From the ground up

The term “grail” is used quite liberally these days, especially with truckloads of coveted sneakers releasing like clockwork each and every weekend. While we all have our own personal sneaker grails, some shoes are more deserving of the title than others.

Aiming to distill the word into its truest meaning, we decided to work with our partners StockX to create a list of the rarest adidas NMDs of all time. Our final list was made by cross-referencing data on the least common NMDs listed on StockX against highest historical sales on the resell market, leaving us with 15 of the rarest NMDs ever, including both collaborations and general releases.

You shouldn’t be too shocked to find the special Rimowa edition “Pitch Black” adidas NMD_R1 climbing the ranks to number one, as the blacked-out pack included other goods from Oral-B, Porter, (multee)project and more. Second and third place are secured by two more family & friends releases from adidas, while elsewhere in the list we can find covetable collaborations like those alongside Nice Kicks (the first NMD collaboration ever) and MASTERMIND JAPAN. Check out the full list below.

Additional highlights in the list reveal that NMD fans have a major affinity for camouflage colorways, with “Blue,” “Grey,” “Olive,” and “Yellow” iterations rounding out the list. Pharrell’s “Human Race” NMD also made our list at number two and number six, reminding us of Skateboard P’s staying influence in the sneaker realm.

Although the ultra hyped A Bathing Ape NMD does have a relatively high trade price on the resell market, and was a big hit among sneakerheads, that particular collaboration was not necessarily rare when compared to friends and family drops, or the “Key City” version for example. Additionally, we can see that the NMD_R1 largely garners more interest than other NMD variants like the XR1 or Chukka silhouette.

Now check out 23 of the most rare Nike sneakers.

Vancouver-born, Berlin-based writer, photographer and editor with a steady hand on the keyboard.

What To Read Next