Austin-based pro-athlete Nick Monroe is accustomed to being on the road. With four ATP World Titles and twelve ATP Challenge Tour titles in his career, he’s currently ranked 74 in the world in doubles with a career high of 30.
We first met Nick when he visited the HELM Flagship store on the East Side here in Austin. At the time, Nick was looking for a durable, comfortable footwear option to wear on camera as a correspondent for The Tennis Channel, and we hit it off instantly. Many months and a few boots later, Nick has become the HELM team’s de facto resource for all things "Wonderful World of Sports", from how to style sneakers with a sharp sports coat to which sporting events are really worth pausing that Netflix queue to catch LIVE.
In our new series, Off the Court with Nick, we’re inviting you inside his world by virtually following his travels and training, starting with the road to the first Grand Slam of the year - the upcoming Australian Open in Melbourne. A world traveler, exercise enthusiast, stylish husband, and dog father, we’re excited to make the first introduction.
What was your first pair of HELM?
The Cole Sneaker was the first HELM release that caught my eye. I was drawn to the elevated, casual aesthetic and learned at the shop that the construction is more in line with traditional boot making than sneaker production. I style these with jeans, sports jackets, even a suit. The polished hardware makes them distinctive, and the comfort is next level.
How has COVID changed the game of Tennis?
The training experience is pretty consistent. Safety protocols at the pro level now limit player and staff interactions. For international tournaments, we undergo a two week quarantine and maintain strict guidelines for all practices. Tennis is a small world. The players all know one another. The camaraderie among teams and athletes makes any personal sacrifice worthwhile.
What do great shoes have to do with world travel?
More than you might think! Living on the road is all about adaptability and comfort. When you’re away from home for months at a time, having high function, low maintenance attire that’s stylish and built to last is essential. HELM styles are easy to dress up or down, so I don’t have to pack a lot of options. Plus, fine leather makes a good travel companion. On the road, you want footwear that can keep up in multiple environments. It’s cool to travel with the same pair of boots. You come home with shoes that look like they have a story to tell.