Golf shoe manufacturers rolling out style, comfort and performance
A new phrase for golf instruction is building a swing from the ground up. So, it must be the shoes, right? Not entirely, but having footwear that fits your eye and game certainly doesn’t hurt.
“All players have unique needs in their footwear,” said Grant Knudson, global head of Footwear & Accessories for Puma Golf. “At the end of the day, your shoes should move with you and become a part of your swing rather than hold you back.”
When looking for golf shoes, durability, weight, comfort, price and whether or not they’re waterproof are key elements in addition to spike vs. non-spike models that depend on your preference, climate and what courses you typically play.
The choice also extends to convenience, practicality and performance.
“The primary advantage of having replaceable spikes is they gain extra traction during your swing and the capability of replacing them after the originals wear out,” said Phil Hendra, CEO of Golfstream Shoes. “The advantage of having a spikeless outsole is that they give you almost the same traction and the option of wearing them to the restaurant or the store after you play. A disadvantage of the spike outsole is that the spikes stand out so much that it’s difficult to wear them when you aren’t on the course or grass. A disadvantage to the spikeless outsole is that they will eventually wear down and you will lose you traction on the course.”
In either case, golf shoes are becoming a fashionable component of a player’s wardrobe. And while sandals and slip-on styles are trending, colors and technical innovations are also elements that manufacturers are keeping an eye on.
“Color and style doesn’t always have to be loud; it can be new ways of mixing materials to do something totally unique and disrupt the market,” said Knudson, adding that the utilization of different materials and textures in monochromatic colors, such as grays, blacks and browns, never goes out of style.
Exploring new ways of securing shoes to your feet is also a trending topic.
“We’re seeing more and more shoes hit the market with lace-less closure systems,” Knudson said. “Our DISC shoes are a great example of that. People want comfort and a secure fit, and the DISC closure system does just that. Having the DISC closure system allows you to quickly and easily tighten the shoes for a more secure, consistent and custom fit. A simple turn tightens the shoes to your desired fit and micro-adjusts to ensure you’re dialed in.”
When all is said and done, Golfstream’s Hendra condenses a golfer’s choice to three factors, saying, “Trends now are all about comfort, fashion and affordability.”