Bruce Kilgore, the legendary Nike designer who has crafted everything from cars to appliances to sneakers, designed the iconic Air Force 1 in 1982. Before being name-dropped in rap songs and becoming a muse for every hot designer in the industry, Air Force 1s revolutionized performance basketball sneakers. They were originally designed with Moses Malone in mind, not Jay-Z or Virgil Abloh.

Kilgore’s original high-tops pulled design inspiration from Nike’s Approach hiking boots, and featured a circular outsole tread and a cupsole—important performance tweaks which accompanied a flawless minimalist design. They were durable and flexible, and are said to have even nudged Tinker Hatfield, then an architect, towards sneaker design. The low tops debuted the following year and the rest is history, as they transcended beyond the court to become fixtures in the streets and pop culture over time. The man who could design anything designed an undisputed classic.

There’s a reason why a sneaker like the Air Force 1 continues to be a top seller year in and year out for Nike–a company who churns out the most stylish and technologically advanced kicks in the industry—despite being 37 years old and not having a penny of ad dollars allocated to the sneaker in decades: it is inimitable. “Air Force 1s will move without a commercial, without a superstar, just put them on the shelves and watch them fly,” [noted sneaker aficionado DJ Clark Kent’( “Why? Simple, perfect sneaker.” It’s why 37 years later, it continues to play an important role in sneaker culture and takes up a lot of real estate on this week’s list.

Never forget: No online retailer has the same breadth and depth of selection as Grailed. From Jordan classics to eye-catching Doernberchers (and everything in between), in no particular order, these are our picks for the Rarest Sneakers on Grailed This Week.

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