Revealed: How Roger Federer helped to build his first tennis shoe

Roger Federer hints at return in exhibition matches

Roger Federer may have ended his tennis career amid emotional scenes in London last year, but his influence remains huge and that has been proved by the interest in the release of his first tennis shoes with On.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion retains a huge fanbase that continue to track his every move, with his recent Swiss tourism videos with US TV star Trevor Noah attracting huge global attention.

Federer retired with on-court earnings of more than $130million, yet that figure is nothing compared to what the 41-year-old has collected through commercial deals.

His contracts with Nike, Uniqlo and Wilson have pulled in huge financial windfall and now his association with Swiss shoemakers On® is reaping huge dividends.

On® shoes has proved to be a runaway global success, with Federer’s backing helping to drive its valuation to an estimated £11billion and now the company have launched their first tennis shoes.

While Federer will not be wearing them in competitive action court, Tennis365 has been given an exclusive insight into the development of shoes that can be used on different tennis surfaces.

Aptly named THE ROGER Pro, this collection includes a clay court and all court tennis shoe and we asked On® designers to take us through how the product got to market.

T365: What goes into making the perfect tennis shoe?

On®: Every new product developed by On® is an ongoing collaboration with its professional athletes in order to ensure optimum performance, steered by their input in close collaboration with Roger Federer and the technical team of scientists at On® Labs.

T365: What role did Roger Federer play personally in developing these tennis shoes?

On®: Roger’s contribution towards the success and immense popularity of The ROGER Pro is unquestionable and he continues to be one of On®’s most admired innovation leaders. Roger’s wealth of knowledge and expertise has been instrumental in every aspect of the performance design and technology adapted to meet the demands of the game.

T365: Is it a long process to before you can release the final product?

On®: Even though we pride ourselves on very fast turn-around times for prototypes, continuous testing and getting feedback from our athletes is vital. The athlete’s input on the design and technical specifications of every shoe is an essential component. The process is complex and we are therefore taking all the time we need to create the best possible product.

T365: What are the key elements of The Roger Pro tennis shoe?

On®: Our first tennis shoe features a stable midsole of high-performing foam, a midfoot cage for precision of foot placement during rapid-fire rallies, and a rounded sole to support smooth transitions between strokes. Consistent with all models across the Swiss line, THE ROGER Pro incorporates a plate between the midsole and upper – or Speedboard® – for enhanced energy return. Made from 100% carbon fibre, this explosive feature absorbs impact from landing before returning it for added agility.

T365: Iga Swiatek and Ben Shelton have just joined On®, so will they be getting their own tennis shoes?

On®: The Roger Pro has just been released in a clay version. The On® design team has also been busy working with our athletes Iga Swiatek and Ben Shelton to create versions of THE ROGER Pro crafted to match their playing style. As for a next generation of THE ROGER Pro itself, well, you’ll just have to wait and see.

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