LeBron X sneaker to be released
After a day full of buzz, the $300 LeBron Nike shoe might not be that expensive.
The Wall Street Journal reported in its Tuesday editions that the LeBron X shoe, scheduled to hit stores this fall, would retail for $315.
But one analyst, Matt Powell of SportsOneSource, later told ESPN that price was for Nike+ tech version of shoe, which would be limited in run, and would likely cost closer to $290.
Tuesday evening, Nike spokesman Brian Strong called the Journal's reported price "inaccurate," while clarifying that the main version of the shoe would come at a significantly lower price point.
"The LeBron X will be launched in the fall at a suggested retail price of $180," Strong said, in a statement. "The initial introduction of the LeBron X will be the red, white and blue Nike+ enabled version and that price is still being set, but will be at a higher price to reflect the Nike+ technology embedded in the shoes."
The company, apparently sensitive to the reports of it crossing the $300 barrier, said it still offers signature shoes at value price points, including the LeBron Zoom Soldier, which has a suggested retail price of $120.
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Between its Nike, Jordan and Converse Brands, Nike owns roughly 95 percent of the US basketball shoe market.
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.
Darren Rovell is ESPN's sports business insider.