On and Roger Federer Just Gave the Classic Tennis Shoe a Low-Key Futuristic Overhaul

Jonathan Evans
Photo credit: Diane Deschenaux
Photo credit: Diane Deschenaux

From Esquire

The gloriously versatile "dunk" aside, tennis has some of the most fun sport-specific language you can toss around. Love! Ace! Breakpoint! See? Fun! This is almost certainly not the reason tennis-inspired shoes have enjoyed such enduring popularity over the last seven or eight decades—their low-key styling is a much more likely culprit—but it's a nice little bonus to keep in mind when lacing up.

Another thing to consider? Because the proverbial "They" got the styling so damn right back in the day, those classic-looking court shoes you know and love haven't had much in the way of a technical upgrade in a long while. Well, thanks to tennis great Roger Federer and Swiss footwear brand On, those retro vibes are getting some seriously futuristic underpinnings in a new shoe aptly called "The Roger."

Photo credit: Diane Deschenaux
Photo credit: Diane Deschenaux

The sneaker, which is the first from Federer and On (he joined the brand as a partner late last year), is a relatively unassuming white low-top, but it's more complicated than it looks. The vegan leather upper, for instance, hides a sock construction for comfort and ventilation. And the sole swaps a slap of rubber for On's patented CloudTec cushioning system for a soft ride, and builds in a Speedboard for energy return. Don't get it twisted: This isn't a shoe designed for Wimbledon or any other Grand Slam tournament. Instead, the idea was to use high-performance technology to improve the feel of the go-to sneakers you wear for your (less-rigorous) daily adventures.

"The minimalist design and easy comfort of On's shoes had me hooked years ago," Federer said in a statement. "I wanted to infuse the tennis sneaker with the same lightness, comfort and agility for every day." One small catch to that admittedly enticing proposition: There are only 1,000 pairs of this initial edition to go around. To give everyone a shot at the goods, On is hosting a draw from now until July 8 at 10:01 a.m. CEST (that's 4 a.m. EDT and 1 a.m. PDT, for those of us in the States).

The brand's last big limited-edition launch, the Cloudnova, went really damn quick, so don't expect these pairs to stick around long. Head over to On's site to try for a chance at your own.

Photo credit: Juergen Teller
Photo credit: Juergen Teller

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