We love it when we see companies push the envelope, and Kikkor is one those companies that always seems to deliver. Kikkor has been at the forefront of the recent transition from traditional golf shoes to street-influenced golf shoes and this year they took it a step further by introducing the New Heights.
While these certainly aren’t for everyone – they are a welcome addition to an industry that is slow to embrace change and evolution. As new styles and options become available for younger and more progressive golfers – my hope is that we’ll start to see more companies take chances like Kikkor has been doing over the past few years.
When I first saw the New Heights I was confused and excited at the same time. A high top golf shoe was something that I really had never considered (although Nike Golf has had the Nike Bandon available for a few years now) – but I was genuinely interested in how well they would perform on the course.
From an aesthetic viewpoint – the New Heights look like a high top golf shoe that you would expect from Kikkor. The shoes immediately reminded me of the Osiris NYC83 skate shoes. The New Heights have a smooth leather with some features and details painted on the shoes. While I wasn’t a fan of the paint, the rest of the shoes are nice from a look-and-feel standpoint.
When it comes to performance – I was surprised by the New Heights. While I expected the shoe to be a pure novelty play – they actually perform really well and are surprisingly comfortable to play golf in.
I’ve sworn off carts and my home course isn’t an easy walk (walking 18 feels like 27 at a normal course). I put the New Heights to the test immediately by slipping them on at home, driving over to the course, and playing in them for a range session followed by walking 18. I’m happy to say that they held up great and my feet felt just fine after getting home.
There were a few things that stood out to me over the five or six rounds that I’ve played in these shoes…
The first thing that stood out was that the shoes are lower to the ground than most of the other street-inspired shoes on the market. The lower profile shoes are a big win for me. The new Tour Athlete and Tour Class shoes from Kikkor have the same low profile sole that feels more like an indoor soccer shoe than a skate shoe. This feel makes walking much more comfortable and I’ve really come to appreciate this style of golf sole more than any of the others out there.
The other thing that I wasn’t expecting from the shoes was the soft foam around the top and tongue of the shoes. Kikkor has put their Komfort Foam in the high top portion of the New Heights and it results in a nice comfy feel around the ankles and stays out of the way while you’re walking the course. While the soft uppers won’t provide as much support as full leather, it does give some support while avoiding rubbing into the back of your foot.
The last thing to mention – as if it’s not obvious – is that these shoes stand out on the golf course. You won’t see too many other people playing in high tops and even if you do – the color ways will still make sure that others notice. I tested the Crowd Pleaser, but the Whiteout is sure to turn heads as well.
While I wouldn’t recommend the New Heights as a pair of shoes to wear everyday on the course – they are certainly an interesting occasional golf shoe that have the potential to help lead the way to the further evolution of golf shoe style. They surprised me with their performance and these shoes are a welcome reminder that there are companies out there that aren’t afraid to bring new ideas and concepts to market.Find this author on Google+