Why can't Nike make Tiger Woods a comfy pair of golf shoes (!?)

Tiger Woods is still wearing FootJoy golf shoes, which begs the question, why can't Nike make him a pair comfy enough to wear on the course?

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods

When Tiger Woods returned to the 2022 Masters for the first time after his car crash, he did so wearing a pair of FootJoy golf shoes. 

What appeared to be a momentary blip for Nike, though, has now turned into an almost two-year-long footwear saga.  

Much was made of Wood's decision to switch out of Nike shoes in favour of a pair of Premier Series Packards in April, and despite the shock, many speculated the switch would only be temporary.

Opinion: Tiger Woods was just flexing by wearing FootJoys over Nike

Woods had returned from a near-fatal car crash, and having had his right leg fully reconstructed, it seemed like switching to FootJoy was a short-term fix in order to provide him with more stability to walk the undulating hills of Augusta National.

Related: Best Golf Shoes 2023

The 15-time major champ didn't drop the swoosh in it when he talked about his footwear decision:

"Nike's been fantastic over the years providing me with equipment and work, and we have worked... we've been working on trying to find something to allow me to do this and swing again. We're still going to continue doing it, and hopefully we'll have something soon."

Despite those comments, though, he has recently made a number of public appearances and those same FootJoy shoes are still on his feet. 

Since first turning pro in 1996, Woods has been Nike's leading man. From footwear to clubs, there was a point in time where no picture of him was complete without the iconic swoosh turning up somewhere.

Even his famous chip-in at The Masters in 2005 was complete with a Nike logo on his golf ball slowly trickling into the hole.

So significant is Wood's presence with the brand that the current World No.1 Scottie Scheffler and Ryder Cup hero Tommy Fleetwood still wear his signature shoes. 

Scheffler & Fleetwood
Scheffler & Fleetwood

Having signed his most recent contract with the American sportswear powerhouse for a reported $200m in 2013, you would think the company might move heaven and earth in order to get its biggest star back lacing up its shoes. 

So it really does beg the question, why can't Nike make a pair of golf shoes suitable for him to wear? 

When first explaining the switch, Woods said: 

"Just with the rods and plates and screws that are in my leg, I needed something different, something that allowed me to be more stable. That's what I'e gone to."

Since those remarks in 2022, it would appear nothing has changed and unfortunately for Nike, FootJoy's shoes still offer Woods a greater level of stability.

While it's not shocking he has stuck with his trusty FootJoys, what is interesting is that almost two years have passed since he first wore them, and since then, the research and development team at Nike still haven't managed to create him a pair of shoes he deems suitable for use. 

While nobody other than Woods will be able to confirm exactly what the hold-up is with Nike, it certainly seems he's not happy with the solutions the brand is presenting, and until that point, it looks like the FootJoys are here to stay. 


What golf shoes is Tiger Woods wearing in 2023?

In Woods' most recent public appearance at Pebble Beach's new Par-3 course, The Hay, he was seen wearing a pair of all-black FootJoy Premier Series Packard golf shoes. As was his son Charlie Woods

The Premiere Series Packards are constructed from full-grain Pittards leather and feature a VersaTrax+ outsole designed to provide unbeatable traction on a variety of different surfaces. 

A soft EVA midsole also provides increased underfoot cushioning, enhanced comfort and exceptional stability.

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