Nike unveiled the 10th incarnation of LeBron James' signature line of shoes in September, the LeBron X. The new colorway he'll be sporting on opening night is the best in the line and will give early adopters buyer's remorse.
Nike unveiled the shoes on Tuesday (press release below), announcing James will be wearing them when the Miami Heat raise their championship banner and the players receive their championship rings.
Nike certainly never misses an opportunity for free press to promote its products. Be it a massive unveiling of the new NFL uniforms or the release of the most expensive full-production-run shoes, the company finds a way to maximize publicity.
The shoe itself also shows an attention to detail.
The Nike press release reveals the intricacies of the design, incorporating several elements of Miami's 2012 Finals victory.
The LeBron X Gold pays homage to James' MVP status, the Heat's playoff record (16-7) and includes "697" for his total playoff points scored.
LeBron James will open the season in a special gold-themed LEBRON X paying tribute to the team’s 2011-2012 Championship. James' tenth Nike signature shoe combines dynamic containment, protection and responsiveness tailored to one of the world’s most explosive players.
Continuing the LEBRON X’s deeper storytelling with colors, this version features gold for the ring and white/red for the home uniforms they wore on June 21 when capturing the championship.
The shoe also features graphics representing the championship. On the right shoe’s medial side is "MVP" plus the number of points he scored in the playoffs. The left shoe's medial panel has "CHAMP" and the team's playoff record. The font mimics traditional ring inscription.
What Nike didn't reveal is when the new model will hit the shelves and if it will follow the same pricing format as the earlier color combinations.
The Wall Street Journal originally reported a ghastly retail price of $315 for The LeBron X. Nike balked at that figure and released the fully-loaded shoe for $270.
The demand for this version could very well command the higher price tag.
Nike and James have taken some heat for the price (the version without the tech inserts sells for $180).
The purpose here isn't to discuss the merits of a free-market system, but $300 seems a tad steep for a pair of basketball shoes...even if the Nike+ censors can measure a player's leap, quickness, distance ran and pop popcorn for celebratory purposes.
Those with the financial means will be happy with the purchase. Whether being purchased for on-court performance or just for fashion, these shoes deliver.
Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks.