At some point the game changed. Very few sneakers in today’s market, save for retro releases of cult-classic Jordans and inimitable Nike legacy models, sell out and instill excitement solely on the strength of the athlete being represented or the appeal and design of the shoe itself. The athlete-endorsed sneaker is no longer the pair of kicks this generation of consumers aspires to.

Who’s to say when it officially began. Maybe it was 2002 when Supreme collaborated with Nike on the SB Dunk and launched a mutually beneficial collaborative relationship that still thrives to this day. Maybe it was when celebrity designers like Kanye West began releasing exciting product a decade ago that we reached our point of no return. Regardless, there’s no denying that today, sneakers designed in conjunction with a popular brand or the right celebrity sell out with more consistency and excitement, are generally harder to get and demand more money on the resale market than a whole host of athlete-endorsed performance basketball sneakers. Whether it’s one of the biggest rappers in the world or a company that just wants to make the world a better place, powerful collaborations continue to rule the industry at the moment.

Never forget: No online retailer has the same breadth and depth of selection as Grailed. From a lobster-inspired collaboration to a Hiroshi Fujiwara-helmed rework (and everything in between), in no particular order, these are our picks for the Rarest Sneakers on Grailed This Week.

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Tags: atmos, tom-sachs, sneakers, raf-simons, ultra-boost, fragment-design, hiroshi-fujiwara, concepts, jordan-1, yeezy, air-yeezy-2, kanye-west, air-max-1, sb-dunk, nike-sb, futura, adidas, nike, rarest-sneakers