Nike has been making shoes for women since 1978, when the brand launched Nike Women with a string of ads on the backside of sports magazine Runner's World. But women's Nike sneakers that men also want to wear are a relatively new phenomena. Although sneaker culture has been brewing since the '70s, hype has transformed the industry. Releases that would've otherwise stayed in stock 10 or 15 years ago now sell out with ease. In fact, some colorways are so rare, men are resorting to squeezing into women's sizes just to wear them.
Such is the case with the Nike Dunk High 'Vintage Black.' It's a beautiful, retro-referencing high-top sneaker that stays true to the style's hoop roots while embracing a colorway that's better fit for everyday wear. Because while yes, the colorful iterations are awesome, they're harder to pair with T-shirts and pants (especially if you're still relatively new to sneakers).
Plain white leather is the base, while semi-gloss black leather serves as an overlay. The midsole attempts to replicate what a pair you've held onto since 1985, when the Dunk debuted, would look like — hence the neo-vintage nude color there — and the laces are designed to match (so they're also slightly yellowed).
Buying a pair isn't easy, though — especially for men. And it shouldn't be, I'd argue. These are women's exclusive, signaled by the WMNS acronym in the sneaker's name: the Nike Dunk High WMNS 'Vintage Black.' But don't be deterred. Let these covetable Nike Dunks be a free lesson on women's sizing.
Always go 1.5 sizes up from your men's shoe size for the best fit — so, if you're a men's 10.5, you'll be a women's 12 — but if your foot is wider than a D (which is standard for men), I'd suggest trying 2 full sizes up. Women's standard width is B, so you're working with less room than a usual men's shoe would afford.
The tradeoff is a tough sell for most folks, but at just $125, there will probably be plenty of buyers still.