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.
WRX Spotlight: Etonic Stabi-Loud shoes
Product: Etonic Stabi-Loud shoes
Pitch: From Etonic: “Throughout the years Etonic continued to achieve recognition for its footwear throughout the entire sports industry. From partnering with tennis legend Fred Perry to releasing the signature shoes of NBA All-Star Hakeem Olajuwon, Etonic has shown a passion and dedication to supplying athletes everywhere with the highest quality athletic shoes. Etonic continues to follow its commitment to athletes around the world by producing industry-leading activewear that allows you to achieve your best while feeling your best.”
Our take on the Etonic Stabi-Loud shoe
If you were to think of one Tour player which you would expect to wear the Etonic Stabi-Loud shoe, then who would you pick? I’m confident you all got it right. John Daly is partnered with both Etonic and Loudmouth who collaborated on this shoe, and you’d be hard pressed to find a golf shoe which represented his flamboyant style more than the Etonic Stabi-Loud shoe does.
Looking to create the loudest shoe in golf, Etonic did just that, with bold colors in a zebra style pattern. According to John Holst, VP of Sales for Etonic Golf,
“The Stabi-Loud shoe is truly one of a kind. If you’re looking for an ultra-comfortable, high performance shoe that will stand out on the course, then look no further!”
What’s more, the color sequences they’ve paired together work excellently. The classic zebra look, the black and orange and particularly the companies deep red and black pattern which looks electric.
The shoes come in four different color schemes and are fully waterproof. The shoe also features a microfiber material which makes the shoe extremely comfortable as well as durable.
The shoe hits the retail market in May, and for those who admire the styles of John Daly, Ian Poulter etc. then you’re likely to love Etonic’s Stabi-Loud Shoe. It covers all the bases in terms of comfort, and if you’re looking to stand out on the course, this shoe will undoubtedly help you achieve that.
WRX Spotlight: Puma polos
Product: Puma polos
Pitch: From Puma “A world leader in high-performance sports clothing, Puma launched their first golf collection in 2004 complete with Puma golf shoes and clothing. The collection has gone from strength to strength ever since its creation, with tour pro golfers wearing the range out on the course. With bold colorful clothing to classically sporty and smart pieces, Puma golf is a versatile collection certain to appeal to golfers of all preferences.”
Our take on Puma’s polos
It’s difficult to look past Puma’s 2019 polo collection without seeing its Paradise golf shirt. Showcased by Rickie Fowler during the Island stretch of golf to begin the new year, the unconventional all button up shirt may not be to everyone’s taste, but anyone who pulls the shirt on will likely agree on its comfort. The shirt will channel your inner Ned Flanders, “feels like I’m wearing nothing at all,” and the ultra-lightweight feel combined with the looseness makes it an ideal summer shirt for swinging the club freely on the golf course.
Puma has a lot more polos on offer in 2019 than its Paradise shirt though, and one of the most visually striking shirts of theirs is the Aletknit Radius Golf Polo. The shirt comes in three vibrant colors (blue, white and green), and its camo inspired pattern is subtle and discreet which gives the shirt a cool look without being distracting. Also a lightweight polo, the Aletknit Radius Golf Polo features a clean three button look, as well as a very comfortable fit, and its dryCell technology means you won’t be drenched in sweat this summer.
Then there’s the Rotation Golf Polo which comes in both solid and stripes styles. The shirts offer a very modern feel and look, and you certainly won’t be disappointed with the selection of colors which the shirts come in, with an abundance on offer.
On the throwback front, Puma has you covered with their Nineties Golf Polo, with a striped shirt style and color. There are five different color blocks to choose from which are about as representative of spring/summer as I’ve seen, and the shirts also come with Ultraviolet Protection Factor, which is a nice summer touch.
The Faraday Polo is according to the company itself “one of our best”. Lightweight and one of the softest shirts they provide, it’s hard to disagree with them in terms of comfort level. The only off-putting feature of this shirt for me is the odd unfinished lining around the pocket.
The exhaustive selection of golf polos provided by Puma is impressive, and they’ve covered everything you’d want in a golf shirt in each of their styles. Prices range from $50-$70, and no matter what your taste, you’re bound to find a great summer golf shirt to add to your collection from their 2019 lineup.
WRX Spotlight: 2UNDR performance underwear
Product: 2UNDR performance underwear
Pitch: From 2UNDR: “Inspired by the kangaroo-pouch, we set out to create a high performance men’s athletic underwear, with the versatility of everyday use. Using the most advanced construction techniques and materials, we were able to separate your equipment from your body to reduce unwanted skin-on-skin contact. With more support than a standard brief and improved airflow to keep you cool, the 2UNDR™ products provide the best fit, comfort and style a man could ever need.”
Our take on 2UNDR underwear
There was a lot of big news made this year when Rickie, you know THE Rickie on tour, changed balls, switching to the all-new TaylorMade TP5, and winning only a few events later. BUT another switch for Rickie this year flew way under the radar…and under his fitted Puma pants. It had everything to do with balls, but nothing to with urethane or five layers: I’m talking his 2UNDR Performance Underwear.
From desk jockeys to runners, and everything in between (including golfers) we all want down there comfort. With 2UNDR you get exactly that, thanks to their JoeyPouch technology, which keeps everything together yet spaciously separated for comfort and moisture wicking. I know it seems silly, but speaking from experience: after switching to 2UNDR over six years ago, I have never looked back to the days of plain old cotton, for both day to day and especially on course.
There is a lot of technology packed into each pair of 2UNDR. That, along with some serious attention to detail, make sure you are comfy all day long. The tech in each pair of 2UNDRs includes a reinforced and roll-resistant waistband, precisely placed seems around the garment to prevent any “rub zones,” and, of course, the patented JoeyPouch to keep the precious goods (OK, fine I’ll just say it, we’re all adults: testicles) right where they should be.
For the sake of argument I think having used a product for more than 6 years puts this into the category of “long-term review,” and from this 2UNDR loyalist I have nothing but glowing things to say. The durability I have experienced from the many pairs I have has been excellent, and I take ZERO special care of these; washer and dryer every time and they are the same fit and comfort wear after wear, including a nice fit around the thigh where undies usually lose shape the quickest. The only complaint I could have had was tweaked a few years ago from their first iteration which had the tag on the front sewn on in a little patch. It it now built right into the waistband so it has zero chance of ever falling off.
On the course for me is where these stand out. I’m a Swing Shift user and can’t begin to tell you how many times on a hot summer day my 2UNDRs make that last walk up the 18th hole just a comfy as walking off the first tee four hours earlier. To be real frank they hold everything in place and eliminate the need for that layer of baby powder that you may be used to applying with traditional boxers. The waistband never bunches, even with a shirt tucked in with a belt, which might seem like a small thing but with all the twisting and bending we do as golfers around our midsection, even if you are a cart rider, gives you one less thing to worry about.
Speaking of worrying, just like with so many things with not just golf, but in life, its often the small details that can make or break any product — the expensive shoes that just rub your heel the wrong way, the hat that doesn’t sit “just right,” the location of the second button on a dress shirt (please do yourself a favor and watch Seinfeld if you don’t get that reference). It’s only the things we never think about that are really the most comfortable; like your favorite pair of jeans, or in my case wearing anything but 2UNDR Swing Shifts. The only thing you’ll have to think about is which colors or patterns to choose — there are A LOT!!!
I don’t really say this about too many products, but if aren’t wearing 2UNDR undies, you might need to seriously take a look in the mirror and evaluate your underpants situation. You can find 2UNDR available at most golf shops that know what’s up, or online through their website.
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