The golf shoe game out there is bad, and it only appears to be getting worse. While there was a resurgence a few years ago with a variety of promising ideas and innovation – good golf shoes appear to be on their way to extinction.
While almost all manufacturers appear to have completely missed the mark -and many are likely on their way to dissapointed sales; Nike is the one company out there that seems to get it. While I’m not a fan of all of their shoes, they get way more right (in both performance and style) than they get wrong. I’d even go as far as to say that there’s not an interesting shoe on the market this year with the exception of those from Nike.
The shoe line for Nike Golf is relatively fluid. New products are released and retired regularly. While we can’t provide you with an exhaustive review of the entirety of the current lineup, I have put a handful of these products to the test. There are others that I’ll touch on that I find interesting (and I hope to cover these in upcoming updates to this article).
The Nike Golf Shoes We’ve Tested
Nike FI Impact 2
I don’t see anyone talking about the Nike FI Impact 2 very often and I’m not sure why. This is an excellent shoe that is perfect for dry conditions and Summer. This is the only pair of shoes that have a permanent spot in my locker.
I love this shoe without socks and have had many 36-hole days without incident. It’s also amazing how new these shoes still look new after so many rounds. The tread pattern never seems to wear down and the material used for the uppers is still in perfect shape.
Nike Lunar Force 1
The launch of this shoe had me really excited. Combining the lunar soles with the classic Air Force 1 styling and Lunarwaverly tread pattern seemed like all of the right pieces to make these one of my all-time favorites. Sadly, it’s not.
While the Nike Lunar Force 1s are a really great concept and the construction is excellent, they just aren’t all that comfortable. Compared to the other shoes from Nike Golf, these were a let-down. It’s possible that these will feel better after they soften up a bit, but I’ve yet to experience it so far. I’ve had them in rotation for about 10 rounds at this point – so there’s still hope.
Overall this a great shoe, just not as comfortable as the other excellent offerings. This is one of my favorite looking shoes that Nike has released to date and the small details (like the embossed shield) are impressive.
Nike Lunar Control 4
The latest iteration of the Nike Lunar Control is a clear winner and while I’ve never been a huge fan of the Lunar Control series, this one has changed my mind. The Nike Lunar Control 4 is an exceptional golf shoe and one that I could easily wear everyday.
The styling is a bit over-the-top for some, but it grows on you quickly. I think this is a great evolution of a more traditional golf shoe and it’s one that performs in all conditions. The waterproofing is great and the feel of the shoe is much nicer than earlier versions of the Lunar Control series.
In much the same way that the Lunar Commands made it on my feet last year in more extreme conditions – I expect that the Lunar Control 4 will fill that gap for this year. I’ve also noticed that I tend to wear these shoes for longer stretches as they simply do everything right.
It’s also worth noting that these are part of the Nike iD program and you can customize just about everything on these shoes for a an extra $40.
This shoe is likely to be retired soon, but it really set the standard for me for an expectation of what a good golf shoe should be.
The styling is simple and understated, the construction is incredibly good and thoughtful, and the durability is better than any shoe that I’ve seen to date. I’ve had a pair of Lunarwaverlys in rotation for two years now and they’ve held up better than any other golf shoe that I’ve worn.
The Nike Lunarwaverly feels as good as it looks and there’s a deep attention to detail that I haven’t seen in any other shoe – even from Nike. It’s also worth noting that the cork footbed in these shoes is the perfect finishing touch – they even feel great without socks in the summer while feeling substantial enough in fall and winter.
(Note: There’s a good chance you can find these at a significant discount right now. On Nike.com they’re currently 50% off MSRP and you can snag a pair for $70 – a legitimate steal.)
Nike Lunar Command
These shoes weren’t my favorite when they were first released and they took a while to grow on me. I’m not a fan of the toe box of this shoe, but it is a very solid all-around performer.
I have a pair of white Nike Lunar Commands that have stood the test of time over many rounds over the past few years. For a whole season these were my go-to wet-condition shoes and they never failed to perform. The waterproofness of the shoes is unrelenting and the tread pattern will come through in the wettest and muddiest conditions out there.
A Few Other Notables
I haven’t been able to keep up with the releases of the new shoes and there have been a few that were recently released that I have high hopes for. I’m hoping to get them all in rotation soon and we’ll update this article with thoughts on these models as they get out an into the review cycles.
Nike Flyknit Chukka
I have a sneaking suspicion that this might be my all-time Nike Golf favorite. While I haven’t played in them yet, I have a few pairs of Flyknit running shoes that I love. The Flyknit uppers are great to run in, so I’m guessing they’ll be great dry-weather shoes to golf in. And they’re Chukkas – bonus points in my book.
Nike Flyknit Elite
These look amazing. With a different sole pattern and top to contrast them from the Nike Flyknit Chukka, they feel like a streamlined version – and you already know how much I’m looking forward to trying out Flyknits on the course.
Nike Air Zoom 90 IT
Another great remake of a classic Nike design. These look very intriguing and the softer construction will likely leave out the critiques that came along with Lunar Force 1s.
Air Jordan 9 Retro
I can fully appreciate a good pair of J’s off the course and I’m looking forward to seeing how they perform on the grass. The shoes look great and it’s nice to see the Jordans out there for the masses.
Have an opinion on any of these shoes? Have you worn ones that we have mentioned? Let us know your in the comments below.