Swiss tennis star Roger Federer has been out of tennis for several months now, but he still manages to stay in touch with the game in some way or the other.
In an ideal world, the 20-time Grand Slam champion would have been playing at Wimbledon around this time, with one eye on the Tokyo Olympics. However, the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with Federer’s knee surgery are ensuring that the world is temporarily deprived of his on-court magic.
But the Swiss remains highly relevant, and has now found a way to not only please his fans but also contribute positively to the environment.
Roger Federer recently took the initiative of designing a tennis-inspired lifestyle shoe. The shoe or sneaker is called ‘The Roger’, and was unveiled by Federer himself a couple of days ago.
The sneaker was designed in collaboration with On Running, a prominent Swiss sportswear brand. Roger Federer had invested in the company last fall, and also got on board as their contributing product designer.
At a time when the world is plagued by a lethal disease, it made sense for the Swiss to do his bit for the benefit of the planet. The sneaker in question is made of vegan leather, which is known to reduce the carbon footprint around the world.
Roger Federer's new sneaker is a limited edition model. Only 1000 pairs of these shoes will be produced, and each one would be priced at $249.99.
That sounds like a steep price, but considering that the shoes are free of animal cruelty and also helpful to the environment, many believe the launch is a great gesture.
The co-founder of ‘On’ - David Alleman - said that these sneakers had been created keeping the in mind the aspect of sustainability.
“The Roger is crafted from vegan leather and has been designed for lightness to reduce material consumption. The result is a significantly smaller environmental footprint for this tennis-inspired sneaker. The vegan leather has approximately 30 percent of the footprint of animal leather," Alleman said.
Shoes launched on the anniversary of Roger Federer's first Wimbledon victory
Roger Federer won the first of his 20 Grand Slam titles by lifting the Wimbledon title on 6 July 2003, beating Mark Philippoussis in straight sets. ‘The Roger’ was launched on the same date, albeit 13 years later, to commemorate Federer’s landmark victory.
The Swiss has acknowledged his immense love for the game on numerous occasions, and was clearly excited by the launch of his tennis-inspired shoes. This is, unfortunately, the closest he can come to the sport until he is able to resume training.
“I wanted to infuse the tennis sneaker with the same lightness, comfort and agility for every day,” stated Roger Federer.
“I’m proud to be a part of the creation of The Roger, which is the most comfortable tennis-inspired sneaker you will ever wear,” he added.
There will inevitably be a day when Roger Federer retires from the game, leaving a big void behind. However, tennis can never be taken away from Federer, and he will undoubtedly continue to do good for the sport he cherishes - including but not limited to creating community-friendly shoes.
The Swiss hopes to be fit in time for the 2021 Australian Open.Published 08 Jul 2020, 17:30 IST