Sneakers, Sports Memorabilia & Modern Collectibles

Everything You Need to Know About Player Exclusive Sneakers

By Oliver Vonderahe
Shop a curated selection of rare Air Jordan Player Exclusive Shoes at our online Sneaker Shop

In 1994, Nike created custom Air Jordan 9s for six select NBA players, inaugurating a new kind of collectible for sneakerheads and sports fans alike: the player exclusive shoes. While similar to their general release counterparts, player exclusive shoes are distinguished with unique colorways and designs that aren't available to the public. These hard-to-find collectibles are rare for a reason. Given only to players, coaches and staff, PE shoes rarely make it to the resale market. (And when they do, they’re quickly snatched up.) Among the most coveted player exclusive shoes are those that Jordan Brand has made for a select group of NCAA teams. Read on to check out our five favorite collegiate PE shoes.

5 Player Exclusives to Shop Now

Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High UNC PE

Dedicated to the alma mater of Jordan himself, this Air Jordan 1 Retro High was released as an exclusive for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. Speaking directly to the spirit of Tar Heel Nation, these Jordan player exclusives are designed in panels of white, dark navy, and the iconic University Blue, in a textured blend of materials. The forefoot, eyelets and collar stand out in blue faux crocodile leather, with navy blue pebbled leather on the toe, collar overlay and heel. A “UNC” logo is stamped on the left tongue. Never released to the public, these PE shoes are ultra-rare.

Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro Florida PE

These rare sneakers are part of the Air Jordan player exclusives lineup, designed for a highly select group of college programs. Released as an exclusive for the Florida Gators football team, the striking kicks were launched strictly for players, staff, and select family and friends. The upper is dressed in the school’s traditional colors, with vibrant blue elephant print and contrasting orange at the heel, suede tongue and midsole spike mold design. The Air Jordan 5’s most striking detail, however, is the University of Florida’s famed Gator mascot embroidered on the tongue. Approximately 300 pairs of these PE sneakers were ever produced, making them highly coveted on the resale market.

Nike Air Jordan 3 Retro Michigan PE

Released in Spring 2018 for the Michigan Wolverines college basketball program, this Air Jordan 3 Retro PE highlights the University of Michigan’s iconic school colors. Navy uppers in tumbled and smooth leather feature contrasting yellow maize accents at the eyelets, tongue, and heel. Grey cement detailing and a block-style Michigan ‘M’ at the tongue add to the distinctive look. Released specifically for Michigan players, coaches and staff, there are only an estimated 250 pairs of these player exclusive shoes in existence.

Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro Michigan PE 

Another entry in Nike Air Jordan 5 collegiate PE shoe lineup, these Michigan Wolverines exclusives are a coveted find for any Michigan fan. Uppers in maize yellow elephant print make a bold statement, while contrasting navy suede tongues are emblazoned with the Michigan ‘M’ logo. Icy white midsoles stand out with speckled shark teeth overlays in Michigan’s iconic navy blue. With a release limited to a rumored 250 pairs, these premium Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro 5 PE shoes are especially rare.

Nike Air Jordan 3 University of Michigan PE

Another rare 2018 University of Michigan PE, only 250 pairs of these rare Air Jordan 3 exclusives were released. The Michigan ‘M’ hits the tongues, while the interior tongues read ‘Michigan’ on left and ‘Football’ on the right. The navy blue and gold yellow color scheme pay homage to the colors of the Michigan Wolverines, and grey cement panels finish the shoe.

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.