Rare Jordans

Old-school and limited-edition sneakers kick off a collecting craze

Sneakers are the all-purpose shoe: universal and utilitarian. Hardly the stuff of fetishes and exotic collections. But that's changing. Retro collectible sneakers, until recently the domain of fashionistas and fanatical sneakerheads, are now a growing force in the athletic-shoe game. The field boasts its own websites, and exclusive, often unmarked rare-sneaker shops are popping up nationwide. These vintage kicks are even the stuff of urban art, with former pro skateboarder Chris Hall planning to display his collection this month at the Aurora Gallery in New York City. In addition, "Sneaker Pimps," an exhibition featuring rare and limited-edition sneakers from all over...

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