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The Loop

'Golf's first minimalist soft spike shoe'

January 27, 2012

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The barefoot running phenomenon continues to seep into the golf shoe business, the latest entry the Barefoot B.E.R.B.S..

Introduced this week at the PGA Merchandise Show here, the Barefoot B.E.R.B.S. bills itself as the first minimalist soft spike shoe. It was designed by Jeremy Berbert, who has played professional golf and owns an irrigation and landscaping business in Westminster, Colo.

"I flew out to Vegas to see a buddy of mine, a professional golfer who is very much into fitness," Berbert said. "He was wearing the Vibram Five Fingers shoes. As a professional golfer myself, I knew that practicing golf barefoot is the way to go. It gives you balance. The only problem is that socially it's not acceptable. You can't go around a ritzy country club barefoot. Unacceptable. Plus, there's slippage. You don't have any traction, any stability under yourself when you're in that type of shoe."

Berbert set out to design "the most comfortable golf shoe ever," he said. "Oliver Wilson wore the Vibram Five Fingers at Dubai [in November of 2010]. His reaction when he was done was that they were not waterproof and they didn't have spikes. So I made the Barefoot B.E.R.B.S. that actually have a unique spike design. We limited the weight by not adding 10, nine, eight or seven, whatever, spikes. We have five on each shoe. And the design allow the perfect amount of stability because of how you swing."

The Barefoot B.E.R.B.S. have a suggested retail price of $139.

-- John Strege