June 2014

Check out some of the best stuff we've seen this year

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When it comes to new shoe technology, sometimes the best advancements come from well beyond the fairway.

Tiger may be out of golf for a while (get better, dude!), but there's no reason his shoes need to miss out on the action. The new Nike TW '14 Mesh golf shoes ($169) have Nike-Free technology, meaning they flex and bend for a full range of motion. Nike goes so far as to put a disclaimer on its Nike-Free shoes, saying that these shoes generally make your feet work a little harder than rigid shoes do. In our mind, that's a good thing, since healthy feet are generally happy feet. And with footwork such a critical component of the golf swing, these shoes may be just what many of us need to activate the huge power source we all have (but few take advantage of) beneath our feet. The rugged built-in sole limits slipping and the Dynamic Flywire tech lends a glove-like fit. Comfortable, and athletic-inspired, look for these shoes to be a popular choice among fitness-conscious weekend warriors this summer. Nikegolf.com Nikegolf.com

G/FORE, who happens to make our favorite premium golf gloves in a huge assortment of color options, was founded by the mega-popular fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli (yes, that Mossimo). "Moss" (as his friends call him) not only has the chops to play some really good golf, he also knows what it takes to make a fashion-forward golf shoe that beautifully masks some serious technology on the inside. The suede on each shoe is water-resistant, the footbed is an extremely light material, and the colorful, logoed sole is more than just good-looking—it was rigorously tested for maximum traction during the swing. But that's not the best part. These shoes (Gallivanter shown, $250) are so insanely, incredibly, almost ridiculously comfortable that we never want to take them off. So—we don't. These shoes double as the perfect kicks for the office and for the golf course. And, yes, we know they're a little pricey, but look closer. These shoes are both golf shoes and work shoes, so consider them the ultimate 2-for-1 deal. We're sold! gfore.com

When a company dedicated to making high-performance running shoes decides to start making golf shoes, how could we not take notice? There are a handful of new styles available, but so far our favorite is the New Balance Minimus Sport. "Minimus" essentially means minimal toe drop, which means the shoe doesn't slope more than 4mm from heel to toe. This helps the shoe lend a more natural, comfortable feel. And in case you're wondering, there's plenty of cushion here—it's not really like playing barefoot; it's infinitely better thanks to the REVlite midsole cushioning. At only 7.2 ounces (that's extremely light) and with built-in traction, the Minimus Sport feels so good you could easily wear them for a hearty jog around the golf course. No, Really, we mean on that dirt path that surrounds the golf course. Like many New Balance shoes, these come in wide or standard width—an option rarely seen in golf shoes. Newbalance.com

Some of our favorite putters through the years were the ones PING made of beryllium copper, and while copper is no longer used by PING, the new Karsten TR Putters ($149) have the look and feel of copper thanks to a copper-toned PVD finish over an all-steel body. The variable True Roll grooves on the putterface (deeper in the middle of the face) help the ball roll end over end, and the Elastomer insert behind the putterface absorbs vibration for a softer, shock-free feel. Oh, yeah, the shaft is adjustable for length, making it a cinch to find your perfect fit. That said, we couldn't help but love the color, first and foremost. The classic B60 design has never looked so good. Comes in five models. PING.com

David Edel makes some seriously great stuff! The new line of Torque Balanced Putters ($295) are true works of craftsmanship, and look as though they belong more in a glass showcase than a golf bag. But that's not what they're made to do; instead, they're destined to perform on the course. Each Torque Balanced putter is designed with the toe lighter than the heel, which according to Edel, reduces face rotation during the transition from backstroke to forwardstroke, making it easier to get the putterface square to the target at impact. Comes in three models (mallet, semi-mallet and blade), with one variable weight port toward the heel in each model and PIXL face insert technology. To call these putters "exquisite" would be an understatement. Edelgolf.com

Wait a minute. A putter that stands on its own? We've seen that before, but never like this. The new True-Balanced Putters ($199) from Bridgestone employ an insanely light EVA foam grip and graphite shaft, which lowers the putter's balance point all the way down near the hosel. So, yes, these putters do stand upright on their own, and they feel incredible. The True-Balanced putters eschew the counterbalancing trend we've seen as of late in putters by virtually eliminating it, and that's why we really like these. They practically swing themselves. And the feel is unlike any putter we've tried in 2014. Go to your local shop and try it. You'll be impressed. Bridgestonegolf.com


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