The Unexpected Sneaker Trend That’s Taking Over the Australian Open

Roger Federer at 2018 Australian Open
Roger Federer at the 2018 Australian Open.
Rex Shutterstock

It looks as though the color pink has officially become the unofficial shade of the 2018 Australian Open. And while we’ve seen millennial pink sweep its soft, dusty-rose, salmon-y shade across literally everything (sneakers, hoodies, suitcases and so on) off the courts, the tennis pros and their sponsored brand Nike are more inclined to tread on a more saturated hue: Day-Glo pink.

Of course, for some, wearing hot-pink sneakers isn’t new at all. For Roger Federer of Switzerland, it’s become something of a footwear trademark of his — he even has his own official pink (or in technical color terms, “lava glow”) pair by Nike (the style Nike Air Zoom Vapor X in Lava Glow is available for $140 at Nike.com). Rafael Nadal of Spain, too, has captivated audience members with his blur of pink soles for years.

But now the highlighter hue has pervaded the courts in such a way that has us paying attention. There’s Federer in his usual hot-pink kicks. Jared Donaldson of the United States brought his to the next level by styling it with a matching fluorescent set. Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina went for pops of pink through his sneakers and headband, while Nick Kyrgios of Australia offset the out-there color with black. And finally, we have Nadal, who eschewed the allover pink in favor of a subtler approach — a gray sneaker with a pink sole — but made up for it with his shorts, headband and wristbands.

As it turns out, the prevalence of pink was a deliberate decision on Nike‘s part. “The challenge of designing for a quick impression is creating a simple but instantly recognizable and bold design,” Sam Shipley, apparel design director for NikeCourt, said on the brand’s site, mentioning that the color evokes the rock ‘n’ roll attitude of ’90s tennis stars. “We utilized dynamic geometric shape and flooded color to grab the viewer’s attention. We worked closely with the color team on finding the best shades for the most impactful read off the incredible blue courts. We wanted something that vibrates when you see it on screen.”

Clearly, it worked. Scroll through to see everyone’s pink-streaked tennis looks from the 2018 Australian Open.

Jared Donaldson of the USA

Jared Donaldson of USA in actionAustralian Open Tennis, Day Two, Melbourne Park, Melbourne, AUS - 16 Jan 2018 Jared Donaldson of the USA in action. Ella Ling/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina

Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in action during round 1 of the Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam.Australian Open, Day Two, Tennis, Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - 16 Jan 2018 Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina. Ratnayake/REX/Shutterstock

Nick Kyrgios of Australia

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUTMandatory Credit: Photo by JULIAN SMITH/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9320200vw)Nick Kyrgios of Australia in action against Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil during round one of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 15 January 2018.Tennis Australian Open 2018, Melbourne, Australia - 15 Jan 2018 Nick Kyrgios of Australia. SMITH/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Rafael Nadal of Spain

Rafael Nadal of Spain in actionAustralian Open, Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - 15 Jan 2018 Rafael Nadal of Spain. Ella Ling/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

Roger Federer of Switzerland

Editorial use only. No merchandising. For Football images FA and Premier League restrictions apply inc. no internet/mobile usage without FAPL license - for details contact Football DatacoMandatory Credit: Photo by Stephen Bartholomew/IPS/REX/Shutterstock (9322204cn) Roger Federer (SUI) in action during his match with Aljaz Bedene (SLO). Australian Open Tennis Championships, Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia.16th January 2018. Australian Open Tennis Championships, Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, 16th January 2018. Roger Federer Bartholomew/IPS/REX/Shutterstock