nike Dunk was first introduced in 1985 and was designed as a basketball sneaker. The sneaker was originally released in a range of colourways to match the uniforms of various college basketball teams. However, the sneaker quickly became popular among skateboarders and was embraced by the skateboarding community, who appreciated its durable construction and comfortable fit. Debuting in a similar, basketball crazy period, the New Balance 550 was first released in 1989 and was also designed for basketball players. The sneaker featured a sleek and streamlined design that provided excellent support and comfort on the court. However, soon the sneaker's popularity extended beyond basketball and became a way to differentiate oneself from the Dunk lovers.


Both the Nike Dunk and the New Balance 550 are incredibly popular sneakers and have gained insane amounts of popularity in the last few years. The 550s, while not as well-known as the Nike Dunk in the past, have gained a loyal following in recent years. The sneaker's sleek design and comfortable fit have made it a favourite among sneakerheads seeking comfort or something other than a Dunk. The Nike Dunk has had several highs and lows regarding their popularity, but it has remained a favourite among sneakerheads. The sneaker's versatility, unique collabs and detailed stories have made it a staple in many people's sneaker collections.


Dunks and 550s have had a significant impact on sneaker culture and fashion as a whole. The Nike Dunk helped establish Nike as a major player in the basketball sneaker market and paved the way for their most iconic sneaker brand, Air Jordan. However, its impact extends far beyond basketball and has influenced fashion and music for decades. The New Balance 550s helped establish New Balance as a serious contender in the sneaker market and it can be argued that 550s are what made New Balance relevant again.


The Nike Dunk and the New Balance 550 have different colourway designs. Traditionally, the Nike Dunk has bright and bold colours with small white panels whereas the 550s are typically predominantly white with hints of colour throughout the shoe.



Both sneakers have been the subject of numerous, widely popular collaborations over the years, with the Nike Dunk being the more popular choice. The Nike Dunk has collaborated with everyone from streetwear brands to high-end fashion labels creating grail pieces that will be appreciated for eternity. In contrast, the New Balance 550s are fairly new to the collaboration game and have collaborated with fashion brands like Aimé Leon Dore.


The pricing between the pairs is fairly similar with both brands having collabs or limited releases that have fetched well over retail value. Wider releases for both brands sit at a similar price point and are both great ways to improve your sneaker collection at an affordable price. Overall, the Nike Dunk and the New Balance 550 are iconic sneakers that have left a lasting impact on sneaker culture. While the Nike Dunk is traditionally the more popular choice, the 550s are experiencing the growth that Dunks had a few years ago. Although it is hard to tell which sneaker will be the most popular by the end of this year, one thing that is certain, is that these sneaker giants will continue to innovate and bring out the hottest shoes for sneakerheads and fashion enthusiasts to enjoy.

Shop our selections of 550s here, and our selection of Dunks here. In case you missed it, you can also read more about why Nike Dunks are so popular and see some of recommendations here.


Levi Niekerk