It was going to happen eventually.
In fact, it already happened, but APL's Concept 1 (which sold for $300 upon its 2010 launch) didn't make the same sort of nationwide splash as this. By now it’s all over the place that the upcoming LeBron X is allegedly going to break the $300 retail barrier, news delivered with much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth. Perhaps it escaped the notice of many that the identical Nike+ package for the Hyperdunk is $250, with the NIKEiD version coming in at $290. Or that the conventional LeBron X without the "Nike+" system will retail for $180, just $10 more than the LeBron 9 (and $70 less than the LeBron 9 Elite). Or that consumers are hardly balking at current retail prices, let alone re-sale ones. The oft-quoted and unconfirmed $315 price tag may not even be accurate.
But no. Even the Wall Street Journal uses the $300 LeBrons as a headline for an otherwise sober-eyed piece that offers a look at rising sneaker prices across the board. It's funny, but we can't recall the media going crazy about the $275 New Balance 2040, which released without fanfare earlier this year (although we bet the average NPR listener knows all about it). It seems that the general hue and cry is reserved for basketball shoes, and more specifically Nike and Jordan basketball shoes.
Like it or not, expensive shoes have always been a status symbol, whether on the streets or in homeroom. That's not going to change. Only the prices are, and maybe it's time everyone got used to the fact that the only way they're going to go is up.