Editors' Choice: Gear & GadgetsApril 12, 2017

Best Golf Cleats & Spikes

Remember when the original purpose of nonmetal cleats was to avoid damaging greens? Lately, there's been a rush to develop golf shoes and cleats with so much traction that NFL running backs are getting jealous. That's why we applaud the re-engineered Zarma Tour. Its softer arms still provide extra grab on your full swing, but they spread out and cushion even the most fragile turf. Takes us back to the old days. Like 1992.

Back then, when the first alternative spikes came out from Softspikes, they were nearly flat discs with slightly raised ridges. A beautiful development for the health of your greens, but perhaps not exactly a one-for-one trade for metal spikes in the traction department.

Over the ensuing quarter-century, cleat makers and shoe designers have pushed aggressively back toward traction. But in so doing, the nonmetal options were made of stiffer polymers and plastics that behaved more like steel. Some even made greens worse than they were in the days of metal.

But the Zarma Tour cushions the turf and your feet while providing better grab thanks to its webbed shape. The key is the use of three kinds of materials, including a soft pad in the center, abrasion-resistant urethane and even extra-durable spike wrench holes. (The latter might be the Zarma Tour's greatest feature. Anyone who has ever bloody-knuckled their way toward removing a stubborn cleat only to have the wrench holes give way like so much Swiss cheese will exult at the Zarma Tour's ease to remove and replace.) Originally introduced four years ago, the design was recently tweaked to further enhance feel and traction, clog less and provide the gentle touch on the greens that so many shoes and cleats have been lacking over the years.

Not to be overlooked is the wear logo on the Zarma Tour. When the Champ "C" turns solid, you know it's time for a fresh set of cleats. And with the Zarma Tour, you'll be making your feet—and the greens—feel better.

Champ Zarma Tour, $11
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