These Are Not Your Parents' Golf Shoes
While many elite golfers swap out their clubs from week to week, one thing they rarely change is their footwear. Why is that? Golf shoes provide the base from which the entire game is played, and they affect everything from swing mechanics to comfort to how golfers feel about their appearance on the course.
Whatever your priority in selecting your golf footwear, you're sure to find a shoe that's perfect for you. Here's a look at some of the latest trends in golf shoes, with suggestions for models that aid in performance, go from the green to the street, and allow golfers to show their more daring style sides. These are definitely not your parents' golf shoes!
Serious golfers look for footwear that improves their performance, and there are a wealth of shoes on the market now that address various aspects of the game. A hugely popular model right now is the Footjoy HyperFlex, and while its price tag tops out near $350, this shoe is well worth it, according to fans.Image Source: golfchannel.com / HyperFlex by FootJoy
The HyperFlex was designed to provide maximum stability throughout the stages of a golf swing. Its exoskeleton design is actually based on a Boston-area suspension bridge, with a grid system that's built into the fabric of the shoe. Standard shoe laces have been replaced with Boa laces in this shoe, which gives wearers the ability to get the exact fit they need on any given day. Lightweight, super comfy, waterproof, breathable and nice looking–the Hyperflex has it all going for it, other than the fact that this model comes solely in regular men's sizes, meaning only women with large feet can enjoy it.
Adidas's Asym Energy Boost offers an alternative way to improve the swing by offering a shoe with differently configured spikes between the left and right feet. Since each foot behaves differently during the swing motion, it makes sense that while this model features only slightly varied left and right uppers, the soles are completely unique from each other.Image Source: nationalclubgolfer.com / Adidas's Asym Energy Boost
Another men's shoe, the Asym Energy Boost comes in versions for both right- and left-handed golfers, with marks at the end of the laces and the insole to tell them apart. An attractive shoe, this model features the classic Adidas look with a bit of a modern twist. At $300, this asymmetric shoe is on the high end of the price scale.
If you tend to walk the course rather than ride, the Oakley Cipher 4 may be the shoe for you. Ultra lightweight, flexible and breathable, this updated version of the popular Cipher 2 and 3 is also ideal for golfing in extremely high temperatures. Rather than using regular spikes, the Cipher 4 features smaller “Nanospikes,” which help keep its weight at a minimum. While this $100-150 model is designed as a men's shoe, it is available down to a men's size 4, which means many women may be able to purchase it as well.
More casual golfers may be seeking quality golf shoes but want something that transitions more easily to other activities after hitting the green. Ashworth led the charge in creating golf shoes that looked more like regular sneakers, and their Cardiff ADC model is the perfect example of blending comfort with good looks.
Available for under $100 in soft tumbled leather or suede in various neutral colors for men, the Cardiff ADC also provides great interior support. These golf shoes are so comfortable and structurally sound that some folks who don't even play golf buy them. The same shoe is available in a range of light hues for women, so the gals can go incognito too.
If you want to see what the love child of a golf shoe and a high-top sneaker looks like, you have only to wait until the summer of 2016. In June, Puma will be releasing a novel high-top golf shoe based on those worn by Rickie Fowler on the PGA tour. Word has it that the social media buzz was so great after Fowler's trip to the United Arab Emirates that Puma had no choice but to take the high-top to the public. The first edition is planned to be released in black and white, but there may also be an orange model coming down the pike soon thereafter.Image Source: forbes.com
If the high-top hype is just too much for you, perhaps the Nike Lunar Cypress is more to your liking. This golf shoe looks like a classic running shoe, with a mesh upper, so it's both breathable and flexible. You can find this model for under $150 in a range of colors from dark gray to neon blue. The Nike Lunar Empress is a similar model for women and offers an equally diverse range of color options, including pastels.
Daring to Be Fashion ForwardImage Source: equiptforplay.com / Weekender
If you're looking for women's golf shoes, you'll see more variety in models that are designed to resemble street shoes. While some, like their counterparts for men, are more subdued, there are also a host of shoes that allow you to bring out your fashion-forward side on the golf course.
For that seamless transition between the clubhouse and the rest of your life, you can't beat the Weekender by Equipt for Play. Looking just like a loafer, the Weekender comes in 11 solid colors, including black, brown, pastels and neon hues. The water- and stain-resistant suede upper is paired with a textured sole instead of spikes. While this model retails for around $200, you'll be able to get far more wear out of it than just completing your 18 holes.
Equipt for Play also carries the bolder Wingtip design, with regular or patent leather tips contrasting with microfiber gingham or madras plaid. Also water and stain repellent, the Wingtip has detachable kilties and can be purchased in crisp black and white or bright color combinations. The EVA rubber sole is made to handle street wear and cycling in addition to golf.
Keeping the Junior Market Happy
Gone are the days when kids had to make do with regular gym shoes on the golf course. Today, there are dozens of solid models in golf-specific athletic shoes to be had for less than $70, in girls', boys' and unisex styles.
Footjoy, maker of the men's HyperFlex, also makes a Kids Hyperflex, a perennially popular model with the junior set as well. Their girls' pink and white M:Project Spikeless shoe is another favorite and offers many of the same advantages of the adult golf shoes that can double as street footwear.
The kids' Adidas Adicross is another top-selling shoe. It features the three classic Adidas stripes and a solid leather upper. Nike and Puma are also capitalizing on the trend toward golf shoes that look like sneakers with models that come in a variety of solid colors with bright contrast trim sure to appeal to youthful taste.
Offering Something for Everyone
Image Source: readygolf.com / Oregon Mudder
The innovations in golf shoes lately haven't stopped with spikeless, high-style and high-tech designs. If you prefer to bare your tootsies on the course, shoes like the Golf Gator Spackler Flip Flops for women or the Oregon Mudders for men might strike your fancy. At the higher end of the golf sandal market, you'll find the Tango by Sandbaggers and Footjoy's GreenJoys for both men and women.
Have you ever wanted to see golf shoes paired up with auto design? Check out the Adidas Cleat, which had a hand from Porsche Design in constructing its sleek but powerful low profile.
If none of the above have caught your eye, there are plenty of polka dot models, contrasting lace colors and slip-on designs sure to please. You can even find kilty charms to adorn your shoes and express your individuality even more.
The golf shoe market is just starting to take off, so look for more models that take advantage of these trends to give biomechanics a lift or take your fashion sense from the golf course to the street and back again. Of course, you can still find the kind of shoes your parents wore, but why would you want to with the great options that are on the market today?