Let’s turn back the clock to the 2010
Masters. A then 50-year-old Fred Couples,
golf’s ageless purveyor of cool, strolls the
fairways at Augusta wearing what many
commentators can only describe as a
skateboard shoe. That little Ecco number that
Couples laced up without troubling himself
with socks accounted for less than 10 percent
of all sales back then. Today, more than half
of all golf footwear sales come from the
“hybrid” category according to research firm
By virtue of their relationship with
Couples, Ecco went from obscure Danish
brand with virtually no foothold in the U.S.
golf apparel industry to being one of the
market leaders in a few short years. Other
companies have followed suit with their own
entries in the low-to-ground golf shoe
category. But this isn’t a debate about the
merits of wearing cleats vs. flats. It’s about
comfort - and how companies like Ecco have
made it a primary focus of any new footwear
release. You can in fact say it’s the new
buzzword, if not replacing the old saw
“performance”, at least being synonymous
Judging by the hottest entries in this
year’s footwear lineup, walking golfers will
have plenty of reasons to be happy making
their loops this summer. Here’s a list of the
standout shoes pushing the envelope in style,
innovation and comfort.
You could see this coming. FootJoy has
made a bold effort in recent years to expand
their selection of premium golf shoes with
fresher and edgier designs. From the versatile
Contour Casual to the minimalist M Project,
FootJoy has rolled out a plan to connect with a
broader golfing demographic. The new Hyperflex
might be the brand’s most far-reaching and
distinctive shoe to date.
FootJoy's Hypeflex comes in
four different colorways.
Any discussion of the Hyperflex shoe
has to start with the unusual upper mesh
design. The FlexGrid exoskeleton was inspired
by the Leonard
Bunker Hill Bridge in Boston, MA. The
cable structure on that iconic bridge provides
tremendous strength and support, all while
maintaining a sleek lightweight and technical
The FlexGrid, with its web-like
appearance, is strong enough to keep the foot
from rolling laterally during the swing but it
also conforms to your shape. The base layer
of the FlexGrid consists of a tight-knit,
lightweight, flexible and water-proof mesh.
When combined with the outer grid, the
Hyperflex provides the comfort you’d expect
from an athletic shoe with the support of a
high performance golf shoe.
Hypeflex offers premium traction support.
As far as my impression of the
Hyperflex, it has the quintessential traction
and stability of a FootJoy FJ Sport but with a
substantial reduction in weight. The Hypeflex
shoe is currently available in four colorways
and retails for $190 MSRP.
exoskeleton upper: soft and comfortable
material gives stability to the wearer; the
FlexGrid features a breathable membrane that
is guaranteed waterproof for two years.
a next-generation midsole constructed of a
softer and lighter EVA blend, delivers
- Next Evolutionary
Outsole (N.E.O.): equipped with
“Tornado” cleats from SoftSpikes that have
been engineered to provide flexible, yet
durable, underfoot traction.
If you thought the idea of adjusting the
center of gravity was limited to club design,
think again. Callaway’s new Xfer shoe line
consisting of three unique models are all
engineered to lower your foot’s center of
gravity, allowing it to sit in a more powerful
Using the ground for leverage in golf
has always been a critical component for
hitting the ball longer. Long before anyone
ever uttered the term “ground forces”, seven-
time Major winner Sam Snead used to practice
hitting full shots in his bare feet. Callaway’s
Xfer takes that concept and applies it by
minimizing the toe and heel height allowing
the whole foot to sit lower. The shoes are also
noteworthy for having what Callaway calls an
X Cage structure built into upper. This design
feature hugs the foot and wraps it securely to
The Xfer comes in three models. The Pro
($169.99 MSRP) has strategically placed Pro
Flex PINS performance spikes to deliver
maximum traction. The Xfer Vibe
($149.99 MSRP) has a highly-rubberized
traction wall in place of spikes to provide grip
and stability in all conditions. Lastly, the Xfer
($129.99 MSRP) is outfitted with Pro Flex PINS
and evokes a purely athletic style.
Callaway Xfer Pro comes with Pro Flex PINS
Xfer Pro Key Features:
- Adjustable X
Cage: hugs the foot to enable
synchronized power movement in tandem with
- Superfeet Pro
insole: improves alignment, balance and body
- Xfer Power
Wall: prevents lateral side foot
slippage while releasing energy during your
rubberized traction wall of the Callaway Xfer
Xfer Vibe Key Features:
- Xfer tractional
wall and Triangulated
Traction: highly durable rubber
compound for maximum grip, traction and
microfiber: high performance upper featuring
the X Cage overlay.
Xfer Sport Key Features:
- TPU X Cage:
overlay wraps the upper securely to the
- Ortholite 3D
insole: maximum comfort right out of the box.
- Xfer Power
Wall: prevents lateral side foot
slippage during your swing.
Ecco Biom Hybrid 2
The new Ecco Biom Hybrid
2 which will be released this Spring, is
significantly lighter than the original model
that came out several years ago. The current
version of the Biom Hybrid features an extra-
thin midsole that brings your foot lower to the
Ecco Biom Hybrid 2 is known for its
Any concerns about how comfortable
these shoes are can be put aside. The
biomechanically-engineered Biom Hybrid 2
adheres to the natural shape of your foot and
the yak leather upper is both strong and
supple. Like all Ecco shoes, the upper is
treated with HYDROMAX and an anti-stain
formula to make it water-repellent and
To provide traction without the benefit
of soft spikes, the Biom Hybrid 2 features a
patented set of traction bars constructed from
durable TPU material. The two-colored outsole
not only looks cool, but allows the shoe to be
harder where stability is needed and softer
where comfort is the most important attribute.
The Biom Hybrid 2 comes in six colorways and
will retail for $195 MSRP.
Biom Hybrid 2 features a set of durable
traction bars on the outsole.
Resistance: soft, breathable and
strong yak leather is treated with HYDROMAX
for superb protection from the elements.
Traction: TPU constructed outsole is
highly durable, offering stability and grip
where you need it.
- Technical Insole
System: new, ultra-premium insole
with silicon printing helps prevent unwanted
foot movement during the swing.
True Linkswear Game Changer
Taking their cues from the barefoot
running shoe movement, True Linkswear has
been a proponent for zero-drop, minimalist
golf shoes from the beginning. Over the years,
the company has adjusted their designs in
subtle ways, but for all intents and purposes -
a True shoe is and always will be a product
that lets your foot operate as naturally as
possible. For anyone who has considered
pulling the trigger on a pair but has been
concerned about experiencing the “barefoot
feel” in a golf shoe, True Linkswear has
released the Game Changer Hybrid
which features a moderately-thick midsole
integrated with a unique comfort membrane
True Linkswear Game Changer Hybrid comes
in multiple colorways.
The EVA True Comfort midsole sits on
top of a rubber tread outsole that reacts and
flexes with the natural motion of your foot as
you walk and swing a club. Between the insole
and the EVA midsole is a thin, red rubber
mesh called P-Motion. This durable, yet
flexible strip gives the shoe wearer both shock
absorption and stability. In layman’s terms, P-
Motion makes a pair of Game Changers feel
brand new every time you slip them on.
Between P-Motion, the soft leather upper and
a wide toe box, a pair of Game Changers are
perfect for that 18, or even 36-hole hole trek.
Game Changer Hybrid is an innovative zero-
drop golf shoe.
The Game Changer Hybrid is available in
four color styles and retails for $169.99 MSRP.
flexible mesh is integrated into the shoe to
provide comfort and stability.
- Spikeless Performance
Tread: provides traction while
allowing the foot to naturally flex during the
- Ultrasoft Leather
Upper: lightweight, breathable
material is guaranteed waterproof for two
The talk of the PGA Show this past
January, other than clubs and balls naturally,
were these little white pellets Adidas was
injecting into their new performance golf
shoes. Turns out the white pellets, dubbed
BOOST by Adidas, is a technological
innovation the company first began using
within their broader athletic footwear line.
Adidas Adipower Boost boasts an energy-
The new Adipower Boost shoes
by Adidas are filled with thousands of TPU
(Thermoplastic Polyurethane) energy
capsules. They are fused together by way of a
proprietary high pressure steam molding
Why should golfers care you ask? These
Boost capsules absorb energy exerted during
the loading and unloading of the swing and
return it to the shoe wearer in a kind of
rebound effect. Adidas introduced this
technology only after rigorous testing. They
conducted extensive field research using
forceplates combined with tour feedback for
more than a year. If adoption on the
professional tour is any indication, the
Adipower Boost shoes are a huge hit for the
brand. Early season winners Jason Day,
Brandt Snedeker and Dustin Johnson have
made the shoe a critical part of their gear.
Gripmore spikes provide
traction and stability.
The Adipower Boost is sold for $190
MSRP and comes in four different colorways.
- Boost: unlike
traditional EVA foam, Boost capsules retain
consistent cushion and responsive feel in both
hot and cold conditions.
technology: tour-proven spikes of varying
sizes strategically placed on the outsole
provide efficient traction and stability.
- Fitfoam PU Sock
Liner: delivers a more precise,
comfortable fit all golfers.
What does golf and NASA have in
common? Quite a lot, according to Puma. The
brand that isn’t afraid of making bold
statements with their apparel gear selected an
innovation from space travel to regulate the
temperature inside your shoes while you golf.
Outlast technology inside Puma’s TitanTour golf
shoes works by absorbing excess heat away
from the foot when conditions get hot. That
stored heat can then be transferred back when
the temperature drops.
TitanTour golf shoes keep you cool with
Along with Outlast, the TitanTour
specializes in keeping your feet snug inside
the shoe while you play. Shapelock is a dual-
density memory foam built into the sock liner
that molds to your feet for a customized feel.
Although the TitanTour is technically
considered a traditional cleated golf shoe, the
actual Stealth Cleats are recessed within a set
of strategically-placed traction walls. The end
result is a golf shoe that delivers soft spike
traction within a low-profile frame more
indicative of a hybrid shoe.
Cleats provide exceptional traction while
maintaining a low-to-the-ground profile.
The Puma TitanTour features a two-year
waterproof warranty. The new shoes come in
three styles and retails for $190 MSRP.
specialized coating developed for NASA keeps
the temperature inside your shoe regulated as
weather conditions fluctuate.
- Power Frame:
ultra-thin TPU frame encases the EVA midsole
for lightweight strength and durability,
providing the wearer increased flexibility and
- Stealth Cleat:
new low-profile cleat provides superior
traction and long-lasting abrasion resistance.
The golf shoe designed for and inspired
by Tiger Woods has come a long way from
being something quirky that borrowed design
notes from paramilitary boots to something
that finally looks and feels modern and
athletic. Other sports, most notably basketball
and running, have made significant
contributions towards the shoe’s new design
lighter and sportier Nike TW15 golf shoe.
The TW15 uses a one-piece
woven upper called Flyweave. The material
first debuted in a Nike basketball shoe in 2014
and uses a greater strength-to-weight support
to provide lightweight flexibility during the
golf swing. The third iteration of this golf shoe
also features a running-inspired outsole that
sits three millimeters lower to the ground than
prior models and naturally flexes with the
foot. Overall the new TW15 shoe from Nike is
10 percent lighter which is good news for
anyone walking. The TW15 is available now
for $250 MSRP in three colorways (University
Red/Black, Metallic Silver/Black and
Flyweave woven material is strong, yet
- Flyweave: form-
fitting performance woven material provides
strength and flexibility.
- Nike Free-inspired
outsole: allows golfers to better
harness power throughout the swing without
suffering from traction issues.
For golfers looking to make a bold
statement on the course without looking
juvenile in taste, SoCal brand G/Fore have
redesigned their flagship kicks to deliver
better performance. The best part - they pair
extremely well with the company’s
flamboyant, colorful golf gloves worn by the
likes of Jonas Blixt, Tom Watson and Anna
redesigned G/Fore Gallivanter golf shoe with
The G/Fore Gallivanter combines
an athletic fit with an upscale design. The
shoe features a biomechannically contoured
footbed and a compression molded EVA
midsole to provide superior cushioning. The
Gallivanter’s outsole sports a brand-new
bespoke cleated design that offers better
traction in wet or dry conditions than in prior
Gallivanter comes in many avant-garde styles.
Of course any mention of a G/Fore
product, in this case a golf shoe, has
something to say about style. Every
Gallivanter model features a padded
contrasting heal color and an additional set of
tonal laces that puts an extra zip in your step.
There are eight different designs in the line to
choose from. Depending on the shoe, the
upper may come in either full grain pebble
leather, high performance microfiber, slick
patent leather or nubuck leather. The
Gallivanter retails for $225 to $350 MSRP
depending on style.
Footbed: washable and anti-
microbial material offers enhanced comfort.
Materials: stylish uppers sport a
modern design with hand-stitched details.
- Bespoke Cleat:
is more aggressively designed in the new shoe
for optimal traction during the golf swing.