What separates forgotten releases from the exclusive pieces we highlight on this list every week? What causes people to wait in line for a sneaker on release day or obsessively hunt down a clean pair decades later?

Exclusivity plays a key role, without a doubt. That’s obviously one of the biggest factors that go into this list. How many pairs were produced, in what manner were they released, etc. We’ll always want pairs others couldn’t get their hands on. But what also separates these sought after models from their less successful counterparts are the details.

Most of the sneakers featured in this column are cut from the same cloth: Iconic silhouettes that simply cannot be improved upon, only differentiated by the flavor given to it by the collaborator or designer. For example, Jordan Is, Air Max 1s and SB Dunks are fixtures on this list because they’re timeless. But even in their ageless design, they’re bolstered by the partners and collaborations that breathe new life into these already unforgettable sneakers.

Never forget: No online retailer has the same breadth and depth of selection as Grailed. From the heir to the Jordan throne to Virgil’s Louis Vuitton debut (and everything in between), in no particular order, these are our picks for the Rarest Sneakers on Grailed This Week.

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