Getting Your Kicks: The Youth Movement
Golf shoes have come a long way, baby. Go lace up a six-year-old pair. Chances are good that they’ll be cleated, stiff and relatively heavy by today’s standards. And they’ll make your feet sweat. Many 2019 models are coming to market, all made with lightweight materials, minimal traction patterns, and breathability that let your feet stay refreshed through 18 holes. You can read all about them on www.shoehero.com.
Athletic-looking is the main style direction, flowing with the trend of golf clothing taking on active lifestyle looks that work just as well on or off the course. Shoe manufacturers cite young, influential tour pros as changing the perception of what can be worn: Think Rickie Fowler wearing colorful high-tops. “It’s a youth movement,” avers Grant Knudson, PUMA Golf’s head of footwear and accessories. “Golfers now want comfort approaching the level of their tennis shoes. And this has been driven by new lighter materials, new outsole grip patterns and cushioning technologies that give golfers comfort that has never before been thought possible in a golf shoe.”
This new crop of shoes may even convince you to walk instead of driving the cart!
adidas Golf’s adipower 4ORGED S ($130) has visible, heat-pressed ridges in key areas of the upper that add stability and a futuristic look. The flexible forefoot and midsole cushioning re-energizes your feet, while making the shoe really comfortable as you walk 18.
The midsole of Callaway’s Skyline ($150) features a soft and cushioned EVA foam top layer surrounded by a more supportive bottom foam layer. And a soft insole also helps with arch and heel support. Its spikeless outsole maximizes stability and traction, with strategic cutouts that let the shoe flex and move with your foot during a swing.
Several PGA TOUR pros, including Webb Simpson and Kevin Kisner, are wearing FootJoy’s Tour-S ($280/BOA lacing, $250/standard) primarily for its excellent footing, support and comfortable footbed. The lightweight outsole is stable, letting golfers efficiently transfer power throughout the swing.
New Balance’s Tour ($150) feature a cleated outsole with flex zones that move with your foot as you swing. It’s built on a 10mm drop midsole, has a wide forefoot so that your toes can spread out, and includes a sockliner replete with high-rebound foam that invigorates your feet.
While proprietary technology improves the fit and feel of Nike Golf’s React Vapor 2 shoe ($175), the hybrid outsole has traction points under the balls of your feet, as well as spikes around the lateral sides and heels, for gripping power.
The outsole of Puma’s IGNITE PWRADAPT ($150) dons cool cleats that swivel. They immediately adapt to the ground with each step you take, providing traction and solid footing.