Nike and Grateful Dead Join Forces to Create Psychedelic Sneakers

Grateful Dead sneakers

Nike and the era-defining rock band, Grateful Dead, have come together to release the Nike SB Dunk Low Grateful Dead sneakers, exciting sneaker aficionados, Grateful Dead fans, and enthusiastic concert-goers alike. 

The sneakers come in neon orange, green, and yellow, and are styled to pay homage to the Grateful Dead’s psychedelic music as well as to their inclusive jam band culture.   

These retro sneakers also adopt the Grateful Dead’s signature dancing bear imagery and the band’s genre blending music through its wild use of faux-fur collars and suede patchwork, with the bear itself posted on the tongue of the shoe, according to Nike News

Image via Nikekicks

The bear theme originated from the back album art, based on a producer for the band, Owsley “Bear” Stanley. Bear’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement and counterculture of the 60s, in addition to the band’s own lyrical and musical themes, aligned and grew to become synonymous, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.  

The characteristic of these sneakers embody the values of the Grateful Dead, specifically the special tongue of the shoe. The stockier build of the SB Dunk Low series of sneakers allows for a tongue that has a built in zippered pouch — just large enough for a couple joints. 

The Grateful Dead and its members have not hidden their past experimentation with psychedelics and other substances since their formation in the 60s. But more recently the band and its members have become vocal advocates for cannabis legislation reform, reports Rx Leaf

Drummer Mickey Hart has even started his own line of cannabis products called Mind Your Head, according to Forbes

Many concert-goers will no doubt find this shoe deadly authentic and gratefully utilitarian, and perhaps the message of music and of change that the Grateful Dead have been playing since the 60s will keep people stomping their feet.  

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Emerald contributor since July 2020

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