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Review: Oakley Carbon Pro 2 Golf Shoes

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Pros: These offer the complete package: they’re comfortable, good-looking, unbelievably stable, totally waterproof and have great traction. No break-in period required, either.

Cons: They’re $200 a pair and only available in three colors on Oakley’s site: white, ivory and black.

Bottom Line: Oakley’s Carbon Pro 2’s are designed to meet the performance needs of the best golfers in the world, which they do splendidly. While they’re sporty golf shoes at heart, their tasteful styling makes them a fit for both younger, hipper crowds as well as traditionalists.

Overview

Now that you know Oakley makes golf shoes, here’s the next thing you need to know. The company’s most premium golf shoe, the Carbon Pro 2, was designed to be worn by two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson, who leads the PGA Tour in clubhead speed (and most likely turf destruction with his feet).

If you haven’t see a slow-motion video of how Watson’s feet move during his 125-mph swing, make sure to checkout the one below from the PGA Tour’s 2014 Waste Management Open.

[youtube id=”SyQ3ErB52yA” width=”620″ height=”360″]

Oakley designers reasoned that if they could build a shoe that helped Watson improve his footwork, then that shoe would likely help all golfers improve their footing, which technologies like force plates continue to prove can lead to more power and control. That’s why the Carbon Pro 2’s sits lower to the ground than any of Oakley’s previous cleated golf shoes — remember, a lower center of gravity improves stability — and use carbon fiber in their midsections to stiffen that area without the addition of too much weight.

The Carbon Pro 2’s weigh 16.74 ounces and have a two-year waterproof warranty. Their uppers are constructed of full grain leather, while their midsoles are made with compression-molded EVA. The outsoles include a high-traction TPU plate, which means that there are tons of little plastic nubs on the bottom of the shoe to help increase traction, as well as a nine-spike PINS system that is sold with Softspikes’ Pulsar cleats installed.

IMG_2591
Above: The Carbon Pro 2’s in white. 

They’re available for $200 in three colors on Oakley’s site: white, ivory and black. Sizes range from 7 to 12 in half-size increments, and sizes 13 and 14 are also available.

Fit and Feel

The most important part of buying (or in this case reviewing) a pair of golf shoes is the first part; when golfers try them on for the first time. What kind of golfers would wear shoes that didn’t feel good on their feet? I’d hope only a reviewer who needs to play several rounds in them for a story.

Luckily for me, the Carbon Pro 2’s were impressive right out of the box. I take a size 11.5 (U.S.) in most brands, although every once in a while I’ll need a size 12. The Carbon Pro 2’s were great fit in 11.5 and provided ample room in my biggest trouble spot, the toe box.

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Above: The Carbon Pro 2’s in black. 

Modern footwear design has led to almost all golf shoes feeling great out of the box, but there are a few things worth noting about the Carbon Pro 2’s that puts them in the upper echelon of comfort.

  • Many performance golf shoes have gotten so light in recent years that the materials that surround the foot have become extremely thin, making them feel more like a lightweight running shoe than a golf shoe. The Carbon Pro 2’s uppers are pretty thin at 1.35 millimeters, but they retain the plushness that I remember from some of my favorite older models. Needless to say, they’re much lighter.
  • The “Octo-Stick” liner inside the Carbon Pro 2 sounds gimmicky, but the simple silicon-coated insert does an excellent job of keeping the foot – and especially the heel – in place during walking, helping eliminate some of the friction that can cause blisters.
  • Oakley made the end of the Carbon Pro 2’s tongue out of a rubber-like material that’s lighter, softer and more stable than leather or knit materials, which keeps the tongue from wrinkling over time and allows it to sit flatter against the top of the foot when a shoe is tied. That adds to the stability of the shoe, which I’ll discuss more later in the review.
  • Yes, the Carbon Pro 2’s were really stable when I was swinging, but they were pretty responsive and comfortable when I was walking thanks to the grooves on the outsole that Oakley calls “Coreflex.” That makes walking 18 (or 36 holes) a lot more enjoyable.

Performance

Maybe the biggest compliment golfers can pay a shoe is that they hardly notice it.

Think about it: if your shoes don’t fit properly, you’re constantly fidgeting with your socks or the position of your foot to make your feet more comfortable. And if traction is an issue, you’ll be weary of debris in your spikes and the terrain you’re standing on. That’s a lot of wasted energy during the 4-or-so miles golfers walk each round and the 4-or-so hours they spend on the course.

It didn’t take too many holes for me learn that the Carbon Pro 2’s wouldn’t cause me those problems.

IMG_2593
Above: Oakley’s Octo-Stick is a silicon coating on the insole of the Carbon Pro 2 that limits foot movement to improve energy transfer and comfort. 

The first thing I noticed during testing was the stability I felt from the shoes when I was hitting full shots. My left foot, which as a right-handed golfer is the foot that I hit into during my downswing, resisted the “rolling and twisting” that I’ve experienced from some models. That made me feel more comfortable swinging my longer clubs, in particular my driver, as I’ve been known to slip from time to time.

Certainly the new spikes and fresh traction on the bottom of the shoes played a role, but the stability I enjoyed was about more than that. The Carbon Pro 2’s did an excellent job of wrapping around the midsection of my feet, keeping them more stable during my swing that any shoe I’ve ever tested.

Oakley Carbon Pro 2 Review
Above: Oakley uses real carbon fiber as part of its “Dynamic Motion Control” system to add stability to the shoe without adding too much weight.

It’s almost as though the Carbon Pro 2’s improve stability from the inside out. If your feet don’t move that much inside your shoes, then your shoes can’t move that much, right? The Carbon Pro 2’s are a testament to that.

But how are they in the rain?

In my last round with the Carbon Pro 2’s, I played 18 holes in a downpour. It was a nightmare that required rain gloves, a rain jacket and added permanent mud stains to the bottom of a perfectly good pair of pants, but it was a fitting conclusion to my testing procedure.

I wondered just how waterproof the Carbon Pro 2’s would be, and additionally, since my pair of shoes were white, how they would look after such a round. I’m happy to report that my feet were the only dry part of my body after 18 holes, and that the shoes were no worse for the wear.

carbonpro_2_14055_319_f_RGB_2_1800x1200_300_RGB
Above: The Carbon Pro 2’s in ivory. Notice how the outsole and upper portion of the shoe are bridged with protective materials that limit staining and help keep moisture outside the shoe. 

So how exactly could the conditions ruin a pair of pants and not stain my shoes? If you look at the picture above, you’ll notice the transition between the Carbon Pro 2’s outsole and the upper portion of the shoe is protected with stain-proof plastic, which gives the shoe a smooth, one-piece look. It also keeps mud and other debris from getting trapped in any crevices and staining an all-white pair of shoes.

Had mud made its way toward the Carbon Pro 2’s laces, it likely would have required a cleaning session to bring back the all-white look, but I was lucky to only have had a mud problems around the edges of their soles where the shoes are protected.

The Takeaway

These days, many golfers are interested in the versatility of spikeless golf shoes that they can wear to work or to dinner, and Oakley does make a few products in that category. I admit that I am fan of spikeless golf shoes and have really enjoyed their versatility in recent years, but the performance of the Carbon Pro 2’s has reinvigorated my interested in spiked models.

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 1.03.02 PM

While most golfers will see their performance drop if they were to play golf with Bubba Watson’s driver, I’m willing to bet that many of them could actually benefit from wearing a pair of Watson’s golf shoes in the proper size, particularly if their shoes are starting to lose traction.

That’s why I’m encouraging golfers who think a little traction and stability might help their game to seek out a retailer with the Carbon Pro 2’s in stock and see if they fit you as well as they fit me.

If they pass that all-important test, I’m confident you’ll enjoy what they have to offer. If they don’t, well, I guess I’ll be hearing from you in the comments section below.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://www.oakley.com/en/carbon-pro-2/product/14055″ oemtext=”Learn more from Oakley” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008OH9N9U/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B008OH9N9U&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=YXZ5A2WF36KU5SXC”]

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Coy

    Oct 14, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    $200 dollars, no thanks.

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  6. Grant

    Jul 2, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Can anyone speak to the volume of the shoe? I have a regular width foot, but a small volume foot (meaning I normally need to pull the laces so tight on my FJs that the inner and outer uppers touch and cover the tongue completely). Still looking for that “low volume” shoe. Could this be an option?

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Jul 2, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      I take either an 11.5 or 12 depending on the shoe, and an 11.5 was perfect for me. It was maybe even a touch longer than I needed, although that didn’t cause me any problems. So if you are usually an 11.5, you might be able to get away with an 11 without having to lace them too tight.

  7. tbowles411

    Jun 11, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    DNA’s are busting at the sides of the shoe. That’s a big no for me. I’ll give these a look!

  8. James

    Jun 11, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Loved the original carbon pros. Extremely comfortable and stable. Unfortunately the left one stopped being waterproof after 6 months so had to return them.
    Funny Golfraven mentioned the O on the front. It is in an area that flexes and after a few rounds it looked really crappy and distorted.

    One last note, Bubba didn’t win the WM open this year, nor was there a playoff. Kevin Stadler won in regulation.

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Jun 11, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      I did not see that issue in my review process, James, but will keep an eye out for it.

      Thanks for reading and the edit on the Waste Management Open.

    • Jason Hat

      Jun 12, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      These happened to mine as well, after two rounds the O started to crack/flake off where it creases. Not a big issue for me, but I was surprised how quickly it started to degrade. Those two round were in some pretty soggy conditions. Otherwise they stayed dry and comfortable.

  9. Golfraven

    Jun 11, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    One think that puts me of buying this shoe would be the big O on the top. Put it on the back or side like other companies do or just dimply leave the Logo out. Just look at Footjoy, they don’t fo such sonsense. Bit of a shame if those are confi.

    • Tom

      Jun 12, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      Unfortunately even logo placement is a breach in trade marks.

  10. Jason

    Jun 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    I have these and they’re extremely comfortable. I still think Foot Joy’s DNA might have an edge as far as cushioning, but I liked how low the soles are on the Carbon Pro 2’s.

    Highly recommend.

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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Crossrope weighted jump rope & app

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An 18-hole round of golf averages out to just under five miles of walking, which on its own is a good workout. Once you throw in some potential uphill trekking you get some serious cardio too, but if you all looking for a quick workout between rounds of golf look no further than Crossrope.

Crossrope – The details

Crossrope is a system of the weighted jump rope that allows you to quickly switch the weight of the ropes you are using to boost your workout—they range from 1/4 lbs all the way up to 2 lbs depending on the kit you start out with. There is an accompanying app that helps you go through multiple workout routines and is available free, or you can upgrade to the entire library of workout routines along with more workout tracking options.

This is NOT your middle school jump rope

The handles are heavy duty and feature precision bearings to allow the rope to move smoothly around as you go through a routine. They are also ergonomic and fit into your hand naturally, which making gripping easy, something that is really nice when you’re swinging a 2 lbs coated steel cable around. The handles also come with a fast clip system to make changing cables depending on your selected workout easier too.

The ropes themselves are made from braided steel and are almost impossible to tangle, allowing them to be easily transported and stored when not in use. All in you are getting a premium piece of workout equipment that is effective and easy to store—hard to same the same thing about a treadmill.

When it comes to a workout, skipping rope is one of the most effective cardio workouts you can do, and with Crossrope, you can get both cardio and low impact weight training when using the heaviest ropes, and follow along with the guided workouts.

As someone that hadn’t used a jump rope in over a decade, starting out lighter was a nice way to ease in before moving up, and I was pleasantly surprised how easy and fun some of the workouts in the app were. If you are looking for a fun way to add something to your workouts, or you just want to try something new to get you into golf course walking shape, this could be right up your alley. To learn more check out crossrope.com

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Athalonz EnVe—The best golf shoes you’ve never heard of

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One of the coolest parts of being in this part of the golfing world is being able to shed light on smaller companies that typically get overshadowed by their bigger corporate brothers.

So, this post is about one of those products that is definitely competitive against top golf shoe companies, and it’s made by a company called Athalonz, which is based out west in Arizona. Typically known for its innovative baseball cleats and insole packages, Athlonz newest addition takes the patented design to the world of golf with the EnVe golf shoe.

These have started appearing on the world long drive circuit due to the amount of traction they get, allowing players to swing harder. So for the last few months, I have gotten to wear them and see if they are as good as the company claims.

Athalonz EnVe: Living up to claims

The main selling points of these shoes are focused on two things

  1. Design that delivers more power and stability
  2. Custom comfort that lasts all day

These are somewhat difficult to combine into one shoe, and though they are on the heavier side, Athlonz are completely worth it for the benefits. It is obvious that they made strides to hit each box on the list for a great shoe. The patented design has been adapted from their baseball cleat and introduces a spikeless golf shoe with a circular design that allows the player to gain traction through the golf swing. This gives a player the chance to swing harder and faster without losing their footing. They also offer insole packages that help with correct bodyweight placement to help add an extra layer of consistency.

Secondly, it’s very noticeable that there was plenty of thought given to comfort with a roomy toe and custom insoles to fit your style. Additionally, ankle padding helps to provide more stability and comfort.

On another note, they have a good sense of style with a more classic, casual take. In addition to the pictured white/brown color, there’s a black/grey colorway as well.

After multiple months of wear in all types of conditions, these shoes have performed great for me with all the traction I need and while feeling great throughout the round.

Verdict

I am a person who tends to support smaller companies when I can if they make good products. Any support for them goes a long way—especially in the golf business. Since these shoes will set you back about $150, I wanted to be sure they are worth it for the money and they absolutely are. Seriously, for anyone looking to boost their shoe game and help alleviate aching feet and ankles, give these a shot.

 

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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII

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Every golfer should have an accurate, reliable, easy-to-use rangefinder. With the new Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII, you get all of that and more in one of the smallest, lightest packages on the market.

Not only do you get a ton of features, but when you consider these devices start at only $199.99 for the 20 G II and then $229.99 for the 20i GII ( slope adjusted version ), you get one of the best values in a rangefinder from one of the most well-known consumer optics companies in the world.

Review: Nikon CoolShot 20 GII and 20i GII

First Target Priority and 8-Second Continuous Measurement: “First Target Priority” is Nikon’s way of making sure you are picking up the flag and not a tree behind your intended target. There is nothing worse than thinking you have your distance dialed in to then have a shot fly over the green. With how quickly it lets you know the ranger finder is locked, getting that distance and double-checking can happen remarkably fast.

In the eight-second continuous measurement setting, the rangefinder will continuously measure the field of view as you scan the target area for approximately eight seconds. This setting is great when playing unfamiliar courses or trying to figure out the exact spot to a dogleg, tree, or hazard on your intended line.

Bright, 6x Monocular: Nikon is known for its glass and multi-coating technology, from telephoto camera lenses to rifle scopes, if it’s Nikon glass, it’s going to be clear, fog-resistant, and high-contrast for easy viewing. From a viewing experience perspective, the Coolshot 20 GII’s 6x monocular has an adjustable diopter for sharp focusing, along with long eye relief—meaning you can keep your glasses (or sunglasses) on when acquiring your target.

Slope-Adjusting ID Technology: With the 20i GII you have the option to get the slope-adjusted distance for any shot thanks to Nikon’s ID Technology. The mode can be turned on and off by the user to comply with USGA rules to make it legal for tournament rounds. Having tested it out on hilly terrain it’s easy to see why so many golfers mis-club going into greens when elevation changes become a lot more dramatic.

Review

The Nikon Coolshot 20 GII’s size and weight make it ideal for anyone who regularly carries and wants the benefit of knowing distances but without having to worry about weight—it weighs about the same as a sleeve of balls.

The size allows you to hold the units stable. However, I could see for those new to the rangefinder space, it could take some time getting used to when first getting acquainted with it. The best bet for this is to take it to a range or just step outside with it on your next walk and get used to hitting targets before you take it to the course—plus it makes for a fun game to see how good you really are at estimating distances.

Overall, for the price and size, it is one of the best rangefinders on the market. Plus, with a five-year warranty, you can be assured of years of use with the Nikon CoolShot 20 GII rangefinders.

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