Nike to Test Market's Stupidity, New LeBron James' X Sneakers Hit $315 Price Tag

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterAugust 21, 2012

Photo Credit: Nike (via Business Insider)
Photo Credit: Nike (via Business Insider)

Sneaker heads will be hit with quite the conundrum shorty. Will you pay over $300 for a pair of shoes? Please, for the love of all that is good and decent, let that answer be no. 

The sneaker craze has allowed Nike to do the obscene, raise the price of a new release north of three bills. 

Business Insider reports the new Nike X sneakers with Nike+ technology will retail for $315 when they come out this fall. 

The good news is that there is a stripped-down version that will retail for $180 that comes without the Nike+ technology the company is banking on to dupe thousands into purchase. 

Still, that $180 price tag is sneakily higher than the $170 price of the last LeBron's

So the question is really, how much is the new technology worth?

The report comes from The Wall Street Journal, which is behind a pay wall, but claims, "Nike attributes the price hike to rising labor costs in China and a jump in cotton prices."

In all of this is the very real assumption that people will pay extreme prices for shoes they consider to be cutting edge and on the forefront of fashion. 

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.

Fair-minded people can sit back and call prices ridiculous, but Nike is being met with very real demand as the shoes fly off shelves. 

We are left to shake our heads in amazement, because the price will only continue to rise if demand remains constant. 

This time, Nike dangles a shiny little ball of technology in front of your eyes hoping it distracts from the silly amount that you have to pay for the shoes. 

That comes in the form of Nike+ technology, a computer chip that allows you to track vertical leap and other things to make you the best player in that Sunday pick-up game you run in. 

Some of the best players to ever lace up sneakers played in little more than canvas and suede. Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and other legends didn't become great by dropping over 300 bucks so they could measure how high they jump. 

Who knows? In a few years, Nike may release a $400 shoe that keeps score. 

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