When a good new performance shoe comes along we're going to go out of our way to plug it.
And when it's a brand-new tennis shoe (and you really need to read Air Rev's top 50 tennis shoes on Complex from last week, where he rates this model highly) after years of hunting a modern classic for that sport and a brand-new Tinker Hatfield design too you know we're going to try to come up with new paragraphs for every colourway we can lay our hands on. This silhouette is phenomenal — it has the technology, the scope for near-infinite combos of colours and patterns and crucially, when we see it on someone else's feet, like that weird Slayer teen explains on YouTube, you know that they know, whether they're wearing it to style it out or actually wielding a racket at the weekend and after-work. They know that the Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour is the connoisseur's choice. We love us some Forces, AM1s, Jordans and LeBrons, but let's be honest — in the early 2000's there was a sense that someone in those shoes might be a like mind. A decade on, it's more than likely that it's not the case. But if we see somebody in Roger Federer's shoe, it's likely that they're a more discerning breed.
One of the last great Nike
Tennis creations (and again, a Tinker design) was the Air Oscillate around 1997 and before that, the Air Resistance. But a few years prior Andre Agassi's pro models had us aspiring to dress like the troubled enfant terrible
in his early 1990s peak. The Tech Challenge line redefined tennis shoe design and 1992's Air Tech Challenge IV was the most lurid installment, with that pattern at the rear, no swoosh, a debossed NIKE and the durathane toepiece that assisted with the evolution of that fixation with indestructible toes (peaking with the hard to kill feel of the Resistance). For all the love the Air Tech Challenge IV gets, it doesn't get a lot of retro love — an elusive 2000 reissue got a brief Euro release in the green/white makeup (though there were rumors of a black/purple sample) and was low rather than high and the green/white colour and key elements were present on that strange Tech Challenge hybrid circa 2009. This was the killer colour combo though — a brilliant multi coloured bruise of a trainer. As we keep waiting for a retro, this Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour is a nice tribute (there's a matching colourway on Nadal's Courtballistec shoe and a Breathe 2K12 too). This colour works well for winter, so go lurk at NikeTown soon to take a closer look when they drop. An excellent shoe.