Shoe Month: Innovation leads to array of choices
In the final installment of "Shoe Month," Golfweek.com casts the spotlight on another sampling of the varied footwear options available in the marketplace today. Among the trends and developments to watch is the rapid growth of so-called "spikeless" shoes that provide traction through innovative rubber designs, but forgo conventional plastic cleats and receptacles.
Such shoes may not be for everybody, but their advocates say the benefits of spikeless are many, including greater comfort, versatility and convenience.
Golfweek.com also gives readers the opportunity to explore even more choices – either by brand or performance category – in the adjacent "Shoe Vault" widget.
To enjoy golf in greater comfort and play better, invest the time to find the footwear that best suits your game.
Want to check out the rest of our 12-part series on the shoe industry? We take you through FootJoy's MyJoys campaign to the man behind the TW '13 shoes to Puma's colorful ventures in the industry behind the likes of Rickie Fowler and Lexi Thompson.
We also delve into the idea that footwear has turned into performance wear, both with the pros and in the amateur game.
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The skinny: One of Callaway's top-performance shoes, the Razr offers several technological features. Among them: the proprietary Comfort Gel Tongue, which uses injection-molded gel tubes to disperse lace pressure; Ortholite inserts that provide breathability, moisture transport and an anti-microbial function; and 11 PINS spikes. The Performance INsert System (PINS) developed by Softspikes decreases spike thread heights as well as the receptacles, reducing spike pressure for more comfort.
Price: $189.99 (Available Oct. 15)
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FootJoy FJ Sport Spikeless
The skinny: In tune with golfers' growing interest in "spikeless" shoes – those without conventional cleats and receptacles – FootJoy has introduced this version of its popular FJ Sport shoe. Like the original, it features athletically inspired styling and retains an external heel stabilizer for rear foot support. The key difference of this lightweight, flexible shoe is its DuraMax rubber outsole. Aside from its aggressive traction design, the outsole also is available in blue, orange and yellow.
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The skinny: One of the pioneers in introducing "natural-motion" shoes in golf, True advocates minimal construction that enables the foot to move freely – as it was intended. The Phx model features a 2.5 mm sole – the thinnest in the marketplace, according to True – that mimics barefoot feel for the course. A leather upper is fashioned in a sneaker profile, and traction is provided by rubber bars and nubs. The Phx does not use conventional plastic cleats and receptacles.
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Adidas Samba Golf
The skinny: For Adidas fans who revered the original Samba, here's a replica version made specifically for golf. This shoe maintains the classic silhouette and "3-Stripes" design as well as the distinctive tan gumsole of the original Samba. It also features a durable, suede toe-guard and comes equipped with six cleats.
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Nike TW '13
The skinny: Inspired by the Nike Free running shoe, the TW '13 features an outsole that is designed to mirror the foot's natural motion. The benefit? The freedom of movement to release more power through the golf swing, according to Nike. A waterproof, stretchable, synthetic leather combines with Nike's Dynamic Fit system that extends from the footbed to the eyelets for a "locked-down" fit. The outsole is equipped with rubber treads and six Champ Scorpion Spikes.