In the ever changing world of golf technology, players are always looking for the next big thing as each year rolls around. One area that is often overlooked is the golf shoe and the recent trends we have seen have been very different across the board. Some companies are packing technology into the shoe through research and development and other companies are going with different styles to reach an audience begging for something outside of the traditional saddle shoe. In the first issue of THP the Magazine, we took a look at the birth of a new golf shoe brand called Kikkor and what they were bringing to the table in their unique offerings in footwear. THP wanted to check back in one year later and see what the new line was about and whether or not golfers should be taking a look at this trendy brand.
What is Kikkor
Kikkor was started by 25 year old professional golfer James Lepp. James grew up in Abbotsford, British Columbia where he started golfing at the ripe age of 4 years old. He enjoyed much success both as an amateur player and professional, but in 2008 his passion for golf was slowly replaced for his passion as an entrepreneur. With the help of some friends and business consultants, the brand was officially launched in April of 2010. Kikkor is an alternative golf footwear brand targeting the younger players at heart. The shoes are built with comfort and style first in mind, without ignoring the important technical attributes, such as grip, stability, waterproofing, and durability.
While looks can be pretty subjective, one thing is very clear, these are not your grandfather’s golf shoes! Kikkor Golf has taken the trendy and casual look to a new level with what I consider lines that are equal part skate shoe mixed in with a retro sneaker look brought into the 21st century with high level materials and strong and bold colors. In the end, you have a golf shoe that is not really geared towards the masses, but will have a certain demographic loving what they see here.
THP received a pair of the Kikkor Golf Dress Sneaker in Midnight Black for testing for men and the Retra in black and purple for women. The men’s shoes are black and white with a mixture of patent leather and standard leather to give a nice contrast in look. They feature Kikkor’s Diacon Embedded Spike System (DESS) on the sole that are said to provide great traction and out of the box, they definitely did (more on this later). The ladies shoe is a retro looking sneaker style shoe that offers traditional cleating and an all around unique look.
Immediately we spent time on the range on a nice cool evening and the comfort that the Kikkor shoes gave was exceptional. Both the heel and the toe pad are padded perfectly and the arch surprised us quite a bit by offering plenty of support all done in a wonderfully covered pad. In the heel and achilles area, one thing that plagues some golf shoes is comfort due to the back end being too high or too low, and we are happy to report that there were no such issues with the Kikkor Golf Dress Sneaker. In fact it was absolutely perfect all the way around in early comfort testing. Over the course of a few rounds, one area did give us some concerns in area of comfort and that is that the inside of the shoe does not offer much in the way of breathability. While many shoe manufacturers are going with different sets of materials internally that get air to your feet to cool down and offer comfort, the Kikkor shoes do not and on hot days in FL, they get very warm. Keep in mind that Kikkor does offer many kinds of styles in different materials and the ladies Retra we tried offered no issues with heat whatsoever.
The one question that we got the most from readers heading into the review was traction and do these offer the same support as the traditional shoe. The answer to us was yes….early on. With 11 spikes per shoe, they offered incredible grip and stability and we never had a single issue with slipping anywhere even in the morning hours and the dew covered fairways. However, with that being said, we do have a concern with the spikes not being replaceable. Spikes get worn down and if the shoes become worthless after they get worn down, rather than being able to replace them, it is hard to swallow the $135 price tag. We have had similar thoughts to some other shoes with non-replaceable spikes, but many of those were not traditional cleats and were not based on heavy traction. Wear on these will happen in different places depending on how you walk and where your weight is distributed and we feel as though, despite the 11 spikes, this could cause a few issues down the road as spikes wear. The ladies Retra being tested does offer replaceable spikes and came in with 6 spikes per shoe that can be changed out as they show wear.
With the unique look that Kikkor Golf is offering and the use of solid materials across the board, it is very easy to recommend these shoes to golfers that enjoy the style. Upon deeper inspection, it is important to weigh the options of not having replaceable spikes and whether or not that is something that works for your golf game. These shoes offered extreme comfort on cool days, but in the extreme heat of some climates, it should be worth noting that the interior did not have a ton of breathability in the men’s version that THP tested. This company is offering a refreshing take on what some would call a stale market and deserve a second look. Kikkor Golf offers many different styles with subtle differences and colors and you can check them out on their website at www.kikkor.com.
Till Next Time