I pretty much live in golf shoes. Not that I’m on the course all the time but just because they’re so comfortable, supportive and casual enough to wear anywhere even with a pair of jeans.
Ecco has hogged the top spot for casual golf shoes year after year since Freddie King of Kool Couples was first seen wearing them. And their new Speed line has once again taken pole position for those that love the brand. But what else is out there?
I came across an interesting outfit from Portugal called Kankura who are producing superb, streetwise fashion combined with formidable functionality. The company have embraced a love of the ‘laid-back’ and committed a large part of their line to it. Whether heading for the links or a cruise downtown, this style is ideal. Their Oporto range is what you want to look for but they do traditional brogues also. And their Ladies line looks exquisite - definitely worth checking out. www.kankuragolf.com
Having said that, for sheer out-and-out comfort - I mean walking on ‘fluffy little clouds’, Sketchers Go-Golf line is sent from above. I’m a little shy of some of their designs - there’s a hint of the octogenarian about them but with their super-thick perforated memory foam in sole, you put these on when you’re going to walking a lot. At the same time, they’re more than supportive enough to golf in as I proved when wearing them during the Media Day round. Lovely!
For those of us that believe the golf swing starts from the feet up, there’s a good case for choosing performance footwear and the two standouts at this year’s PGA Show were Footjoy’s Freestyle and Ecco’s Cage. We’re talking about milking every single centimetre of torque and these puppies look and feel like they will deliver. The FreeStyle line was inspired by a colourful tree frog who spends his life any-way-up, his grip’s that good. The FJ shoe ($190) comes with a breathable performance mesh (two-year waterproof protection), extreme cushioning (with a slip-resistance in the heel) and support. If the slightly loud colouring might put you off, opt as I did for the Hyperflex which offers the same support only a little more subtly. ($210) - footjoy.com
Meanwhile, Ecco’s Cage continues the spiked theme with a look so purposeful you could probably scale Mount Everest in them. This is Tour Pro spec aimed at optimum performance. Champ Slim-Lok soft spikes give enhanced grip without damaging the greens while the ECCO HYDROMAX™ treated leather has water repellant characteristics to keep the worst of the weather out; ideal for that trip to Scotland. I haven’t tried these yet but will supplement as soon as I get my hands - sorry, feet into a pair. ($200)