With more than 1000 exhibitors and more than 10 miles of aisles to walk, the annual PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando may seem like a daunting task for those that want to walk the entire show floor. Some attendees reported to taking more that 100,000 steps during the four day run of the 2016 show, held January 26-29 at Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge and the Orange County Convention Center in central Florida. But one must remember that most of the attendees of this annual extravaganza are golfers and golfers are used to doing a lot of walking.
In a sport with so much walking, it’s important to have and wear the right shoe. The PGA Show happens to be an annual showcase of shoes. Now, more than ever, golfers have a choice to make when it comes to golf footwear. Spikes, spikeless, plastic, nubs and more when starting at the bottom of a golf shoe. Styles range from traditional saddle shoe style shoes to casual loafer types to many that look like the close cousin of running shoe.
“Comfort, quality and style are what customers are looking for when it comes to (a shoe),” said Kankura Golf representative, Tim Miles, who was showing dozens of potential retail buyers and members of the media, the Kankura line of golf shoes.”
2016 looks like a great year for shoes and for golfers looking to get quality and value in a new pair of golf shoes that will be worn the entire year. Here are some of the hot shoes and shoe companies that were making big strides at the 2016 PGA Show.
It’s no surprise that FootJoy leads the way once again when it comes to golf shoes, but there is a new “twist” for 2016, literally. Boa Technology and their Boa Closure System has made their way to golf shoes and FootJoy. Boa Technology is found across a wide range of categories including snow and winter sports, cycling, running, outdoor/trail, motor sports, water sports and equestrian events. For golfers and FootJoy, wearers, get a mechanical reel, steel laces and unparalleled comfort since you get to choose how tight or loose you want your shoes to be on and off the course. Disengage the system when you want to remove the shoes and head home from the course. FootJoy paired with Boa is a win-win for golfers everywhere.
Based in Denmark, Ecco has been making quality golf shoes for a long time. For 2016, there are now offering in the range of 100 different “Skus” and some great new colors. Their Ecco Cage Evo is leading the charge in the new year as it’s a one-piece design that offers a continuous wrap from the heel through the midsole and up to the toe. Up and coming PGA Tour star, Will Wilcox wears Ecco shoes on tour. Expect the retail price of the Cage Evo to be about $190 when it debuts.
If you are looking for something a little different, Canada’s Biion Footwear offers and ultra-light golf shoe that is kind of a cross between Crocs and a traditional golf shoe. Biion’s slip-on golf shoe is one of the most comfortable shoes you will find anywhere and it moves with your body as you move. Biion selections come in a variety of colors from mild to wild, for men, women and kids.
Another import when it comes to golf shoes would be Kankura from Portugal. Kankura may not have as many “skus” in the U.S. as Ecco, but theur make a great looking and functional golf shoe. Kankura’s Oporto looks like a casual shoe you could wear to the office or out to dinner, but it’s made to hold up under the toughest conditions you might face out on the course. A four-layer footbed provides comfort and stability and the waterproof leathers and membrane will keep you more than dry.
Oofos may seem like an outlier at a golf show, but for those that need a recovery period after walking 18, 36 or four days at the PGA Show will appreciate Oofos, a little company that makes a high tech sandal that absorbs shock, reduces stress on your feet and cradles your sore arches. Those wearing Oofos at the PGA Show kept saying that they allow your feet to breathe and that’s important for recovery. Oofos are a no-brainer for the serious athlete that needs their feet to recover after training or competing. They retail for $45-$60.