The upcoming Nike Dunk Low "Suede Panda" isn't going to be a needle-mover

The Panda craze has significantly diminished, and Nike's "Suede Panda" venture may not be the wisest decision.
Nike Logo in New York City
Nike Logo in New York City / Gary Hershorn/GettyImages

In the prime pandemic era of 2021, one sneaker, in particular, came to define hype beast and basic streetwear style: the Nike Dunk Low "Black/White," popularly known as the "Panda" sneaker. The Nike Dunk was already an iconic basketball silhouette turned skateboarding staple, but the Panda colorway largely acted as a driving force to its modern revival. With its simple two-tone look and wearable flexibility across a wide array of outfit styles, the Panda Dunks became a hot commodity and trending style on social media.

The sudden Panda boom resulted in their market value skyrocketing past its usual price tag trend of around $100-$150, as resellers bit the bullet on any online or in-store restocks with the intent of turning in a profit from those desperate to get their hands on the craze. Because of this, the Pandas quickly became a polarizing subject in the sneaker community, with many die-hards criticizing the fad and oversaturation in the market.

The Pandas initially made a big impact in the sneaker game, but their popularity quickly declined as Nike regained control from resellers. Soon, the Pandas were as common as any other pair of shoes on the market. So, it's surprising to see Nike venture into another Panda-centric colorway release, albeit with suede material on the overlay.

What does Nike have up their sleeve with the upcoming "Suede Panda" Dunk Low release?

The "Suede Panda" reveal is even more astonishing given Nike's recent announcement of stepping back from releasing popular Air Force 1 and Dunk styles, especially the OG "Panda" design. There isn't much fanfare to suggest the Panda look is picking up steam once again, so many are scratching their hands wondering what Nike's motivations are behind this slightly revamped Panda.

No doubt about it, the versatile black-and-white color combo is as easy as it gets for either men or women to style with their outfits. In addition, due to their versatile nature, black and white sneakers are suitable for any season, making them a timeless footwear choice that can be worn year-round. So playing a bit of devil's advocate here, there are a few reasons for consumers to bite on another pair of Panda-centric Nike kicks. However, it's safe to say that consumers will not be clamoring to purchase these "Suede Pandas".

As it stands currently, the Nike Dunk Low "Suede Panda" does not have a set release date, but some insiders predict a Summer 2024 drop. Given the sneaker's premium materials compared to usual leather overlays, the "Suede Panda" will likely be priced at a starting retail value above the common $115 base price for typical Dunk Lows. Perhaps Nike has a vision that others can't quite see at the moment with the "Suede Panda". They have the potential to prove doubters wrong by striking gold with yet another black-and-white silhouette.

Nike to stop restocking popular Air Force 1 style and other classics. Nike to stop restocking popular Air Force 1 style and other classics. dark. Next