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Dunk Low Disrupt 2

Nike first released the Dunk Low Disrupt as a women’s only sneaker in 2020. Based on the popular Dunk Low, it made fairly minor adjustments to the original, adding a chunkier sole unit and having the sidewall swoosh go under rather than over the rear overlay. Two years later, in 2022, Nike decided to take this altered look even further with the Dunk Low Disrupt 2. This time they gave it a rebellious design, amplifying the key features of the iconic Dunk for heritage styling while also punctuating its outer with a series of eye-catching new details for a more modern feel. Beyond this, it offered the opportunity for playful self-expression via a series of personalisable elements that could be tailored to each individual's unique style.

One of those aspects of the Nike Dunk Low Disrupt 2 carried over from the classic design is its outsole. Made from durable rubber, it consists of various tread formations informed by the Dunk’s sporting history. Concentric circles originally designed to facilitate pivoting movements radiate out from a round pad on the medial side of the forefoot, alternating in thickness as they go. A triangular piece then cuts in from the medial edge of the forefoot, stopping at the central circle and appearing on its other side as four strips of rubber that fan out towards the outsole’s lateral edge. In front of this, a broad border wraps around the toe, its surface lightly embossed with stars. Through the midfoot, the border becomes smoother on the medial side and lugged on the lateral one – a theme that continues on the back portion of the outsole. Here, blocky grip pads are arranged in pairs with recessed areas in the centre, the whole structure looping around the heel to form a narrow indentation through the middle. Shaped by the edges of the surrounding structures, a sunken hexagon with Nike text and a swoosh embossed into it appears below the arch of the foot.

When viewing the profile of the Dunk Low Disrupt 2, it is possible to see the lugs that encircle the heel and lateral edge of the outsole before they give way to a smooth part on the medial midfoot and finally merge into the star-shaped nodes decorating the forefoot. Also clearly visible is the dividing line between the sturdy outsole and the supportive midsole. Instead of moving around the shoe in a regular fashion, it cuts up and down in places to forge an angular pattern that is often emphasised by a distinct change in tone. Soft foam cushioning fills the midsole, making it lightweight, comfortable and responsive, and a shallow groove circumnavigates the upper edge of its exterior, the surface below it lightly textured, that above it smooth.

On the upper, things become much more offbeat in nature thanks to the layered elements and asymmetric additions. The underlayer shows up on the slanted midfoot panels and the toe box, which has lines of perforations fanning out across it. It also appears in an arcing strip that starts thin on the front of the collar before expanding as it swoops around the heel. On the debut Malachite colourway, all of these areas are made from plush white canvas, while its overlays come in a lush green suede. There is a mudguard protecting the forefoot, its edges sewn down by dual lines of stitching, with double eyestays overlapping it at the top on each side. While the bottom part of the eyestay is connected to the back of the mudguard with two lines of stitching on the upper and front edges and one line on the lower and rear ones, through the middle, it is only held down by a thick band of embroidery running sideways across its centre, leaving the rest loose. Meanwhile, at the top, the eyestay disappears beneath the rear overlay in another elegant piece of layering. This uppermost panel has four eyelets arranged into a square on each side of the collar, and parallel lines of stitching attach it along both its front edge and the back one that loops low around the heel. An oval-shaped panel adorns the top of the heel, three curved lines of stitching moving across its lower half and over the underlayer on each side. In its centre is a pull tab affixed with a rectangle of thread, thus allowing the wearer to put the shoe on more easily.

The Nike Dunk Low Disrupt 2 has also been graced with some extra features not present on other models in the Dunk back catalogue. One is a heel counter that lies over the midsole, the rear overlay and a tiny portion of the midfoot panel. It is held in place by four rectangular pieces of stitching, two on each side, and is made from a tough rubbery material. The model’s other unique element is an extra plastic eyelet that has been slotted into the seam between the toe box and the forefoot mudguard on the lateral side to provide the wearer with an alternative lacing option. Additional laces are supplied with the Dunk Disrupt 2, allowing even more personalisation, and the laces can be safely left undone thanks to the elastic bands around the tongue that help secure the foot even if the shoes are untied.

Design features like this give the Disrupt 2 its own distinctive look, but its branding takes things even further. For example, the insole of the Malachite colourway is decorated with a Move to Zero pinwheel motif on a multi-coloured background. Above this, the tongue contains a square label with Nike Dunk text and a swoosh embroidered across it in a size that spreads out beyond the label’s edges to touch the main part of the tongue as well. Elsewhere, swoosh outlines have been intricately embroidered into each flank. These exaggerated logos start on the heel tab and span both the rear overlays and the midfoot panels before finishing over either side of the forefoot mudguard. The swoosh on the medial flank just touches the midsole, while the one on the lateral side slopes down more steeply to connect with the midsole further back on the midfoot, its lower position leaving space for a third swoosh to be added higher up on the lateral sidewall. More than just an outline, this last logo is solidly embroidered into the lateral midfoot, its tail end directed sharply upwards to continue over part of the rear overlay.

When it first launched in 2022, the Nike Dunk Low Disrupt 2 represented a contemporary reconstruction of the decades-old icon. Its distinctive design details set it apart from others in the series, while its familiar sole unit provides the durable grip and reliable comfort that fans have come to expect from each and every Dunk model. On top of this, its customisable elements give the wearer the freedom to express themselves while exploring their own unique identity. This is how the Disrupt 2 has established itself as a bold new sneaker for the 21st century.

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