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.