Pros: The comfort and fit you’d expect from New Balance. They’re waterproof, and at $129, very affordable for their level of quality and comfort.
Cons: Only one width and two colors available.
Bottom Line: If you like New Balance shoes already, you’ll love the NB574. If you don’t like New Balance already, a round in these may make you a convert.
Acclaimed shoe manufacturer New Balance is entering the golf footwear marketplace with six unique styles for this golf season. The Massachusetts-based company is bringing both cleated and spikeless shoes to market this year. New Balance’s mid-level offering at $129, the NB574, is between the Minimus and NGB2001 models in price ($119-$159).
Based on the popular New Balance 574 shoe, the offering is described as the 574 shoes plus golf technology. In other words, it is the application of New Balance’s technological understandings about footwear to golf with a premium on comfort, fit, durability, balance and stability.
As New Balance Product Director Carey Langley said, “We were with one of our [Tour] players this weekend, and he said ‘This is the shoe I wear every day.’”
The NB574 and the other shoes in this collection are built from high-quality waterproof leathers and innovative water-resistant mesh fabrics. The 574s, in particular, come with a two-year waterproof warranty.
Reduced midsole drop and lower heel stack height positions the golfer’s foot closer to the ground. The shoe is designed with a wide midsole to enhance lateral stability, and its midsole is built from REVlite material, which enhances lateral stability and support.
Additionally, the Champ Zarma state-of-the-art One-Lok cleat system, the market’s thinnest and lightest cleat receptacle system, positions the outsole platform closer to the ground than other cleated systems.
Speaking with Mr. Langley, he indicated that the company’s emphasis is on creating light, stylish looking shoes that get a golfer lower to the ground that offer all-day comfort. Repeatedly, he said the NB574 is the shoe for the golfer looking to walk 36 holes in a day.
- Price: $129.99
- Sizes: 8–12, 13, 14, 15
- Widths: D
- Weight: 11.7 oz
- Colors: White/Red and Grey/White
What do we expect from our golf shoes at a minimum? Comfort, stability, reasonable waterproof-ness and style, I think. Perhaps there are shoes out there that will take five strokes off your game. However, I’m yet to see said shoes.
Certainly, the NB574s clear the low bar we’ve set. They are light and comfortable as advertised, and there is a distinct sensation of being low to the ground. Between that and the style of the shoes, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing golf spikes at all.
Certainly, there’s no drop off in traction from what would be expected as a function of the lower spikes and height. The additional cleating on the bottom of the shoes beyond the screw-in spikes provides plenty of grip throughout the swing.
Overall, the sensation when walking the course is one of walking in a quality pair of sneakers that happen to have spikes in them.
The One-Lok spikes are easy to remove and install as advertised, and an amateur test of the 574’s “waterproof-ness” proved the shoes are quite impervious to water. Throughout the swing, the shoes perform as one would expect a quality golf shoe to, with the appropriate balance between flexibility and stability.
Looks and Feel
Aesthetically, the NB574s follow in the recent trend of sneaker-style golf shoes with an appealing blend of leather and mesh and prominent New Balance “N” logos. A simple white/black/gray scheme with red accents creates what would be a relatively conservative sneaker. In the world of golf shoes, however, the design hits all the right notes and is a balance between the overwhelmingly plain golf shoe of yore and today’s busier models.
From a comfort standpoint, the 574s are immensely easy on the feet. Upon sliding your flippers in, this will be immediately discernible. While walking, too, the shoes are in the upper-tier of comfort among golf shoes, fitting well in both the heel and toe.
If you’ve worn and liked New Balance shoes casually/for other sports, you’ll likely love the 574. And if you want a golf shoe that is similar in appearance to a sneaker, the 574 will surely appeal to you.
This is a great shoe for the casual golfer and the golfer who isn’t looking for something incredibly dressy or expensive that will sustain him (or her) through multiple weekend rounds.
Ultimately, the 574 offers the comfort, style, and stability golfers want and New Balance has done a first-rate job with their initial effort in the golf sphere.
On the course? Off the course? Adidas’ new adicross line has you covered
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.
Review: Nike Flyknit Elite golf shoes
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).
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.
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.
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?
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.
Review: Biion Golf Shoes
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
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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