The market might get tested when the LeBron X is released later this year.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a Nike plus-enabled version of the shoe -- that has motion sensors in the shoe to track various metrics including how high the player jumps -- will retail for $315. Though Matt Powell, an analyst for market retail tracking firm SportsOneSource, tells ESPN that he believes the price will be $290.
The LeBron X has motion sensors in the shoe to track various metrics including how high the player jumps.
Nike spokesman Brian Strong would not comment as to the accuracy of the price.
In 1986, Nike's Air Jordan II broke the $100 basketball sneaker barrier. Sixteen years later, the company hit the $200 price tag when it released the Air Jordan XVII.
Despite a rough economic environment, Nike has been able to pass on the rising costs of materials to its consumers with little resistance due to the premium associated with its high end product.
SportsOneSource reported last month that sales of sneakers that retail for more than $100 were up 30 percent on the year and sales of basketball shoes that cost more than $100 were up 50 percent. Between the Nike, Jordan and Converse brands, Nike owns roughly 95 percent of the basketball shoe market in the United States.
While many will be fixated on the price, Powell says it's being blown out of proportion. He estimates that Nike will only make about 50,000 pairs of the Nike-plus enabled LeBron X's compared to 200,000 to 300,000 pairs of the regular version of the shoe, which he expects to sell in the $175 range.
"This is all about electronic componentry," Powell said. "The plus version of this shoe is a very expensive shoe for a very specific audience: The high school or college athlete that wants to improve their game by measuring their progress by wearing the shoes."