Welcome to Devil Ball's Proving Ground, where we put the latest golf equipment through its paces. Today, we take adidas' Puremotion and Crossflex golf shoes for a spin around the course.
Testers -- Jonathan Wall -- Handicap: 2.1
Target Golf Audience -- All golfers
We've said this before but it's worth mentioning again: the golf shoe game has changed. Seriously, go down to your local golf store and peruse the shoe section. You'll likely find a bunch of standard models on the wall, but if you look closely you'll notice there's a growing trend within the industry, as golf manufacturers continue to release designs that look more like your standard running or trail shoe than something you'd slip on for your usual Sunday morning round.
What started out as a niche market has exploded over the last couple of years thanks to, among others, adidas, TRUE Linkswear and Nike. Recently, companies have gone away from the standard design, opting for breathable materials and a sole that's lower to the ground, thereby allowing you to feel like you're almost one with the turf.
In other words, they want you to feel like you're barefoot. It may sounds silly, but when you have a better sense of your weight transfer, it usually leads to a controlled swing and sense of stability.
Adidas has two new models that boast "freedom and control" and "natural stability" called the Puremotion and Crossflex. Here's an in-depth review of both shoes.
First, let's start with the Puremotion, a shoe that, based on the sole, looks more like a running shoe with the "five-finger" concept that's allowed long distance runners to perfect the heel to toe strike. As we mentioned in the opener, the goal was to design a shoe that gave you the sensation of being barefoot on the course.
While the sole is spikeless, there are more then enough grooves on the bottom to keep you grounded during your swing. The wide toe box also allows your toes the space to move around and grip down if you need to really rip a drive or a shot from the rough.
Another nice feature? The shoe has a mesh upper that's perfect if you happen to live in an area of the country that's hotter than Hades. However, if it rains or you prefer to dew sweep in the morning, the Puremotion has a two-year waterproof warranty that should give you the confidence to wear these in all conditions.
Next, the Crossflex, a another shoe that was designed with the athlete in mind. At just 10.6 ounces, it fits in the ultra-light category and looks a bit more like a running shoe than the Puremotion. Unlike the Puremotion, this shoe "pods" and "zonal traction elements" that allow for free range of movement, as well as gripping and support. The shoe is also waterproof and comes in three colors (white, grey and black).
I took the Puremotion out on a balmy summer afternoon and was blown away by how breathable they were -- especially when the temperature started to climb. When you live in the area of the country where the mercury usually soars into the triple-digits, having a shoe that breathes is about as important as having a couple extra golf gloves during the round.
The wide toe box was a welcomed feature. With the additional space for the toes, my foot never felt cramped during the round. Comfort is key when you buy a pair of golf shoes, and if you're like me and enjoy playing 36 holes on a regular basis, you better have a shoe that can perform.
Also, the sole tread on the Puremotion provided all the traction I could handle from every lie I threw at it throughout the day. The "five-finger" tread looked a little silly at first, but it gave me the feeling of natural movement with maximum stability during my round.
Another plus? These shoes actually look good off the course with a pair of jeans. I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for in a pair of golf shoes, but these definitely work on and off the course.
I could say a lot of the same things about Crossflex, which was by far one of the lightest golf shoes I've ever tested. If you're like me and you enjoy slinging your own bag -- even during the heat of the day -- this could be your shoe.
The "pods" and "zonal traction" provide ample stability on the course, but the feature that really sold me on these shoes was the fact that I could walk 18 holes and not feel tired as I walked off the last green.
The shoe's description on adidas' site says it's supposed to "help reduce fatigue and enhance energy round after round," so I guess the shoe did its job.
Both shoes should be on your list if you're in the market for a sportier model. At just $120 and $100 respectively, both not only perform on the course, they won't ding your pocketbook when you leave your local golf shop. As most golfers already know, having that combination in a golf shoe is never a bad thing.