This week’s list of rare kicks really places an emphasis on sneakers which deviate from the norm, whether in terms of overall design, surprising color patterns, or unfamiliar textures.

When Tinker Hatfield took over the Air Jordan line in 1988 with the legendary Jordan III, he immediately introduced exotic materials (elephant print) and technological breakthroughs (Nike Air technology). It shot the brand into the stratosphere and the brand continued to push the envelope with outside-the-box design and fresh materials as the years progressed. That’s what we’re seeing right now–hungry creators who won’t be bound by the unspoken rules of sneaker design.

Now the market welcomes a satin touch-up of a Jordan I, which may have been viewed as sacrilege at one point in time. Basketball players can now wear any color sneaker on the court, not just team-centric colorways, so we’re seeing every hue from the spectrum on the hardwood at NBA games. Now when designers take on an iconic sneaker, they treat it with respect and use some of the best materials at their disposal, just like Tinker did 30 years ago.

Never forget: No online retailer has the same breadth and depth of selection as Grailed. From silky white Air Forces to futuristic tactical sock runners (and everything in between), in no particular order, these are our picks for the Rarest Sneakers on Grailed This Week.

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