The Local Knowlege

Gear & Equipment

Puma's new golf shoes keep it casual, but also sophisticated

As casual footwear styles continue to cross over into golf shoes, officials at Puma Golf believe there's an opportunity to bend the trend slightly. With the launch of their BioDrive Leather shoes, the company hopes to appeal to golfers who seek the comfort and performance of more modern golf shoes but also want a more upscale look.

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The shoes ($140) use full-grain leather in four color combinations to create a premium, sophisticated appearance. In addition to a waterproof upper, they incorporate the technological bells and whistles from the original mesh version of the BioDrive shoe.

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The compressed foam midsole reduces the weight and increases the shoe's cushioning and flexibility. The carbon-rubber outsole and perimeter wrap design provide increased stability and durability. Octagonal spikes on the shoe's bottom help create more than 130 points of contact with the ground for better traction.

The shoes will be available April 1.

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Gear & Equipment

Adidas brings its Boost cushioning technology to golf shoes

There is nothing casual about the adipower Boost, the first golf shoe from Adidas to incorporate the company's proprietary Boost foam-cushioning technology. Adidas has used Boost technology previously in its basketball, running and baseball footwear lines. Boost takes thousands of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane, a type of plastic) capsules and uses high-pressure steam to fuse them together. The result, according to the company, is a comfortable, but sturdy, cushioning system. 

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Typically golf shoes use EVA, a rubber-like compound, to provide cushioning. However, EVA has a tendency to break down in varying temperatures (hardening in the cold, softening in heat). Adidas officials say that Boost foam counters this. 

The adipower Boost also features 25 gripmore spikes as well as smaller traction elements at the heal and toe. The spikes vary in size so you have the most powerful gripping action in the right places during your swing. 

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Jason Day, ranked eighth in the world, is among the Adidas tour staff wearing the shoe ($190 for men's model, $180 for the women's model), which will be available at retail available Feb. 27. 

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Gear & Equipment

Here's what you need to know about Footjoy's new Hyperflex shoe

FootJoy's Hyperflex shoe has been on Hunter Mahan's feet since the Ryder Cup, and come Feb. 15, you'll be able to wear them too.

Mahan caused a bit of a stir when he wore them because this shoe isn't the typical look from FootJoy. Beside the outside appearing a bit sportier, the technology inside follows more of an athletic fit as well. Seemingly, it's as if FootJoy designers took the wider, stable base of the DryJoys and mixed it with the lightweight upper of the M Project. The result: a lightweight, athletic shoe that's going to keep your feet tight against the ground throughout your swing.

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The upper of the shoe is made out of mesh, which is common for an athletic shoe. But what the team at FootJoy didn't want was to lose any support -- an easy thing to do when you're working with lightweight materials. 

The designers also wanted it the shoe to be stable and waterproof. To help achieve all of this this they came up with a new material, and called it FlexGrid.
 
The crisscrossing pattern that weaves an exoskeleton across the top of the shoe was inspired by the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge, located in Boston.

"Surrounding us is a plethora of building structure and fine tuned details," says Daren Weddle, on of the principle designers on FootJoy's footwear team. "To bring a lot of that into what we do - it's inspiring."

When you look at the bridge at the right angle, it actually does look exactly like the pattern on the shoe.

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The purpose of the exoskeleton is to stabilize the lightweight, waterproof mesh underneath. So, the top of the shoe looks a bit like a high-end running shoe, with a plastic pattern weaving over the top of it to keep your foot from rolling around.
 
All of this sits on the outsole, which is pretty solid itself. It's made of EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate, a sort-of rubber); its thickness gives you a good base to swing off of. The bottom of the shoe has cone-shaped traction elements that surround the nine Tornado Softspikes, to create more than enough turf interaction.
 
The pursuit of stability continues with five ridges located in the middle-back of the shoe that dig in to keep your heel from moving around during the swing.     
 
The Hyperflex will be available in five colors, with a retail price set at $190.

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Gear & Equipment

Adidas' newest additions to its Tour 360 x shoe line have plenty of tech to talk about

The latest entry to the Tour360 shoe line from Adidas Golf -- the Tour360 x -- features a new outsole and additional cushioning in the midsole for comfort. The Tour360 x's nine-cleat design is intended to increase stability and reduce the shoe's weight.

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Also joining the line is the Tour360 x Boa, which uses a dial on the tongue to adjust for comfort and fit.

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The Tour x ($140) will be available in six colors—three of which: white/silver/black, blue/gray/white and silver/white/black—go on sale Nov. 1. The other three colors will be available in February. The Tour360 x Boa ($180) will be offered in two colors and available Dec. 1.

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Gear & Equipment

FootJoy's popular Contour golf shoe gets a makeover

It isn't an idle exercise when you're making a change to the Contour, what FootJoy's Doug Robinson calls "the best-selling golf shoe in the history of golf shoes."

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In addition to being available in 10 colors, the new Contour, which the company estimates has sold more than six million pairs since it was introduced in 2001, has a two-year waterproof guarantee and a thinner leather upper to provide breathability. The sole features a thermoplastic urethane bridge between the forefoot and heel for stability and arch support, and the EVA foam midsole is lighter than previous models.

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True to Contour's history of emphasizing comfort and fit, the insole is designed to work with more than a thousand foot shapes.

"We made sure we delivered on those expectations first and foremost," said Robinson, FootJoy's VP of golf footwear worldwide. "After that, we reconsidered every material and construction element."

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Gear & Equipment

Early success has New Balance expanding golf-shoe line

Following its entry into the golf-shoe market this year, New Balance will introduce a spikeless version of its first offering this fall.

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Built on the same frame as its popular running shoe, the 574B weighs just 9.6 ounces with a lightweight foam midsole and a mesh upper that incorporates a thin, no-stitch construction.

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New Balance officials say the success of the cleated 574 golf shoe released in the spring gave the company an opportunity to capitalize on its popularity with a spikeless version.

Two colors -- white and grey/yellow -- will be available Nov. 1 ($90), and a navy/orange version early in 2015.

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Style

A slip-on golf shoe that, well, actually looks like a golf shoe

Derived from the Greek word bios, for "life," Biion seeks to bring new life to the golf-shoe industry. The brainchild of Toronto fashion entrepreneur Rick Buchanan, the slip-on shoes are made of a lightweight yet sturdy EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) material that is anti-microbial, odor-resistant and washable.

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The company offers shoes in five styles—classic, patterns, saddles, brights and wingtips—and 36 colors. Each features a dual-density midsole and honeycomb-pattern spikeless tread to provide stability and comfort.

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Unique to Biion's design is my favorite feature: aeration holes. Not only do they help keep your feet cool and dry, but they allow you to wear the shoes with or without socks. Retailing for $100, these shoes provide a definite style statement whether worn on or off the course.

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Style

Make the switch to spikeless golf shoes and you might not go back

I live in Manhattan, and toting my sticks on and off subway cars and in and out of cabs has turned into a real pain in the butt. In an effort to lighten my load I bought a small Sunday carry bag and tried my best to get rid of all the excess crap I'd accumulated over the last few months in my old bag. The change helped, and after discarding a banana peel, some scuffed golf balls, five of my six divot tools and a pair of boxers (don't ask) I was on the right track.

That said, the biggest loser ended up being my shoes. Whether I knotted the laces and slung them over my 3-wood, or stuffed my two FJ classics in the side pouch, my kicks were by far the heaviest piece of equipment I was hauling.

My options:
A. Carry a separate shoe bag. That didn't seem to make any sense as I maintained the weight and lost a free hand by carrying another bag.

B. Shelf the trusty classics and add a set of spikeless shoes I could wear to, from and, of course, at the golf course.

So, I picked up a pair of FJ Contour Casuals, and I've been wearing them all over all summer! They look and feel awesome. The full-grain leather and simple suede detailing mirror the minimalist designs coming out of some big-name sneaker companies. Meanwhile, they feel just as stable as my wood-soled classics on the course. I'll even wear 'em to the office if I'm gonna try and duck out early to play nine, and no one seems to be the wiser.

These types of soft, spikeless shoes are all over the tours and have started taking over a sizeable section of the classic golf-shoe market for good reason.

Here are six sweet hybrid hook-ups to check out.


FJ Contour Casual, $115
Golfsmith.com

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True Linkswear True Oxford, $100
truelinkswear.com

loop-True-Linkswear-True-Oxford-518.jpg Ecco Street Retro, $140
ecco.com

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G Fore Patent Leather, $265
gfore.com

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Kikkor Micro Print, $120
kikkor.com

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Nike Lunarlon, $100
nike.com


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Gear & Equipment

FootJoy replicates its D.N.A. (golf shoe) for women



After the successful release of its D.N.A. (DryJoys Next Advancement) men's golf shoe earlier this year, FootJoy is debuting a women's version. The company targeted four areas in engineering the shoe for women: stability, fit, feel and performance.

loop-footjoy-dna-women-518.jpgTo achieve these, the D.N.A. ($200) features a foam collar that molds to your ankle/foot. A thin-but-firm outsole decreases weight and increases support. The footbed uses two materials, with a higher density foam around the perimeter for comfort.

The waterproof, full-grain leather shoe comes in four colors and is available Sept. 1.

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Gear & Equipment

Nike's Lunar Adapt shoes will have women wanting to wear them off the course

By Keely Levins

Nike has added the athletic, spikeless Lunar Adapt to its women’s golf shoe line. The two-tone, waffle-pattern bottom is designed to keep your feet close to the ground to help maintain traction. The emphasis is on comfort and the idea that golfers like the flexibility of wearing their shoes on and off the course.

loop-nike-lunar-adapt-518.jpgThe shoe, which features lightweight cushioning on the inside midsole to absorb shock during your swing, comes in three color combos: pure platinum/hyper pink-cool gray (left), light ash/hyper grape-ivory and fuchsia force/light ash-medium ash.

The Lunar Adapt is available now at retail for $100.

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