Roger Federer may be tied with Rafa Nadal as the winningest tennis player ever in regard to majors victories, but when it comes to grass, there’s no contest. With eight Wimbledon titles to his credit, Federer is a turf master, and thanks to the contest’s reputation of refinement, the 39-year-old, seen frequently hoisting its trophy, has come to embody the same. In keeping with his shuffle of sponsors (he announced a reported $300 million contract with Japanese apparel company Uniqlo in 2018), his signature shoes, collectively called the Roger Collection, were released on Wednesday, June 30, through Matchesfashion.
The Roger Collection features three styles, as well as a special edition of one of the styles. All are lifestyle shoes with a classic tennis aesthetic. At first glance, one might be impressed with the color options: The Centre Court features five hues for men, while the Advantage is available in seven. But upon closer inspection, all but the special-edition Clubhouse are distinguished by insignificant accents in various shades, most with a uniform (and predominant) white base. Those expecting the neon pops of professional tennis might, at first, be confused. But the uniform of the day at Wimbledon has always been white, and the shoe’s release is obviously coordinated with the 2021 tournament, which is currently underway.
While the Roger Collection is intended for kicking around rather than smashing overheads, at least one pair of performance shoes are out there. Federer is currently wearing a one-of-a-kind design with the On logo at Wimbledon, as he did in the 2021 French Open and, before that, in March’s Qatar Open. Despite his break with his former sponsor Nike in 2018, he continued to play in its tennis shoes as recently as the 2020 Australian Open. There’s been no announcement about a specific On performance line for the general public.
We admit that we just don’t get the Roger Collection from the running-specific niche company On — indeed, until about five minutes ago, the company was called On Running, and its focus has been on the roads and trails since its founding in 2010. Furthermore, the Federer Collection is conspicuously missing the company’s trademark honeycombed midsole. Both On and Federer are from Switzerland, we guess? Admittedly, Federer also boasts a sponsorship by the Swiss-based company Rolex. But luxury watches are a far cry from running shoes, and without formal plans to launch a performance court shoe, the compatriot connection seems like a thin excuse for these strange bedfellows. Only time will tell.
But those pursuing the summer ’21 trend of white shoes will find a lot to like with On’s Federer Collection. Clean lines with classic styling make them easy to pair with a suit or elevate an everyday outfit. Granted, they may not make you a more athletic court player, but if you can channel even a fraction of the refinement that Roger Federer represents, you’ll be in good shape.
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