The Deadhead-recognized "Dancing Bear" logo on the tongue, which was famously featured on the back of legendary jam band's 1973 album History of the Grateful Dead, Volume 1 (Bear’s Choice), serves as the central theme.
Nike draws a parallel between the man behind the bears, an audio engineer who was nicknamed "Bear," and SB founder Sandy Bodecker, who had a major impact on the Dunk lineup and skate culture.
"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 legacy manager.
“They were talented musicians, but they would not have had the financial freedom to forgo 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 within the skate community.”
Plush faux fur covers the toe box, surrounds the Swoosh and wraps around the collar. Another psychedelic "Steal Your Face" skull symbol appears on the sockliner, while the choice of either yellow, orange or green and neon blue colorways harks to the Dead's heyday.
Despite an admittedly outlandish design, the Nike SB Dunk Low Grateful Dead could become an instant classic. Upon release in May of 2020, Nike and Ben & Jerry's limited-edition "Chunky Dunky" sneakers were immediately resold for up to $4,000 per pair, up from the original retail price of $100.