Nike Golf Shoes Review: Can This Brand Continue Its Success?

It wasn’t long ago that the golf world was shocked by the news that one of the biggest sporting goods brands in the world was ceasing to produce equipment. Nike pulled out of the golf equipment business, at a time where they were respected as a brand that made top quality products on par with the biggest names in the sport. But how about the Nike golf shoes?

With names like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Brooks Koepka on their approster, it was a big surprise for many people to see Nike bowing out of the spotlight. However, Nike was not leaving golf completely.

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The decision to step away from the equipment side of golf was a strategic one. Nike found that spending money on research and development, marketing, and design was cutting into profit margins in an industry that was very competitive with established names like Titleist, Taylormade, and Callaway to compete alongside.

Instead, Nike decided to focus on golf apparel, an area where their design experience and brand name held a lot more weight. In addition, producing shoes, shirts, and hats was much less costly than developing new equipment and Nike could enjoy higher margins on their products.

Enter a golf retailer today and you may not see any Nike equipment but that iconic Nike swoosh is still visible throughout the store.

Disclosure: We receive compensation from the companies whose products we review. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

One area where Nike is really looking making a major push is in the shoe department. With their experience producing top quality footwear and creating industry leading designs, Nike has the opportunity to carve out a bigger piece of the golf apparel pie.

Does Nike’s experience translate to golf shoes? Can their shoes stand out among established golf brands like FootJoy? Or, is Nike doomed to say farewell to the golf industry entirely?


What Shoes Does Nike Offer?


Gray and White Nike Golf Shoes and a Nike golf ball
When it comes to Nike golf shoes there is no shortage of options for players to choose from. Nike has done a very nice job of making shoes that fit multiple styles, colors, and price points. If you want your feet to sport that iconic Nike swoosh while you’re out on the course then, chances are, you can find the pair for your own unique tastes.

At the top end of the golf shoe offerings from Nike, there is the Nike Golf Tour Premiere shoe as well as the Nike Air Zoom Precision. Both of these shoes pack in a ton of technology and comfort into two very different styles.

Tour Premiere Golf Shoes

The Tour Premiere shoe puts a new twist on the traditional “saddle-style” shoe that golfers are familiar with. These shoes expertly balance modern styling and comfort with a look that fits into the tradition of the game. The metallic purple color option is a stark contrast to the black and white option and gives players the option to play it safe or stand out on the golf course.

Nike Air Zoom Precision

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The Air Zoom Precision shoes look much more modern with laces that tighten using a wheel. The design almost looks as though the shoes are built in a single piece. Much like the Tour Premiere shoes, these shoes make use of plastic spikes which is to be expected in a top-tier golf shoe.

Flynit Racer Golf Shoes

A step down into the next tier of Nike shoes features the Flyknit Racer G as well as the Lunar Control Vapor 2. These Nike golf shoes also cover two very different styles for golfers to choose from.

Pros

  • Nike have been proven to make quality shoes for many different sports and their style, while subjective, is certainly unique.
  • Golf shoes line are breathable and lightweight
  • You can’t go wrong with Nike golf shoes' aggressive traction, durable protection and high-quality cushioning

Cons

  • A customer review stated that Nike golf shoes have no stability. They run really wide and you'll slide from side to side during your swing. 
  • Nike has smaller lineup of golf shoes compared with other brands

The Flyknit Racers are a very modern design that uses the Flyknit style seen in Nike shoes for running, soccer, and basketball. These shoes are marketed as lightweight, breathable alternatives to traditional leather golf shoes. Unlike the top tier models from Nike, the Flyknit Racers do not have plastic spikes and, instead, utilize a textured sole to gain stability and control.

Nike Lunar Control Vapor 2

Nike Lunar Control Vapor 2

The Lunar Control Vapor 2 Nike golf shoes are a more traditional style of golf shoe with plastic spikes and a more subdued style than some of the other shoes mentioned already on this list. 

Still, there is no mistaking the unique Nike design when compared next to other options on the market.

Finally, Nike has a tier of shoes with a lower price point. Of course, even the least expensive Nike shoes will cost more than some other brands. These shoes are designed for people who want Nike style on a smaller budget. However, you should be careful to call these “budget shoes” because they are not.

Quality

Price

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There are several different styles at Nike’s lowest price point and players should surely find something that fits their own unique tastes. While these shoes will not have cutting edge technology like the laces on the Nike Air Zoom Precision shoes or the lightweight feel of the Nike Flyknit Racers, there is still plenty to love about Nike’s lineup at all levels.


Public Perception of Nike Golf Shoes


Ask any golfer or search online forums for opinions about Nike golf shoes and the discussion always begins with style. Nike has built a reputation as a company that pushes the boundaries of style. For some, that’s a good thing. For others, Nike’s shoes are often seen as too flashy or colorful.

However, there is no debating the quality of Nike golf shoes. Nike has built a brand based on quality and performance which definitely translates to their golf shoe lineup.

The unique features that Nike has put into some of their shoes are what often catch the attention of reviewers online. Whether deserved or not, the golf shoe industry has a reputation for being safe and boring. Nike turns that reputation on its head.
There is absolutely no doubt that Nike is pushing the boundaries of design and performance in golf.

One of the most common complaints about Nike shoes is the pricing. Even the most affordable Nike shoes can cost twice as much as other entry-level shoes. For many, that is simply too much to pay for a pair of shoes to wear out on the golf course.

Obviously, that opinion will vary a lot from golfer to golfer. For example, a golfer who rides a cart for every round may put less emphasis on finding a comfortable pair of shoes when compared with a golfer who walks every round and puts nearly 4 miles per round on their shoes.


How Do Nike Golf Shoes Compare with the Competition?


Nike is a unique brand in the golf shoe market in that they cover a wide range of budgets. This is an advantage because it gives them a greater appeal for people with varying budgets. It also puts Nike in direct competition with the top brands as well as the more affordable brands.

At the top end, you are comparing Nike’s golf shoes like the Tour Premiere with other top-tier offerings from companies like FootJoy and Ecco. These brands are known for quality and have built a reputation as the top golf shoe manufacturers. As a result, their price tags reflect that reputation.

Nike vs FootJoy

FootJoy is a brand that has been known for a traditional style. However, in recent years the brand has been introducing more modern designs to their lineup. In fact, there is a definite argument to be made that you can see the Nike influences in some of FootJoy’s designs.

Design and comfort are two very subjective things. A design loved by one golfer may be hated by the next. FootJoy does have the advantage of having a wider range of options available than Nike. With that said, FootJoy shoes are often priced significantly higher than comparable Nike shoes. Purchasing a top-tier option from FootJoy could be expensive more than even the most expensive pair of Nike shoes.

Nike vs Ecco

It’s a similar story with Ecco as well. Ecco has more available options and styles than Nike but the comparable shoes are almost always priced higher than Nike.

In fact, after looking at pricing, it’s clear how Nike plans to carve out their place in the golf world. The popular sports brand is offering quality and unique style at a price that undercuts the established names in the golf world.

It’s an interesting role for Nike to play. They are definitely not the most affordable brand on the market, but compared to the likes of FootJoy and Ecco, Nike golf shoes seem incredibly affordable. Of course, pricing and budget is another individual opinion just like comfort and style.


Our Final Thoughts on Nike Golf Shoes


There is no debating that Nike has injected some much-needed style into the world of golf. In a sport known for khaki pants and pressed polos, it is nice to see a brand come out with some bold styles.

However, Nike is not trying to alienate golfers who want to hold onto the tradition of the game. There are a number of styles that look like traditional golf shoes and don’t seek to be the flashiest part of your outfit. Take the Nike logo off the shoes, put on a different brand, and they wouldn’t look out of the ordinary.

Nike is at an obvious disadvantage when trying to compete with established golf brands like FootJoy and Ecco. Both brands have a much greater selection of shoes with lineups that make Nike’s lineup look downright small.

Of course, that may be an advantage for Nike. Instead of offering a massive range of styles, Nike has created a smaller lineup while still finding a way to have something for everyone.

The greatest difference between Nike golf shoes and other brands really boils down to price. While Nike’s top-end shoes are a far cry from being budget-friendly, they are significantly more affordable than similar models from traditional golf brands.

Whether this pricing difference is Nike making use of their massive manufacturing capacity to lower costs, trying to claim a bigger piece of the pie by undercutting the competition, or a combination of both; we cannot be sure. However, it is nice to see some very high-quality shoes offered at a refreshingly low price considering the history of the golf shoe market.

Blue Nike Golf Shoes

So, is buying a pair of Nike golf shoes right for you? That’s your own decision. 

Style, comfort, and price are all very personal opinions. However, Nike definitely has to be one of the top brands up for your consideration. They have been proven to make quality shoes for many different sports and their style, while subjective, is certainly unique.

If you happen to find yourself trying on golf shoes then you should do yourself a favor and try on a pair of Nike golf shoes. Who knows, you may fall in love with the style, enjoy the comfort, and save yourself a couple hundred bucks or more when compared with other brands of golf shoes.

One thing is for sure when it comes to Nike golf shoes: they are aggressively pursuing a bigger place in the golf apparel industry, and their golf shoes are certainly setting up the company for success.

Adam Jenkins
 

I’m certainly no expert on the game of golf, but I am someone who knows what it’s like to start out completely overwhelmed. From one beginner to the next, here's to a better golf game!

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