Similar to the trajectory of his career, LeBron James' signature shoe line with Nike has entered rare air, with each model's legacy firmly cemented by their role in iconic games, quickstrike releases, and other narrative-shaping nuances.
Fourteen unique LBJ sneakers have released in the marketplace during his career – not to mention those released in the Soldier series. His reign at the top of the NBA talent pool hasn't neared its ending (even with those pesky Golden State Warriors), which means more releases are to come.
Considering that King James has at least three great seasons left in him, SG gives him his roses while he can still smell him via this list of our 10 most expensive LeBron sneakers – comprised of rarities, PEs, etc.
10. Nike Air Zoom Generation "St. Vincent-St. Mary"
LeBron James' undying love for his high school alma mater St. Vincent-St. Mary has materialized in a myriad of ways – constant sponsorship included.
From a style perspective, PE versions of "The Chosen One's" signature shoes have forever immortalize the white/green/gold team colors in the minds of fans, even after his career has become more commonly tied to his pro-level feats in Cleveland and Miami. A true rarity, we present the Nike Air Zoom Generation "St. Vincent-St. Mary" – a rare PE that sees Bron-Bron's first-ever sneaker feature a premium white leather upper, the gold hits in accents, and green mesh paneling to complete the Fighting Irish home motif. SVSM branding appears on the heel.
9. Nike Zoom LeBron 4 "NYC Graffiti"
Style: BAM284 M43
On Veteran's Day in 2006, Nike kicked off a five day LeBron pop-up shop, which was the only place you could cop the Zoom LeBron 4 "NYC Graffiti." Birthed with the Big Apple's love for basketball in mind, the sneaker was a very limited release with just 250 pairs in existence. Not to mention that the white upper and graffiti-clad midsole is such a fresh juxtaposition that LBJ had to break out a fresh pair while playing at the Garden.
8. Nike LeBron 10 "Ring Ceremony"
Style: 356733 971
Third time's a charm. After two losses, LeBron James led the Miami Heat to a NBA championship victory (his long-awaited first) to cap off an amazing 2011-2012 season.
Nike commemorated the win with the "Ring Ceremony" edition LeBron 10, which LeBron James wore to the team's ring ceremony to kick off the following season. The sneaker features a Metallic Gold-decorated upper to signify the coveted hardware, with white and red accents to mirror the home jerseys that Miami wore in their grueling win. A lion's head lace jewel completes the design, completing the shoe's championship glow in the process.
7. Nike LeBron 7 "HWC"
Style: 184252 628
Link: Nike LeBron 7 "HWC"
Fans of LBJ's first Cleveland Cavaliers regime will recall their Hardwood Classic jerseys, which recalled the team's Mark Price days in a vibrant royal blue and orange look. The color scheme would inspire a handful of Nike LeBron releases, including the rare LeBron 7 "HWC."
To understand the hoopla around this never-before-released PE, we must first contextualize the impact made by the LeBron 7 – the first LeBron signature to remove Zoom technology in favor of visible Air Max. Thanks to Nike designer Jason Petrie, the upper also features linear Flywire, which further accentuated how the shoe was received aesthetically (especially when noting the sick colorway options).
With the shoe's futuristic look all but cemented by full-length visible air, and King James' game and star power only continuing to level up, the LeBron 7 was a zenith point for his signature line. So, a PE that's easily mistakable for a Knick-inspired shoe could do nothing but create a stir.
6. Nike LeBron 9 Low "Arnold Palmer"
Style: 338141 836
This tropically-themed edition of the LeBron 9 Low inspired by golfing legend Arnold Palmer was a "friends and family" release only. It dons a vibrant yellow hue appears on the floral print that covers the upper, while teal and orange accents add greater detail.
5. Nike LeBron 8 "HWC"
Style: 200816 186
Link: Nike LeBron 8 "HWC"
Once again, we see a "Hardwood Classic" edition LeBron sneaker, inspired by the 1987 team jersey. Like its predecessor, the LeBron 8 is anchored by a suede upper in a Royal Blue look. Designer Jason Petrie outfits this shoe with a Orange tongue featuring an embossed lion's heat. The Swoosh appears in white as does the midsole. The full-length visible air unit features a speckled design.
4. Nike LeBron 4 "Fruity Pebbles"
Style: BAM367 M22
The concept for this Nike LeBron 4 is simple enough, as it's inspired by King James' favorite cereal, Fruity Pebbles. Unreleased to the public, the sneaker features a crisp white Posite upper and a midsole featuring a multi-color design akin to the colorful breakfast delight. Other noteworthy details include reflective 3M straps and a multi-colored rubber translucent outsole.
3. Nike LeBron 9 "What The LeBron"
Style: 319349 729
The Nike LeBron 9 is one of a handful of models to receive a "What The" release. Sort of. The "What The LeBron" sadly never made it past the sample stage, making pairs that actually made it on the streets very rare (and expensive!), as you can see.
2. Nike LeBron 9 "Watch The Throne"
Style: 286954 729
They say if you can remember the year, it was a good time. And that's certainly the case for 2011, the year one of the biggest events in Hip-Hop history took place: Jay Z and Kanye West's Watch The Throne album and tour.
Along with being a spectacle to see, the grandiose live event went on to inspire a version of the Nike LeBron 9. The stunning design came at no surprise, as LeBron James has been a longtime affiliate of Jay Z.
The sneaker features a black and gold colorway with a translucent outsole. The shoelaces and inner lining resembles the album artwork, which was designed by Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci.
1. Nike LeBron 8 "MVP"
Link: Nike LeBron 8 "MVP"
Trimmed with the glow in the dark panels and stripes, the Nike LeBron 8 "MVP" is a never-before-released sample of a fan-favorite LeBron James sneaker model. In the light, the kicks don a black and red colorway with gradient features. But the true details show in the darkness, as the lace placket, Flywire panel borders, and the heel "MVP" badge radiate in a neon glow.