Golf-shoe performance starts at the bottom. "The golf shoe is a walking shoe, so it must be flexible," says Per Aagren, general manager at Ecco's golf division. "But it must have lateral stability, too." To address that, ECCO's Flexor GTX ($200, eccogolf.com) features carbon fiber in the outsole. The HI-TEC CDT Super Power mixes thermoplastic urethane ribs in the leather toebox to provide an upper with a more consistent shape ($175, www.hi-tec.com).
The new ADIDAS PowerBand incorporates a thermoplastic-urethane shell fused to the leather upper that cradles the foot ($140, adidasgolf.com). The NIKE Air Max Dual D features two levels of cushioning in the midsole ($125, nikegolf.com), and the spikeless FOOTJOY SoftJoys' proprietary rubber sole supports a removable internal foot pad ($70, footjoy.com).