Golf shoes seen as equipment more than an apparel accessory
Some people question whether golf shoes should really be considered equipment for the feet. They seem a tad more important than, say, a golf bag but maybe not quite as critical as a driver and putter.
Then there’s all the technical descriptions of a golf shoe — anatomical last, Ortholite inlay sole, Hydromax leather, adaptive fit system, dual durometer tornado cleats, BOA lace system, medial and lateral support, motion control, PU foam — it’s like reading the standard equipment list on a new car. And certainly no different than the specs for the newest clubs.
And the shoe names — Fury, Boost, Biom, 4orged, Pro, Ignite. Very intimidating.
But whether you are spending $40 or $400 for a pair of golf shoes, the bottom line is comfort, however that is achieved. The Equipment Insider asked three representatives for major golf footwear manufacturers why they think golf shoes should definitely be considered equipment for feet.
Richard Fryer, director of product management, footwear | FootJoy
"Your golf footwear is the only point of contact with the ground, and — as all good teachers will tell you — it is through a golfer's interaction with the ground that they are able to generate power. As a golfer you will experience a variety of different surfaces, such as short grass, long grass, hilly, flat, sand, pine straw, water, and you need your footwear to deliver reliable traction and grip on each and every one.
“Secondly, as you will be wearing these shoes for many hours, and likely walking many miles, they need to provide comfort. But, it’s important to understand that comfort is created by numerous different components — fit, cushioning, support, waterproofness, breathability, traction, stability. Simply buying the lightest or softest shoe on the shelf will likely sacrifice some of the other critical components.”
Jesper Thuen, general manager, USA | Ecco Golf
“We absolutely think of golf shoes as equipment. You’re on your feet in some cases for more than five hours, so it’s critical to consider your footwear wisely.
“Ecco is shoemakers first, and our family-owned tanneries and design resources allows us to provide golfers with maximum comfort with every step. For example, our fluid form process direct-injects the upper to the outsole, so there is no glue or stitching to come apart. Our Biom Natural Motion technology — developed from the scans of more than 2,500 athletes’ feet — mirrors the contours of the human foot and enables golfers to move more naturally and closer to the ground.
“When we created the first hybrid outsole in 2010, we used a durable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material that won’t wear down, yet provides tour-proven grip and stability. Ecco continues to push the envelope of innovation because we feel choosing the right shoes might be even more important than that fancy new driver.”
Masun Denison, global footwear director | Adidas Golf
“Golf footwear technologies are important because they offer more performance and enjoyment for the golfer, regardless of handicap. Footwear technologies can have a major impact on stability, grip, comfort and overall enjoyment of the game.
“Golfers feet take a beating, and in a sport where you are on your feet four to six hours during play and possibly walking 6 to 8 miles, your feet need to feel good. Technologies like boost cushioning, and 360 wrap stability are great examples of Adidas technologies that help any golfer feel and perform better on the course.”