As we inch closer to the August 12th Men’s Basketball Gold Medal game, Nike looks back to 2003 when King James reached one of his earlier career milestones: the arrival of his own sneaker, the Zoom Generation. The beginning of what is now a long line of sneakers made by Nike for Lebron, designer Aaron Cooper worked to build a shoe that was constructed from the inside-out to be comfortable for today’s “modern soldier” that battled on the court. The result is a pair of sleek, field-boot style sneakers that James himself stated were “the most comfortable shoes I’ve worn” and that also met his second criteria: a clean look. Lebron’s personality also made it into the design of the sole, which was inspired by his childhood love of lions with a tread pattern that reflected a claw digging into the dirt while on the chase. Finished with a newly-developed soft foam and full-length Zoom Air inserts double stacked at the heel, these shoes were everything LeBron dreamed of. Check out the never-before-seen sketches of the Zoom Generation after the jump and, while you’re at it, you can learn more about Nike’s “20 Designs That Changed the Game” in our RE-Fresh segment.