The absence of Nike from the 2016 PGA Show hasn’t take away from the fact that they are trying to rewrite golf fashion in 2017. From tights for women to polo shirts with no collar to high top golf shoes for both men and women, they are doing their best to flirt with tradition. And doing it well I might add.
The days of the traditional golf shoe are over. With today’s selection of golf shoes created from new materials and designs, it is no longer is it necessary to go home after round and soak your feet in Epsom salts. The overall design and functionality has changed too. Metal spikes are now a thing of the past – and banned at many courses. It seems to be more about comfort these days; and appearance. It’s always about appearance too. And Nike’s Flyknit Chukka Golf shoe has something to say about that.
The Flyknit Chukka is nothing new to Nike. It’s a street-style shoe that was launched in 2013 and was initially showed up on the medal stand by U.S. Olympians at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Now, two years later, it makes its debut on the golf course.
The first thing you will notice that defies tradition is the shape of the shoe. It more resembles a basketball shoe than a golf shoe. The high top design is something completely different. The upper goes above the ankle and features a new manufacturing process that allows designers to micro-engineer every stitch of the Chukka for a feather-light, formfitting one-piece upper, while at the same time reducing manufacturing waste and materials. The Flyknit material conforms to your foot for a perfect fit every time.
The second thing you notice when you pick up the shoe is how incredibly light it is. I can’t remember ANY high top sneakers being this light. But typically with something this lightweight, you sacrifice support, right? Not so fast. Nike employs their Flywire technology for support and lockdown. The lightweight Phylon midsole also aids in extra stability and comfort Plus, the fact that the shoe fits more like a sock when laced up gives it added stability as well.
Now, as I recall from my last pair of high tops, they made my feet seat a lot more – consequently they weren’t always the freshest smelling shoes in my closet. Not surprisingly, Nike has addressed this issue as well. Their NikeSkin technology offers supreme breathability and adds in water resistance for added protection on the course.
The outsole is something I have seen before in other models of spikeless Nikes. It’s a spike-free design with Nike Free-inspired flex grooves in the rubber outsole and raised nodes that allow for natural movement and enhance ground feel. It provides great traction on a number of surfaces however it’s not something I would feel confident in playing after a rainstorm or in the early morning due.
I have not come across many other shoes that are this comfortable to wear for a round of golf. The high top design of the upper provides more stability than I thought I would get, primarily because it fits more like a sock than a shoe. Nike pros such as Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka and Patrick Rodgers have been spotted trying these shoes out. And, if they’re good enough for those guys then they’re good enough for me.
The Nike Flyknit Chukka shoes are available for both men and women. For men, the Chukka is available in two color combinations: Black/White and Blue/White. There is a little more color to the Blue and White though. There are actually two shades of blue (Nike calls them Racer Blue and University Blue, although which university, I’m not sure), and the Flywire is actually green. To me, this makes the shoe even better looking. Women can choose from Black/White and Pink/White.
If they’re not available at your local golf retail store now, they will be shortly. I suspect that because of the novelty of the high top design, they will fly off the shelves rather quickly. For more information or to order online, go to the Nike website at www.nike.com.