words // Brandon Richard
via Press Release
Today, Nike officially introduces the Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour for Summer 2012, a Tinker Hatfield-designed tennis model engineered to the exact specifications of Grand Slam tennis champion Roger Federer. The shoe debuted on the hard court earlier this year and immediately joined Tinker's long list of iconic athlete-specific designs.
"I asked Tinker 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," said Roger. That was the original insight from Federer to Hatfield, the Vice President of Creative Design at Nike.
The shoe's unique fit system, which has also been adopted by the Lunarglide+ 4 and Hyperdunk+ amongst others, works in an innovative way that improves comfort and fit. Outside "fingers" mold to the shape of the wearer's foot when the laces are cinched tight, resulting in a more customized fit that further adapts during match play. Wrapping the laces all the way to the bottom of the arch enhances the glove-like feel and a synthetic-leather quarter panel overlay adds to the firm fit.
Though the original design featured a mesh build that was used during the hard-court season, the most recent update is adapted to the clay court season and will debut in Paris for the French Open this May. Synthetic leather replaces mesh on the upper, while 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.
Look for the latest variation of the Zoom Vapor 9 Tour to launch this summer.