Oakley is best known for its eyewear, but it also has footwear, and has just introduced what it bills as "the lightest performance golf shoe ever made."
The Cipher weighs in at 260 grams (9.2 ounces), little more than half the weight of its own Full-Auto Tour shoe (499 grams). But that might not be its most interesting feature. The shoes do not have a traditional cleat system. Instead, they use what Oakley calls NanoSpike technology, featuring "thousands of tiny spikes that bite into blades of grass to maintain traction," according to a news release. Moreover, the golfer can replace NanoSpike components as needed.
Traditional spikes increase the distance between the golfer's foot and the ground, according to Oakley, raising the golfer's center of gravity and thus diminishing stability and balance. The object of the NanoSpike technology was to keep the feet as close to the ground as possible without reducing traction.
The NanoSpike technology is employed on three pods attached via a hook-and-loop system. A replacement kit is available for $19.95 and includes six new pods (three for each shoe).
The Cipher already is being worn by PGA Tour players, as well as UNLV's golf team. It comes in five colors and retails for $130.
-- John Strege