You often hear sports commentators referring to the NFL as a “copycat” league. Different philosophies work for winning franchises and are then quickly adopted by others. Coaches follow trends and game plans that are proven to work. While the application is obviously different, the same can be said in the world of sneaker design.

Some of the most illustrious brands and designers in the world–Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Rick Owens, among others–take what works in terms of winning sneaker silhouettes and remix them into their own luxurious vision. Whether it’s Gucci flipping the adidas Stan Smith into its Ace model, or the Jordan I serving as inspiration for the Saint Laurent Court Classic, or Virgil Abloh taking pieces of the Jordan III and Avia 880 for his LV Trainer, reimaginations of these legendary silhouettes run rampant throughout the fashion industry. It’s a prevalent practice outside of the luxury space as well. Allbirds is reportedly upset that Amazon is ripping off its Wool Runner design for its new in-house brand 206 Collective’s Galen Wool Sneaker. Spoiler alert: Allbirds’ Wool Runner is an obvious Nike Roshe Run rip. On and on it goes.

Bootlegs and reworks have always been a part of sneaker culture (more on that in a moment), but the outright openness of design duplication by so many brands is seemingly at an all-time high. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but designers will never stop pulling from the proven classics when it comes to sneakers.

Never forget: No online retailer has the same breadth and depth of selection as Grailed. From Air Force 1 bootlegs once thought to be destroyed to rare Nike SBs (and everything in between), in no particular order, these are our picks for the Rarest Sneakers on Grailed This Week.

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