The Local Knowlege

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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Style

Adidas looks to keep golfers well grounded with new Gripmore line of hybrid shoes

By Marty Hackel

When hybrid shoes debuted a few years ago, the goal was an all-in-one product you could wear from car to course without having to change. Still, concerns over the lack of spikes potentially compromising traction remained.

Adidas hopes to assuage such fears with its new Gripmore line, available June 1. The design incorporates 243 points of contact with the ground, maximizing grip without traditional cleats.

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The company didn't ignore style in the Adicross Gripmore ($150) or Pure 360 Gripmore Sport ($130). I tested the Adicross (above) and love how it offers more comfort and stability than previous hybrids. Never mind me, though. Justin Rose has been wearing the Gripmore since March.


 

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Style

Game improvement: 5 slip-ons that will keep your feet styling

By Alex Holmes

No matter who you are, chances are you've got some gear in your game that could use an update. While we don't advise retooling everything at once, trading up a few staples at a time is the ticket to solid style. Each week we'll pull a dud from the dark depths of every man's collection and suggest a simple substitute. Check your nostalgia at the door -- it's time for your tune up.


So you think your dad's tassle loafers are a little too classic for your commute to the course, but you've long since stepped down from the helm of the S.S Fraternalus -- leaving your boat shoes to the college bros. It's time then to check out five sweet slip-ons that will take you to and from your next round in style.

Vans -- $45
vans.com   

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Rivieras -- $90
rivieras-shoes.com

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Swims -- $165
swims.com

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Supra -- $70
Suprafootwear.com

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Seavees -- $88
seavees.com

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Gear & Equipment

Puma debunks idea mesh golf shoes can't have support

By Mike Stachura

It's easy to believe the minimalist movement in golf shoes comes with sacrifices. Lightweight, less-structured, spikeless models must mean less support and traction, right? Puma's latest entry offers evidence to the contrary.

Puma-Biofusion-shoe.jpgThe Biofusion Spikeless Mesh ($120) attacks those concerns with an external cage-like design on the inner side of each shoe to provide flexible support. Meanwhile, the shoe's collar uses memory foam to hold the foot in place by conforming to the contours of the ankle.

The carbon-rubber outsole has angled lugs for traction. A series of grooves in the outsole also makes the shoe more flexible and, with no drop in height from heel to toe, allows for a feeling of more consistent contact with the turf. At a little more than 11 ounces, the shoe maintains a lighter overall weight, too, thanks to the moisture-wicking mesh upper.




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Gear & Equipment

Ogio is giving it a go in golf shoes


There is an unknown when a company branches out from its specialty to launch a product in a new category. The team at Ogio, however, believes its on solid footing (pun intended) as it steps beyond golf and travel bags into the golf shoe market in 2014.

Race.WHT (430).jpgOgio Race

Its foursome of models--the Race, City Spiked, City Turf and Sport--trade off the company's reputation for sturdy, stylish products. All four feature the company's Synkfit insole, which quickly molds to a golfer's foot and aims to minimize movement inside the shoe.

City(Spiked).WHT.BLK.jpgOgio City Spiked

The top-of-the-line Race ($170) stands out with its leather outsole and ventilation system to keep the foot from overheating. It's also designed with a wide-toe area for increased comfort and stability.

City(Turf)WHT.BLK.jpgOgio City Turf

The entire line is expected to be available in stores in May 15.

Sport.WHT.BLK.jpgOgio Sport

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Gear & Equipment

Five questions with Nike TW '14 designer Tobie Hatfield

Including Sunday's win wearing the Nike TW '14, Tiger Woods has won eight times since switching to a sneaker-like golf shoe he designed with Tobie Hatfield, the mind behind the Nike Free running shoes. Hatfield answers five questions from Mike Stachura.

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Cruel shoes: Tiger Woods' precision extends to Hatfield's shoe design. Photo: Marc Lecureuil

Q: What's the challenge in designing golf shoes?
Golf has been one of the more unusual sports for me to work on because the golfer is on so many different types of terrain in one round, even in one hole. I mean, a gym floor is a gym floor wherever you go. In track, everything's the same. In golf, it's crazy. It's anything and everything.

Q: What changes were made for this year?
Tiger wanted to build upon the idea of mobility with stability. We've brought the dynamic Flywire technology of our other shoes to the golf shoe. It works with his foot when he's moving, but when he's at address and the club is moving, then it holds him in really nicely, and he can feel that power translate into the ball.

Q: How is a minimalist, "natural motion" design important in a golf shoe?
You want to feel what's underneath, not in a bad way but in a good way. The easier it is for the computer that's your mind to understand those differences, the better you're able to make adjustments and stay balanced. Balance is so key.

Q: How is Tiger as a shoe designer?
It felt like I was talking to this amazing computer. He remembers every shot he's hit in his life, what it felt like at the moment of impact, and he's very precise in how he describes things.

Q: How important is it for Tiger to win with this technology?
I can have all the technology in the world, but if the greatest golfer wasn't wearing it, it would be much more difficult. If anyone is going to change what golfers wear on their feet, it's Tiger.


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Gear & Equipment

Augusta Shoe Show

By E. Mike Stachura

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Go green: TW '13 LE showing seasonal colors.

As Spike Lee's alter ego used to say in the Nike Air Jordan TV spots, "Money, it's got to be the shoes."

Tiger Woods' new golf footwear, modeled after the Nike Free running shoe, might not be the sole reason he has regained his No. 1 ranking, but its distinctive enough to inspire a special version tied to the Masters, which Woods has won four times.

Nike's TW '13 LE has green, yellow and red accents on the outsole, the top eye-stay and the tongue. It'll be in stores this week in limited quantities. Enough for Tiger's sometime golf partner Michael Jordan. Mars Blackmon? Maybe not so much.


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