I’ve written about the Nike Dunk several times before, but this is the most poignant and anticipated release of them all. Just in time for the MLB All-Star Game, Nike will drop the Nike Dunk Low “Jackie Robinson” on July 19. This shoe was originally believed to be marked for a release on Jackie Robinson Day in April, but now will release in conjunction with the Dodgers hosting the Mid-Summer Classic this week.
Robinson, of course, is the great who broke MLB’s color barrier on April 15, 1947, with the then-Brooklyn Dodgers. Despite facing racism from opponents, fans and even some teammates, Robinson would go on to a Hall of Fame career including winning the Rookie of the Year, the 1949 National League MVP award as well as being a seven-time All-Star and a member of the 1955 World Series champion Dodgers. Robinson led the National League in steals twice and batting average once, finishing with a career .313 batting average with 141 home runs, 761 RBI, 200 steals and 972 runs scored in 11 seasons. Robinson was also named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.
While it would perhaps have made more sense to release these back in April as part of the annual Jackie Robinson Day celebration, perhaps Nike wanted to tie in Robinson’s history with California as well. In addition to breaking the MLB color barrier, Robinson grew up in California and was the first athlete in UCLA history to earn varsity letters in four sports (baseball, basketball, football, and track). Robinson even won the 1940 NCAA championship in the long jump.
The difficulties Robinson faced are referenced on this release, with Robinson’s quote of “I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me … All I ask is that you respect me as a human being” printed on the Dodger blue panels on the upper. The shoe features other striking details, including a patch on the tongue celebrating the 75th anniversary of Robinson’s breaking the color barrier; Robinson’s iconic number 42 on the back heel counter; an aged/retro styling thanks to specific blue coloring on the Swoosh as well as sail panels on the upper and stitched laces to mimic a baseball.
Beyond the sneaker game, Nike has had a noteworthy relationship with Robinson through its partnership with the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Nike notes on its website that the company has invested nearly $3 million over the last five years, including $1 million in fiscal year 2022, to support the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s scholars, its mentoring and leadership development program and its museum.
Nike Dunk Low “Jackie Robinson” Release Details
|Nike Dunk Low "Jackie Robinson"
To see more of this month’s releases, check out our release date calendar.