Last month, I was golfing with some buddies in San Diego’s north county. After our round, we hit nearby Stone Brewery, one of GFP’s favorite 19th holes. (Stone has 32 taps and over 100 bottle selections of craft and specialty beers.) As we sipped pints of Ruination IPA, a random dude walks by and sarcastically jokes, “Hey, did you guys go golfing?”
But that’s changing.
Led by brands like Travis Matthew and Puma, a more contemporary take on golf fashion is emerging. And not just with apparel. Golf footwear is beginning to walk away from the old-timey saddle-shoes and hyper-athletic styles that for years have been golfers’ only options.
Enter the spikeless street shoe.
Inspired by iconic old-school kicks as well as surf and skate culture, many of these new-school golf shoes could actually be worn on the street, without embarrassment. Of course, now that this trend has started to gain traction, nearly all the big players have jumped on the spikeless street shoe bandwagon, including adidas, Nike, Footjoy, ECCO, Callaway and Ashworth.
On nearly all spikeless street shoe models, soft spikes have been replaced with a spikeless outsole made up of a lot of little nubs or lugs. Unlike soft spikes, these nubs are permanent and not replaceable. But who knows, by the time the nubs wear down, the spikeless street shoe trend may be RIP.
So, do spikeless street shoes work on the links?
The short answer is yes. Unless you’re a Tour pro generating huge swing speeds and tons of torque, a spikeless street shoe should work just fine.
Interestingly, a number of pros have put spikeless street shoes in play. Fred Couples launched the trend with a pair of ECCO street shoes at last year’s Masters. More recently, Justin Rose won the BMW Championship rocking adiSTREET shoes. If Rose can win at soggy Cog Hill with spikeless street shoes, they’re probably good enough for the rest of us.
Whether or not you play them, spikeless street shoes are a giant step forward for golf.