PE’s, or simply dubbed player exclusive, are special versions of sneakers given to professional athletes to wear for their respective sport. Covering the basketball footwear side of this, NBA players receive ‘player exclusive’ shoes to wear from the brand they are signed with. Some special player exclusive additions include added torsional shank plates, custom orthotic insoles, additional full-length Zoom set-ups, and more.
Shown below is an image of the standard Nike Kyrie 5, Kyrie Irving’s fifth signature shoe. The tooling for the shoe was simply a phylon midsole, a Zoom Air turbo bag in the forefoot, and a midfoot shank plate. Some believe due to the lack of impact protection Kyrie Irving signature models bring to the general athlete wearing the shoes, that Kyrie himself wears his PE’s with full-length Zoom, which is not in the general release pairs.
While this isn’t confirmed, it very well may be true. Nonetheless, we can confirm that Uncle Drew does indeed wear his Kyrie 5s with upgraded torsional support in comparison to the general release pairs via added shank plates. The general release pairs of the Kyrie 5 do not sport any form of shank plate.
General Release: Kyrie 3 – Kyrie 4 – Kyrie 5
Player Exclusive Pair
While the Three Stripes may have the rights to the TPU fused pellet technology, dubbed adidas Boost, PUMA also has the right to the same technology, to what they call NRGY beads.
Boost is not a foam, but TPU pellet balls that are fused and compressed together under heat welding to make a high-rebound, impact absorbing cushioning. The same is with NRGY, but PUMA adds their energy beads into a hybrid cushion with their Ignite foam midsoles often. We saw this in both the Clyde Court Disrupt & Uproar.
Although it may seem odd both adidas and PUMA have the rights to use the material, lawsuits occured for both brands to be able to use it. Moreover the largest chemical producer in the world, also known as a German chemical company named BASF that actually developed the material, which is the brief explanation.
When Boost is used as the shoe’s midsole in adidas shoes, there is generally a thin layer of canvas with open perforations as a protective layer over the Boost for stability, or a normal strobel board. What we haven’t seen before are player exclusive Boost insoles, put into shoes for NBA athletes. What seems to look odd at a first glance, the concept is actually simple. The insole isn’t much thicker than that of a standard Ortholite, but likely provides fantastic step-in comfort and likely adequate impact protection, similar to Nike’s drop-in midsoles featuring Lunarlon or REACT foam.
Player Exclusive adidas Boost Insoles