INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Basketball fans will remember LeBron James' chase-down block on Andre Iguodala in Game 7 of the NBA Finals last June for years to come. Sneakerheads will remember the kicks James was wearing when he made the play, the LeBron Soldier 10s, just as much as the block itself.
Nike released a FlyEase version of that sneaker, it was announced Monday.
FlyEase is Nike's easy-entry footwear system designed for athletes with disabilities in mind, giving them a sneaker option that is less difficult to put on and take off than a traditional laced model. The LeBron Soldier 10 FlyEase features a combination of a zipper and Velcro straps in place of laces.
"It's about us empowering every kid and everybody to understand we are all athletes," James said in a statement.
James recently hosted patients from Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation at the Cavaliers' practice facility and presented them with pairs of the sneakers.
The sneakers were designed by Tobie Hatfield, a longtime member of the Nike design team who also worked on Tiger Woods' signature golf shoes.
"One of the key learnings we've had in crafting accessible footwear is the importance of easy entry and exit of the shoe, not just simplifying its fastening system," Hatfield said in a statement. "Eliminating the intricate hand movement of lace tying is important, but if the athlete cannot get their foot into the shoe, lacing becomes a moot point."
Last season, James received attention for approaching Aaron Miller, a 16-year-old Celtics fan, and clutching the back of his head in an embrace while the Cavs were playing at TD Garden.
Miller, who was born with severe brain damage, was honored by the Celtics during a timeout for his success as a Special Olympics athlete. James heard the details of what Miller overcame in the video that was shown during the timeout and then noticed that Miller was wearing the FlyEase version of his LeBron Soldier 8s. That prompted him to approach the young fan during the game and then present him with his game-worn sneakers after the game.
"When I saw that, when I saw his story, it was just like, I don't know, I felt like I was a part of him," James said of Miller. "I was just showing him my respect and gave him my shoes. And it was well received by him. It wasn't, it's not for you guys [in the media], it's not for the fans. It was for him."
The 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games are currently being held in Austria until March 25 and being aired on ESPN and ABC.