Lightweight Golf Shoes Put Spring In Your Step

Ah, springtime. Flowers blooming. Butterflies fluttering. Golfers itching. No, not from allergies, but the potent sting of Insectia Golfus – better known as the golf bug.

Temperate weather makes spring the perfect season for golf, and for hoofing it around the course as the golf gods intended. While traditional, heavy-bottomed golf shoes can make walking a chore, today’s lightweight footwear is designed with the pedestrian in mind.

Ultralight golf shoes are nothing new, but they’ve come a long way thanks to advances in materials and construction. Those advances, with their fancy acronyms and technical mumbo-jumbo, can cause the head to spin faster than a well-struck wedge shot.

To help you make informed shopping choices, let’s dive in to the latest golf shoe lingo. Feet first, of course:

* EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate): A polymer used in an wide range of products, including hot glue sticks and plastic wrapping, EVA is inserted as a cushion in many golf shoes. EVA’s shock-absorbing properties make it perfect for shoes while the substance is so strong that it won’t wear down, no matter how often you opt to walk rather than ride.

* TPU (thermoplastic urethane): This lightweight plastic forms the “chassis” of most high-end golf shoes. TPU is durable yet flexible and touted for the stability it provides during the golf swing. It’s also waterproof. Speaking of which….

* Waterproof vs. water-resistant: If you’re not paying close attention, this distinction can slip past unnoticed. It can be an important one, though, especially if you play a lot of golf in wet weather or on dewy morns. Simply put, waterproof means water can’t permeate it, no matter how much nor how often agua is applied. A water-resistant surface, on the other hand, usually has limits for how much moisture it can fend off before the microscopic floodgates open. Bottom line: Unless you plan to use them as flippers, water-resistant golf shoes are all you need.

* Sockliner: A concept whose time has come. Sockliners are made from a variety of fibers, fabrics and materials, including EVA foam, and work to keep the feet cool and (yes!) dry. Sockliners improve support – essential during a 4-mile hike around the links – and are typically removable.

* Stinger/Scorpion spikes: These plastic cleats made by Champ, the No. 1 manufacturer of sport spikes, are commonly found on the bottom of top brands’ shoes. These and other lightweight cleats take on many configurations, all designed to grip the turf tighter than a politician’s smile.

Every major golf shoes company offers at least one lightweight model, some weighing in at less than 14 ounces. In fact, today’s old-school leather shoes are featherwights compared to those of yesteryear.

Whether you decide on Nike, ECCO golf shoes, FootJoy golf shoes, Etonic, adidas, Puma, Bite, Oakley, Callaway or another manufacturer, your feet will thank you for slipping on a pair of ultralights.

Happy walking!

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