You don’t usually envision pristine golf courses when you hear about the shoe brand New Balance. But New Balance golf shoes can be a good, reasonably priced option, depending on where you buy them.
Golf shoes are an important part of a golfer’s outfit. They are not there just for style or looks. For people who do not play golf that much, the idea of spending money on golf-specific shoes seems a bit odd.
After all, you are not doing any sort of strenuous running or jumping on a golf course (that is, unless you have just hit a hole in one and you are jumping for joy!).
However, a good golf game is all in your swing. And in order to swing well, you need stability “from the ground up.”
You also need shoes with some traction, so you do not slip when walking up hills or dealing with sand traps. This is why many golf shoes come with spikes or cleats attached to the bottom. However, these days, you can also get spikeless shoes that provide some traction and grip without the cleats.
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What Are New Balance Golf Shoes and How Do They Work?
New Balance Athletics, Inc. (NB) was founded in 1906 as an arch support company. (The original name was “New Balance Arch Support Company.”) Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the shoe company is more than 100 years old and has a reputation for high quality athletic shoes.
New Balance was the first company to offer running shoes with different widths to accommodate different foot sizes. This groundbreaking running shoe, developed and manufactured in 1960, was called the “Trackster.” It also featured a ripple sole, another world first in the world of athletic shoes.
Because of these innovations, New Balance became the shoe of choice for cross-country running teams at universities throughout the country,
New Balance is known for its premium running shoes. However, they also make nice golf shoes that get good reviews from happy customers.
New Balance offers both spiked golf shoes with cleats, or spikeless styles if you want more comfort and portability and wearability off the golf course.
New Balance Women’s Golf Shoes
The big downside to New Balance golf shoes is their offerings for women golfers. Unfortunately, the selection of women’s golf shoes on New Balance’s website is woefully small compared to the men’s selection. They are also veering towards being too “cutesy.”
Just because you are a female, it doesn’t necessarily mean you like pink, and two out of the three styles for women on New Balance’s website are partially pink.
In fact, the Minimus Golf 1006 goes beyond pink and actually includes sparkles in its design, prompting this review on their website:
“The photos do not clearly show that the grey shoe laces are sparkly. Very, very sparkly. The trim on the shoe is iridescent. This shoe would should have a Disney princess on it because it is more appropriate for a grade school girl than an adult. While the shoe is comfortable, I just can’t see myself wearing such a gaudy, childish shoe on the golf course. I am disappointed in the design team who chose this color combination as the only wide shoe in their golf line.”
The Minimus Golf 1005 women’s golf shoe by New Balance thankfully avoids this gross stereotyping with a black and lime version and a gray and light blue variation.
To be fair, another of the three women’s pink-hued styles is the Pink Ribbon Minimus LX Golf, which is also a marketing partnership with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, a non-profit organization fighting breast cancer. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of this shoe will go to support the anti-breast cancer non-profit advocacy organization. The pink-soled golf shoe is part of New Balance’s “Lace Up for the Cure” shoe collection.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation launched the pink ribbon campaign decades ago to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research. All of this is a good goal, but many companies have been accused of “pinkwashing” by using the color pink more as a marketing ploy to sell more products than to actually help women.
The term pinkwashing is especially targeted towards companies that sell toxic products that might contribute to breast cancer. The Susan G. Komen Foundation has also been under fire for holding stock in pharmaceutical companies.
Now, at least if you are out playing golf, you are probably helping, not hurting your health. Thus, the Pink Ribbon Minimus LX Golf shoes are not pinkwashing in the full sense of the term.
Still, regardless as to the merits of the pink ribbon campaign, that two of New Balance’s three shoes are imbued with bright pink does not give women many options. At least the Pink Ribbon Minimus LX Golf shoe comes with white shoelaces, which tones down the pink and have been taken advantage of by some customers such as this woman:
“Shoes come with pink laces. A second pair of shoe laces was included in white which I changed out as the pink was a little too pink for me.”
You might also be able to find last season’s New Balance golf shoes by on other websites such as Amazon if you want a wider choice of women’s styles.
Additionally, women can wear men’s golf shoes if they want, they just have to translate the size and find the right fit. A men’s size 7 is a women’s size 9, for example. It may be harder to find smaller men’s shoes, but if you are a woman with larger feet, you might especially want to try some of the men’s styles.
What Makes New Balance Golf Shoes Unique?
One of the things that makes New Balance golf shoes unique is that many of the styles do not actually look like golf shoes. If you are gung ho on a retro golfer look, that might not be your thing – you might actually want golf shoes that look like good old fashioned golf shoes.
However, if you want something different, with unique styles and colors (for men at least), you might really love New Balance golf shoes. Many of their styles look like modern sneakers or athletic shoes, so you can easily wear New Balance golf shoes on and off the golf course.
Depending on the golf shoe, you can benefit from some of New Balance’s golf shoe technology.
New Balance shoes tend to be more expensive than other athletic shoes, although their prices for golf shoes are comparable. Part of the reason for the prices is that New Balance does a lot of its manufacturing in the United States as well as the United Kingdom.
As part of this pricing, however, the idea is that you are paying for more quality and a wider selection. New Balance prides itself on offering the latest in shoe technologies for whatever sport shoe they develop, including their golf shoes.
Here are some unique New Balance technologies you might find in their golf shoes, both designed to make the shoe a lot lighter while maintaining stability:
New Balance’s Fantom Fit Technology
This shoe technology by New Balance is about having an ultralight upper that still provides strong support and a good fit while being breathable. This is made by using two quality thin materials that are joined by a special “no-sew” process.
New Balance’s REVlite Technology
This is a special foam compound used in the sole of the shoe that is designed to provide stable cushioning of the feet while still being stable and durable. It is 30% lighter than the foams that New Balance typically use in their shoes.
If you go on the New Balance website, you will see the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of their golf shoes. The range is generally from $64.99 on the low end to $189.99 to the high end.
Here are some prices of men’s golf shoes found on the New Balance official website:
- New Balance Golf 3001: $189.99
- New Balance Golf 518: $64.99 – $84.99
- Golf Leather 574: $104.99
- New Balance Golf 2004: $119.99
- Minimus Tour: $139.99
- Minimus SL: $119.99
- New Balance Golf 1701: $109.00
- New Balance Golf 1005: $109.99 (On Sale)
The selection of featured women’s golf shoes on the New Balance website is a lot smaller, and includes:
- Minimus Golf 1005: $104.99
- Minimus Golf 1006: $84.99
- Pink Ribbon Minimus LX Golf: $129.99
Public Perception (Other New Balance Golf Shoes Reviews)
If you do a quick review of the ratings New Balance golf shoes get on their own website, as well as other online retailers such as Amazon, you will see mostly positive reviews. Ratings are typically a minimum of four out of five stars, with most ratings at an average of 4.5 stars.
While most people report that their New Balance shoes are quite comfortable after an initial break-in period, some of the negative reviewers report problems with pinching and other discomforts. A common complaint is that the shoes are too “rigid,” but this also depends on the particular style.
Other complaints include little to no arch support. Also, some of the shoes are purported to be water resistant or even waterproof, though some users have report that this claim is not really holding up in practice.
How It Compares
The main difference between New Balance golf shoes and a more “staid” brand such as Callaway is that New Balance avoids the traditional golf shoe look for a more modern athletic shoe style.
You won’t get the white or tan solid leather classic golf shoe with metal spikes or cleats that may be a throwback from the 1960s at New Balance.
New Balance does offer more wide shoes than typically found in the golf shoe world. Some people have reported that New Balance fits wide feet better than Callaway golf shoes, which tend towards the narrow side.
More than anything, New Balance stresses their modern technologies in shoe design.
New Balance golf shoes are also designed to be very lightweight and may be a lot more breathable and less heavy than a more traditional golf shoe made out of leather. If you are golfing in an area with high heat and/or humidity, you might want to try a New Balance golf shoe to see if it makes your feet feel better in the high temperatures.
What We Think
While we think that New Balance has cornered the market on comfortable athletic shoe type golf shoes, they fall terribly short when it comes to their selection of women’s golf shoes.
First, as we covered, the number of New Balance golf shoe styles for women is less than what is offered for men. And then to have two-thirds of their current selection of women’s golf shoes on their website to be childish, pink styles straight from a Disney cartoon is pretty disappointing.
It’s as if New Balance doesn’t think that adult women play golf seriously, or that they would be more interested in fashion than getting a good golf score.
We would be more enthusiastic about recommending New Balance golf shoes if they offered a wider selection of golf shoes for women, without all the cutesy sparkles and omnipresent pink.
It seems that the people designing New Balance golf shoes are not into golf but more fashionistas. They don’t seem to realize that a lot of women golfers simply want a comfortable, neutral colored golf shoe that can be versatile and not draw too much attention to itself.
Coupons and Deals
New Balance does have “factory stores” at various outlet malls where you might find previous season’s golf shoes at really amazing prices. You can also find many deals online, including the New Balance website itself, which often holds online sales of their own products.