7 Most Expensive LeBron James Sneakers
LeBron James has long been a member of the Swoosh brand. In fact, he had signed with Nike even before he played a single NBA game, specifically a seven-year, $90 million contract in 2003 which is still considered the richest rookie shoe deal in basketball up to this day. More than a decade later, James is still with Nike and the two parties have seemingly built a strong partnership that may just last even after James has long retired from basketball. Unsurprisingly, the partnership has also resulted in very expensive sneakers which have only risen in value in recent years. Here are the seven most expensive Nike Lebron sneakers ever released:
1. LeBron 8 “James Dean Denim” - $2,500
Released in 2011, these limited edition Lebron sneakers were designed by DJ Clark Kent and comes with a denim exterior inspired by iconic actor James Dean. Known as the actor who redefined American fashion with his signature denim jeans, Dean has remained an influential figure long after he had passed away in 1955. The LeBron 8 James Dean Denim features a blue denim construction as well as a gum sole and gold accents in the Swoosh logo. Resale marketplaces are currently placing a $2,500 price tag on this high-fashion sneaker.
2. LeBron 4 “Fruity Pebbles” - $4,000
The release of the LeBron 4 in 2006 also marked the release of one of James’ more colorful sneakers: the LeBron 4 “Fruity Pebbles”. Named after the popular multi-colored cereal Fruity Pebbles which also happen to be James’ favorite, this sneaker features a white upper and rainbow of colorways and the midsole and outsole. The shoe was never released to the public as it was only a “friends and family” exclusive, but when it did hit the resale market prices soared to as high as $4,000.
3. LeBron 9 Low “Arnold Palmer” - $5,000
The LeBron 9 Low “Arnold Palmer” is another shoe inspired by another LeBron favorite, the Arnold Palmer iced tea-lemonade drink. Named after professional golfer Arnold Palmer who always requested a drink that combined iced tea and lemonade, this drink has now become a favorite by not just athletes but by anyone who likes to drink a variety of beverages. The LeBron 9 Low Arnold Palmer features a tropical theme, featuring a floral print with vibrant yellow hue with teal accents.
4. LeBron 8 "HWC" - $5,500
Similar to the LeBron 8 James Dean Denims, the LeBron 8 "HWC" is another limited edition LeBron sneaker. The shoe was previously unreleased but is set to return to store shelves albeit in limited pairs in early 2021. The shoe features a blue and orange colorway reminiscent of classic jerseys James rocked during his tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2003 to 2010, 2014 to 2018). For those looking to grab the original pairs, they will have set aside a whopping $5,500.
5. LeBron 9 "What The LeBron" - $6,000
The LeBron 9 "What The LeBron?" is one of the most expensive shoes ever to hit the resale market. Rumored to be released shortly after the Kobe VII “What the Kobe?”, these colorful sneakers never hit sneaker shelves and were only available through online resale marketplaces and auction sites. Similar to the What the Kobes, this shoe features a colorful upper, a speckled midsole trim, and Watch The Throne-style laces. The succeeding LeBron 10’s and 11’s also received the “What the…” treatments but it was not until the LeBron 10 that these sneakers were released to the public.
6. LeBron 9 "Watch the Throne" - $6,500
Since the mid 2000s, more and more sneakers have been released stemming from collaborations between sports brands and celebrities. One of the more popular collaborations is the LeBron 9 "Watch the Throne" which is also another shoe in the Lebron shoes list that never went into retail. The shoe is inspired by Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collab album “Watch the Throne” with the physical album featuring gold floral aesthetics. The same aesthetics are highlighted in these LeBron 9s: gold accents and speckles a well as floral laces.
7. LeBron 8 "MVP" - $15,000
The LeBron 8 MVP is the most expensive sneakers in the LeBron James catalog. The shoe features a black and red colorway as well as MVP branding on the heel counter. The shoe never saw a public release as it was supposed to celebrate James’ predicted MVP win in 2011. Instead, the award went to Chicago Bulls All-Star Derrick Rose who became the league’s youngest MVP at the age of 22. Considering its rarity, the LeBron 8 MVP is one of the most expensive basketball shoes ever made.
It’s not surprising that LeBron James shoes are expensive. And as long as Nike continues to make them, released or unreleased, expect basketball fans and collectors to spend big on every LeBron sneaker on the market.