The truth about Apple's never-released sneakers

Life is, and always has been, a series of crushing disappointments, punctuated by bright moments when we look back on what could've been and imagine the better world that slipped through our fingers.

It is with this inescapable truth in mind that we humbly present a fork in the road of human history, a crossroads in time at which man veered left when he should've gingerly turned the wheel to the right. We speak of the creation and abrupt, heartless abandonment of Apple sneakers, the footwear that would've had socialites and upper-crusters in the late-'80s tilting their Ray-Bans, dropping their Zimas, and disbelievingly uttering, "Is that the Macintosh logo on your Adidas?"

Apple sneakers? They should've called them iShoes

Difficult though it may be to fathom today, there was a time when Apple wasn't a hive-minded corporate juggernaut with tunnel vision honed in on clinical white success. What stands today as theĀ Fortune 500's third-most valuable company in America was, for a time, sort of a mess. Arguably, their rise to the heights of affluent social symbolism didn't begin until the release of the iMac G3 in 1998, when designer Jonathan Ive bravely asked the question, "What if computers looked like action figure accessories?"

In the years leading up to the company's decidedly aesthetic-based business model, Apple got into some... weirdness. A 1986 fashion line described by Fast Company was especially fierce, featuring electric tees and polo shirts with sensuously poppable collars.

The abandoned firehouse baby of the line, produced in the early '90s, was the Apple sneaker, designed in conjunction with Adidas to create a very "Adidas but with an Apple logo" look that contemporary fashion just isn't brave enough to replicate. Offered only to Apple employees, they were the height of wearable technology, featuring such futuristic capabilities as "covering your foot" and "covering your other foot, too."

Yes, the OG Apple sneaker was just a shoe, but today, it's become the Holy Grail of normcore kicks. The limited run of the footwear combined with its modern rarity has led to the shoes being sold at Heritage Auction in 2017 with an opening bid of $15,000. According to Slash Gear, they hit a final price of just over $18k before finding a forever home.