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Review: FootJoy DNA Shoes

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Pros: The FootJoy DNAs are an excellent all-around shoe, comfortable enough that you won’t be disappointed if you find yourself lingering in the pub post-round without street shoes, and functional enough to wear in a casual round with your buddies or a business round with your boss or client.

Cons: The edges of the spikes near the toe might be undesirably eye-catching in your periphery, and not everyone is a fan of the split-toe construction.

Bottom Line: These are serious shoes with a modern sensibility, both in their heft and waterproof nature and the obviously high amount of technology that went into their production

Overview

As befits a Tour-level shoe, the FootJoy DNA (MSRP $220 for standard laces, $240 for FootJoy’s BOA lace style, which tightens from the back of the shoe) delivers very nicely in all aspects, from its modernly sensible aesthetics and the amount of technology that has been devoted to the shoe. Style, comfort, functionality: yes, yes, yes.

My “day job” is in the advertising and PR business, so I would be remiss not to introduce the FootJoy DNA (which stands for “DryJoys Next Advancement”) in the inventive way in which FootJoy introduced them to me: piece by piece. Don’t worry, though; this review will take well under five weeks to process.

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No. 1: First came “Comfort” in the form of the DNA’s 3D FoamCollar. Splayed out and separated from the whole shoe, it looks like a large, spongy gray mustache. But as part of the DNA, it helps mold the upper part of the shoe to the ankle, which is important because excess movement of one’s foot in one’s shoe during the golf swing can sap away power and compromise balance and comfort.

No. 2: Next came “Fit” in the form of the DNA’s SnugFit Tongue. It is made of similarly squishy material to the 3D FoamCollar, which is meant to aid similarly in comfort. It helps hold the laces region of the shoe to the top of the foot without putting too much pressure there. Once again, the name of the game is both comfort and stability. The Tongue also aids with breathability, which is an underrated feature that becomes very important as the temperature rises.

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No. 3: Next in the Deconstructed Golf Shoe meal came the “Stability” course: FootJoy’s NitroThin TPU Outsole. TPU stands for “thermoplastic urethane.” This feature is the most obvious piece of technology on the shoe, which makes sense because it is kinetic base of the DNA’s total functionality. It houses nine softspikes pushed farther out to the edge of the shoe than I have ever seen—in fact, the edges of the under-the-big-toe spikes on each shoe are visible when one looks down at one’s DNA-shod feet. This might irk some very persnickety people; it does not bother me. There are also all manner of ridges and pips in between the spikes that provide further traction

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No. 4: The final individual shoe part to arrive is “Cushioning”: the Xtra-Thick FTF FitBed. In layman’s terms, it is the sole of the shoe. It is very substantial, especially in the heel, and pretty thin in the toe, which is by design. The instep portion of the sole is molded slightly upward, which further ensures the snug-yet-comfortable fit that is a hallmark of the shoe.

After this four-week primer, the entire shoe arrived and was, in short, worth the wait. My pair is mostly white with a handsome navy blue-and-back portion, which bleeds into the color of the outsole. The laces are navy blue as well, but FootJoy sent me a pair of white laces, too.

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Many people’s first couple days with golf shoes are the least comfortable, owing to the traditional “wearing-in” period. Such is not at all the case with the FootJoy DNAs, which left my feet not at all sore after my first round in them. I cannot help but think that features like the relatively mundane-seeming FoamCollar and SnugFit Tongue have a role in this, since my ankles tend to take the brunt of new golf shoes’ punishment.

For a shoe with a substantial amount of technology—not to mention a softspike-laden outsole, the DNAs are quite lightweight. Certainly they’re not the flyweight M Project shoe from FootJoy, but they are far less heavy than the chunky behemoths of yore. It is little surprise that they have popped up on Tour already.

One expects that as of Jan. 15, they will pop up in the retail golfer’s online shopping cart and that on and just after February 15, they will be on retail golfers’ feet. That day is a Saturday, which is good news for those retail golfers’ employers: a minimum of sick-faking will be needed in order for the public to don their new FootJoy DNAs ASAP.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://www.footjoy.com/Catalog/Category/416″ oemtext=”Learn more from FootJoy” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IK9PD9Q/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00IK9PD9Q&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=OHF2CVE6GN6OCMMP”]

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Tim grew up outside of Hartford, Conn., playing most of his formative golf at Hop Meadow Country Club in the town of Simsbury. He played golf for four years at Washington & Lee University (Division-III) and now lives in Pawleys Island, S.C., and works in nearby Myrtle Beach in advertising. He's not too bad on Bermuda greens, for a Yankee. A lifelong golf addict, he cares about all facets of the game of golf, from equipment to course architecture to PGA Tour news to his own streaky short game.

49 Comments

49 Comments

  1. matt whiteford

    Mar 16, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    My new Footjoy shoes have PINS stud insert system.
    In 3 rounds of golf I have lost 5 studs?
    Will never buy Footjoy again, very poor design, will also tell my pals to avoid them.

  2. steve

    Jan 9, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    purchased DNAs this past August, played two rounds in them in club tourney in Sept and lost 3 spikes. worst quality golf shoe ever made. retailer would not take back, so I call Footjoy and am told that since they are over 30 days old, 32 days to be exact, that they would have to review them and determine what issue was….told that it could take 4-6 weeks…purchased shoes for $199. I’ve played in Footjoys since I was in high school, some 25 years ago, and will never purchase another pair. I understand shoes can have problems but the reply from Footjoy has turned me into a dedicated non-customer. I hope you have better luck with yours.

  3. Ernie Epitropoulos

    Jun 27, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I bought these shoe anticipating a great comfort feel and was not disappointed. However after just one round in an outing(rode in a cart) I was missing a spike on the right shoe! After reading more reviews this looks like a chronic defect in these shoes! Seems FJ is using a new spike that is causing this problem. Took them back to the retailer for a return and refund.

  4. liz

    May 23, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    my husband says these are the absolute most comfortable shoes he has ever worn. The comfort is matched by the frustration of replacing the spikes every round he plays. Today he told me that he had to replace two of the spikes three times during his 18 holes of play….he rode in a cart too.

    • terry

      May 26, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      agree, day one and I have replaced the same spike 3X, very frustrating and that was when I rode in a cart, what happens when I walk which I do a lot….not a good early trend, comfort yes, but stability is important

  5. Hamjack

    May 6, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Great shoes, except I lost two spikes the first time I wore them, and none of the shops around me carry replacements yet.

    • Herb

      Aug 7, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Spike pin system sucks. Loved the comfort and look of these shoes, but lost three spikes today, the first time I wore them. Totally unacceptable. Do not buy these shoes.

  6. Bobby Bottleservice

    Apr 20, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    overpriced and ugly.

  7. CT

    Apr 20, 2014 at 1:17 am

    Most comfortable shoe FJ has ever made. Worth every penny. I have never felt like my normal shoes are less comfortable after a round until I got these! They are like walking on air.

  8. Scott

    Apr 3, 2014 at 12:08 am

    I was so excited for these to come out. Then I saw them in person. They look so long. “Clown shoes” came to mind. I ended up getting a pair of Nike Lunars instead.

  9. Rich

    Mar 30, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    These shoes are the most comfortable ones i’ve had yet. On the sad side i’ve somehow managed to take out 4 spikes off them within owning them for 3 weeks. Really disappointed about it!

  10. pat du golf

    Mar 23, 2014 at 1:51 am

    Nobody can beat ECCO shoes on quality and comfort, albeit pricing…Ecco for life

  11. austin t,

    Mar 16, 2014 at 8:36 am

    First thing I did was change out the white spikes for black spikes and you couldn’t even notice them anymore. Now that they use the PINS cleat you buy the Stealth black cleat by softspikes, it’s made for this shoe. Put them in and you’ll swear you don’t even notice the spikes

    • Ryan

      Nov 25, 2014 at 3:00 am

      Did you have any problems with the softspikes falling out like the standard FJ ones?

  12. Chandler

    Feb 18, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I got a pair and they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever had. After two rounds of walking though the left toe spike fell off. I contacted FJ’s service department and they sent me a whole pack of replacement spikes. Foot joy for life.

  13. Tony

    Feb 17, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Footjoy Classics for me. I have 13 pair.
    Timeless designs and they have and will outlast anything from any current offerings.

    • Jordan J. Caron

      Apr 16, 2014 at 2:02 am

      Classics are indeed timeless in their style. But the 3 pairs I’ve owned are heavy and not the most comfortable. I’m looking at getting a pair of these as my club has a deal on them right now.

  14. Tony Lynam

    Feb 15, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Great looking shoe, but not the most comfortable FJ out there.

  15. chad ryan

    Feb 8, 2014 at 1:32 am

    They look comfy and sporty….a good replacement for the FJ sports i think. However….I will wait till they closeout and buy them on ebay for $80 after they release the 2015 versions next year. Until then it’s closeout icons!

  16. betterfredthandead

    Jan 25, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Cornhole!

  17. Chad L

    Jan 23, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I know it’s the trend, but just not a fan of looking more and more like we’ve all got alien feet. Hope FJ continues to bring new styles to the Icon lineup. Classic looks.

  18. Mike M

    Jan 19, 2014 at 1:28 am

    look forward to testing these shoes out!

  19. away

    Jan 16, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Just curious, if these are too much $, what is the $ figure you would pay for a quality shoe?

  20. Dahktazayus

    Jan 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Wonder how these compare to the TWs. I know they aren’t that similar but I am deciding between the two

    • Rich

      Jan 15, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      As Tim said below, these are leather. I believe the TW’s are synthetic. You can’t beat a leather upper in a shoe. Go with the FJ

  21. larrybud

    Jan 15, 2014 at 8:49 am

    I would NEVER pay > $120 for shoes. Too many deals out there. especially since all of mine wear the liner out at the heel, no matter the price.

  22. MV

    Jan 15, 2014 at 5:47 am

    They look very similar to Adidas Adizero. Price are not so similar though.

    • Retlod

      Jan 15, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Agreed about the spooky similarities to the adiZero line. No experience with these FJs, but the Zeros are great…as long as you don’t mind leaving temporary cleat marks on greens.

      • Ciarán Hegarty

        Mar 5, 2014 at 5:40 pm

        The Main difference is the fact FJ are leather and the zeros are synthetic. so that were FJ win!!

    • Nick

      Jan 15, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      They will retail at 189.99. So 10$ more than the adizero. Not a huge difference for a shoe that will probably be more stable and comfortable in my opinion.

      • brad

        Apr 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm

        Having both I can attest, they are a much better shoe than the Adizero Tour. I like both and can’t yet comment on the breath-ability in hot weather, but from a comfort and stability standpoint they’re not even in the same league.

    • MV

      Jan 16, 2014 at 2:20 am

      MSRP $220 for standard laces, $240 for FootJoy’s BOA lace style

      • Nick

        Jan 16, 2014 at 5:08 pm

        MRSP does not mean what it will sell for. I work at a golf store. I have seen nike bags that have a msrp for 200 and sell for like 130. The MSRP does not mean everything for the actual price.

        FootJoy D.N.A. – White/Navy
        Price: $189.99
        worldwidegolfshops.com

        • Nick

          Jan 16, 2014 at 5:09 pm

          And 209.99 for the DNA’s with the boa.

          • Joe

            Feb 7, 2014 at 3:57 pm

            Nike is hilarious with their MSRP (as are almost all companies). Look at some of their SQ drivers from back in the day. The MSRP was always at least $100-$150 more than the MAP price.

  23. Billy

    Jan 15, 2014 at 12:54 am

    These look nice. Probably will get a pair. Pricey though.

    And some people were complaining about $180 for TW 13, 14 shoes.

    • brad

      Apr 28, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      Seriously, these are 10X the shoe the TW is. The TW13 is without a doubt the worst golf shoe I’ve ever put on. I bought them on a whim, and got burned…which surprised me given the quality of the rest of the TW line. The DNA’s make the TW shoes look like flip-flops.

  24. High priced!

    Jan 15, 2014 at 12:25 am

    200.00+ for non-leather shoes….

    Yup.

    • Rich

      Jan 15, 2014 at 6:35 am

      Did the story mention what the shoe’s upper was made of? I must have missed it…….also, what is split toe construction? That was never elaborated on in the story but mentioned in the cons.

      • David W

        Jan 15, 2014 at 10:03 am

        They are just talking about the seams down the middle of the front of the shoe.

        • Rich

          Jan 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm

          Thought that might have been it but wasn’t sure. Thanks Dave

      • Tim Gavrich

        Jan 15, 2014 at 10:40 am

        High priced! and Rich–

        My bad omitting mention of the material of the shoe’s “upper.” Quoth the FootJoy website:
        ~ ~ ~
        Performance Leather
        ChromoSkin™ leather, developed by Pittards® of England, is a supple, lightweight and durable leather, offering two year waterproof protection.
        ~ ~ ~
        So it is leather.

        –Tim

        • Rich

          Jan 15, 2014 at 3:34 pm

          Thanks Tim. Thank goodness. I was hoping footjoy wasn’t going to synthetic uppers like some others in their premium shoe. Can’t buy any decent golf clothing that’s not synthetic these days unless you pay a fortune for it so was crossing my fingers that shoes weren’t all going to be going the same way. Cheers

    • Paul

      Jan 15, 2014 at 9:51 am

      Just to clarify, they are a leather upper unlike the Adizero. They are a pittards leather which is one of the highest quality leathers there is.

  25. Chris

    Jan 15, 2014 at 12:16 am

    My first question would be; do you have to have your club shafts lengthened? 🙂

    • David W

      Jan 15, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Honestly, one of the first standard style (not street or anything like that) golf shoes I’ve seen from FJ in a while that I like. I would never pay anywhere close to that for golf shoes though.

    • David W

      Jan 15, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Not sure why my comment went under you as a reply, wasn’t meant to be.

    • brad

      Apr 28, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      lengthened? Why?

      • Jeff C

        Jun 10, 2014 at 3:52 pm

        Some golf shoes seem to have such a thick sole (see Adidas tour 360s) that you could be an inch or two taller (slight exaggeration!) meaning longer clubs 🙂
        I like these and may replace my ageing dryjoys.

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Apparel Reviews

On the course? Off the course? Adidas’ new adicross line has you covered

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Furthering golfwear’s trend toward the more casual and versatile in a big way, Adidas today unveiled a new line extension: Adicross.

Urban inspired. Decidedly non-traditional. The Adicross line (styled “adicross”) leverages Adidas’ clothing and footwear styles from other arenas and reimagines them for wear on the fairway. Available December 1, the line brings Anorak jackets, henleys, hoodies, joggers, and even an Oxford to the golf course.

And before you clutch your saddle shoes in terror, remember, this is a line extension targeting a particular segment of the golfing population, not a total change of course for the entire Adidas Golf brand. If you’re wondering who represents the segment in question, think Erik Anders Lang: filmmaker, irrepressible golf enthusiast, and host of Skratch TV’s Adventures in Golf.

Lang hosted a launch event in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District warehouse space where he sat down with Adidas execs and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for a chat about the new line. He praised the performance aspects of the five-pocket pant and the footwear styles, in particular.

As for golf’s top-ranked player, regarding the Adicross line, DJ told us the line is much more in keeping with stuff he’d actually wear than the baggy shirts and khakis that were the uniform of golf when he started out on tour.

“This is a line that I’ll wear all the time,” Johnson said. “I can wear it to the course and then go meet some buddies for lunch, and I’m not a walking poster for golf.”

From the Stretch-Woven Oxford, to the jogger pant, to the Adicross Bounce footwear, every item Dustin Johnson wears in picture below is intended for both on- and off-course wear.

“Adicross is the lifestyle brand that golfers everywhere have been waiting for,” said the world No. 1. “This is something that I’ll wear when I’m traveling to a tournament, practicing at home, or even headed to the gym.”

The aforementioned versatility of the Adicross line is very much a function of the materials: No-show sweat wicking technology, nylon-spandex blends (featured in the five-pocket pant and short), Primeknit (featured in Icon Polo and Jacket). These are clothes that are ready to wear to the office, but stretch, are light enough, and offer enough comfort to play 18 holes in.

“We wanted to challenge ourselves to design a line that would aid in helping athletes in their game, their life and in their world,” said Chad Alasantro, senior designer, men’s apparel at adidas Golf. “adicross is a perfect blend of hidden technology, fused with a creative aesthetic.”

 

The Adicross line also boldly brings street-inspired footwear to the golf course, retooling Adidas’ ultrapopular Bounce design to support the foot and grip the turf during the golf swing (and resist water during dew-sweeping early morning rounds)

“Adicross was designed as a result of the feedback we were hearing from our core consumer,” said Dylan Moore, Creative Director, Adidas Golf. “Like everyone else, golfers live in a complex, busy world with many diverse interests. They expect more from less and demand performance out of what they wear.”

The centerpiece Bounce features an ergonomic fit, offset wrapped saddle with multiple eyelet rows for customizable lacing, and a non-marking adiwear rubber spikeless outsole that features 181 strategically-placed lugs for a green-friendly grip.

The Bounce will be released in January, and additional styles will follow in February.

Regarding said “additional styles,” you can spot a few in this promo video. 

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Apparel Reviews

Review: Nike Flyknit Elite golf shoes

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OK. Let’s discuss the elephant in the Flyknit Elite golf shoe room straight away: A percentage of golfers will never wear a high-top golf shoe, regardless of how well it performs. Likewise, a percentage of golfers will not wear sneaker-style golf shoes.

If you don’t find yourself in one of the groups above, however, beyond aesthetics, the Flyknit Elite presents a viable option if you’re already a Flyknit wearer in other shoes, or are looking for lightweight spikeless shoe with ankle support (and more ankle support than the Flyknit Chukka offers).

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Appearing on the global sports scene during the Sochi Olympics, Flyknit footwear featuring Flyknit technology has been a fixture in other sports for the past few years. The Swoosh brought the TPU yarn technology and high-strength support fibers to golf footwear with the Flyknit Chukka and Flyknit Elite to market in June.

The tech is aimed at offering lightweight support, and the precision weave allows targeted areas to stretch and others to support. The company indicated the concept was born out of “runners a shoe with the snug (and virtually unnoticed) fit of a sock.” Breathability is the hallmark of the knit upper, and the sock-like, mid-height collar prevents debris from entering the shoe.

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While the shoes aren’t waterproof, they do have what Nike calls “dew protection” along the upper’s edge to keep feet dry in wet grass. Obviously, another element of the Flyknit imperative is to use fewer materials is less overall waste, for which our landfills thank us.

The sole, of which a picture is worth more than a thousand words, features what Nike calls an Integrated Traction pattern, which offers a grip at least commensurate with any spikeless offering.

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For this review, I was sent the Flyknit Elites in the Black/Clear Jade/Glacier Blue/White colorway. Two other colorways, pictured below, are also available. The shoes come in sizes 7-12, with half sizes in-between, as well as sizes 13 and 14, and sell for $270.

Here’s the essential question for potential purchasers of the Flyknit Elite: There are bulkier shoes on the marketplace with more stability. There are spike-laden shoes on the marketplace that offer more traction. However, to get a lighter shoe with the Flyknit’s performance and aesthetic characteristics, is that trade off worth it?

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Below is a quote from Nike Staffer Jamie Lovemark about the shoes. And yes, he’s paid by Nike, but he could also be wearing the more traditional Lunar Control line of shoes as he plays for his daily bread.

“I always have guys come up to me and ask about (the shoes),” Lovemark said. “They always want to know if they have spikes on them and if the traction is good, which has never been an issue for me with these shoes. Plus, I like the fact that they have a different look. There’s nothing wrong with standing out when you’re on the course.”

No doubt you’ll stand out. And in giving these shoes a spin, there is likewise no doubt that they are lighter and more fitted to the foot than any offering I’ve come across personally. There’s also more of a feeling of rootedness or connectedness with the ground than many spikeless models offer.

Ultimately, the Flyknit Elite is an athletic shoe you can comfortably and capably play golf in, while, you know, having a commendable shoe game, if that’s your thing.

[wrx_retail_links productid=”102″]

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Apparel Reviews

Review: Biion Golf Shoes

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Pros: Comfortable, lightweight and distinctive. Biion shoes are a unique option for those looking for a splash of color in their wardrobe. Considering all of their five shoe styles, there are a total of 50 different colorways available — a dream come true for golf fashion lovers.

Cons: Despite their unique design and wide variety of colorways, some feel that the looks of the Biion shoes are a bit too aggressive for their tastes. For a smaller group, the barefoot sensation was unfavorable.

Who They’re For: Biion’s blend of traditional aesthetics with modern polymer technology is unlike any other in the golf shoe market. If you are the “trendsetter” in your weekly foursome, it’s worth considering the many options offered by Biion.

What you need to know about Biion

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When the founders of Biion Footwear started their company, they sought to mix comfort and versatility into a shoe that truly stood out. They settled on a spikeless, slip-on design made entirely of Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), a lightweight and rubber-like material similar to that of Crocs sandals.

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Functionally, EVA is a great choice of material, as it’s not only soft but also resilient, meaning that it will form to your foot during a round without permanently deforming afterwards. In addition, EVA is highly water resistant, meaning that even after a long, hot day on the course, the shoes won’t absorb your sweat (e.g. unlike a pair of boat shoes). The shoe did pick up dirt and grass stains fairly easily due to its low profile and all white upper, which would be a problem if not for the EVA construction, which can simply be hosed down or thrown in the wash in between rounds.

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Intended to be worn without socks, Biion shoes also feature patterns of small holes all throughout their upper surfaces. This feature, along with the tiny bumps lining the inner sole called “nodes,” works to enhance airflow and breathability while also providing “a therapeutic massage with every step.”

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Appearance

Offered in five different styles (Classics, Saddles, Brights, Wingtips, Patterns), each with nearly 10 different color combinations, it is definitely hard to pick one favorite. My two favorite pairs are the black-and-pink “Brights,” and the white-and-blue Brights, but I ultimately settled on the white version for this review.

brights

One key point I found was that, in order to be worn properly without socks, one should go down a size from their typical golf shoe size. So if you wear a 10, try Biions in a 9.

fit

Performance

Unless I’ve been doing something wrong this entire time, I would guess that I am like most golfers in that I don’t often play in rubber-like shoes, without socks. After getting used to this new sensation by playing a few rounds in the shoes, I found myself mostly impressed with how they performed. The EVA construction makes for a firm, yet cushioned insole, with the massage nodes being noticeably helpful in keeping ones feet from getting too hot.

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Due to the low profile of the shoe, I could easily feel the slope in the greens, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that my feet were sufficiently supported in pretty much all lies. The one exception to this is that, depending on your course conditions or how off-line you’re hitting the ball, you may find yourself having to dump sand or wet rough clippings out of your shoes often because of the “holey” design of the shoe.

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And while I’m not so sure about those of you with 115-mph club head speeds, I can say that I certainly never felt like I was on the verge of “swinging out of my shoes” (literally). As I said earlier, playing golf with this kind of shoe on is a fairly significant change for most golfers. Within the extent of the rounds I played (one with, one without a cart) with the Biion shoes, I really enjoyed the fit and performance. That being said, a small group did say that the overall feel is just a tad too far out of left field for them. For such an extreme design, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Overall, the reviews were favorable among those I asked.

Takeaway

With an MSRP of $99, Biion golf shoes aren’t a bad option for those who look to add something new and different into their golf wardrobe. While their looks may not be for everyone, especially purists, the shoes offer a different approach to golf footwear that ought to be given a try.

[wrx_retail_links productid=”100″]

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