As 2022 draws to a close, our Streetwear & Modern Collectibles team reflect on the sneakers that have earned gifting-season Grail status (and yes, the list includes a pair of Jesus shoes). Read on to discover our favorite styles to cop before the year is up.
7 Favorite Must-Have Sneakers
Louis Vuitton LV Trainer Upcycling
Taking “upcycling” as its inspiration, this Louis Vuitton Trainer from 2021 was crafted using deadstock material from previous LV Trainer models. The eye-catching LV trainer sneakers, designed by LV artistic director Virgil Abloh, feature a mix-and-match of colors and materials. Blue and white calfskin uppers with contrasting orange suede tongues and pink shoelaces define this limited colorway of the Louis Vuitton Trainer. Integrating signature touches from both Louis Vuitton and Virgil Abloh, the LV trainer sneakers achieve an utterly distinctive look with handwritten annotations, intentionally loose sewing threads, and an iridescent Monogram luggage tag.
Omega Sports Apple Computer Sneakers
Custom-made for Apple employees, these ultra-rare shoes were a one-time giveaway at a national sales conference in the mid-’90s. The old-school rainbow Apple logo, featured on both the tongue and lateral quarter, stands out against the rare shoe’s predominantly white upper. Having never reached the general public, this pair of Omega shoes is one of the most obscure in existence and highly coveted on the resale market.
Nike SB Dunk Low Pro Shanghai 2
The Nike SB Dunk Low Pro Shanghai 2 pays homage to the culture of Shanghai. While the original Shanghai Dunk from 2004 took the city’s architecture as its inspiration, this second iteration is influenced by Shanghai’s famous cuisine. The unique Nike SB Dunk Low Pro is modeled on traditional bamboo dumpling steamers. Distressed caramel leather creates a patina effect, while the textured side panels mimic a woven bamboo basket. The tongue label replaces the classic Nike SB tag with the subtle outline of a bowl and chopsticks.
Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 Mid Graffiti
Hailing from the first release of the 2022 Louis Vuitton x Nike AF1 collab, this pair of Louis Vuitton Air Force One Mids are dressed in the Maison’s iconic Damier pattern. A graffiti motif, created by Milan-based tattoo artist and illustrator Ghusto Leon, is splashed across the lateral sides. The right shoe reads “Louis,” and the left, “Vuitton.” The distinctive Louis Vuitton Nike Air Force Ones embody the collision of luxury materials and street art that defines the legacy of Virgil Abloh’s outstanding collaborations.
Nike Air Max 97 MSCHF INRI Jesus Shoes
Released in 2019, the Air Max 97 x MSCHF x INRI "Jesus Shoes" are a custom design engineered by Brooklyn marketing agency MSCHF. With 60cc of holy water injected into the Max Air unit, the Nike Air Max 97 lets you walk on water. The upper, in a celestial palette of white and light blue, is built with mesh and leather; a contrasting gold and silver crucifix adorns the laces. MSCHF branding can be found on the left heel tab, while the inscription "INRI" (Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum) hits the right. The lateral forefoot of the Nike Jesus shoes nod to Matthew 14:25, the biblical chapter that references Jesus’ ability to walk on water.
Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Chrome Hearts Off-White NRG
These specially commissioned Chrome Hearts shoes upgrade the iconic Nike Virgil Abloh Air Jordan 1 with striking Chrome Hearts hardware. The playful Off-White shoes are a deconstructed take on the classic AJ1 silhouette. Virgil Abloh’s signature Off-White flourishes—zip-ties, exposed foam, labeled shoelaces, and sans-serif branding in quotation marks—get the Chrome Hearts treatment with branded dubrés, adjustable lace locks and metallic eyelets. Chrome Hearts shoes like this 2017 commission are very rare and highly sought after.
Nike MAG Back to the Future 2011
The Nike MAG, which first appeared in the 1989 sequel Back to the Future II, was instantly one of the most coveted—and unattainable—shoes in history. In the film, Marty McFly time travels to the year 2015, and famously powers on his self-lacing Nike MAGs. The iconic cinematic moment became equally important to the history of footwear. In 2011, Nike finally released 1,500 pairs of Nike Air Mags to the public to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research, marking one of the brand’s most coveted releases.