The Nike SB Purple Safari Dunk is probably one of the most flamboyant sneakers I have ever bought. Anyone I show them off to thinks they’re ugly and feminine. The varsity purple and semi-cheetah print is a real eyesore. The last person I showed them to even went so far as saying they look like something Justin Beaver (yeah I know I spelt it wrong) would wear. And yet I still bought them. I think there comes a point in every collectors life when they ask themselves; am I buying these because I like them or because of the brand?
Luckily I don’t have to stress over this question very often because I shop at outlets and buying something on clearance will always keep me satisfied. Yes, I’ll admit it I don’t think they’re one of my favourite sneakers and I probably did buy them because they were Nike SB’s (I would have passed on them if they were regular Dunks). Yet I’m happy I own them because they are Nike SB’s. To me, SB Dunks are the best shoes ever made. They are incredibly comfortable on my feet, and they look amazing when I wear them. Simply put; they represent a signature of quality from Nike.
While I don’t usually wear flashy sneakers like this, the Purple Safari Dunks still have many qualities that I admire. The varsity purple suede is the first thing I must talk about. It is this bright color that changes tones depending on the light source that shines on it. In a brightly lit room it is illuminating and in a dark room the tone is mute and becomes a pastel purple. Then there is the leather toe box and sides that use the cheetah print. Up close it is very interesting to see because it looks almost lased on. My only complaint about the use of this leather is that the shoe doesn’t provide any air holes on the toe box for breathability.
The Purple Safari SB’s were released around February 2011. They featured Nike’s new and improved version of the Dunk. While I usually hate change in classic sneakers, this is an upgrade that I really welcome from Nike. Supposedly the sneakers were inspired from the TV show ‘Eastbound and Down’, which feature Kenny Powers who owns a Jet Ski with a similar colorway to the Dunks. Hopefully Nike SB will continue this trend and make more TV inspired shoes; I’m thinking Dexter, Breaking Bad, and The Sopranos just to name a few.