In Shoes, the terminology, SE means Special Edition and as the name implies, it is distinct from the normal releases that companies churn out on a regular basis.
Any footwear tagged with the abbreviation, SE is an indication that the piece was produced as part of a special edition batch. There are many occasions, events, ceremonies, and sporting activities that make footwear companies produce Special Editions of their products and the shoes that come in these batches are often limited, a bit more expensive, and come with a lot of special features that sets them apart from the regular releases.
What Does SE Mean in Shoes
SE is a terminology used for Special Editions in the sneaker business. These SE shoes usually come in limited quantities with some unique characteristics that set them apart from what you would normally see on the market on a regular basis.
Because they are produced with materials of higher quality, these shoes sport extra add-ons that enhance their overall value. These ad-ons can come in the form of hangtags, special packaging, exclusive materials, unique designs, special finishing, exclusive colorways, and more, however, this is highly dependent on what the manufacturer prefers. All these and more are what puts SE shoes on the expensive side.
Another important fact that must be noted about these Special Edition shoes is that they are usually released in commemoration of a special event. A great instance can be the Olympic games, which come once every two years. A sneaker brand may decide to release a special range of footwear at that period and name it the Olympic edition. The same can go for other special events like the World Cup and other championships.
We must not neglect the fact that special edition shoes can also be made in collaboration with A-listers in different career endeavors. A footballer of Ranaldo’s caliber can decide to collaborate with Nike to release a Special Edition of footwear. People like Kanye West, Lebrone James, and more have done this in the past and many more collaborations are hatched every year.
Because of their uniqueness, SE shoes have gained popularity among sneakerheads and collectors. Thanks to its collectability value, many people collect these special shoes just to display them on their racks without even wearing them. if you visit the gallery of an ardent SE shoe collector, you might be surprised to see SE shoes from decades back
Also, there are instances where SE means Support and Stability in shoes. What this means is that the footwear is specially designed to provide the wearer with extra support and stability, especially for those with foot deformity or other problems. Some of these shoes can be recommended by a patient’s orthopedic physician.
What Does SE Mean in Jordan and Nike Shoes?
In Jordan and Nike Shoes, SE means exactly what the name implies, “Special Edition” shoes. In fact, the meaning remains the same across all brands of shoes and sneakers, thus, seeing it in a new brand does not make any change to its original meaning.
A good example of a Special Edition shoe in the iconic Air Jordan 1 sneaker is the Jordan 1, which was released sometime in 1985. Once the initial release proved to be a success, Nike joined in and began releasing the Air Jordan footwear in several Special Editions in commemoration of important anniversaries, events, and occasions.
Talking about the Jordan 1 SE, this special version came with a unique design sporting contrasting accents and a tonal upper. The tongue features a unique edition tag and the iconic Jumpman logo. The footwear has remained timeless and to date, it never lost popularity among sneaker lovers.
What Does LE Mean in Shoes?
In LE, “L” stands for Limited while “E” stands for Edition. Thus, LE in shoes simply means Limited Edition. Both Limited Edition and Special Edition are distinct from the regular releases that are churned out by the footwear industry.
However, LE is a bit more special than SE, this is because everything in LE is limited and the products can be rare since they are produced in small quantities. In fact, Limited Edition is dubbed “the Holy Grail of the sneaker market”. Though SE shoes are also rare, they are easier to get than the LE edition.
Differences Between SE Shoes and LE Shoes
In the footwear industry, the terminologies SE and LE come with a lot of differences even though they may be similar in a few ways.
As earlier mentioned, the quantity of production in Special Edition shoes will always be higher than what is obtainable in Limited Edition. This is the reason Limited Edition footwear is often scarce and is highly sought after. Also, this rarity is what is responsible for the sense of exclusivity that often triggers high demand.
Needless to say, when demand exceeds supply, the price would naturally go up.
Value of the Shoes
It is the rarity of Limited Edition shoes that determines its value. In the footwear industry, rarity can vary and may be based on variables like the number of shoes produced and their popularity.
On the other hand, the value of Special Edition shoes depends on the occasion or event that triggered its release. The footwear’s uniqueness also helps in determining its value. The unique details like the name of the occasion it represents, the rare material used in the production process, and other features make them desirable.
Another major difference between SE and LE shoes is that manufacturers never restock Limited Edition and immediately they are nowhere to be found, the value hits the roof.
On the flip side, Special Edition footwear can be remanufactured or continuously kept in stock – an Olympic edition of a brand produced this year can also hit the market during the next Olympic Games. This usually leads to instability in the resale market.
Because of the extreme rarity associated with LE shoes, collector tend to prefer to get their hands on them than SE shoes. Though Special Edition shoes are equally deemed as collectibles, Limited Edition ones may be preferable.
Premium pricing has always been the crux of LE shoes and it is all thanks to its high demand and exclusivity. This is also the reason why its premium pricing has the capability to extend into the secondary market. The resale price at the retail market is usually way higher than what the seller paid for it.
Though the pricing can be high with Special Edition shoes, it can never attain the premium pricing of the LE footwear. Special Edition shoes that are produced out of collaboration with A-list celebrities or athletes are also priced high, but not as much as an LE shoe.
Purpose of the Shoe Release
The primary purpose of releasing Limited Edition footwear is to generate demand and hype. The brands tend to generate a sense of urgency among end users by creating scarcity, which would lead to increased interest and the willingness to buy no matter the price. Brands like Adidas, Nike, and New Balance are known for this tactic, and once their shoes become scarce, it would create more buzz compared to the regular release.
When Special Edition footwear hits the market, we know it is tied to specific events, commemorative occasions, collaborations, and more. The colorways and unique designs that tie them to that occasion make them desirable. A good instance is the Kobe 4 Protro “Mambacita” Released by Nike to commemorate Kobe Bryant and, at the same time, pay homage to Gianna Bryant.
SE Shoes Released in The Past and When They Were Released
Footwear brands have released many SE shoes, including A-listers like Adidas, Nike, and more. Get some examples below;
LeBron 14 Chase Down
The LeBron 14 Chase Down is a Special Edition shoe and is LeBron James’ fourteenth signature shoe (the black and white version). The special features it came with include a Hyperfuse overlay and an engineered laser-cut mesh for support.
It was inspired by LeBron’s iconic chase-down block when the basketball icon played in the NBA Finals Game 7 in 2016. Other special features of the footwear include a midsole sporting a Zoom Air unit; this comes in handy for excellent cushioning.
There is also the outsole that is created from solid rubber; this gives it durability and traction.
Air Jordan 4 What The
The Air Jordan 4 Retro SE ‘What The 4’ was created as a variety of the popular classic Air Jordan 4 sneakers.
The inspiration for its design came from four of the original colorways of the Air Jordan 4 combined in a ”What The” theme. The purpose of the theme is to create a unique one-of-a-kind look. This Special edition of footwear hit the market in November 2019.
NMD_R1 Japan Pack
Adidas released The NMD_R1 Japan Pack collection of sneakers as part of the firm’s NMD series. It sports two colourways, one in white and one in black. Each of them has Japanese branding on their individual midsole. Another special feature of the sneaker is a BOOST cushioning and Primeknit upper for comfort.
UltraBoost 4.0 Triple White
Adidas also takes the credit for releasing The UltraBoost 4.0 ‘Triple White’ in 2017. Its special features include a white Boost midsole, a Primeknit upper finished in Footwear White, and a Continental rubber outsole.
Among the most popular varieties of the UltraBoost, the Triple White colorway has always been in high demand as it is loved by sneaker enthusiasts. Adidas’ major aim of creating the footwear was to provide the wearers with both support and superior cushioning. This makes it an apt choice for athletic activities like running.
The Converse Moonwalk is another SE shoe and it comes from the stables of the classic Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star shoes that gained popularity in the 1980s. The footwear features an inverted design. Its finishing includes laces and details such as the toe cap including the side star logo located on the back of the footwear.
This unique creation comes with a distinctive look reminiscent of a moonwalk.
The Weapon is a Special Edition of sneaker produced by Converse and it gained popularity under the moniker, “The Weapon” basketball shoe. With that said, it goes without mentioning that the special occasion that triggered the production of The Weapon version is the game of basketball. When this SE shoe first hit the market in 1986, it came in multiple color schemes to harmonize with the kit colors of different basketball teams.
The sneaker had both low-cut varieties and high-top ones and the entire construction was made from leather; this included its inside heel that came heavily padded for the wearer’s comfort.
The sneaker was first endorsed by the likes of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird in 1985, a year before it went public, and the duo was featured in the ad for the footwear. Other celebs that wore the SE shoe include Axl Rose in his Guns N’ Roses music video for the track Estranged.
As earlier mentioned, Special Edition shoes can be re-released unlike LE shoes and The Weapon is a good instance. In 2002, the shoe hit the footwear market and was worn by Kobe Bryant and Andre Miller.
Converse also went on to re-release more versions of The Weapon, including The Loaded Weapon (2003), The Weapon 86 (2008), the Poorman version (2009), the John Varvatos (2010). In 2009, the company released a special version of The Weapon called, The Weapon EVO; this later had a successor called The Star Player EVO that showed up in 2010.
What Does SP Mean in Shoes?
In the footwear industry, the acronym SP stands for Special Project. Thus, any shoe labeled SP is a result of a special project by the company that produced it.
A special project can mean that a particular edition of footwear was created as a result of collaboration or partnerships between different shoe brands or between one shoe brand and a famous personality. This might include the likes of A-list athletes and other popular celebrities from the entertainment industry and beyond.
The terminology is extensively used by brands like Nike and once it is sighted on any of their products, it means that the firm created the piece through a special collaboration. Once such footwear from A-list brands like Nike hits the market, it never fails to create a buzz as sneaker enthusiasts and collectors can’t wait to get them.
Full List of Sneaker Terminologies; Abbreviations and Meanings
|3.||PE||Player Edition or Player Exclusives|
|4.||Bred||Black and Red|
|5.||WTB||Want To Buy|
|6.||WTS||Want To Sell|
|7.||WTT||Want To Trade|
|8.||BNIB||Brand New In Box|
|10.||TTS||True to Size|
|22.||ACG||All Conditions Gear|
|23.||HTM||Hiroshi, Tinker, and Mark|
|27.||RNNR, or RNR||Runner|