My Grail: Nike SB Dunk Low “Hawaii”

The definition of a grail has oft been debated, argued, discussed and rediscussed many times over the years. I won’t attempt to revive the discussion today.

My grail is one of a select few pairs on my list and one of the only ones that I happen to own. Once a grail has made its way into a collection, it’s easy to forget how sought after that particular pair was. At least for me this rings true.

IMG_1697 Nike SB Black Box Series

The Nike SB Hawaii was a February 2006 release from the  SB minds featured in an amazingly cohesive colorway blend in black / black and deep orange. During the SB “Black Box” era Nike had some deeply inspired and jaw dropping designs involving dedications or stories that sat behind the aesthetic inspirations. This was definitely my favorite one to date. I mean yeah, Tiffany’s and Heinekens are great in their own right, but in my eyes, nothing compared quite as well as the Hawaii release. The detail that went into virtually every aspect of this sneaker is nothing short of a work of art. Wrapped in mostly suede, this sneaker balances color blocking in such a visual way as to capture the essence of volcanic imagery.


Featuring the stitching of the “Big Island” of Hawaii (The Pacific US State is made up of a chain of Islands) on the outer heel with a star to designate the location of the Volcano, this sneaker reflects many aspects that make up a dedication to Pele – The Hawaiian Goddess of Volcanoes. Pele has a profound meaning in Hawaiian culture. She embodies the force of nature that volcanoes possess: the power of creation and also the power of destruction. 

One piece of information to note is that the image of Pele on the insole is a dead giveaway to the question of authenticity of this sneaker. The fugazzi factories just can’t seem to get it right which often helps determine that you’re purchasing licensed products.

IMG_1702 KA WAHINE `AI HONUA is the poetic name for Pele, meaning “She-Who-Shapes-The-Sacred-Land“

The sneaker’s heel trades place with the standard Nike branding in favor of the Hawaiian state flag, stitched in black with a yellow suede underlay. It does not completely reflect the correct colors, but still represents in rare form.


Back in the days of 2006, there weren’t very many great local shops that I had dealings with, if there were that many shops at all. Only a select few Skateboard shops existed and an even smaller number were Nike SB retailers. It seemed that I was doomed to the resale pits of eBay from the get-go so I gave up and moved on.  Anyone can tell you that a grail is not something that you can forget. Releases come, releases go, some are forgotten but the grail status sneaker – that stays in the back of your mind almost at all times. One day while surfing the fugazzi (fakes/replicas) infested waters of eBay listings, I came across a pair that seemed promising. Having long moved past the days where copping for retail as a possibility, I began to accept that resale was the only way to go. I finally came across a price that was feasible. The only problem, the seller was in Seoul, South Korea and didn’t seem keen on shipping to the states. Multiple emails and a couple of hours later, we came to a deal and my purchase was shipped.

IMG_1698 IMG_1699 IMG_1700 IMG_1704img_0555

I’ve worn my pair quite a few times, there’s some minor aging that is beginning to show on the translucent outsole and some suede pieces could go for a minor touch up cleaning. This is a sneaker that I would love to own multiple pairs of one day, maybe soon.

This is My Grail: Nike SB Dunk Low “Hawaii”





About corruptsoles

Aspiring photographer. Sneaker enthusiast. Purveyor of all things - sneakers.

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