Over the past decade or so, 4/20 has taken on a new meaning for sneakerheads. In addition to celebrations of cannabis culture, the April holiday has inspired a long-running series of highly sought after weed-themed shoes from Nike SB.
But this year, sneaker fiends expecting to vie for an exclusive sativa-themed red and green hi-top were left with nothing but stems and seeds when the massive sportswear brand announced that it was delaying the release of the “Strawberry Cough” shoe until further notice.
And while Nike has for years refused to officially acknowledge its annual weed-themed undertaking, rumors swirling in the sneaker and skateboarding communities claim that Nike postponed the “Strawberry Cough” Dunk SB due to potential connotations between COVID-19 and the word “cough,” despite its intended nod towards the fruity cannabis strain.
On a new episode of the Mostly Skateboarding podcast, the skate-minded hosts mentioned an “anecdotal source” from within the skate industry that said the 4/20 shoe release was put on pause because it was “deemed inappropriate” not for its cannabis content, but rather the implications of pushing a product with the word “cough” in it.
Instead of leaving sneakerheads stone cold sober though, Nike quickly tapped the series’ longtime designer Todd Bratrud to create a new, even more limited Nike Dunk SB hi-top decked out in textured purple and green suede. The new colorway is dubbed the “Reverse Skunk” because it inverts the hues of the first “Skunk Dunk” that Nike released on 4/20/2010. And in true exclusive fashion, the new holiday kicks were limited to 420 pairs globally and released at only one store, Familia Skateboard Shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
But even if you were too busy celebrating at home to secure your pair of “Reverse Skunk” Dunks, Nike’s delay might be your saving grace. There will likely be another opportunity to grip a pair of 4/20 sneakers when the “Strawberry Cough” colorway finally does drop this summer.
Follow Zach Harris on Twitter