Nike tests customer loyalty with the $225 Kobe 9 Elite.

Let’s face it: When it comes to sneakers, Nike has a fan base that other shoemakers can only drool over. That’s why the company can do ridiculous things like slap a $225 price tag on a celebrity-designed shoe, safe in the knowledge that sneakerheads will flock to it. The Kobe 9 Elite, named after Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, will hit shelves February 8. Made using Nike’s Flyknit technology, the high-tops have nine horizontal “stitches” above the heel–a nod to the sutures from surgery on Bryant’s torn Achilles earlier this year.

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Let’s face it: When it comes to sneakers, Nike has a fan base that other shoemakers can only drool over. That’s why the company can do ridiculous things like slap a $225 price tag on a celebrity-designed shoe, safe in the knowledge that sneakerheads will flock to it. The Kobe 9 Elite, named after Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, will hit shelves February 8. Made using Nike’s Flyknit technology, the high-tops have nine horizontal “stitches” above the heel–a nod to the sutures from surgery on Bryant’s torn Achilles earlier this year. While the Kobe 9 Elite isn’t Nike’s priciest sneaker (that would be the $315 LeBron X) it will certainly test the limits of fans’ patience. 

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