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Roger Federer Lends Superstar Clout to Vegan Leather Tennis-Inspired Sneaker

Swiss performance brand On released its first sneaker created in partnership with tennis star Roger Federer.

Dubbed the Roger Centre Court, the new footwear release aims to reimagine the classic tennis shoe, swapping out the typical thick sole for a silhouette more suitable for everyday comfort and wearability.

“The minimalist design and easy comfort of On’s shoes had me hooked years ago,” said Federer, adding that he leveraged his “knowledge of performance footwear and personal interest in fashion” to inform the shoe’s conception and design. “I wanted to infuse the tennis sneaker with the same lightness, comfort and agility for every day.”

The shoe merges performance, comfort and sustainability, designed to minimize material consumption. In addition to the sneaker’s patented CloudTec sole featuring small air pods improving energy return while reducing weight, it also features a liquid-injected plate of thermoplastic polymer called a Speedboard to enhance stability and movement. “With the Speedboard, we make sure that the energy you generate on landing is captured, transitioned to the forefoot and returned at precisely the right moment during the push-off,” On’s head of innovation Ilmarin Heitz says on the company’s website. “The Speedboard works in harmony with the cushioning of CloudTec to deliver a smooth rolling movement that retains your energy in the system.”

The Roger is crafted from vegan leather, with an environmental footprint just 30 percent of animal leather’s impact. In a statement, On co-founder David Allemann said the company’s “home and heart in the Swiss mountains” spurred the decision to build an eco-minded shoe.

The first release of the Roger Centre Court will be named the 0-Series and limited to 1,000 pairs, featuring black stitching, a black Speedboard and a personal message from Federer.

On announced the shoe with a “Roger Live” digital event at on July 6, offering fans an opportunity to interact with the 20-time Grand Slam event singles champion.

The 0-Series will be available through an online drawing beginning July 6, also accessible in-store at Dover Street Market locations around the world.

Launched 10 years ago, On has offices in Zurich, Berlin, Portland, Ore., Yokohama, Japan and Shanghai, and its products are carried by 6,000 retailers in 55 countries worldwide.