By Tim Newcomb
We swooned in 2014 when Roger Federer pulled on a pair of his Nike Vapor 9s at the US Open with a full-on Air Jordan 3 collaboration design, while Jordan himself watched tennis live at Flushing Meadows. Then Nike surprised us all with a second version of the collab in 2017, again debuting at the US Open. Six years later, the Vapor-AJ3 mash-up makes a return, this time in Racer Blue, albeit without the famed “RF” logo.
The April 14 release from Nike opts for a Vapor X sneaker in all things construction but styled up with plenty of AJ3 touches. The white-based tumbled leather includes the made-famous-by-Tinker-Hatfield elephant print on the toe and heel and then touches of royal blue on the heel, collar, insole, and eyelets, and in the “Nike Air” branding on the heel. The Jumpman logo on the tongue also comes in blue. All the 2023 version is missing is the “RF” logo on the lateral side of the shoe, but at least we can celebrate Nike reliving the heyday of the Vapor franchise.
Above: The “Racer Blue” Zoom Vapor AJ3 drops 4/14. (Nike)