Need To Know
Golf’s boundaries are being broadened, and at the forefront is sports mega-brand Nike. The latest innovation to come from the company that kits out Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods is its Lunar Bandon 3 golf shoe – or perhaps boot is a more accurate descriptor.
This shoe is designed for those dreary, dark winter months, often featuring sodden fairways and overflowing water hazards. This time frame, after summer and before spring, calls for apparel laden with technology in order to keep a golfer comfortable over 18 holes.
These technological breakthroughs have come aplenty. Waterproofs have advanced significantly in recent years, and thermal layers now keep vital organs warm. But have we really seen an advancement in winter footwear? Hardly.
Undoubtedly, shoes have improved their waterproof ability, but when the rain is coming down sideways, the ground is squelching, and the rough ankle-deep in mud, golfers have been left short changed. When golf brand's boffins have escaped into their R&D labs, it seems winter boots have been given little thought.
The Lunar Bandon 3 boasts a completely waterproof upper which covers the ankle, stopping any water seeping into the shoe. A zip runs up the front, from near a player's toe to the top of the boot, securing your foot in place.
A seam-sealed shroud and weatherproof toe cap made of engineered synthetic leather add extra guards against rain, giving the shoe a welly-like level of waterproof protection.
We played a number of rounds on saturated fairways, and no water made its way into the shoe. It passes its most basic objective with flying colours.
From the outside, the monochrome palette oozes class. When worn, it almost looks like a regular shoe, as the top of the boot is covered by the bottom of players’ trousers.
There is a futuristic, progressive, sporty feel to the aesthetic.
Often, especially in the UK, players will face a multitude of weather conditions out on the course. If you lace up your Nike Lunar Bandon 3s expecting to be doused in rain, only to be welcomed by glorious sunshine, players can just undo the zip and carry on playing.
The inside of the boot's upper is lined in camouflage, which adds another dimension to the shoe's appearance. This can be folded down if your feet are getting a bit toasty, allowing some air to circulate.
Putting the boot on is a bit of a chore, much like getting into a wetsuit, but once inside players reap the rewards.
Dynamic Flywire cables wrap around the product to ensure minimal movement and stability throughout the swing. The shoes are heavily cushioned, which makes them extremely comfortable.
I assumed the boot-like nature of the shoe would lead to a reduction in movement, and I was concerned it would hamper proper weight transfer. My fears were alleviated immediately, as I was pleased to learn I could make my swing without any impeachment. In fact, when zipped up, I forgot I was wearing a boot at all, such is the comfort on offer.
There is also a decent amount of grip on offer, offering traction in both wet and dry conditions thanks to the rubber outsole.
The Nike Lunar Bandon 3 is a stylish, comfortable winter boot that protects the user's feet from the elements.