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Nike Dunk vs. Jordan 1 vs. Air Force 1 vs. SB Dunk: Differences and Reviews 2024

Nike Dunk vs. Jordan 1 vs. Air Force 1 vs. SB Dunk: Differences and Reviews 2024

    Comparing the Nike Dunk vs. Jordan 1 vs. Air Force 1 vs. SB Dunk is tricky given they are two of the most iconic sneakers Nike has in its arsenal.You’ll catch different athletes repping their favorite, and some of your friends might be dedicated to one or the other.For sneakerheads, there’s loads differences between the silhouettes, but for newcomers, these trainers look pretty similar, right?While all of these sneakers are great choices, is one better than the other?Are Dunks the same as Jordan 1?Are Dunks or Jordans more comfortable?What is the difference between Nike SB Dunk and Jordan 1?Are SB Dunks more comfortable than Jordan 1?What is the difference between Nike Dunks and Air Force 1?Which is better Air Force 1 or Dunk?Are Nike SB and Dunks the same?What is the difference between Dunks and SB Dunks?Are Dunks or SB Dunks more comfortable?What is the difference between Air Force 1 and Jordan 1?Which is better Air Jordan 1 or Air Force?Nike Dunk vs. Jordan 1 vs. Air Force 1 vs. SB Dunk:which one should you choose?So, to help you gain a better understanding of how these two Nike trainers revolutionised the sneaker game, I've put together a guide to compare them,including the similarities and differences.and I've also looked into their differences in price and design to give a greater understanding of what it is that makes these Nike models unique from one another.

Cover Photo:Vittorio Cioffi on

  • Nike Dunk 

Nike Dunk History and Origin

The Nike Dunk is one of the most multifaceted and illustrious pairs of sneakers in the entire Nike vault. From collegiate basketball courts, to skate parks, and even fashion runways, the Dunk has adapted to every subculture it has reached since debuting in 1985, becoming a fan favorite in every scene. 

Prior to the release of the first Dunk, most shoes manufactured at the time were all white or solid colors. This led to the revolution known as color-blocking. Rather than a solid color shoe, Nike introduced two tone colorways. The campaign later became known as “Stay True to Your School.” 12 different schools were lucky enough to receive special colorways of Nike Dunks as well as matching apparel. The initial launch of the shoe was for basketball players of these schools, hence the name Nike Dunk. But the iconic kicks were too fly to just stick with the collegiate crew. So, by the time Nike reissued the shoes with a late ’90s retro edition, they became an instant must-have.Soon, low-top models joined the Dunk family. Next came the early 2000s and a special Dunk series designed with skateboarders in mind. The following years saw plenty of new and retro releases like the Nike Hyperdunk, but for every novel Dunk style, a few constants remained — lots of color, plenty of flair, and so much game.  


The greatest era in the history of the Nike Dunk came with the appointment of Sandy Bodecker as General Manager of Nike SB in 2001, along with the subdivision's official launch in March 2002. He was tasked with revamping the brand's ailing approach to the skating industry, having previously played an integral role in improving and growing Nike's soccer division. The evolution of the Nike Dunk into the Nike SB,basketball shoe turneed skateboarding staple, the Dunk has enjoyed a full-force revival in the year 2020 and 2021, surpassing its original purpose as a college hoop sneaker by a long shot. 

Nike Dunk Official Price: $50 - $150 (From baby to adult)

Where to Buy Nike Dunk for the Cheapest?

Nike (2.5%-3% cachback)

Foot Locker (3%-4% cachback)

Stadium Goods (4%-5% cashback)

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  • Nike Air Jordan 1 

Nike Air Jordan 1 History and Origin

The Air Jordan 1 is one of the most influential and memorable models in the history of sneakers.Not only was it Michael Jordan's first signature sneaker from Nike, but it was the beginning of Nike's ingenuity when it comes to storytelling. Debuted in 1985, the Jordan 1 was Jordan’s first-ever signature shoe with Nike, and the sneaker that started it all for “His Airness’s” legacy in footwear. It was released in many colorways, including the “Chicago,” “Bred,” and more, and on Jordan’s feet during his epic 63-point performance in the ‘86 NBA Playoffs against the Larry Bird-led Boston Celtics. The Jordan 1 has transcended its original purpose over time, becoming a skate shoe, a lifestyle shoe, a hyped shoe, a forgotten shoe, and a shoe that Jordan Brand can’t seem to release in enough colorways to satisfy the demand of sneaker collectors around the world.While the Jordan 1 and Dunk were released to the public in 1985, the Air Jordan 1 came a few months before the Dunk. 


Designed by Peter Moore, the AJ1 features both a Swoosh and Wings logo, along with Nike Air for cushioning. Original colorways have all become classics, including the Chicago, Shadow, Royal, Bred and Black Toe releases. First brought back in 1994 and then again in 2001, the AJ1 Retro has continued its legacy of new iterations, including the Jordan 1 High 'Skyline,' Jordan 1 High 'Lucky Green' and Wmns Jordan 1 High 'Washed Pink' launches.The Jordan 1 has transcended its original purpose over time, becoming a skate shoe, a lifestyle shoe, a hyped shoe, a forgotten shoe, and a shoe that Jordan Brand can’t seem to release in enough colorways to satisfy the demand of sneaker collectors around the world.

Nike Air Jordan 1 Official Price: $55 - $180 (From baby to adult)

Where to Buy Air Jordan 1 for the Cheapest?

Nike (2.5%-3% cachback)

Foot Locker (3%-4% cachback)

Stadium Goods (4%-5% cashback)

KICKS CREW (8.5%-10.5% cashback)

  • Nike Air Force 1 

Nike Air Force 1 History and Origin

An icon on the streets, the Nike Air Force 1 is among the most popular footwear designs of all time. They originally debuted in 1982 as the first basketball sneaker from Nike designed by Bruce Kilgore. This trainer featured Air technology for the first time.

The sneaker was subsequently marketed as one of the best basketball shoes around in 1983 when Nike took six of its top NBA stars to kick off the Air Force 1 campaign.While this helped boost the Air Force 1s popularity, demand started to grow for low-top variations to be released for more casual wear. Nike adhered to these demands briefly before ultimately discontinuing the sneakers in 1984.In their absence, fans of the Air Force 1 began customising their old models in order to compensate for Nike cutting off their beloved Air Force 1 line.


Air Force 1 shoes were re-released in 1986 with the modern italic Nike logo with a Swoosh on the bottom on the back of the shoe. The name of the brand, Air Force One, refers to the plane Air Force One, on which the President of the United States travels.  And even though the shoe is made for basketball, it is more of a shoe for“style”.Today, the Air Force 1 is popular among all walks of life, and the unofficial shoe of New York City, Baltimore, and so many other cities and regions around the world, making it one of the most recognizable sneakers in history.

The Nike Air Force 1 '07 shoes are a newer, updated version of the original Air Force 1 style. They are made with a more durable material, have a sleeker look, and are more comfortable to wear.The biggest difference between the Nike Air Force 1 and 1 '07 shoes is the material. The original Air Force 1 shoes are made with a less durable material, which can become faded and worn over time. The 1 '07 shoes are made with a more durable material that does not fade as easily. They also have a sleeker look that many people prefer.If you are looking for a new pair of sneakers, the Air Force 1 '07 shoes are a great option.

Nike Air Force 1 Official Price: $20 - $190 (From baby to adult)

Where to Buy Air Force 1 for the Cheapest?

Nike (2.5%-3% cachback)

Foot Locker (3%-4% cachback)

Stadium Goods (4%-5% cashback)

Finish Line (4%-5% cashback)

  • Nike SB Dunk

Nike SB Dunk History and Origin

Nike debuted the Dunk SB in 2002 as a specialized skateboarding version of the Dunk.To promote it as such and make inroads within the skate community, Nike SB recruited underground skate shops like Supreme and several highly regarded pro skaters for their take on the new SB Dunk. From the years 2002 through roughly 2007 or 2008, there wasn’t a hotter shoe on the planet than the SB Dunk. 

Before the launch of the SB line in the early 2000s, Nike had tried and failed to connect with the skater market twice. The shoe Nike SB entered the market with was the Dunk. When it couldn't compete with the Air Jordan, it was retired in 1988. By 2002, Nike officially launched the SB division, with the Dunk acting as the flagship model with a new title, the Dunk Low Pro SB, one of the best skate shoes on the market.


The first Nike SB Dunks were released in partnership with the company’s inaugural skate team–Danny Supa, Gino Ianucci, Richard Mulder and Reese Forbes–each with their own signature colorway. Later that same year, the legendary first Nike SB Dunk collab with streetwear brand Supreme dropped, marking the first appearance of the Jordan 3 elephant print on another shoe. A string of buzzy releases followed throughout the aughts, including collabs with Futura, Diamond Supply Co., Chocolate, Zoo York and more. In 2005, the release of the Jeff Staple ‘Pigeon’ Nike Dunk SB catapulted sneakerhead culture into the mainstream. The iconic Nike Dunk Low was so hotly anticipated that police were called to manage the crowd outside Staple’s NYC storefront.

While the 2010’s saw a dip in the style’s popularity, Nike Dunks came back in a big way in 2020. Collabs with the likes of Travis Scott, Virgil Abloh and the Grateful Dead once again propelled the Nike SB Dunk into the spotlight to become the hottest silhouette of the year.

Nike SB Dunk Price at $60 - $25,000(From kids to adult)

Where to Buy Nike SB Dunk for the Cheapest?

Stadium Goods (4%-5% cashback)



Nike Dunk vs. Jordan 1 vs. Air Force 1 vs. SB Dunk: Key Differences

1.Design & Style

Nike Dunk - Much like its close relatives, the Air Force 1 and Jordan Retro 1, the simple and clean design of the Dunk has opened the door for countless variations of colorways, making it the perfect canvas for color blocking and artistical freedom.There was something for everyone, a weighty plethora of Dunk options coming in all colors, materials and patterns. Dunks colorways coined “Jedi”, “Hulk”, “Heineken”, “Hemp”, “Shark”, “Reverse Shark” and many more donned stories relating to pop culture, big-name personalities and the repurposing of materials.Nike Dunk‘s were made for college basketball players.The biggest difference among the four though is what lies underfoot. The Nike Dunk comes with a soft foam midsole. However, the others feature Nike's Air technology. Now, crossing over into the world of sports, high-end fashion, and contemporary streetwear, the Nike Dunk continues to transcend genres – with no limit in sight.

Nike Air Jordan 1 - Jordan 1 was originally designed as basketball shoes.As a result, the first profiles for the shoes were high-tops to offer added ankle support.And it has also released low-top variations.

The Air Jordan, debuted boasting many of Nike's signature basketball features-compressed air pocket in heel, additional ankle support, and an overlay on the toe.  While most of the components of the shoe were pulled from other Nike designs like the Air Force 1, Nike Dunk, Air Ship, and Nike Vandal, the one thing that was completely exclusive to the Air Jordan 1 was the logo that Moore sketched for Michael Jordan's agent, David Falk. It's inaugural logo, wings on the shoe's side, set the bar high for what was to follow in terms of design.

Looking back, people tend to think of the first real Air Jordan 1 as being the“Banned”colorway, also known as the“Bred,”or black and red. They got their “Banned”name from the fact that league rules at the time stated that a players shoe had to be at least 51% white, also known as the “51% rule.”  As time goes on, many colorways of the Jordan 1 had been released, including“Banned,”“Chicago,” “Retro Royal,”“Carolina Blue,”among others. And though many other colorways would be released in the future, the colorways from that original year remain the most sought after.The Jordan 1 also features Nike's Air technology. This should deliver even more comfort and protection if you plan on using them on the court.

Nike Air Force 1 - Air force 1 kept its white and gray classic look. The shoes also have low-top versions.This variation has become more popular with the Air Force 1 to appeal to its more lifestyle-based audience.Some forms come with a connected strap, some with a Velcro strap.Air force 1 got more popularity than Jordan 1 in terms of design.They go well with anything such as jeans, shorts, pants, socks.

Since its inception in 1982, very few variations have been made in its original design. The original version featured a mesh side panel, toe box, and a mudguard at the front. However, the later versions are without mesh. The modern versions don't contain the feature of heel quarter panel or side stitched detailing.Since 2007, the later versions have a rectangular medallion. Air force 1 features Nike's Air technology in the midsoles

Nike SB Dunk - A large puzzle piece in its unusual evolution is the partitioning of the Nike Dunk and the Nike SB Dunk lines, two different trainers for two varying lifestyles. To the casual wearer, the small tweaks to the SB's design meant very little. To the skateboarder, it was everything. The first SB dunks were lows and released in 2002. This was known as the “orange box” era. As the dunk evolved the box colors would progress from orange to silver, then to pink, then black, gold, blue, “tape”, teal and now purple.

The shoes also introduced Nike's Zoom Air technology in the heel for added comfort and protection from impact.SB low-tops also featured, and still feature to this day, padded tongues, with elastic strips underneath providing extra cushioning. The straps also allowed skaters to keep their laces loose for a more laid-back style.One of the biggest additions for skateboarding though was the switch to the concentric curved tread pattern across the outsole to provide extra traction with grip tape on a skateboard both at the time, and to this day.


Nike Dunk - Nike Dunks fit true to size. Older Dunks can be a bit more roomy, depending on the materials used and what year they released.The Nike Dunk has a somewhat roomy fit, but not enough to change size in most cases. The toebox design is on the wider side. There are some dunks that release that have stiffer materials than others which plays a part in how long the sneaker will take to break in.

Nike Air Jordan 1 - Generally speaking, Air Jordan 1s have a snug and somewhat narrow fit. While newer releases of the model are a bit more generous in width, the overall feel is still the same. I personally find Air Jordan 1s to take a bit longer to break in than other non-Jordan Nike releases. With all that said, some find going a half size up to be helpful in alleviating break-in pain. The downsides of this are that the shoe will fit excessively long and crease more easily. 

Nike Air Force 1 - Air Force 1s have a taller and wider fit with a rounder toebox than many other Nikes. This results in looking larger on feet and  might even feel loose for some at true to size. Pants choice can either reduce or accentuate the sneaker's looks.Given that the Air Force 1 sizing is on the big side, going down half a size can cut down on the hugeness of the sneaker. 

Nike SB Dunk - Both Nike Dunks and SB Dunks technically fit true to size. In a direct comparison however, modern Nike Dunks fit a bit on the large side while Nike SB Dunks are more snug.SB Dunks fit differently depending on materials and release year. Newer pairs overall tend to be on the snug side, while older dunks are more forgiving.Traditionally, SB Dunks have more padding and Zoom Air technology in the insoles. The SB Dunk low in particular generally has an extra padded “fat” tongue.


Nike Dunk - The Dunk is a retro basketball sneaker from a time when barely any tech was used in shoes. It was developed with simple EVA insoles for just enough comfort.So we can't expect the same levels of comfort as in the newer Nike models. They're still comfortable enough and definitely good for everyday wear. The slim look of the shoes goes so well the bagginess of the bottoms, which complement each other perfectly. 

Nike Air Jordan 1 - Air Jordans 1s have an odd, narrow sizing that can make it quite uncomfortable. Older releases can make your feet feel cramped.While newer AJ1 releases have some added room, the shoe doesn’t rank highly when it comes to comfort.Walking around in your new AJ1s can be quite rough until they break in. Once the upper unstiffens and conforms to your foot, they can become a more cozy fit. You can also get a half size up to alleviate the break-in pain.

Nike Air Force 1 - Air Force 1s have the most comfortable shoes due to being made of genuine leather and have a cushion design that they call ‘Nike air cushion’. It is springy and soft, aiming to give you the most comfort you can gain from a shoe.Even today, the iconic sneakers are undergoing experimentation with Nike's innovative technologies. Whether it's about personalized Nike ID, sustainable Flyknit uppers, or Lunarlon cushioned soles, Nike AF-1 provides an unparalleled experience of style and comfort. Also unlike the AJ1, these fit very comfortably right out of the box widthwise.

Remember that the Air Force 1s have been criticized for being uncomfortably heavy, making customers use this as a con for both shoes. 

Nike SB Dunk - In the Nike SB Dunk, what you get is a thin, encapsulated Zoom Air unit at the heel and Poron foam, a dense and responsive urethane foam, at the forefoot. This provides some impact protection while retaining the necessary board feel. Nike also added a terry toweling layer to the top of the insole for the purpose of wicking off sweat.

Comparison Table

Nike DunkAir Jordan 1Air Force 1SB Dunk 
Comfort Less comfortableLess comfortableVery comfortableVery comfortable
DurabilityDurableDurableVery durableDurable
SizingTrue to sizeGoing a half size up 

May require sizing down half a


True to size
PriceAffordable price rangeAffordable price range

Moderately affordable range

Wide price range

Conclusion: Which Should You Buy?

Choosing which of the four Nike sneakers you should buy will ultimately come down to personal preference and when you intend to wear them.It all comes down to what you prioritize the most. Is it how comfortable a shoe is? Is it how sleek the design of a shoe is? What you intend to use them for?

If you're planning to play basketball in one of these shoes, then picking up a pair of Jordan 1s will probably be more beneficial as they're a little more tailored toward the sport, particularly with Jordan 1 Highs and even Mids providing additional ankle support.

In case you are more into casual footwear but want to be comfortable wearing your sneakers for daily use, Air Force 1 is your pick.Furthermore, there are usually a ton of great Air Force 1 collaborations released each year, like the new Slam Jam x AF1s, plus a ton of new and unique colourways, like the "Command Force" Lows.

However, the Nike Dunk also has a rich history and arguably has more to offer thanks to its accompanying Dunk SB range designed for skateboarding.Dunks are seen as best on the court, but SBs certainly shine at the skate park. So, when it comes to performance, you can't really compare them.From a more casual standpoint, you may find the SB Dunks more comfortable to wear on a day-to-day basis due to the additional Zoom Air technology in the heels.

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2023-04-05 19:121743