What are grails?

A rare pair of sneakers

Grails are unique sneakers that many people desire but are hard to acquire. The name comes from the Holy Grail, which is a mythical artifact sought after by many.

As the sneaker-collecting community grew in the 1990s, so did its slang. Collectors began referring to extremely rare sneakers as "grails," which is an homage to the mythical chalice purportedly used by Jesus Christ that has healing powers.

Grails may be popular shoes released in a limited fashion, which makes them hard to acquire, or they may be shoes that have defects, which makes them unique. Since grails are so hard to find, they are usually costly, adding to their appeal among collectors.

Examples of grails

Many shoes may be labeled grails, but not all fit the criteria of 1) rare and 2) hard to acquire. A legitimate example of a grail is the Nike Blazer, which was only released to friends and family of Nike employees. Another example is the Air Jordan 1 Retro Chicago, released in 1994.


OMG, I just got invited to attend an exclusive auction online where they are selling grails!
Grails on display
Grails on display

Related Slang


Updated June 11, 2021

Grails definition by

This page explains what the slang term "Grails" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

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