December 19, 2011 BY John Kim
In 2012, Nike Basketball will raise the bar in basketball performance technology by releasing the Nike LeBron 9 P.S. Elite – the second overall installment of the Nike LeBron 9 featuring prime cuts of design concept and performance engineering. While sneakerheads were surely excited for the upcoming release, the $250 price-tag raised a few eye-brows, with the valid question of “Is $250 sneaker worth the money?” rising from the debate. $250 easily sets the mark as the highest priced Nike Basketball shoe of this generation, but the manufacturers are catering to two distinct demographics – the ballers and the sneakerheads. Would either sample group drop $250 on a pair of sneakers? That number is rather tame compared to the high-end football boots, which often run in the $400 range, but in America, it’s a figure we’re certainly not accustomed to (nor would anyone agree that basketball sneakers are ready to move up in price).
Sneaker News first showed you these interesting detailed images of this LeBron 9 shoe back in mid-September, referring to it a Prototype sample (likely the Elite). Now that we know that this is the majority of the structural building block of the P.S. Elite, we can now pinpoint some of the key design features. For one, the exposed and thicker Flywire cables are something new to the Nike LeBron line, but this could be just an endoskeleton of the shoe. Another noteworthy detail is the cushioning unit, which is neither full-length Max Air nor Max/Zoom combo, but what appears to be a full-length, basketball-specific, visible Zoom Air unit. The silhouette of the P.S. Elite is similar to that of the LeBron 9, but gone is the weave-wing panel, which has been replaced by ample Flywire-laden sheets that wrap the heel and up to the ankle. Take a look once more at the Nike LeBron 9 P.S. Elite below and let us know what you think of the shoe. via cork
UPDATE: It has been brought to our attention that the prototype sample seen here is not actually the LeBron 9 P.S., but hopefully we may be seeing something similar a little further into the future.