After months of teasing, we now have official release info for the Nike SB Dunk Low “Grateful Dead.” Serving as the distinctive design element of the collaboration is the band’s most lovable symbol, the marching bears, which appear on the back cover of the group’s 1973 LP History of the Grateful Dead, Volume 1 (Bear’s Choice).
The marching bears were inspired by an audio engineer nicknamed Bear, who helped develop the group’s Wall of Sound system as well as the cartoon symbol — undeniably a major part of the Grateful Dead’s legacy.
“As the band’s benefactor, Bear was an incredibly huge part of the Grateful Dead’s ability to become who they were,” says David Lemieux, the band’s archivist and historian. “They were talented musicians, but they would have the financial freedom to forgo jobs, move to Los Angeles in 1966 and practice for 14 hours a day. While there’s not much about the bears that connect to the Grateful Dead’s success, the band wouldn’t become what it is today without Bear’s contribution. The same fiercely independent spirit from Bodecker helped create that authenticity within the skate community.”
Coming in three colorways, the shoe is centered around the look of the bears with two-tone uppers crafted of faux-fur and suede accented by jagged framed midfoot Swooshes. Additional branding comes in the form of bear tongue tags, “NIKE” heel embroidery and marching bear printed insoles. Marking the hidden zippered stash pocket detail on the tongue is another iconic identity, the Steal Your Face skull. Rounding up the design of the plush takes are midsole and rubber outsole pairings that continue the two tones found on the upper.
The “Opti Yellow/Blue Fury” and “Green Spark/Soar” colorways release July 24 on SNKRS and at select skate shops, while the “Opti Orange/Green Fury” colorway [not pictured] is set to release July 18 at FTC.
For more footwear news, take your best look yet at G-Dragon’s PEACEMINUSONE x AF1 “Para-Noise Part 2.”
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