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7 Fixed-Spike Casual Golf Shoes for 2013

Post image for 7 Fixed-Spike Casual Golf Shoes for 2013

Last year was my first complete season exclusively playing a casual fixed-spike golf shoe.  In play were a new pair of the original 2010 TRUE Linkswear Tour shoes, which, by the way, are still my favorite shoes in golf for a variety of reasons.  There is just something about being able to drive to the course and step out of the car ready to go in your golf shoes that makes the game more enjoyable.

Benefits:

+ convenience factor
+ more comfortable
+ little to no break in period
+ lower priced
+ almost every brand has a casual model now

Drawbacks

- Once they lose their tread, it's game over for use on the course
- might wear quicker because most people wear them more than just for the course
- often times only carry a 1-year waterproof warranty
- and some are only water-resistant

In this casual shoe feature, I present some casual shoe options for your consideration for the 2013 season.  The article is designed as an overview of the shoes, and their features rather than an in-depth breakdown of their on course function and longevity over time.  The purpose is to educate you about some of your options for this season, in some cases, options you may have never considered before today.

Asics GEL Matchplay 33

I’ve been a consumer of the Asics brand for several years now wearing their running shoes specializing in motion control for severe over-pronation.  One of the aspects I find most appealing in their running shoe selections is the availability of extra wide shoes up to 4E.  Since their introduction into the golf market, I’ve been wanting to give their lineup a look and felt it would be an easy transition from their running shoes.  Unfortunately, none of the Asics golf shoes are available in wider widths (only M).  This was an unpleasant surprise given the variety of width Asics offers in their other lines.

The “33” in the name of this model is inspired by the 33 joints that allow your foot to move efficiently.  The Matchplay 33s incorporate the GEL cushioning system, and are remarkably comfortable, which you would expect from a golf shoe with running shoe roots.  In fact, the comfort is virtually unmatched in the golf market which is the essential selling point for those who prioritize comfort over any other feature.

Aesthetically, the Matchplay 33 looks cool in gray with the lime green contrast.  The fixed-spike pattern is somewhat aggressive, and reminiscent of a trail running shoe.  The fit is relatively true to size for an M width and feels like it could accommodate a wider foot because of the flexibility of the front of the shoe.  The Matchplay 33’s require no break-in period whatsoever, and are ready for 36 holes right out of the box.

Asics uses a “water resistant coated mesh upper” however, it’s best to wear the 33s when there is little or no chance of rain or turf moisture.  The interior of the shoe is soft, and comfortable, and the insole is removable.  The sole remains very flexible again, as you would expect from this style of shoe.  It’s important to keep in mind that this is a running shoe first, albeit with an adapted sole to improve performance on the course.  For those that need the comfort an athletic shoe provides, this is your shoe.  The fit of this shoe is true to size in a 10 and can accommodate a wide foot given the slight expansion effect of an athletic style mesh upper.

Asics Matchplay Classics

When I first took a look at the Asics Matchplay Classics, I immediately liked the look this golf shoe.  Its casual look would work perfectly both on and off the golf course.  In fact, I found that I wanted to wear them more away from the course, as they look great with jeans.  The Matchplay Classics are designed from a synthetic leather upper that is waterproof coated.  The feature a fixed-spike outsole with  a well-designed, aggressive traction pattern is both comfortable and flexible.

In a size ten, these fit true to size from back to front; however, the style and fit of this shoe is fairly narrow, and will likely feel snug for those requiring anything wider that a M.  Additionally, with a wider foot, the first eyehole closest to the toe, on the big toe side of the shoe, digs into the top of my foot.  I believe this is a result of my wider foot wedged into a narrow fit shoe, and due to any design flaw.  I mention this because this shoe cannot accommodate a foot wider than M, so keep the width in mind if considering  purchasing these online.

A-GAME Prime

One of the aspects I enjoy most is calling your attention to brands you’ve probably never heard of before. A-Game is one of them.  Their corresponding acronym is Always Going Above My Expectations, and is on point in my assessment of this shoe.  This particular shoe is called the Prime, and one of my favorite shoes of the bunch.  One of the first things I noticed about the Prime is the high quality construction and materials - and I don’t mention that lightly.

All of the contrast stitching is evenly applied and imbedded into the shoe as designed.  There is not a hint of adhesive at the seams between the rubber sole and leather upper.  The attention to detail is remarkably evident, as well as their pride in manufacturing.  The interior appears durable and well designed for the shoe including extra padding in the heel area.  They look and feel like a well-made, high-end shoe.  The wing-tipped, two-toned suede leather upper boasts a sophisticated modern look.

The Prime has a waterproof upper and fixed-spike outsole.  These shoes are an extremely comfortable offering.  As good as they look, they feel even better on the foot and is their most significant quality.  A-Game includes a separate pair of insoles to accommodate up to a EEE width if necessary.  A-Game recommends going up one half size in Prime, and they were spot on with their recommendation.  This is one of a couple of shoes in this feature that I plan to continue wearing off the course.

No break-in period necessary for the Prime, they’re ready to go right out of the box.  Well made, well styled, and nicely priced at $79.

Vivobarefoot Hybrid

Vivobarefoot describes themselves as the original barefoot shoe company and has been around now for a decade.  If you have read any of my past articles, you know that I have been wearing a barefoot platform or minimalist shoe now for the last two seasons. It’s been about 11 years since receiving my Masters of Arts degree, and that’s about how long it’s been since I opened a professional journal.  So stand back, I am about to get scholarly.

In July 2012, an article was published in the journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.  The study looked at the foot strikes of 52 runners and found almost 70% of them used a rear foot strike as opposed to a forefoot strike. Furthermore, runners who habitually rearfoot strike have significantly higher rates of repetitive stress injury.

According to Daniel Lieberman, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard, “Many people today think that they need stiff-soled shoes with lots of cushioning and arch support, yet we humans evolved to walk and run barefoot. In fact, until recently, everyone was either unshod or wore minimal footwear with flexible soles, and little arch support or cushioning. So try taking off your shoes!  Adopting a barefoot style of running and having strong feet is not only more natural, but also may be very good for one's health.”

Barefoot shoe platforms are here to stay, and there seems to be a great deal of science behind them.

I had a chance to examine the Vivobarefoot Hybrid golf shoe.  This shoe is built on the foundation of Proprioception, which is the sensory feedback from the nerves of the feet. The sole is 2.5mm thick and is puncture resistant.  It features a “zero-drop” heel and no pitch providing a natural gait.  The toe box is wider than most allowing the toes to expand and function individually.  The outsole is extremely flexible and can be folded in half with ease.  The tread pattern or “spikes” are 2mm thick for incredible turf interaction.  The asymmetrical upper is a combination of mesh and full-grain leather making them water-resistant.  The insole is removable and Vivobarefoot recommends its removal after your initial adaptation.  In a Euro size 43 (10 US) these fit perfectly and true to size.  With the insole, they can easily accommodate up to a 3E width and even wider if the insole is removed.

Out of the box, these are ready to go and very comfortable for a minimalist shoe requiring little to no break in period.  I found that the shape felt a little different once the foot was inserted, but was a sensation that was easily tolerated and diminished over time.  At $170 retail, I strongly suggest taking a look at the Breatho Trail Mens shoe as well from Vivobarefoot.  The outsole tread pattern on this shoe is identical to the outsole on their Hybrid golf shoe and at half the price.

PUMA Clyde

The Puma Golf Clyde shoe was designed after the timeless classic of the same name in the Puma line.  The Clyde was the first signature basketball shoe named after the man himself, Walt “Clyde” Frazier.  The Clyde was was originally custom designed in suede for Frazier in 1973, and had a significant following off the court and on the street.  It’s been 40 years since the original design and Puma seems to be releasing this shoe in a variety of options to fit any venue, including golf.

The golf adaptation is said to be a bit lighter and wider than the original but includes the stamped Clyde moniker on the side of the shoe.  The upper is made of soft, full grain leather and carries a one year waterproof warranty.  The outsole is made of Puma’s abrasion resistant EverTrack rubber outsole.  The Clyde’s have a fixed spike “S2QuillTec” spikes that are moderately aggressive.

Although these fit true to size from front to back, I felt as though they were fairly narrow feeling.  The leather on these are not as flexible, so they do require some break-in period.  However, for the price at $89, and the one year waterproof warranty, these are tough to beat. Add in the timeless Clyde styling, and versatility off the course, and on the street, Puma transitioned this 40 year classic well on to the golf scene.

PUMA FAAS Grip

Since I’ve been playing this game over the past twenty five years, there are a select number of shoes that I have tried on and thought, they nailed it. A shoe that feels comfortable right out of the box, almost as if it were custom made just for you.  The FJ Contour, and TRUE Linkswear, True Tour come to mind that fit this description, but that is about as long as my list was until now.

The FAAS Grip (FG) by Puma has been added to that list and is easily one of the top golf shoes I have worn to date.

Right out of the box, they had “that” feel to them.  It combines the comfort of a spikeless street shoe with the stability of a tour performance shoe.  They are easily my favorite shoe of the ones previewed in this article.

One of the factors contributing to the FG comfort is that they are built on an athletic shoe platform, much like the FJ Contours I previously mentioned. They also incorporate Puma’s EverFoam technology in the heel is designed to recover slowly and adjusts to the contours of your foot.  The outsole is made from Puma’s EverTrack designed to resist wear and breakdown over time with continued durability in high-wear areas.  The fixed spike pattern is nicely done and provides remarkable traction and grip.  These fit true to size in a 10 Wide.  The FG come with a one year waterproof guarantee. My lone complaint with the FG is that they are constructed with synthetic leather.  However, at $99, the PUMA FAAS Grip are well worth their value and are among the most comfortable, as well as best performing golf shoes I've worn.

adidas adicross II

For 2013, Adidas is offering an improved version of the original Adicross golf shoe Retailing at $90, there is a lot of punch delivered in the second coming of this fixed-spike, casual street golf shoe.

The first thing that caught my attention was the overall attractiveness of the shoe.  Often, in street style golf shoes, although designed with casual in mind, they just look goofy worn off the golf course and when not paired with a golf specific outfit.  I found these appealing because they could easily be worn to work  on a Friday when your plan is to get out of the office and on the course by noon.  The full-grain leather upper contributes to this appeal.  A synthetic toe cap has been added this year for improved durability and abrasion resistance.  The subtle and understated three stripe logo is incorporated into the design of the upper.

Inside this show Adidas incorporates the CloudFoam sockliner which enhanced the feel and comfort of the Adicross.  The Adicross II fit true to size in a 10 wide.  They are comfortable right out of the box and require little to no break-in period.  The outsole features a fix-spike pattern of 100 spikes varying in size for excellent grip and turf interaction.  The sole is also made from Adiwear abrasion resistant rubber.  The sole as well as the spike system is both durable and flexible.

Like the FAAS Grip, the spike system on the Adicross II is well done offering remarkable traction and enhanced longevity.  I appreciated the fact that Adidas included a pair of brown and white shoe laces to further personalize the shoe to fit your individual taste. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any details or information on the box or other marketing material that spoke with the waterproof/water resistance of these shoes.  This lead me to conclude they are water resistant only, which is unfortunate in any golf shoe in my opinion.

What's Your Favorite?

Do you have a favorite fixed-spike casual golf shoe? Tell us about it in the comments below.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Christian April 27, 2013 at 10:14 am

I own a pair of adidas adicross II for approx. 2 months now, they are water proof as far as i can tell from playing them ;)

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Mr_Theoo April 27, 2013 at 11:32 am

No Nike? :(

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SPY ZINGER April 27, 2013 at 11:35 am

Theoo-

All casual/fixed-spike shoe manufacturers were contacted for the purpose of this editorial.

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Alex April 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I own the Ecco Street Premier, Nike Air Range, and the True Proto’s. The Street Premier are the best for moving from the course to casual wear. I can wear them to the office on causal Friday and move to the course for a quick 9 after work. Although I don’t like the look of the True’s as much, the Proto’s are look much nicer than previous models and the comfort factor is unmatched.

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Eric Larson April 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm

I just picked up a pair of the Ecco Biom Hybrid’s, and they felt like an old glove when I tried them on. I wear Ecco Biom’s as street shoes, but they are extremely comfortable right out of the box.

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Tyk April 27, 2013 at 7:45 pm

I kind of like those Vivos, but you really can’t write an article about spikeless golf shoes without putting True Linkswear at the top of the list, regardless of if they sent you a pair to review or not.

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mygolfspy April 28, 2013 at 9:52 am

Actually it was put at the top of the list, take a gander at the first paragraph.

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SPY ZINGER April 28, 2013 at 9:54 am

TYK-

I agree completely with TRUE, and it’s no secret that they have been and currently remain my favorite golf shoe. It was meant to be, but without participation the manufacturers, it turned into more of a preview of offerings than a shootout. Everyone had an equal opportunity to participate. I am appreciative of the brands that did participate, and show support to the MGS readership.

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Tyk April 29, 2013 at 7:40 pm

I hear ya, and I did see the mention! I’m biased, they’re the best shoe ever! Big props to those companies that did participate!

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Jgolf April 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm

The a-game is really intriguing. I’ve never heard of it before, but it looks great! Just with a quick follow up the website and product visibility could be improved, but purely as a product they piqued my interest. I really wish they had a return policy (if they do i can’t fine it) so I could try them on before a commitment, as my guess is they will not be stocked in any stores around me…

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Nick April 28, 2013 at 12:07 am

Vibram has a golf shoe suppose to release late June maybe July this year. It’s the same exact model as the speed xc that is already out but apparently a lighter material.

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Craig April 28, 2013 at 7:37 pm

I am a shoe aholic.
I have shoes traditional sitting on shelves. I now wear comfy shoes with casual designs like true links wear.
The one shoe I want to buy but have only tried in a store were crocs.
I wish they were part of this. Not sure if they were contacted.
I will buy just hope in store comfort (were best cushioning I have felt… Ever!) translates to real world comfort.

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RAT April 29, 2013 at 9:22 am

The Puma has a higher heel than most others and it tends to cause back pain. Lower the heel please.These are not running shoes.

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Drew April 29, 2013 at 10:32 am

Great review and great pics. I’m still using the 2012 Adidas 4.0 shoe but after had serious pain in the ball of myl left foot after walking just 9 holes on the weekend! So this type of shoes is very stiff and I’m wondering if something more flexible like the Truelinks would be better…or just golfing in my regular Asics trainers!

Rockbottom has great prices on older True models but I can never get a hold of a real person there and I’m concerned about getting the correct size.

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Tyk April 30, 2013 at 2:47 am

True’s run pretty close to “normal” shoe size, perhaps a touch big, I am a sometimes 10 usually 10 1/2 and wear a size 10 True if that helps.

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Drew May 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Thanks, Tyk.

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John Barry April 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Love the Adicross II for me, what I own and I sure love them. I will admit I do like the looks of the A Game shoe!

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Yohanan April 29, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Saw Sketchers entry into the golf shoe segment. Nice cushy insole. Reminded me of the Etonic G Sok which i owned 3 pair over 6 years. Very sad that Etonic went BK. Hopefully they clme back. They were WAY ahead of the market.

Ecco Biom Hybrid here best of the best.

I love Sacouny and Ascis running shoe will hunt down the Matchplay 33 fo sho.

Cheers

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SPY ZINGER May 1, 2013 at 10:24 pm

If comfort is your priority, you cannot go wrong.

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Mark May 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I checked out the Vivobarefoot website and yes the Breatho Trail shoes have the same sole as the golf shoe and are $95 vs. $170 but they are not waterproof. Thought you’d like to know.

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SPY ZINGER May 1, 2013 at 10:23 pm

The Hybrids are water resistant as opposed to waterproof. However, you’re correct, more protection from water with the Hybrids. I mentioned the trails more as a comparison to the TRUE Sensei. Same sole or general platform, at a different price point.

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Tony May 2, 2013 at 11:33 am

I have a lot of shoes and I found that I wear my Crocs more and more. They are comfortable and have a wide toe. I really want to share that my game suffers when I wear a shoe with a low heel like True’s. Very comfortable BUT— After much testing I am sure that my shots are pushed right when I have low/no heels. Has anyone else noticed this?

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Bullman May 2, 2013 at 11:33 am

Kikkor Slyders

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Charles Winstead May 2, 2013 at 11:42 am

I just purchased 2 pairs of Adidas Cross flex golf shoes. They are great. I have played several rounds of golf with them. I highly recommend them. CSW

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Dave Crnich May 2, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I have two pairs of the Crocs Preston and I think they are the best. Comfortable and lightweight. So far so good for walking.

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Joel May 3, 2013 at 3:39 am

the first Adicross is not bad either. very comfortable on or off the course. this was my motivation to get the Adicross II.i dont see myself going back to soft spikes anymore.

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Yohanan May 4, 2013 at 1:54 am

Anyone seen kikkors anywhere in a retail shop to try on? GG? GS?

I will check out the Puma’s.

I can’t even stand normally in the tru links let alone swing a club. So yeah i could see a balance issue in those.

Cheers

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