The 2013 PGA Show was all about Light Weight (Footwear) Equipment
Looking to lose weight by playing golf? These new lightweight lines of golf shoes will help you do just that!
In 2010 and 2012, the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Harvard University, both released studies to support that barefoot reduces injuries, reserves energy, and improves technique.
Undeniably the most crucial piece of golf equipment is good-fitting shoes. Constituting a great golf shoe involves materials, support, waterproofing and style delivering comfort, while promoting better balance, weight transfer and power through impact..
Over the past 10 years, enormous strides have been made in golf shoes. With the advent of new materials and technology such as FootJoy’s BOA Lacing System and golf cleats, a golfer can purchase shoes online, order them custom made in a variety of materials, from natural sources or man-made.
Now the most publicized and trendiest golf shoes are the lightweight, as-close-to-the- ground shoes and cross trainer golf shoes. The stated objective of these lightweight , minimalist shoes is to allow the athlete to keep contact with the ground longer, better harnessing the energy of the foot to the shoe, and, therefore, the shoe to the ground.
Minimalist shoe philosophy states that the footwear allows for the small muscles in the feet to be activated, which creates a more natural gait landing on the forefoot rather than the heel. In addition, spreading out the toes increases toe strength and together with the small muscle activation, both can improve balance and coordination.
One caveat that should be remembered is that whichever shoe you decide on, ensure it fits well and offers you the necessary support and stability. A recent Scottish study concluded that something as simple as wearing the wrong size of shoes can put diabetics at risk of serious foot problems that could lead to amputation.
Additionally, ill fitting shoes can cause: plantar fasciitis, bunions, blisters, corns & calluses, Morton’s Neuroma Metatarsalgia, hammer Toes and claw toes.
The researchers found that 63 percent of the patients wore the wrong size of shoes. For example, 45 percent of the patients wore shoes that weren’t the proper width, with most of them being too narrow.
“When people stand up, their feet change shape as the arch of the foot flattens and the foot becomes wider and longer. Taking both these sets of measurements (sitting and standing) into account, only 37 percent of the patients were actually wearing the right-sized shoes,” study co-author Dr. Graham Leese said in a prepared statement.
AdiZero by adidas Golf
adidas developed a marketing plan that took the golfing world into a yellow state of mind – yellow shoes, yellow cap, yellow striping
Four different styles of AdiZero were made available this past January ranging from $179.95 to $99.95.
The 10.6 ounce AdiZero Tour and the AdiZero Sport make up this line of super light weight golf shoes which is 38% lighter than the Tour 360 ATV model! Also, there is a 9.2 ounce shoe available for ladies.
The AdiZero feels absolutely marvelous! It is so light and very supportive and much easier to turn-through during your swing.
adidas’s specification details state that all the shoes are technologically advanced, from its SPRINTFRAME – ultra responsive energy return PeBAX outsole which is the LIGHTEST, LOWEST and THINNEST outsole adidas has ever created for golf, to the SPRINTSKIN- exclusive new microfiber upper leather, which is also extremely LIGHT, STRONG, and THIN and to SPRINTWEB – internal and external TPU layers in the forefoot for lateral movements and phenomenal stability throughout your swing.
adiZero is a ten cleated men’s tour shoe designed to help alleviate fatigue down the stretch. What impressed our testers was the revolutionary thin PeBAX SPRINTFRAME (3.4oz) outsole which is ultrathin (1.2mm) and provides great support and the anatomical last which provides for additional room in the forefoot for increased comfort – no scrunching, no tired, painful toes!
There are two insoles to maximize performance, the FitFOAM sock liner provides the best comfort while the CLOUDFOAM insole provides the best lightweight cushioning with every step.
There are four color options for men, with an MSRP of $180. The black color is classic in its looks.
Spikeless versions of the adiZero will be available later this year.
The women’s adiZero Tour shoes come in three colors with an MSRP of $120.
The last part of the adiZero line are the adiZero Sport shoes, built on adidas’ Supernova running last for a sneaker-like feel. The lightest of the men’s models is 9.5 ounces, and the women’s models are as light as 7.8 ounces. The men’s adiZero Sport have MSRPs of $120; the women’s, $100.
Nike’s TW ’13 Men’s Golf Shoe
Whilst this shoe originally hit the market in June 2012, it is definitely deserving of being included in this article.
Tiger loves these shoes! I personally love these shoes for the comfort they provide. Simply put, the TW ’13 gives you a free-inspired outsole that mirrors the natural motion of the foot ,maximizing your power.
Nike Golf footwear developed an ergonomic design that supports ideal natural motion and flexibility, and golf specific lug patterns for penetrating traction, lateral support and walking comfort.
The lacing system is unique in offering eyelets for 360 degrees of adaptive locked-down fit and the last ( A last is a form in the approximate shape of a human foot, used by shoemakers specifically designed to the proportions of individual customers’ feet) in the shoe accommodates the toes more than adequately.
The shoes are leather with rubber soles. Available in black and white. We found that the white color will be lighter for summer rounds.
$159.95 – $219.95
TRUE Linkswear Sensei
Want an insanely comfortable, light pair of shoes that let you feel connected to the ground? If so, the new Sensei model will do the trick.
TruLinks is one of the first companies, besides Dawgs, to pioneer the light weight golf shoe. The technology that goes into True’s shoe gets a golfer closer to the ground with a really thin outsole and no midsole. This allows for ideal body alignment.
One of the first hurdles you will need to overcome about TRUE Linkswear is their particular style of shoe.
They are a unique mesh, instead of leather. They breathe and you can feel the air moving through the shoe.
The downside to these shoes is that they are not waterproof and are cold in winter, so just wear them in summer on a warm, dry day. Available in 4 colors and truly affordable.
$99.99 – $209 www.truelinkswear.com
ECCO BIOM Zero
ECCO and Freddie Couples have become synonymous for their affiliation and the casualness Freddie imbues wearing ECCO’s shoes.
This hybrid shoe is ECCO’s lightest, most flexible and low-profile golf shoe ever produced. It weighs less than 10 ounces.
This minimalist inspired men’s golf shoe is made with a premium Caldera leather upper that is stain resistant, durable, exceptionally easy-to-clean and treated with Hydromax, a water-repellent; where the second skin leather lining wicks away moisture while remaining remarkably soft.
The BIOM technology creates a perfect anatomical last in the shoe, designed from the foot scans of 2,500 athletes. It promotes a natural foot position, as well as full-length foot support and ensures comfort. The zero heel drop, as the shoe’s name implies, brings a golfer closer to the ground, while still providing ample traction.
The outsole provides more than 800 traction angles for excellent grip in all weather conditions. The best features about this shoe are it’s great fit and ground feel, combined with remarkable support and comfort.
This shoe is so comfortable that spending a day wearing these is not a problem. They are also much more comfortable than the ECCO Streets and for golf teachers on the range all day, a life-saver.
VIVOBAREFOOT Hybrid Men’s Golf Shoe
In 2003, VIVOBAREFOOT became a pioneer of the barefoot movement by launching the first minimalist shoe with a patented, ultra thin puncture resistant sole that offered maximum sensory feedback and maximum protection. This was driven by the knowledge that 70% of your brain’s information for movement comes from the nerves on the soles of your feet.
The more you can feel the ground, the greater your body’s understanding of its surroundings and natural movement.
Whether you’re a golf lover or just a fan of the outdoors, reawaken your senses in this Hybrid Men’s shoe.
The vegetable tanned leather and rip-stop nylon trimmings provide increased durability on the upper, while the bellowed tongue construction creates 360 degree water-resistant breathability.
The Hex Mesh inner structure adds extra ventilation and lightness to provide the ultimate barefoot experience. The Hybrid is constructed on VIVOBAREFOOT’S proprietary off -road outsole, which offers maximum grip from multi-directional lugs, while still providing maximum proprioception(is the sense of the orientation of one’s limbs in space. Without proprioception, we’d need to consciously watch our feet to make sure that we stay upright while walking.) with protection.
Whether you choose to leave your golf clubs at home or take your swing from bogey to hole-in-one, the Hybrid is perfect for all golfing and outdoor activities. The shoe drew many positive responses as to the style and color scheme of both the sole and the laces.
You will need a few days to “break in” the shoes and get used to the feel. If you use orthotics, do so with these and all the aforementioned shoes.
FootJoy’s M:Project Mesh Spikeless
The leading golf shoe manufacturer has another winner on its hands, I mean feet!
These extraordinarily stylish and good looking shoes are a dream to wear and are great for on and off the course.
|The last used in this shoe, as with other M:Project models, feature a full|
|rounded toe character and a full fit across the fore foot, allowing toes to spread and grip.|
The breathable mesh works well and its flexibility is an added bonus.
The shoe is extremely well-priced at $119.99 and is available in extra wide sizes, more so than the majority of shoe manufacturers offer. Cleated models are also available and certain models of the M:Project offer the extremely popular BOA Closure System that with the aforementioned extra wide sizes, make this shoe probably one of, if not, the most comfortable minimalist shoe available.
The precision of the BOA closure system allows you to minutely adjust the shoe closure for a perfect precision fit. The BOA reel never loosens during play and the lace never stretches or unties. The BOA lacing system pulls your foot down and into the back of the shoe, which not only provides a custom-like fit, but incredible comfort and stability throughout play.
On the subject of cleats, the M:Project employs the P.I.N.S. System which have thinner spec receptacles and Softspikes’s Stealth cleats that deliver a low-profile performance.
FootJoy offers a 2-year waterproof warranty for US purchasers.
About Golf Socks
To the golfer and most athletes (both casual and professional), socks are also critical. They keep your feet cool, prevent blisters and provide cushion support and style.
One of the best socks currently on the market and used by many Touring golf professionals are the Kentwool Performance socks.
Kentwool Golf Socks
KENTWOOL,the 170-year-old, family-owned American textile innovator reports a nearly 600 percent year-over-year increase in sales of its premium performance socks, specifically engineered for golfers.
It’s easy to see why these socks are now the most popular golf socks being sold for men and women. It’s about quality, style and fit.
Of course, with Bubba Watson’s Masters win, sales the next week, especially of the “Bubba Master’s Sock”, skyrocketed and Kent was sold out of this sock in 24 hours!
Socks for this year’s Masters event are currently available on a limited basis.
Kentwool’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is their rocking, innovative design, infused with a proprietary blend of Super Fine Merino Wool yarn—WINDspun by Kentwool—and combined with other premium natural and high-tech fibers. The integrated foot technology system includes a micro-climate feature which promotes wicking and comfort, and reduces friction, abrasion and muscle fatigue.
Available at select green-grass locations and www.kentwool.com/shop, KENTWOOL Golf Socks are backed by a “blister-free guarantee.”
Retailing for $19.95 to $24.95, styles include the Low Profile Skinny and Tour Profile for women, as well as Low Profile, Tour Profile and longer Tour Standard for men.
In addition to Watson and Kuchar, KENTWOOL premium performance golf socks are worn in competition by many Tour players, including Peter Jacobsen, Jonathan Byrd, Brendon de Jonge, Tom Gillis, Jane Park, Charles Warren, Kevin Johnson, Kristy McPherson, Sarah Kemp, Jenny Gleason, Meaghan Francella and Jenny Hong.
Sigvaris Athletic Recovery Golf Socks -182 Series
If you love walking your golf rounds, this new latex free graduated compression sock with its cushioned, shock-absorbing sole, is ideal for preventing foot and leg fatigue from prolonged periods of standing and walking.
The SIGVARIS Cushioned Cotton Sock helps to flush out the lactic acid built up in the leg during exercise, relieving tired, aching legs and exercise-induced muscle soreness.
Additionally, a growing trend among competitive athletes is the use of compression therapy socks to help improve their athletic performance. Compression therapy is a hot topic in sports media right now, as a growing number of tri-athletes, marathon runners and professional sports athletes are trying compression socks during performance to improve their results.
Whether it’s during the actual event, after the event, or even while travelling, athletes are making graduated compression socks part of their everyday attire. SIGVARIS has an entire Active Therapy Line including the Athletic Recovery Sock, The Performance Sock and the Cotton Golf Sock. In fact, Brittany Lincicome is an avid fan of SIGVARIS’ products, and is pictured on the Women’s Cotton Golf Sock box.
The Cushioned Cotton Sock is made from 68% Supima® cotton; it is naturally breathable, soft, hypo-allergenic, and ideal for sensitive skin. With its soft, cushioned sole, heel, and toe, the sock protects feet and helps absorb impact from walking or running.
It is important to note that not all compression is created equal. A number of sock manufacturers are claiming to offer “compression” socks for athletic use. Unfortunately, many of these “compression” socks do not have true graduated compression. Instead, they may feature a tight foot band, or vertical stripes, or a wide variety of features meant to imply foot or leg support.
SIGVARIS Graduated Compression Socks are available for men and women in various sizes (6 – 14) and in black and white. Other popular SIGVARIS Socks include Business Casual (189), Classic Ribbed (180 Series), Cushioned Cotton (182 Series), Classic Dress (185 Series) and Casual Cotton (186 Series).
Average Cost: $29. 21; Learn more: www.sigvarisna.com
As with any piece of equipment, make sure you are correctly fit and that your shoes and socks are both supportive of orthotics and the health of your feet. You will definitely experience more bounce in your step and less fatigue on the course!
Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America, the California Golf Writers Association, and serves both as a Consultant and Mediator to the golf industry. He is also the author of numerous books, including “333 Best Web Sites for Golfers”, “How to Build Business Relationships through Golf” which is in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s bestseller list. His latest book,” The Right Mind for Golf”, released in February is used by many PGA Tour members, is already in its third printing. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org