Shoes Buyer's Guide 2006

Still wondering what piece of new golf equipment you must have to play your best in ?06? Look no further than the bottom of your feet.

Shoes Buyer's Guide 2006Golf shoes are just as vital as any club in your bag. They stabilize you, help you leverage your body against the turf and, most importantly, provide gripping support and comfort to protect your feet for the duration of the round. Today’s golf footwear features the kind of technology previously reserved for hiking boots, running and walking shoes and even climbing shoes—all wrapped up in one advanced piece of golf equipment.

Speaking of performance, golf shoe manufacturers have taken the golf shoe beyond just comfort and traction, now broadening their focus to a new element in the design of the golf shoe. Weight management, as golf instructors like to call it, is the science of how the body shifts its weight from one foot to another during the swing. More specifically, it’s how the golfer’s center of gravity performs in relation to the toe and heel of each foot, as well as where the golfer’s weight is at impact. The ideal combo is a weight shift that moves to the heel of the rear foot on the backswing toward the toe of the forward foot on the downswing. Golf shoe manufacturers have spent countless hours developing dual-pod soles, variable-flex shoe shanks and multi-density blends of rubber and thermoplastic urethane (TPU) to develop a golf shoe that helps golfers better shift their weight to the correct regions of the foot during the swing.

Wait a minute, so we’re saying that there are golf shoes that actually help you hit the ball farther and more consistently by aiding in a proper weight shift? You bet we are.

Let’s not forget that golf shoes are also more waterproof, more breathable and more durable than previous iterations. Check out a few cool new shoes that have so much technology built in, you’ll wonder why your running shoes aren’t as comfortable as the shoes you wear playing golf. Be prepared for some aggressive styling, too. The classic saddle may soon go the way of the dodo.

Pressure Points Perfected
Golf shoes have come a long way in helping golfers not only better grip the ground, but also aid in shifting weight on the backswing and downswing. For instance, the above illustrates how Hi-Tec’s CDT Power golf shoe places weight in the key heel and ball regions of the foot from the address position well into the finish. Notice how in each diagram, weight pressure is never on or near the center of the foot. This affords not only a better weight shift, but a more stable and balanced action from start to finish. This pod-sole design also cradles the foot arch for better comfort and support.

How To Buy Shoes
“When purchasing golf shoes, a consumer should keep a few things in mind,” says Kenneth Depew, director of golf operations at the Ritz-Carlton Resort in Rose Hall, Jamaica. “Your shoes must be comfortable, so walk around the golf shop when trying them on. Do some knee bends and take a couple of practice swings. Also, make sure to get your feet measured. Try on several brands and styles to compare fit. Factor in your typical playing conditions: Don’t get a shoe with mesh uppers if you usually play in early-morning dew. Instead, consider a pair with a waterproof guarantee. For the truest fit, go shoe shopping in the morning (before your feet swell) and wear your usual golf socks.”
—Scott Kramer




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