Here’s a complete run-down of all the equipment used on the men’s side at the 2014 US Open. Below are all the players, listed in alphabetical order.
England’s Nick Matthew won the 2013 HK Open over Borja Golan of Spain, who was appearing in his first PSA World Series final. Ramy Ashour was back in action, but had to pull out in the quarterfinals due to injury. By virtue of his victory, Nick will regain the world #1 ranking.
You can see the pattern by the pinky toe (marked with a blue arrow above) matches the S701, Nick’s longtime shoe:
Here’s the actual Infinity Flare:
After word got out that out that Nick’s shoes were painted to look like a newer model, Nick responded:
Hi-Tec are perhaps the only company out there who invest time, money and resources into a shoe ESPECIALLY for squash. Asics & Adidas, to use two examples are both ‘court’ or ‘indoor’ shoes not specific to the needs of squash. It is very difficult to make a shoe which suits every foot, as we found out to our cost last year.
We are very confident in the new shoe suiting as many people as possible. And being a great product, I wouldn’t have put my name to it otherwise. My shoe has a slight tweak on the toe because of the unique nature of my foot which wouldn’t be appropriate to 99 per cent of other people. I look forward to continued success with Hi-Tec, the world’s number one squash shoe maker.”
Seems like more than just a ‘slight tweak on the toe’ to me. It’s a wholly different shoe, right?
My take is it’s a custom shoe that fits Nick’s weird foot. Yes, it’s the old S701 shape, but Hi-Tec no longer sells it, so it’s de facto custom. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m sure the golf clubs Tiger Woods plays with are not the same ones you buy in the store. Still, it might be nice if the manufacturers were more up front about this stuff. (Ahem, that includes Dunlop too.)
For their part, Hi-Tec made me laugh with their response:
— Hi-Tec (@hitecsports) December 4, 2013