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Nike's New Frontier: LeBron X Sneakers Will Sell For $315

Nike's new Lebron X. Fully loaded, they will retail for $315.
Nike's new Lebron X. Fully loaded, they will retail for $315.

Despite tough economic times, Nike is about to go where it has never gone before: Its Lebron X sneakers are expected to retail for $315. That's the first time a pair of its kicks breaks the $300 barrier.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the price hike comes after the company saw some steep drops to its gross margins. But the company may be taking its customers too far. The Journal reports:

"'Prices are getting crazy excessive and as long as we continue to buy sneakers, Nike is going to keep increasing the prices,' said Donell Brown, 30, who owns a cleaning services company in Dearborn, Mich.

"Mr. Brown said he and his friends have been posting messages on Twitter and YouTube, urging other longtime sneaker fans not to buy the pricier LeBron shoes and to forgo waiting in line for new sneaker releases.

"Nike's price increases are also being felt at the lower end: The venerable Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneaker now costs $50 compared with $45 a year ago."

The Miami New Times says the LeBron 9 sold for $170. NikeBlog reports that there will be a cheaper version the LeBron X, which will retail for $180.

But if you want all the bells and whistles — per NikeBlog that means "dynamic Flywire technology, Hyperfuse construction, Nike Plus functionality ... and the first full-length visible Zoom Air unit" — it will set you back $315.

Part of the charm, reports Dimemag, is that LeBron James, the Miami Heat superstar, debuted the shoes during Team USA's gold-medal win against Spain.

Now, we've been known to plop down three-figures for a pair of very good looking running shoes. We doubt, however, we'd ever go more expensive than that.

Then again, we're not the ones standing in line in the middle of the night for a new release.

NikeBlog divines the shoes are set for release in January or early February of next year.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.