The Grateful Dead has teamed with Nike for a new line of sneakers, called “The Nike SB Dunk Low Grateful Dead.” The sneakers, which come in three different colors, retail for $110. The shoes feature the band's iconic “dancing bear” along with the Nike swish on the inside tongue of the sneaker. The dancing bear was inspired by the Dead's legendary sound man — and early LSD producer — Owsley Stanley.
According to Nike.com, the new line “features bear-inspired detailing, such as a faux-fur and suede upper, a frayed Nike Swoosh mimicking the bears’ collars.”
Dead archivist and legacy manager, David Lemieux, said in a statement:
As the band’s benefactor, Bear was an incredibly huge part of the Grateful Dead’s ability to become who they were. They were talented musicians, but they would not have had the financial freedom to forgo jobs, move to Los Angeles and practice for 14 hours a day. The band wouldn’t become what it is today without Bear’s innovations and contributions. The same fiercely independent spirit from (Nike SB founder) Sandy Bodecker helped create that authenticity within the skate community.
Co-founding bassist Phil Lesh told us that even all these years later, he loves nothing more than to mingle with longtime fans whenever he has a chance: “When I'm on a book tour, or I'm doing a lecture, or I'm signing CD's or DVD's or something like that, then I get to see 'em right up close. And y'know what's wonderful? All they ever want to do is say 'thank you,' and sometimes tell me a story or show me a photograph about their life and their experience with our music and everything — it's really quite wonderful. I eat it up. I love every minute of it.”