The Golden Ode: Nike Goldenrod

The Golden Ode: Nike Goldenrod

The Nike Dunks have been a popular silhouette lately, however, its history runs deep and not in a linear fashion. In continuing their delivery of the original ‘Be True To Your School' drops from 1985, Nike has dropped the “Goldenrod” colorway in Nike Dunk Low. This new colourway comes fresh after the release of Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High ‘Pollen’, featuring a similar colour scheme. The ‘Goldenrod’ is a reference to the first Nike Dunks Campaign which celebrates the University of Iowa. The Nike Dunk Low ‘Goldenrod’ is also known as the ‘Iowa’ because of its strong palette resemblance to the Iowa Hawkeyes college football team.

The name ‘Goldenrod’ comes from the Goldenrod plant. The yellow colour of the flower is seen on the upper of this Nike Dunk. The offering comes with black base leather with yellow hits along with the quartet, mudguard, and heel. The shoe features a yellow Swoosh and yellow laces similar to ‘Varsity Maize’ Dunk. Having said that, the yellow on both sneakers is different. The midsole is white, which makes the yellow of the goldenrod stand out even more. The outsole is yellow. The branding on the heel is black. 

The ‘Goldenrod’ is also dubbed as the ‘Iowa’ and ‘Wu Tang’ colourway. The Friends-and-Family collaboration for the Wu-Tang Clan only heightened the mythology around the colorway. 

In 1999, Nike re-released the original seven colourways from 1985 and Nike collaborated with the iconic rap group- ‘The Wu-Tang Clan.’ The Black/Yellow colorway was selected in accordance with ‘The Swarm’, a 1998 album put forth by the Wu-Tang Killa Beez – a collective of Wu-Tang members and its affiliates. The shoe features the Wu-Tang Logo on the lateral heel side and a custom tongue label. The true number of issues of the Wu-Tang x Nike Dunks High isn’t exactly firm; a very limited number actually did release in New York City at Training Camp, a sneaker spot known for its hip-hop celebrity clientele which included the likes of Raekwon, Jay-Z, and many more NYC-based rappers.

After its first return, a suede version surfaced in 2005 as part of Nike SB’s “Be True To Your School” Pack that saw the original five Nike Dunks High transformed into skate-shoes.
The Goldenrod is not to be confused with the ‘Michigan’ that saw a release a few months back. Michigan features a yellow leather with a base overlaid with “Midnight Navy” panels around the toe, along with the tongue and throughout the heel. Michigan has not been retro-ed since 1999 in a low cut format but has seen a handful of releases in High cut format. The most recognisable difference between Goldenrod and Michigan is that the Goldenrod features a Yellow Swoosh while Michigan features a deep blue swoosh. Iowa’s are arguably the most recognisable colourway out of the original five colorways released in 1985. The colourway has also been dubbed as the ‘College colour High’ by Peter Moore and was used as the key factor in Nike’s ability to sign a slew of national colleges in the period. 

The Nike Dunk Low Goldenrod is now available at

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