Golf’s all about allocating blame: The wind, the bounce, the tricky read. So when looking to advance your game, part of the challenge is reducing variables — having as few moving parts as possible. That starts from the ground up, taking away slippage in the shoes and keeping your body balanced.
Stability comes to fruition as a blend of advanced shoe engineering and personal comfort. It’s the great mix of science and feel. Justin Rose (PGA world rank #6) rocks a casual hybrid. Adam Scott (#2) sports a cleat with a thermoplastic urethane outsole. The differences are plenty, the perks distinct. So when purchasing the next pair for the Member-Guest, consider your options wisely. The last thing you want to do on the course is blame your shoes.
Best Q-School Shoe: FootJoy threw all their R&D resources at the DNA, and everything seemed to stick. It reps a lightweight, waterproof leather upper, a molding foam collar that gives the ankle full support, a thermoplastic urethane outsole for stability, and a strategically mapped cleat profile for ultimate grip. For the golfer who wants no excuses, this is the shoe that holds nothing back.
Adidas ADICROSS GRIPMORE
Best Performance Hybrid: Defying oxymoron, adidas has created a hybrid shoe that doesn’t slink on performance. With 286 points of contact (coming from 54 gripmore cleats), you’ll be suction-stuck to the grass. With a wider forefoot, adidas has given more stability and comfort. It’s a shoe that fits as comfortably in the clubhouse as it does on the course — a big perk for the 19th hole.
True linkswear Gent Wingtip
Best Shoe for Feel: If you’re into zero-drop and minimalism, then True is for you. Their shoes are designed for natural movement, allowing your body’s own balance and stability sensors to take precedent, rather than relying on the structure of a shoe. They have the thinnest outsole in golf, and they’re the closest to golfing barefoot the CC will allow. Plus, with premium Italian leather uppers (don’t worry, they’re waterproof), the other members will never know that you’re lowriding on the links.
Heaven Golf Shoe: Golf rides on the ebbs and flows of fads, the superstitions of its participants, and the creative ingenuity of its product designers. The next generation of shoe may be something like Heaven, an Australian shoe that takes into account stride and balance to create a platform that molds to your movement. It’s slow to debut in America, but, if all pans out, your golf swing may see some more rock and roll.
NIKE TW ’14 MESH
Best for the Power Hitter: Last time we checked, Tiger Woods is still in the top 15 of golf (he’s #15). And he’s still working closely with Nike to engineer shoes that leverage his inner angst. His current model is designed to increase shoe flexibility, allowing prolonged contact with the ground, which creates more power transfer. It also uses Flywire tech for support within that flexibility. Essentially, it’s a golf shoe created from the Nike Free model, designed to take every ounce of power you have and transfer it into slapping that white ball silly.
ECCO Mens Street EVO One
Best Casual Comfort Shoe: A few years back Fred Couples started walking the links in what looked like street shoes. Given that Fred Couples is like the James Dean of golf, people started wanting that “Couples cool”. Ecco started the hybrid model, and they’ve continued to advance the field. Their Street EVO One doesn’t compromise on comfort, while giving all the grip and support you’ll need to keep your single-digit handicap.
Royal Albatross Connoisseur Nero
Best Shoe for the Member-Member: Royal Albatross, unsurprisingly, makes a great golf shoe. It’s durable, supportive, comfortable. It has great grip. If you take good care of it, it’ll take good care of you. But it’s also a touch pretentious — a benefit as much as a fault. If you’re looking to make waves around “the Club”, start here. This is the shoe for when you’ve vetoed the Walter Genuin and the Allen Edmonds, and you’ve decided, instead, that the Bugatti Veyron of golf footwear is the only shoe for you.
Best Traditional Performance Shoe: When old school meets new-design tech, good things happen. The FJ ICON is a classic golfer’s choice, but while it preserves tradition, it also makes good use of contemporary innovation. Full-grain leather and calfskin detailing give a timeless touch. The base makes use of a tri-density TPU outsole, using different levels of strategically placed thermoplastic urethane for support and stability.