As a walking golfer, I am always on what seems like a never-ending search/trek for the most comfortable golf show known to mankind.
Let me preface by saying I’ve played golf off and on for about 40 years and that I’ve tried nearly all brands (within my means) at one time or another. Early on I wore tennis shoes or running shoes. But as I got older and bigger, I wore a pair of my dad’s castoffs – big, heavy, leather soled brogues with metal spikes. I bought Keiser M3 Plus and used it regularly. Since I was in my teens the resiliency to bounce back from a long 18 hole walk was quick and relatively painless. I didn’t know any better and I’m not really sure if there were options but the very first pair of golf shoes I bought were nearly identical to my dads except that they were black and white and had tassels over the shoelaces!
As I began to play golf more regularly – and as I grew older – I began to notice that walking was beginning to be problematic because my feet hurt! The remedy was better, more comfortable shoes.
And so the quest began.
Fast forward twenty five plus years past Reebok, Dexter, Florsheim, Rockport, Adidas, Nike, HS Trask, Footjoy… more Adidas and I found what I believe was the answer… the Crocs Ace Golf Shoe. Here was a shoe that breathed, gripped well and was as comfortable as I demanded. I could finally walk a course and not feel like my feet couldn’t take another step. I even wrote about them on several websites.
Then as suddenly as they appeared – Crocs removed them from their staple of products. I wrote and asked Crocs if they were bringing them back. Crocs said they would do so with the next season. Unfortunately, the Ace Golf Shoe never did come back. And since the molded-in “spikes” on my one pair were no worn down, I was again out of luck.
But then I saw Freddy Couples wearing a nice looking shoe with no socks at The Masters! I investigated along with the rest of the world and found that his shoes were to be offered by Ecco at a fairly reasonable price. Reviews said their comfort was incomparable. I bought a pair at the very next demo days at my favorite range.
True to the word, they were very comfortable and I wore them happily for more than a season. But still my feet hurt after a round. Not as bad as they used to, but more than they did when I had my Aces.
A few months ago I saw that Hank Haney had partnered with Crocs. Crocs was soon going to be offering the by-product of their union – a new golf shoe! I was ecstatic. I pre-ordered a pair and a couple weeks ago, they arrived at my doorstep.
I’ve played a couple rounds and worn them a several times to the range. So far… to borrow a line from the original Tiger, “they’re GREEEAAAT!”
Truth be told, when I tried them on the first time my initial reactions was that they were a little snug. But I continued to wear them around the house (not to worry, the “spikes” are molded ala the Ecco shoes but still provide plenty of traction) and they started to ease up a bit. By the time I hit a medium bucket of range balls they’d stretched and begun to mold to my foot as is the nature of Crocs. I wore them as I drove home and actually got in the house before I remembered I was still wearing golf shoes. Even with the non-marking and soft molded spikes that’s a no-no (I must obey the wife). One of the cool things about wearing Crocs is that when you take them off after an extended wear, the soles of your feet feel soft and comfy. Really! The big positive is that they weren’t sore. Again that was after my first wearing of them – and then only to the range for an hour or so. The big test was coming in two next days as I was going to walk 18 holes.
Any trepidation I had about the fit of my Hank Haney Crocs was immediately thrown out when I put them on prior to leaving for the course. They fit perfectly – and comfortably.
The round was non-eventful except that it was extremely hot and made walking the back nine impossible (to continue we had to take carts – ugh!). I didn’t shoot particularly well (Hey, Crocs can only do so much! LOL!) But my feet never felt better throughout – and after – a round of golf.
Walking the fairways was a breeze. Even on uneven lies there was no problem – my feet didn’t slide in my shoes and traction was never a problem.
It used to be that I couldn’t wait to finish a round so I could get to my car and change into more comfortable shoes (typically Crocs’ Santa Cruz or Yukon) or flip-flops to provide instant relief from fatigue.
But not any more! My new Hank Haney Crocs are so comfortable I could wear them all the time and never be happier.
For the purists who believe golf shoes should have saddles and replaceable spikes or at least look athletic, these may not be for you. They’re more “Vans-like” in appearance with molded soles. But I bet with the possible exception of hand-fitted and hand-made golf shoes the Hank Haney Crocs are more comfortable than any other golf shoe money can buy. Crocs has three different models of them for men and one for women. All come in an assortment of color combinations. Mine are the Bradyns.
Well, I should say, my first pair are the Bradyns… I feel there are other pairs in my future.