"I asked Tinker (Hatfield) to design something that would give give me the comfort and breathability of a running shoe, but was closer to the ground to benefit tennis players" that was the original insight from Roger Federer to Tinker Hatfield the VP of Creative Design at NIKE. The result of that collaboration between athlete and designer was the NIKE Zoom Vapor 9 Tour. First debuting during the hard-court season in early 2012 the shoe immediately joined Hatfield's long list of iconic athlete-specific designs.
The shoe's unique fit system, that has also been adopted by the Nike Lunarglide+ 4 and the Nike Hyperdunk+ amongst others, works in an innovative way that improves comfort and fit. When the laces are cinched tight the outside 'fingers' mould to the shape of the athlete's 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.
Whilst the original design was created with a mesh upper and used during the hard-court season, the latest update is adapted for the clay court season and will debut in Paris this May. Replacing the mesh that adorned the shoe earlier this is a a synthetic leather that will perform ideally on clay. 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. The midsole houses a Nike Zoom unit in the heel which delivers exceptional comfort and impact protection.