There are sneaker collectors and there are sneaker “collectors” and you all know what we mean. But then there are those folks that take things to a whole new level, going after the rarest of rare, player exclusive sneakers intended for athletes, entertainers, or friends and family only.
For Player Exclusive Sneaker Collectors, it’s not about keeping up on those Saturday releases week after week (although some of these guys do that too), but it’s about hunting down the one of kind, or less than a handful made type of sneakers. For some of those PE sneakers, the difference is as simple as a jersey number embroidered on the side, and for others, it’s a complete colorway that was never available to the public.
Needless to say, these collectors will sometimes spend years networking and conversing in an effort to find an elusive pair. What they do, the research, the time, the effort and the patience and persistence it takes, is admirable. And to be honest, most of us don’t have it in us. Check out 30 Player Exclusive Sneaker Collectors You Should Be Following on Instagram and give these guys a follow to see some really rare sneakers.
Note: This list isn’t ranked or a comparison of collections. Our site is about community and sharing knowledge. Keep the negativity to yourself, please.
Jermaine aka phase2 is one of the most well known PE collectors out there (or maybe we all just know he’s the guy from Alaska?). His collection is one of the most impressive around and includes many samples and exclusives that most people never knew existed.
Chad, aka @Sneaker_Galactus has a collection that most people wouldn’t believe and he’s been doing this for years. You can see some of his sneakers at the Brooklyn Museum’s sneaker exhibit but trust us, there is much more. Dig through his IG feed and you are sure to see something you haven’t seen before.
Kenny, aka @the_perfect_pair has an incredible collection of player exclusives ranging from LeBron to Kobe to MJ. Plus you can probably learn a few things from his posts if you read them as he likes to give some background on the story behind the shoes, which is why we f*ck with him.
@cullen_f has an affinity for Li-Ning player exclusives, like the game-worn Dwyane Wade’s above. But what we appreciate about his collection is the niche focus. Niche PE collecting is a good way to get into player exclusives and once you take the time to see what all is out there, it makes sneakers that much more enjoyable.
@ballintwn has some rare kicks, including some samples, player exclusives and then some. This photo is just the beginning of a collection filled with diversity and depth.
We just discovered @rodoggy6 and his collection but after a quick scroll through IG, it appears he’s the real deal. Check out this photo, for instance. We’ve all had this problem at one point. Right?
@1brokeonjordans says he’s been collecting PEs for a while but Jordan 12 PEs are his favorite. Gary Payton Lakers joints and wear test samples are just the beginning.
@ogtheshoegame‘s PE collection has an impressive selection of basketball sneakers but it really shines in the NFL PE cleat department. Take for instance, the above pair of Jordan 11s from 2001. The molded cleats are one of the rarest seen versions of Jordan 11 and these were made specific for Deion “Prime Time” Sanders.
@solesupreme23 aka Puneet, is another one of those PE collectors that has been doing this for years and was always around on the Sole Collector forums back when they were really popping. His PE collection is massive and he’s regularly sharing photos and educating followers on sneakers. Much respect.
We’d guess that if there were a title for “the PE collectors’ favorite collector, it would go to @pevault. Also known as SpursSniperSeven, his collection of rarities and exclusives is unreal and like others on the list, he’s been involved in the sneaker community for years. And since he just posted the Complex x Nike LeBron III, well, you get the point.
@dependablejay has been collecting PEs longer than most people have been into sneakers. Like a few others on this list, he’s been featured in Sole Collector back from its beginnings. Take a look at his IG feed and you’ll realize how hard it was to pick one photo to use but really, the Shaq and Kobe Air Jordan 9s paired together represent such a crazy time in hoops, we couldn’t pass this pic up.
@freddy_war is another one of those guys that has been in the game for years. While you can imagine how hard some sneakers are to find, this picture sums up the rarity and quality of his collection. Gary Payton Zoom Flight 95 PEs from the regular season and All Star samples, crazy.
@_po2345_ has the CP3 player exclusives down. Shoes like the above Air Jordan XX3 Chris Paul PE are what make PEs special. Details. Details. Details.
@whatthekicks always takes great photos and what we appreciate about his Instagram feed is that it’s a good mix of regular releases, limited editions and player exclusives. It’s a collection that every sneakerhead can appreciate and strive towards. Props.
@I.rolon.23s is another collector from the Portland area that has some heat in the stash. This partial shot of his display table from ICYMI PDX (put on by the homies at TRILLBLAZIN) is just a glimpse into his collection. Hit his Instagram account to see more.
We just recently discovered @chao_zang_ on Instagram but his PE collection thus far is impressive. Peep these Reggie Miller Jordan 15 PEs. Not to mention, with a backdrop of Autzen Stadium, he has our attention.
The Jordan XX3 is an amazing shoe but put a PE colorway on it and it becomes even better. This shot by PE collector @_babydill_ is proof. Scroll through his Instagram feed and you’ll see exactly why he’s on the list.
Eric aka @ahliang119 is probably a name you recognize from spending late nights in the SC forums. His PE collection is top notch and new additions seem to show up on his IG regularly. Thumbs up from us.
@shoeless_jack‘s username doesn’t really fit considering the amount of heat he has on his page. There are a lot of unique silhouettes in his collection and enough Jordan player exclusives to put together great photos like the above Jordan 13 PE colorwheel. Well played, sir.
@acervan316 was recently featured on Nice Kicks for his Golden State Warriors PE collection. But his collection runs much deeper than the imagery from that interview. Give him a follow and you will see what we mean.
@doctorswoosh has a solid mix of LeBron James PEs and various Jordan player exclusives but these old ceramic Hare Jordan 7 joints were made for Warner Bros. stores back when Space Jam released. According to @doctorswoosh, nearly all of them were destroyed and only 3 of them are still in existence.
When it comes to being a PE sneaker collector, it pays to wear a size 13. As you can see from @dj_sneakerhead‘s PE collection, there are plenty of professional athletes that wear that size. Dig through his IG feed and you’ll see even more.
@jonallon80 is another collector we recently discovered and after digging through his feed, it’s clear he’s got plenty of PEs to admire. We suggest you do the same.
The LeBron Heroes Pack is one of the best packs in the LeBron line. The inspiration, story and colorways are all excellent. The fact that “Air Kenny” aka @kw21270 has them means that he gets it. And if you look through his collection pics, he gets a lot more. Respect.
When it comes to “player exclusives” we tend to think of athletes but as you can see from @jaydeebeltran‘s collection, that often means entertainers as well. These Eminem Air 180s are grails for anyone into Em, and most of the people that knew they existed before this post. Nicely done.
When it comes to player exclusives, it’s hard to beat having a pair made for the GOAT, Michael Jordan himself. @gerard_og_vi has an entire collection of them and he’s a vet in the collecting game. If you’re not following, you should be.
Dre, aka @croatianstyle is another OG in the sneaker community. Though he doesn’t post as many sneakers as he used to, chances are he’s been around if you’ve ever been to a Dunkxchange, SoleCon or NBA All Star Weekend. Plus he probably hooked up a favorite rapper/producer/singer/etc of yours.
@bikemanx has some gems in the collection, like this Rasheed Wallace Air Force 1 PE. Which is a great example of the diversity that’s out there when it comes to collecting player exclusive sneakers (plus I’m a sucker for old school BMX bikes. -NE). Nothing but love for the old school.
@carter1203 is another vet in the PE collector game. You probably recognize his unique way of tagging his name from those crazy Jordan 11s samples but his collection is much deeper than that. For instance, a pair of PEs for the Jordan Brand Classic in 2007? Ridiculous.
Nick Engvall is a sneaker enthusiast with over 15 years of experience in the footwear business. He has written for publications such as Complex, Sole Collector, and Sneaker News, helped companies like Eastbay, Finish Line, Foot Locker, and StockX better connect with their consumers, has an addiction to burritos and Sour Patch Kids, and owns way too many shoes for his own good.