Top athletic shoe developer Nike is planning to release the ‘LeBron X‘ early in 2013. The price tag for the latest edition of the 3-time NBA MVP LeBron James’ shoe that he debuted during the Olympics? A whopping $315, the highest ever for a Nike-produced shoe.
Nike is attributing the increase in retail prices to a hike in labor costs in China, according to the Wall Street Journal, but there is more to it than just labor, according to the Business Insider:
Nike’s basketball division saw a 17% increase (pdf) in year-over-year revenue from May 2011 to May 2012. Nike footwear in North America saw a 15% increase in revenue in that same period. In addition to those increases, we’ve seen high-profile specialty shoes like the Air Yeezy II’s sell out in minutes despite their high sticker price.
Basketball sneaker prices are up 9.4% across the board since this time last year, the WSJ reports, and people are still buying them.
So it’s only natural that Nike would test the $300 limit to see if sneaker heads will still bite.
Maybe I’m just getting old, but there is no way I’m spending a car note worth of money on a pair of sneakers simply because LeBron James wears them. Supposedly there with be a cheaper version of the LeBron X’s available that retail for $180, but that’s still a bit much for a pair of basketball shoes.
But if you’re into collecting high-profile sneakers, you should start saving up and planning on picking up a pair of the LeBron X’s in January 2013. Here are a few pictures to hold you over until they drop: