Pros: Lightweight, stylish and durable, the Kikkor Selects are an excellent casual golf shoe for the money at $120 MSRP. Color schemes range from straightforward white or black to some more adventurous blue, black-and yellow and red patterns.
Cons: If you’re not into “street” style golf shoes, nothing about Kikkor’s offerings will sway you. Also, the shoe is well constructed, but the leather doesn’t feel as supple as others in the market.
Bottom Line: The secondary market of golf shoes is rapidly growing, but Kikkor’s Selects easily provides one of the best values. Even when taking price out of the equation, they are worth consideration for your wardrobe.
Playing golf professionally can seem like an all-or-nothing, feast-or-famine sort of life at times. For every famous, fully-exempt and entrenched PGA Tour player, there are a few hundred who toil in the relative obscurity of the mini-tours, scrapping together a living for a time before bowing out and pursuing other work.
Canadian James Lepp won the 2005 NCAA Championship while at the University of Washington and seemed destined to become part of the former group. But aside from a Canadian Tour victory in 2007, he never found enough success between the ropes to reach the game’s biggest stage with any regularity, save for an impressive run on “Big Break: Greenbrier” a couple years ago.
The Kikkor Selects series reflect founder James Lepp’s relaxed sense of style.
But whereas many struggling professional golfers turn away from the game — to insurance sales or a job with one of their corporate sponsors — Lepp stayed in the golf industry, founding Kikkor Golf in 2008. Lepp’s decision to make golf shoes was a great one for the feet of style-conscious golfers.
“I always wondered why my golf shoes had to be so different than what I wore off the course,” said Lepp. “I always knew there was a market for it. We came out with our first model early in 2010, a few months before Fred Couples wore his infamous ‘sneakers’ while playing the Masters. That let everybody know that such a shoe exists. Now everybody seems to have a pair, whether they’re made by us, ECCO, FootJoy, Nike, Adidas, and on and on.”
The Selects are the newest of seven lines of shoes offered by Kikkor, which range from the fairly traditional Player line to the throwback Airstrip line, which more resemble Chuck Taylors than anything else. The Selects are more toward the Player end of the spectrum, but with the wider and more flat-bottomed look that has come to mark most entrants into the casual-looking golf shoe field.
I chose the “Black Indy” model, with a black full-grain leather upper, white outer sole and electric baby blue bottom and permanent spikes. Although flashier color schemes are available, a slightly conservative approach suited my liking. The Kikkor Selects line provides enough selection to appease attention-getters who want to make a statement with their footwear, but also those like me who prefer a more understated look.
Golfers with classic tastes aren’t left out of the Kikkor club either. “Saddle” type shoes are offered in the yellow-black-gray color scheme, which provide a little extra flair in color scheme to the old-school style.
Feel and Performance
The interior features of the shoe, from the tongue to the two sets of insoles—meant to optimize fit since the Selects only come in whole sizes—are soft and comfortable without feeling mushy. They are also wider than most, appealing to players that complain about the typically narrow fit of golf shoes. The delightful lightness of the shoes also helps cut down on foot fatigue throughout a round of golf or long practice session.
The biggest concern when wearing sneaker-like golf shoes is protection and performance in inclement or overly dry weather, but Kikkor puts those concerns at ease with great support and traction. The level of comfort allows them to be worn off the golf course as well. Hygiene issues aside, you could walk 18 holes wearing the Kikkor Selects, then catch dinner afterwards without feeling the need to change into more comfortable shoes.
Note: It is important to avoid walking on too much rough pavement, as it will wear down the mini-spikes and shorten the life of any “spikeless” golf shoe.
Dollar-for-dollar, the Kikkor Selects are excellent all-around casual golf shoes. Many golfers have paid $200 or more for shoes that deliver no better performance than the Selects. James Lepp and Kikkor have made a strong case for you not to have to with a comfortable yet street-smart golf shoe, for $120 or less.