Golf shoes are no longer an afterthought when it comes to a golfer’s equipment. The latest footwear options are fashionable, comfortable and way cooler than your dad’s old pair.
Oakley was one of the first manufacturers to employ “lighter and lower” principles in the design of its golf footwear, and that philosophy prevails in its latest two offerings: the CarbonPRO and Cipher 2.The CarbonPRO features a unique cleat system, designed to reduce weight and keep your foot closer to the ground for added stability (an innovation called OctoStick minimizes foot movement inside the shoe). Additionally, a strategically placed carbon-fiber shank under the mid-foot gives CarbonPRO the most stable platform Oakley has ever built in a shoe this light.
The Cipher 2 is the lightest golf shoe on the market, weighing a mere 260 grams. The unique NanoSpike cleatless system utilizes user-changeable ceramic pads in place of traditional spikes. Last year’s model had some recall issues with the glue that held the NanoSpike anchor pads to the sole, but Oakley has corrected the glue issue with a new component in the Cipher 2.
Both models come with cool color options, an antimicrobial treatment for odor control, and a two-year limited warranty on waterproofing. $150-$200. Visit golf.oakley.com.
The new Adizero line has been specially built on the principle that you start with zero and add only what is essential to perform—and one thing they didn’t add was weight. Tipping the scales at just 3.4 ounces, the shoes come with a Microfiber SPRINTSKIN upper, a 10-spike configuration with THINTECH low-profile technology for optimum traction and stability, and a unique 90-day comfort guarantee. $180. Visit taylormadegolf.com.
If comfort and feeling grounded in your game are important—and you don’t mind a few stares at your country club or local muni—then the new Vibram FiveFingers Speed XC Lite may be for you. One of the hottest items at the 2013 PGA Show earlier this year, the XC Lites feel like you’re wearing only your foot. They offer a lightly cleated sole for traction, a zero-drop heel for better golf pivot and turning, and what Vibram calls “five-toe pocket construction” (one sleeve for each of your piggies). The theory behind the design is that your toes grow stronger individually, rather than being jammed all in one place inside a traditional golf shoe. The result is better balance and stability. Already popular among athletes in other sports, XC Lites might just put the “foot” back in golf footwear. $110. Visit vibramfivefingers.com.