Cleat CentralBefore you rush out and spend more than $100 on a new pair of golf shoes, first consider the condition your current spikes are in. Odds are, your golf shoes are poised to last for several seasons, but in the alternative-cleat era, polymer, rubber and plastic cleats require replacement at twice a year to keep your shoes performing how they were intended to. Better yet, a set of new cleats run less than $15, far less than a new pair of shoes cost.
The cleat market is almost as varied as the shoe selection, with different sizes, shapes and performance attributes. To sort out the selections, here are a few to help you decide as well as a few must-haves when it comes time to change spikes and protect your shoes.
Already a leader in the cleat market, Champ Spikes' most advanced spike is the Scorpion Stinger spike, designed for supreme gripping power. Made of a pliable and durable TPU material, the Scorpion Stinger spike features three large teeth for initial gripping traction, and three smaller teeth for added support and stability. Also unique, the Scorpion Stinger has a visible wear meter in the center section of the spike. When the “C” wears off, you know it’s time for a replacement. Available in a variety of thread sizes and spike locking mechanisms, Champ Spikes can fit virtually any brand of golf shoe. For more information, visit www.champspikes.com.
One look at the spike design and you’ll understand how Green Keepers got the name. The Diamond Back spikes feature six outwardly angled teeth that are designed to provide excellent gripping action with minimal surface contact. This lends solid support and stability, without damaging the green or causing excessive indentation. Made of advanced polymers designed to inhibit cracking and wear, the Diamond Back spikes promise to last longer than other spikes on the market. Available in multiple thread sizes. For more information, visit www.gkspikes.com.
Designed by the same folks who brought us the Black Widow spike, the Pulsar features a unique geometry and shape that easily makes it SoftSpikes best spike to date. Each leg features a tangential “flexor knuckle” that flexes upon ground contact for a secure grip. The design also features added support in key regions of each leg, for enhancements in the cleats’ lifespan and durability. Also, the ends of the legs are rounded and flatted for less scuffing and scratching of the green. Color coded, the Pulsar is available in a variety of locking and thread options. For more information, visit www.softspikes.com.
In what resembles a Champ Scorpion Spike on steroids, these specially designed spikes (made by Champ Spikes) for Hi-Tec’s CDT golf shoe are geared for custom traction. By adjusting the orientation of the spike’s two elongated teeth, golfers can position the spike in the direction where traction is needed the most. Like the Scorpion Spikes, the Hi-Tec CDT spike features a visible wear indicator in the center of the spike to inform when a spike change is due. For more information, visit www.hi-tec.com.
Do you love your golf shoes so much that you wish you could wear them all the time? No worries, Champ Spikes has made it easy. The Street Caps are designed to convert any golf shoe into a street shoe, without having to subject your spikes to harsh pavement or worse, walking around with empty spike threads. Simply screw in and you’re ready for that elegant evening. For more information, visit www.champspikes.com.
Champ Fast Spike Wrench
If there is one caveat with the alternative spike, it’s in removing them. The two-pronged metal devices rarely do the job, let alone do so without inflicting pain the fingers. Alas, the Champ Fast Spike wrench makes removing and replacing spikes a cinch. Much like a socket wrench, this tool makes twisting and unhinging tight spikes simple thanks to a contoured, ergonomic handle. Settings can adjust to turn right, left or keep in a steady neutral position for simple installation and removal. Multiple bits are included, all of which function in most drills and electric screwdrivers. For more information, visit www.champspikes.com.