Shoe Month: Alternative traction becoming norm

Shoe
Vault

FootJoy Contour Casual

Features same shoe last as in comfort-driven Contour Series with the benefit of spikeless outsole. Price: $115
Alternative Traction

Callaway Master Staff

Designed for all-day wear with all-rubber comfort traction outsole. Price: $159.99 (Available 10/15)
Alternative Traction

Callaway Comfort Trac

Features aggressive non-spiked traction control. Price: $99.99 (Available 10/15)
Alternative Traction

FootJoy Sport Spikeless

An extension of the FJ Sport family – lightweight, flexible with spikeless outsole. Price: $135
Alternative Traction

Adidas Crossflex

Built on a running shoe last with spikeless, geometric outsole; for flexibility and extreme comfort. Price: $100
Alternative Traction

Puma FAAS Grip

Decoupled heel construction for smooth first impact and roll off from heel to toe. Price: $100
Alternative Traction

Ecco Tour Hybrid Wingtip

Hybrid golf shoe featuring a classic leather upper. Price: $190 (Available November)
Alternative Traction

Callaway RAZR

Features lightweight TPU Pro Tour outsole and dense cleat coverage with 11 Callaway PINS performance spikes. Price: $189.99 (Available 10/15)
Performance

Callaway Tour Staff

Classically inspired shoe with premium leather upper, low-profile outsole and 9 Callaway PINS performance spikes. Price: $229.99 (Available 10/15)
Tour

Ecco World Class GTX

Leather-soled shoe with Gore-Tex water-proofing and second-skin lining to wick moisture and enhance interior feel. Price: $450
Tour

Ecco BIOM Golf Matte

Using technology originally intended for running shoes, BIOM is a "natural-motion" golf shoe – exceptionally lightweight, low-to-ground and providing a stable platform. Price: $235 (Available November)
Performance

Puma Neo Classic Pro

Tour-caliber shoe with sophisticated flair; designed for Ian Poulter. Price: $200
Tour

Nike Lunar Control

Features proprietary Flywire, high-tensile strength fibers, that wrap midfoot to heel for lightweight support and stability. Price: $200
Tour

Oakley Full-Auto Tour

Features Red Code foam, proprietary blend of EVA that functions like memory foam to contour foot with comfort. Price: $170
Tour

Adidas Tour360 ATV

The shoe's forefoot flexibility and zonal traction elements provide all-terrain versatility. Price: $190
Tour

Adidas ClimaCool Sport

Lightweight, durable shoes designed specifically to maintain comfort during warm-weather days. Price: $80
Weather

Adidas Powerband

The Powerband chassis is all about lateral stability, and it's emphasized even more with a stretch-resistant, synthetic overlay. Price: $100
Performance

FootJoy XPS-1

FootJoy's most-advanced technological shoe features unique outsole designed for extreme platform stability. Price: $250
Performance

Ecco Tour Hybrid GTX

Waterproof via Gore-Tex and features Ecco's Street outsole – including 100 molded traction bars – designed to maintain grip even in inclement weather. Price: $210 (Available January 2013)
Weather

Adidas adicross

Offers iconic Adidas styling and spikeless outsole for off-course versatility. Price: $90
Lifestyle

Oakley SuperDrive Tour

Features premium waterproof full-grain leather and moisture-transport insole. Price: $160
Weather

Puma HC Lux

Comfort is emphasized with EverFoam heel construction that adjusts to the heel's contour. Price: $140
Lifestyle

Oakley Ripcord

Synthetic leather, moisture-transport insole and an outsole with high-grip surface pods make for all-purpose model. Price: $80
Lifestyle

Puma Jigg

The performance last used in this design makes for easier use of orthotics. Features Puma's replaceable SmartQuill spikes. Price: $90
Sport

Nike Dunk

The iconic basketball shoe transformed for golf. It's waterproof and features contoured sockliner for all-day course comfort. Price: $160
Sport

Ecco Golf Street Life Luxe

Elegant leathers with patent and glitter highlights; features Street outsole with approximately 100 molded traction bars. Price: $160 (Available January 2013)
Womens

Puma FAAS Trac

Features Puma's signature outsole that combines directionally molded S2Quill spikes and replaceable S2Quill spikes for traction. Price: $110
Womens

Nike Lunar Links

Nike's top-of-the-line model with Flywire – high-tensile strength fibers – that provides lightweight support from midfoot to heel. Price: $155
Womens

Nike Lunar Duet Sport

Features protected canvas upper, Lunarlon sockliner and rubber-traction lugs. Price: $100
Womens

Adidas Signature Natalie

Tour-tested model worn and designed by LPGA player Natalie Gulbis. Price: $100
Womens

Adidas Signature Paula

LPGA player Paula Creamer's shoe, with her signature pink ribbon laces, features Powerband Chassis for stability and support through impact. Price: $120
Womens

True stealth

Enhanced aesthetics with premium waterproof leather and versatility of anti-slip rubber sole. True's Top-of-the-line model that transitions easily from on- to off-course. Price: $199
Tour

True phx

Sneaker-profile shoe features barefoot platform – including thin sole measuring 2.5 mm – to improve feel and movement. Price: $99
Sport

True tour

Shoe comes with 2-year waterproof guarantee and an improved outsole, featuring an outer rim that True says creates a "suction" effect to improve traction. Price: $149
Weather

True phx

True's sneaker-profile shoe will be available in 12 "team-themed" color combinations geared for college and professional sports fans. Price: $99
Lifestyle

FootJoy LoPro

This collection of shoes offers an array of fashion-forward options, including tailored fashion styles, contemporary color splashes and every-day casual looks. Price: $110
Womens

Oakley Cipher

Weighing 260 grams, Cipher is the lightest performance shoe in the market, according to Oakley. The unique outsole is covered with thousands of Nanospikes that replace cleats for traction. Price: $130
Performance

Adidas Samba Golf

Preserves the original Samba's classic silhouette and "3-stripes" design. The shoe has a suede toe-guard, and its distinctive tan gumsole features six cleats. Price: $100
Lifestyle

Oakley Flagstick

Vulcanized rubber with Coreflex technology and high-grip surface pods. Price: $90
Alternative Traction

Nike Lunar Ascend

Features an upper with hyperfuse technology, combining synthetic mesh and TPU, for breathability and support. Price: $130
Alternative Traction

Ecco Biom Hybrid

Combines Ecco's "natural-motion" technology and outsole of popular Ecco Street shoe. Price: $190 (Available October)
Alternative Traction

FootJoy FJ ICON

Luxury styling with latest technological advancements, the FJ ICON category has more wins on the PGA Tour than all top competitors combined. Price: $260
Tour

Puma FAAS Trac evoSPEED

Features outsole with directionally molded S2Quill spikes and replaceable S2Quill spikes for traction. Price: $130
Performance

Puma Spark Sport

Spark Sport emphasizes stability and power with its Swing Speed Chassis Pro. Price: $140
Performance

Nike TW '13

Designed for Tiger Woods, the shoe is based on Nike's popular running shoe, the Free, and features an outsole that mirrors the natural motion of the foot. Price: $220
Performance

Callaway C-Tech Summer

Ultra-lightweight shoe with a breathable, "breeze" mesh upper. Equipped with 7 Callaway Chevron spikes. Price: $79.99 (Available 10/15)
Weather

Ecco Golf Street Textile

Performance textile uppers combine with an aero lining to enhance breathability in hot weather. Price: $150 (Available October)
Weather

Nike Lunar Bandon

The shoe's higher silhouette practically meshes with rain pants to prevent water penetration. Speed-lace system is shielded with upper that closes with asymmetrical zipper. Price: $180
Weather

Ashworth Cardiff

Designed to provide golf functionality, but created for comfort and styling suitable to be worn anywhere. Price: $120
Lifestyle

Oakley SuperDrive

Waterproof model built on an anatomical last for an athletic stance, underscoring fit and comfort. Price: $130
Weather

Puma Ace 2

Like the Puma Jigg, built on a performance last that makes use of orthotics easier. Features replaceable SmartQuill spikes. Price: $100
Sport

Ecco Golf Street Sport

Bright uppers are color-matched to the Street Hybrid outsole that functions on- or off-course. Price: $160 (Available October)
Lifestyle

Nike Lunar Swingtip

Modern-design elements update the classic wingtip style; features rubber traction lugs. Price: $150
Lifestyle

Callaway Xtreme

The Xtreme's priority is delivering lightweight stability; equipped with 8 Callaway PINS performance spikes. Price: $129.99
Sport

Ecco Cool III Hydromax

Low-profile design provides torsional support; Ecco's Hydromax treatment makes the shoe water resistant. Price: $200 (Available March 2013)
Sport

FJ Sport BOA

Athletic-inspired shoe places premium on lightweight stability; available with BOA system that secures shoes quickly with consistent tightness. Price: $165
Sport

Nike Air Range WP

Built with a mesh and Flywire upper, yet has a 2-year limited waterproof warranty. Price: $140
Sport

Oakley Holdover

Lightweight-performance model with an asymmetrical TPU bottom and non-removable cleat design. Price: $100
Sport

Callaway XT Tour

Tour-caliber shoe styled specifically for women; equipped with 8 Callaway PINS performance spikes. Price: $139.99 (Available 10/15)
Womens

Callaway Koko

Low-profile silhouette features contemporary fashion elements, including three interchangeable color kilties. Rubber outsole has 6 Callaway PINS comfort spikes. Price: $119.99 (Available 10/15)
Womens

True tour

Saddle-style shoe with True's barefoot platform, including thin sole, wide toe box and "zero drop" – heel and forefoot are same distance off ground to promote better posture and alignment. Price: $149
Performance

FootJoy Contour Casual

Features same shoe last as in comfort-driven Contour Series with the benefit of spikeless outsole. Price: $115
Lifestyle

FootJoy FJ Sport

A popular choice among many LPGA players, the FJ Sport is engineered for better female golfers and features a full TPU outsole designed for stability. Price: $145
Womens

Puma Super Cell Fusion Ice

A fully loaded shoe, it features a performance last with an outsole that combines directionally molded spikes and replaceable S2Quill cleats. Price: $220
Tour

Adidas puremotion

With a web-shaped forefoot, ultra-low profile and spikeless outsole, it's designed to let the foot move freely for better balance and power transfer. Price: $120
Performance

DryJoys Tour BOA

Highly versatile mainstay in the FootJoy lineup features next-generation Stability PODS for flexibility and stability; 2-year limited waterproof warranty. Price: $200
Weather

Callaway Del Mar

Casual design with soft, full-grain leather upper and all-rubber Callaway Traction outsole. Price: $129.99 (Available 10/15)
Lifestyle

True isis

True's first model designed specifically for women; features company's signature barefoot platform. Price: $99
Womens

True stealth

Enhanced aesthetics with premium waterproof leather and versatility of anti-slip rubber sole. True's Top-of-the-line model that transitions easily from on- to off-course. Price: $199
Alternative Traction

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Among shoe geeks the debate to label the latest trend in the market place as "spikeless," "hybrids," "lifestyle" or "alternative traction" likely will go unsettled.

But whatever it's called, one thing nearly is certain: Footwear, without replaceable cleats, will multiply rapidly.

Virtually every major manufacturer is racing to offer more footwear options that don't have conventional cleats and receptacles. Of course, demands of serious golfers and those who fret about slipping will ensure plastic spikes keep a place in the game, but shoes that feature traditional traction systems seem destined to shrink in number.

Indeed, rising interest in alternative-traction shoes is causing companies to constantly revise their forecasts. In January, at the PGA Merchandise Show – the industry's largest trade expo held in Orlando – TaylorMade-Adidas Golf executive vice president John Kawaja predicted that shoes without replaceable cleats would account for 40 percent of all golf footwear sales within 24 months.

And in another five years, Ecco officials expect alternative-traction shoes will represent more than 75 percent of all sales.

Though there are numerous factors contributing to the sea change, one man can be credited as being the catalyst that ignited the trend: Fred Couples.

Industry observers say Couples' decision at the 2010 Masters to wear Ecco Street Premiere shoes – casual-looking footwear with a rubber sole and molded traction bars, but not a single, replaceable cleat – redefined consumers' notions of what a golf shoe could look like and how it should perform.

That casual look combined with extra comfort and cleat-less rubber soles – which afford golfers convenience and versatility to wear the same pair on the course and off it – exploded in popularity, literally creating a new category of footwear.

Though such shoes often are called "spikeless," many in the industry prefer "hybrid" to emphasize their dual function. Furthermore, they say the shoes do have rubber spikes or nubs; they're just not removable.

The term "lifestyle" also has come into vogue to describe these shoes because they can be used for everyday wear to get around town or simply to relax at a resort.

But footwear without replaceable cleats won't be restricted to this hybrid niche. As alternative traction continues to evolve and becomes more accepted, even shoes designed primarily for on-course wear likely will go cleat-less.

FootJoy provides an example of a shift in that direction: As an extension of its popular FJ Sport, which features nine replaceable cleats, the company introduced FJ Sport Spikeless. The athletically styled shoe, which offers bright color accents in orange, yellow and blue, showcases a DuraMax rubber outsole with aggressive treads but no conventional cleats.

The emergence of natural-motion shoes also will accelerate the growth of alternative traction. So-called "natural-motion" footwear, first popularized in the sport of running, features minimal structure and maximum flexibility to let the foot move as it was intended. Most golf shoes that adopt this design concept are created without cleats and receptacles. That's because their removal leads to lowering the shoe closer to the ground, better mimicking barefoot feel and motion. True Linkswear, for example, only manufactures natural-motion shoes and all of its models forgo replaceable cleats.

Advocates of alternative traction contend that many golfers will discover that they get more than the traction they need with rubber-grip outsoles. And considering that many players don't bother to replace their removable cleats, they say, alternative-shoes become an even more attractive option.

When purchasing footwear, golfers value performance attributes but "rank comfort well ahead of them," says Rob Rigg, founder of True Linkswear. "It's going to be interesting to see what happens."

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