words // Zac Dubasik
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen images leak for some of next season’s top signature shoes. Along with those first looks have come reports of prices: $130 for the KD VI, and rumors of $200 for the LeBron XI. Considering that the KD line started out at $85, and LeBron's first model ran just $110, it’d be fair to say they’ve each seen a significant price increase.
And let’s not forget therecently introduced Elite collections. $260, $200 and $180 for LeBron, Kobe and KD. These come on the heels of the $250 Air Jordan XX8. Even the relatively low-tech Derrick Rose line clocked in this season at $160. That’s a $60 increase from the Rose 1, with little in the way of new performance features.
There’s no doubt that gimmicks like modularity and Nike+ have helped push prices up at a swift rate. Initial reports last August by outlets such as the Wall Street Journal had the Nike+ Sport Pack LeBron X retailing at $315. While it ultimately released at $270, that was still $90 more than the standard X, for a feature with a limited, at best, audience.
Nike has a long tradition of pushing the limits of technology, which in turn, drives up prices. When the Foamposite One released in 1997 for $180, i...