Foot Fed-ish: Customizing Federer's shoes

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You can devote your life to training, master the one-handed backhand, and practice the motivational power of "Allez!" from now until the (next) end of the Mayan calendar, and it's still unlikely you'll reach the transcendent level of Roger Federer. You may never play like him, but you can walk in his shoes—or put your own unique footprint on Federer's Australian Open kicks.

Nike announced that Federer's new Zoom Vapor 9 Tour shoe is now available for devoted fans and recreational players alike to customize via NikeiD. The Zoom Vapor 9 Tour shoe was designed by Tinker Hatfield, Nike's VP of Creative Design and the man responsible for creating several of Michael Jordan's iconic Air Jordan shoes.

Consumers become creators with NikeiD: Choose one of nine colors for the shoe and swoosh, select a sole built for grass, clay, or hard-court traction, pick your fit—Tour Fit is a more narrow width, while True Fit provides a wider, roomier fit—and ID the shoes with a five-character slogan (or choose the Nike logo) stamped on the tongue.

The custom-made Zoom Vapor 9 shoes cost $165 and Nike promises delivery within five weeks or less—just in time for Indian Wells. Whether paying nearly the price of a new racquet for a pair of shoes is worth it or not may well depend on your devotion to Federer and Nike. But it's a positive step to see more brands offer the opportunity for customization, Recreational players armed with lead tape, staple guns and grips of various materials have customized their racquets for years. Why not shoes?

The Oregon-based brand also made the Swiss’ shoe selection an interactive experience. The company posted four different versions of the Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour shoe on Facebok, and Federer is wearing the leading vote-getter in Melbourne. At last count, 56,447 people had participated, with the vote favoring a white-and-blue model with four Swiss flags emblazoned on the heel (see above), representing his four Australian Open crowns.

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