What can $315 buy you? Approximately 70 gallons of gas, or exactly one pair of the newest LeBron James signature Nike basketball shoes.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the LeBron X Nike Plus will be priced at $315, making it Nike's most expensive pair of sneakers ever. Based on the LeBron X, which James debuted in the gold medal game of the London 2012 Olympic Games earlier this month, the LeBron X Nike Plus includes Nike+ technology.
The Nike+ add-ons are expected to include built-in motion sensors that measure how high the wearer can jump. The shoes feature the trademark Nike swoosh in metallic gold.
The previous version of James' signature shoe, the LeBron 9 PS Elite, retails for $250, according to the WSJ. According to NikeBlog (which is not affiliated with Nike), the basic version of the LeBron X will retail for $180 beginning in early 2013.
The price surge is not just due to the tech upgrades. Rising cotton prices, higher labor costs in China, and falling profit margins all account for the rising cost of Nike's shoes.
Nike is "not arbitrarily taking up prices," spokeswoman Mary Remuzzi told the WSJ. "We are constantly looking at ways to enhance the product line with new innovation and product attributes."
The same pressures that are pushing up the price of Nikes are at work across the shoe industry. Even the classic Converse Chuck Taylors are seeing a price increase to $50, up from $45.