The Nike Air Zoom Vapor X is the most worn shoe on the ATP and WTA tours. Roger Federer has worn every iteration of the Vapor, and is the poster child for the explosive performance this shoe is known for. Nike kept much of what made the previous Vapor a winner: The Dynamic Fit system returns and ensures a streamlined, customized fit, and the ever present Zoom Air unit in the heel for solid close-to-court cushioning.
Whenever a company updates a wildly successful shoe, like the Vapor 9.5, there is an adjustment period for the new version. I recommend a short break-in period for the X, so your feet can get used to the updated dynamic fit system. Players should experiment with how tight they are lacing the shoe to find the most comfortable fit. Despite the shoe’s lighter weight, your foot remains locked in and protected. The Vapor X keeps the narrow fit of the previous version, and there isn’t a lot of extra room on the sides of your feet. The Vapor X fits your foot better the more you wear them. After a short break-in period, you won’t think about the shoes at all, and can focus on tracking down the next ball.
Cushioning & Breathability
This shoe has been designed to move and flex with your foot, and the lightweight response goes hand and hand with the snug fit. There isn’t any added bulk in the Vapor X, and the construction of mesh and performance fabric in the upper trims the weight even more while making the shoe quite breathable.
Nike reengineered the outsole with a new tread pattern perfect for gliding along tough hard court surfaces. The toe has added rubber in high-wear areas for durability, but the shoes construction favors lightweight responsiveness over long-standing durability. The Vapor X does not have an outsole warranty.
All in all, Nike has updated their flagship performance shoe and it does not disappoint. The Dynamic Fit system, revamped outsole, and low-to-the-ground Zoom Air unit will reward players with the lightweight responsiveness and performance they have come to expect from the Vapor family. Nike offers the Vapor X in a vast array of colors to fit your tastes and style. They also have a wider version for folks that want a little bit more room.
About the Reviewer: Sam Jones currently works at Tennis Express on the Content Marketing team. He previously played at Southwestern University, taught tennis for 10+ years and earned his Master Racquet Technician Certification in 2011. He is an active USTA League and Tournament player.