Nike has revealed a new Grateful Dead inspired sneaker design. The Nike SB Dunk Low Grateful Dead shoes feature the Dead’s iconic dancing bear image on the tongue and come in three colorways: green, yellow and orange. The shoes also feature a faux fur and suede finish and a frayed Nike swoosh, imitating the bear’s collar. Another iconic Grateful Dead logo, the Steal Your Face skull, is printed on the underside of the sockliner.
The dancing bears first appeared on the back cover of the Grateful Dead’s 1973 LP History of the Grateful Dead, Volume 1 (Bear’s Choice). The man behind the now iconic bear imagery was the group’s enigmatic audio engineer – nicknamed Bear – who helped develop the group’s Wall of Sound system as well as the cartoon symbol.
“As the band’s benefactor, Bear was an incredibly huge part of the Grateful Dead’s ability to become who they were,” said David Lemieux, the band’s archivist and legacy manager in a statement. “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.”
The orange colorway of the Nike SB Dunk Low Grateful Dead releases July 18 at FTC. The yellow colorway releases July 24 on SNKRS and at select skate shops, while the green colorway releases on the same day at select skate shops.
The orange colorway has yet to be revealed. The green and yellow colorways are pictured above and below.