On April 20, Nike is set to release a new sneaker under its Nike SB brand called “Walk the Dog.” And since 4/20 is, as everyone knows, the international weed holiday, everyone’s wondering if Nike is low key about to drop a(nother) weed-themed shoe. Speculation is already circulating about the subtle and not so subtle clues embedded in the sneaker’s design. Some of them might be a stretch. But when you’re high, all kinds of things start to make sense.
Weed-Themed Kicks or Homage to Man’s Best Friend?
The Dunk High “Walk the Dog” sneaker could just be an homage to man’s best friend. Or it could be one of the best weed-themed sneaker’s ever to hit 4/20. The shoe’s upper is like an abstract collage, patching together four dog fur patterns and a green sueded upper to represent grass. The outsole is translucent, but it sports a patch of brown for that inevitable moment when you, the dog-walker, step in poo. There’s even a graphic of Nike employees’ pooches adorning the sneaks’ sock liners. All these signs point to theory A: “Walk the Dog” is literally about taking your furry friends out for a stroll.
But other aspects of the shoe’s design, including allusions to Nike’s cannabis-themed legacy, lean toward theory B: “Walk the Dog” is a 4/20 shoe for those who can recognize the signs.
Okay let’s start with the obvious. Green grass suede? Sure, cannabis is green; old timers call it “grass.” And apparently, the green grass suede recalls Nike’s “Skunk” Dunk Highs from the 2010s. That one’s a little less ambiguous.
“Walk the Dog” also features a dog tag patch with the name “Sparky” on it. Classic dog name. But also a subtle reference to sparking up? Some think so.
Then, there’s those who see weed leaves in the name of the shoe itself. “Taking the dog for a walk,” “walking the dog;” who hasn’t used that as an excuse for going somewhere and smoking weed. Is “walking the dog” also “slang” for going somewhere or doing something you shouldn’t be doing, like smoking weed somewhere? Skepticism starts to creep back in.
Finally, there are those who claim that “Walk the Dog” is a weed strain. We’ve never heard of it, but some people have. Based on scant web reviews, it’s a fairly middling strain, nothing to write home about. So probably not well-known or popular enough to become the name of a unique, limited-edition Nike kick.
Weed-Themed Sneakers With Undeniable 420 Vibes
It’s definitely tempting think of Nike’s new High Dunks as weed-themed kicks. And sure, they can be both for dog lovers and cannabis lovers at the same time. But sometimes, 4/20 is just a good release date for a shoe, weed-themed or not.
In the past, Nike has definitely hit the 4/20 holiday with new lines of sneakers that make a much more obvious homage to the culture. In 2016, Nike released two new lines of weed-themed sneakers. There was a line of subtle hemp-fiber shoes. But there was also the absolutely in your face RAW Nike Air Force Ones decked out with RAW branding and bright green cannabis leaves.
Nike has also taken a more low key approach, like they did this year. In 2017, 420 marked the release of the “Spaced Out” SB High Dunks with a starry print representing the colors of nice tree and the mind-expanding experience of cannabis.
The point is, Nike has an undeniable tradition of 420-themed shoes, whether they takes the subtle or the more direct approach.
Of course, other shoe companies have kicked off 4/20 with shoes designed for the career cannabis consumer. In 2016, Adidas, for example, released a hemp shoe specially designed to hide your weed stash.