Shoes like Nike Dunks

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Image of a white, orange, and light purple pair of Nike SB Dunks featuring black Swooshes and gum soles.
Credit: Giorgio Trovato

When building out a sneaker collection, it's highly likely you will have considered adding a pair of Dunks to your wardrobe at some stage. The issue is, the popular Nike shoe isn't exactly cheap, and, in some cases, can be tricky to acquire. Fortunately, there are a few shoes like Nike Dunks which give that '80s style for less.

The Dunk is such an all-time classic that it should come as no surprise many of the best sneaker brands, including Nike themselves, have created shoes that strike a close resemblance over the years.

While these shoes may not necessarily replace some of the best Nike Dunks on the market, they do all provide a solid alternative. Most are cheaper to buy at retail, but our selection is predominately based on a visual likeness and, in part, their history.

So, with these factors in mind, here's our list of the best sneaker alternatives to Nike's popular Dunk model available today...

Shoes like Nike Dunks

Shoes like Nike Dunk - Nike Air Force 1 product image of an all-white low-top sneaker.
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Credit: Nike

Nike Air Force 1

The Air Force 1 and Nike Dunk are often compared to one another due to their visual likeness and their similar starts in life as some of the best basketball shoes on the market.

Both sneakers debuted in the '80s with designs that Nike hoped would perform on the court. The Air Force 1 was the first of the two to launch, and we'd argue some of its key features, like its shape, panelling, etc., were passed on to Peter Moore's original Dunk design.

Read More: Best shoes like Air Force 1s

As a result, the Air Force 1 is perhaps the closest relative Nike has to the Dunk, the only real difference being what you get underfoot. Unlike Dunks, Air Force 1s feature Nike's iconic Air bubbles to improve comfort, thus making the shoe a great sneaker for everyday wear.

As a result, we'd highly recommend considering adding a pair of Air Force 1s to your daily rotation, especially if you're looking for a style similar to the Dunk from Nike itself.

Shoes like Nike Dunk - New Balance 550 product image of a white and grey shoe with sepia accents.
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Credit: New Balance

New Balance 550

The New Balance 550 may not strike as close a resemblance to a Dunk as the Air Force 1. However, given it's made by a completely different company, the likeness isn't too far off.

One of the reasons for this is most likely down to its debut as a basketball shoe in the '80s. As a result, the shoe features a similar 'chunky' build and retro aesthetic. Moreover, some of the colourways available remind us of the Dunk's initial run of designs that were based on America's collegiate basketball teams.

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Interestingly, the 550 was discontinued after its initial run in 1989, and was only brought back full-time in 2021. As a result, some of its initial colourways are incredibly sought-after these days.

It's also worth touching on the fact that a high-top iteration of the 550, the 650, is also available if you're after something that's more akin to a Dunk High. Therefore, New Balance has you covered when it comes to a close alternative.

Shoes like Nike Dunk - DC Pure product image of a black high-top with a gum sole.
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Credit: DC

DC Pure

For SB Dunks, we'd argue you'd struggle to find a better alternative than the DC Pure. Whether you opt for a low-top or Pure High, the shoe features a number of similarities to the popular Nike model.

For instance, the upper is near-identical, with everything from the padded tongue to the 'chunky' sole unit drawing a close comparison. In fact, we'd argue the only major differences are the DC logo on the side and the outsole built for skateboarding.

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What's also great about the DC Pure is that it's often considerably cheaper to buy at retail. There are also a ton of amazing colourways to choose from, including a handful dressed in similar collegiate colours to the original Dunks.

On the whole, we'd say the DC Pure is a great alternative to the SB Dunk line, making it well worth checking out if you're looking to add to your sneaker collection, but want to go with a brand other than Nike this time around.

Shoes like Nike Dunk - Reebok BB 4000 II product image of a white and grey shoe with green accents.
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Credit: Reebok

Reebok BB 4000 II

Back to basketball now, this Reebok BB 4000 II was originally designed for the court in the '80s, resulting in a retro appearance and selection of classic colourways which are not too dissimilar to Nike's range of Dunks.

The majority of the designs feature leather uppers with brightly coloured overlays, although there are a few suede offerings which we feel strike a resemblance to some of Nike's most popular SBs.

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Typically speaking, the shoe is also cheaper to buy at retail, meaning you can add a great Dunk alternative to your collection for less than you might think.

So, with an inexpensive price tag and a similar look and history, what's not to like about Reebok's BB 4000 II line?

Shoes like Nike Dunk - BAPE SK8 Sta product image of a brown suede sneaker with bright red accents.
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Credit: BAPE


Our final entry is this BAPE SK8 Sta. It doesn't have a long history in basketball, nor is it any cheaper to buy than a Dunk. However, what makes this shoe such a great alternative is that it is almost identical to a Dunk Low.

Each panel and detail has a likeness to the Dunk, with the shooting star along the side a great example of its similarity. It's not a million miles away from Nike's iconic Swoosh symbol, although it is a slightly larger, more prominent design detail.

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The selection of colourways is also comparable to Nike's Dunk range. That said, there are a few unique options to choose from, including one dressed in BAPE's signature camouflage print.

Overall, the SK8 Sta is one of the closest non-Nike sneakers to the Dunk on the market, making it a great substitute if you're looking to diversify your wardrobe.