Nike innovation and design legend Tinker Hatfield partners with tennis star Roger Federer to change the future of footwear design for the court.
Here’s the challenge for tennis footwear: How to combine the lightweight, breathable comfort of a running shoe with the strength necessary to withstand the aggressive, lateral, stop-and-start forces that serious tennis players create? The answer is the Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour, a unique package that’s different than any other tennis shoe out there. It’s designed more like a running shoe, but with the incredible strength and lockdown fit needed for the demands of tennis.
An innovative fit system uses “fingers” on the outside and a loop system on the inside. When the laces get cinched tight, the fingers mold to the shape of the individual foot, resulting in a customized fit that continues to adapt as the foot moves during a match. Wrapping the laces all the way to the bottom of the arch further enhances the glove-like feel and a synthetic-leather quarter panel overlay adds to the firm fit.
Lightweight mesh throughout the shoe helps keep the foot cool. And the TPU foot-frame from the mid-foot to the heel delivers stability and protection during the quick slides and directional changes of a competitive match. Rubber overlays in high-wear areas improve durability. Soft and springy Lunar cushioning and a Nike Zoom unit in the heel work together for exceptional comfort and impact protection.
Below, Hatfield and Federer discuss the design and inspiration behind the Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour: