In 1997, religious leader Marshall Applewhite and the Heaven’s Gate religious group committed a mass suicide for what many believe was to join an alien space craft the group thought was following alongside the Comet Hale–Bopp. What does this have to do with a Nike SB you ask. Well to answer that question, you have to look into the mind of Todd Jordan. Prior to this model, Todd had created the plaid Blazer in 2006 that quickly became a must have for the SB community. In 2008, Todd turned his creative spirit toward the Nike SB Dunk and created the Nike SB Dunk High Heaven’s Gate.
Nike SB Dunk High “Heaven’s Gate” uploaded by Nesty20
Dressed in the colors of Heaven’s Gate, the SB blended leather, suede, and nubuck over the high cut sneaker with a touch of denim on the tongue. Black, rules the majority of the SB’s upper with purple used over the eyelets and over the Dunk’s ankle collar. The white midsole ties in to the white Nike Swoosh on the quarter panel, and a black outsole finish up the outsole with a taste of teal on the liner. With as much buzz and love this sneaker received from #sneakerholics, the model never made it to retail. The controversial nature of the kicks made it nearly impossible for Nike to release them, though a Nike SB Dunk High Un-Heaven’s Gate did make it to retail in 2009, as we see here. The model was similar to the original, but a lighter color palette was used and black along with the teal was completely removed from the silhouette.
Nike SB Dunk High “Heaven’s Gate” Sample
Even in today’s politically correct society, it is easy to see how a shoe inspired by such an event would be put on the back burner. Combine that with the growth of Nike SB, which was starting to get noticed by the sneakerhead community, and becoming less of a skate shoe and more of a lifestyle choice for the casual collector. Unfortunately, we don’t think we will ever see the Nike SB Dunk High “Heaven’s Gate”, especially with all the controversy surrounding the release of the Nike Dunk Low “Black and Tans” last year, and that event happened in the 1920s.