It was more than surprising when, a little over 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, a seemingly one-of-a-kind shoe that received an exclusive 2021 release at trendy NYC-based stockist Kith. The launch was a smash hit, leaving us clamoring for a restock until now.
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 tennis veteran 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 2021 Qatar Open, 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.
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, and after the success of last year's release, the performance tennis shoes is now back in stock at On.