It was more than a little surprising when, a little more than a year after his multi-decade partnership with Nike ended, tennis icon Roger Federer teamed up with shoemaker On. After all, the company shares Federer's Swiss heritage...but it didn't make tennis shoes.
That all changed with the Roger Pro, which Federer has been wearing in recent tournaments — including the ongoing Wimbledon — a seemingly one-of-a-kind shoe that is now getting released exclusively at trendy NYC-based stockist Kith. Launched this morning, the $200 shoe could go fast, based on the specifics.
On is primarily a running shoe company, though it has recently expanded into hiking and trail footwear that employs its trademark feature, CloudTec — a sole design made up of springy pods. Shortly after Federer came on board, it revealed its first shoe that, at first glance, didn't (the pods are still there, they're simply covered up), The Roger — which is "tennis-inspired" but really more of a lifestyle sneaker than a performance one.
Despite speculation about when the 39-year-old player will hang up his racquet, Federer is still swinging — so it was only a matter of time before On shod his feet for matches. Federer debuted the inevitable shoes at the Qatar Open earlier this year, and On subsequently opened up the hood on its website.
Dubbed the Roger Pro, the shoe includes a carbon fiber plate, a feature that's become a staple in high-end marathon shoes. It also has an engineered mesh upper, a high-density midsole, a soft heel and varied, squeak-limiting grip patterns.
Fans had a chance to watch Federer use the shoes to explode off the clay during the French Open. He is now rocking them during Wimbledon, where he hopes to secure a ninth singles title in that arena.
On's designers crafted every element of the shoe for Federer's style of play. In fact, the design's starting point was a 3D scan of his foot, according to On's site. And although On originally said it had no plans to sell the Roger Pro, as we said earlier, now is the time to snag a pair at Kith.