Shoes on the rack

At GOLFmagic we got our hands and feet on pairs of shoes to review.

GOLFmagic review team
Tue, 17 Jul 2001
Shoes on the rack

No matter how well you play the game, a pair of golf shoes can make or break your round. It's no good ripping your tee shots 250 yards if your feet ache. It's pointless wedging an approach to within a yard if your feet squelch with water as you walk on to the green.

Golf is a game of percentages but you only get maximum performance from 100 per cent comfort. Today's golf shoes are high quality products packed with high technology benefits, from moulded insoles which snuggly fit round your feet to breathable fabrics that keep your feet dry and odour-free. You need grip too which invariably comes from softspikes.

Before we tell you about ones we've tried, here are just a few points to look for when considering your purchase:

  • Look for a solid unit in the sole to provide comfort and cushioning.
  • Full grain leather upper with waterproof guarantee.
  • Padding in the heel for extra comfort.
  • A good grip pattern on the sole which will work even in wet conditions.
  • Look for style but not always a white shoe for year-round play. They tend to fade and look shabby after a few rounds in traditional muddy conditions.
  • Don't expect to pay less than £40 for a pair of decent golf shoes. Look after them and they will look after you.
adidas Z Traxion:

So you are prepared to pay upto £100 for a pair of golf shoes? You want style, golf cred, durability, grip, comfort? The adidas Z Traxion could be your choice.

The latest technology has earned these shoes their stripes and combine all the above benefits with a 'softspike' system that keeps your feet firmly on the ground when you need it most - at impact - better than any metal spike I can remember.

adidas describes the Z Traxion as incorporating a whole lot of 'high-tech' gizmos including 'Sympatex, TPU, fast-twist and adiPRENE and full-grain upper.'

adidas Z Traxion
You don't need to go there. It's enough to say it's arguably the best combination of technology for any golf shoe. adidas retains a classic look in the Z Traxion and offers this shoe in black or molasses (pictured and tested). The comfort rating matches most of the leading makes. Suffice to say the Z Traxion is still comfortable even when approaching the 18th green - and even approaching the 36th green of the day if the rest of your body is up to it!

Even in the wet, adidas guarantees their Z Traxion will remain waterproof for at least two years - a useful attribute particularly in the recent European climate. The shoes' grip system is also sturdier than any softspike-shoe on the market. The sole of the shoe in the picture identifies the various shapes that adidas uses to increase the Z Traxion's grip. And we can confirm, they work.

Links: Z Traxion homepage, adidas Golf homepage.
Price £100 (US$140) GOLFmagic rating: 8.5/10

FootJoy FITdogs:

As one of the longest-established brands FootJoy has a large range of golf shoes - indeed a pair to fit every pocket - from around £35 for FootJoy GreenJoys to around £200 for the FootJoy Classics Dry Premiere gracing many of the feet of our pros worldwide.

We reviewed the newly introduced FootJoy FITdogs which retail at around £90. The shoes demonstrate FootJoy's commitment to providing golfers with innovatively-designed, high performance footwear.

FootJoy FITdogs
So often we make do with loose and tight-fitting shoes, not realising that no two feet are the same - not even our own. There's no need to endure ill-fitting shoes with FootJoy products which offer a customised system. Each model and size has green, black or blue cradles for narrow, standard or wide fittings to guarantee snug and comfortable fits every time.

Personal fitting
Additionally, a Visco-elastic gel in the heel and under the ball of the foot, improves the cushion effect, reducing the blister factor. And there's a temperature-responsive membrane to cool the feet when it's warm and heat them when it's cold. FootJoy has thought of everything except, perhaps, hitting the shots for you. But that's probably on the drawing board, already!

With a one-year waterproof guarantee, FITdogs are fitted with Black widow softspikes held in place by a fast-twist system reducing the time it takes to change a set of spikes by several minutes.

Links: FITdogs homepage, FootJoy homepage.
Price £90 (US$125) GOLFmagic rating: 8/10

Dunlop Classic Saddle - Ultrahide:

Much water has passed beneath the soles of Dunlop shoes since the original all-rubber, all-weatherproof were introduced in the 1960s. They may have kept your dry but, as Les Dawson was often heard to mutter 'by 'eck, they didn't 'arf draw yer feet!'.

Many Dunlop golf shoe generations later, these stylish shoes represent good value at a price that most of us can afford.

Dunlop Classic Saddle - Ultrahide
The main body of the shoe is in white, and the lacing and heal panels in black. It's a heavier shoe than most but it's a small price to pay for such good workmanship.

First impressions were a tight fit across the instep but it soon became flexible with wear. The jury is still out in the comfort factor, but in the recent wet weather they stood up well to the appalling conditions to which they were subjected. Grip was good, too.

At £50 a pair these Dunlops represent value for money. The man-made Ultrahide technology provides good waterproofing, and the classic saddle design is a definite plus. The comfort factor isn't as high as could be found in some of the top end shoes, but you get what you pay for, and we like them.

Links: No shoes, but have a look at the Dunlop website golf section.
Price £50 (US$75) GOLFmagic rating: 7/10

In the next few days we will have more shoes to review, including the latest from Nike and Mizuno.If you have just bought a pair of shoes or want to endorse those you have stood by through thick and thin, why not tell us about them by joining in the forum.