Nike continues its full-court press into basketball quantification with a new signature shoe from King James.
Armed with Nike’s special “+” sensors, these kicks — much like Nike’s Hyperdunk+ basketball shoes I reviewed a few months ago — track how high you jump, how fast you run, and the overall amount energy you expend in a game.
When I first tried out the $250 hyperdunks, my hope was that the technology would quickly trickle down to a more reasonably priced shoe. I never imagined it would trickle up into something even more expensive.
A standard set of LeBron X+ high-tops with the Nike activity-tracking tech included will run you nearly $300 — and more than that if you want to use Nike’s iD system to customize them online. It’s enough to make you nervous about leaving them unattended in the gym. That said, in many ways the LeBrons are amazing shoes. They feel much more substantial and supportive than the Hyperdunks, but remain feather-light and so well-ventilated that even after a few hours of lung-busting runs, my feet never got hot. They’re also somehow even flashier than the eye-burning Hyperdunks, which can be good or bad, depending on how well you play and how mercilessly your crew tends to mock you. Let’s just say, if you’re going to wear these, it’s best to bring some game.