The player exclusive sneaker (or “PE” for short) is the pinnacle of rarity when it comes to collectible shoes. While similar to their general release counterparts, PE shoes feature unique colorways and designs that are customized for an individual player or team, and are not released to the public. Nike first introduced player exclusive shoes in 1994, when Jordan Brand gave six of the league’s top players their own Jordan PEs. Today, Jordan player exclusives remain among the most sought-after exclusive sneakers. These coveted kicks are not just uncommon—they’re ultra-rare. Often only a few dozen pairs are made in any given style. Most sneakerheads salivate at the mere suggestion of adding a pair of PE shoes to their collections, making availability on the resale market as extraordinary as the shoe itself. In 2022, some of the most sought-after PE shoes are ones the Jordan Brand has made for a select group of college teams. Read on to check out our six favorite NCAA player exclusive shoes.
Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High UNC PE
Dedicated to the alma mater of Jordan himself, this Jordan PE 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 exclusive sneakers are designed in panels of white, dark navy, and the school’s 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 player exclusive shoes are ultra-rare.
Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro Florida PE
These PE shoes are part of the Air Jordan 5 Player Exclusives lineup, designed for a highly select group of college programs. Released as an exclusive sneaker 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 Jordan PE’s most striking detail, however, is the University of Florida’s famed Gator mascot embroidered on the tongue. Approximately 300 pairs of these Jordan player exclusives were ever produced, making them highly coveted on the resale market.
Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro Michigan PE
Another entry in Nike’s Air Jordan 5 collegiate PE shoes lineup, these Michigan Wolverines exclusive sneakers 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 Jordan PEs are especially rare.
Nike Air Jordan 3 Retro Michigan PE
Released in Spring 2018 for the Michigan Wolverines college basketball program, this Air Jordan 3 player exclusive shoe 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. Cement Grey 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 Jordan player exclusives in existence.
Nike Air Jordan 9 Boot University of Michigan PE
Nike designed this Air Jordan PE boot for the University of Michigan in 2019. Never released to the public, this ultra-rare exclusive sneaker celebrates the Michigan Wolverines athletics program. Navy blue and yellow accents are an homage to the team’s colors, while the heels display an ‘M’ for ‘Michigan.’ This winterized version of the classic shoe can even stand up to the Michigan chill, with weather-resistant uppers and extra tread on the soles.
Nike Air Jordan 9 Boot University of Florida PE
Designed in anticipation of the 2018 SEC Tournament, these Jordan PEs celebrate the Florida Gators athletics program. Never publicly released, the exclusive shoes are a rare find, coveted by collectors. Orange and blue accents pay tribute to the school’s colors, with “GATORS” embroidered on the heel tabs. Weather-resistant uppers, with extra tread on the soles for slippery conditions, make these Jordan player exclusives ready for winter weather.