The volatile nature of sport makes tirelessly designing anything athlete-branded an enormous risk.
Endorsing a product is one thing, and Coo Gauff did a fantastic job at the head of New Balance's 996, but shoe brands don't like making signature models for athletes. Plenty of factors could go wrong; a career-defining injury, an early retirement, a fall out of form. That's why claiming your first signature model at the ripe old age of 18 is more than quite the achievement. But it's not even the most impressive thing Coco Gauff has done in her young career.
She has already won two singles titles, five doubles and reached her first singles Grand Slam final at Roland Garros earlier this year.
It feels like we've known her for ages, but that's because her prodigious talent has already brought her to the top of the women's game. We don't yet know what her legacy will be in twenty years, but here she is now, burning a path through the game of tennis, and the industry is taking note.
In many ways, the New Balance Coco CG1 typifies Gauff to a tee.
It is bold in its modernity and innovation with a FuelCell foam and Energy Arc carbon plate that will complement explosive next-gen footwork. It also features a mid-cut heel, which gives it a retro 90s look and a subtle nod to her and her family's experience in basketball. Her father, and coach, was a former Division 1 college player and shared his love for the game with his multi-sport athlete daughter.
Her favorite sport was always tennis, but her game, like the shoe, evolved with the influence of others.
It also has plenty of durability elements, with an NDurance outsole and NDure rubber scattered all over the upper. All these features will make the CG1 a shoe that can do it all, a bit like Coco herself. It's designed to be responsive, durable, comfortable, and supportive, and I'm sure it will perform the part.
New Balance is smart for giving Coco Gauff a signature shoe.
She is a young tennis phenom but also extremely personable and charismatic. This token of appreciation will certainly prove a successful business decision in sales, as well as in letting Coco know that she is valued by the brand and that New Balance sees her as their face for the future.
NOTE: THIS SHOE IS LISTED IN MEN'S SIZING. FOR WOMEN GO DOWN 1 1/2 SIZES.