Kikkor Golf Shoe Review

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

Till Next Time

Josh B.

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  • Well, they definitely won’t be for everybody, but I really like the look. It appears that those playing in very hot climates may want to consider selecting one of their models that is suited for the heat, but that hasn’t been an issue much around here. Good read, JB.

  • Not having replaceable spikes is a deal breaker for me in general. It just doesn’t make very much sense to me. However, other shoes styled similarly don’t offer that either so I suppose if you’re the type of golfer that has to have this look, then you’re already use to that fact. As for me, I’m not much of a fan of the skate shoe look to be honest. Great review though, and I think it’s great that the owner of this company decided to pursue this career path.

  • I too wonder how ‘hot’ they would be being mostly black shoes. I like the women’s style more than the guy’s style, probably first time i’ve ever said that one…

  • Nice write up. I would have to hesitate buying this shoe due to the spikes not being replaceable. They do look comfortable though.

  • I think spikes that aren’t replaceable on a golf shoe is just silly at this day and time. The longevity of the shoe is limited and instead of replacing spikes for $12, you have to replace the entire shoe.

  • Nice review. If they were going to go with spikes that aren’t replaceable, why not go with just a spikeless option then? Even if they were a tad longer? Having spikes that can’t be replaced seems silly. Replacing spikes vs. shoes? Advantage spikes.

  • Great review JB. The spikes issue isn’t as big a deal for me as my current shoes don’t have traditional spikes either. That being said, I think the SmartQuil tech in my Pumas will be more durable for the long run as the “spikes” or tread pattern cover the entire bottom of the shoe. The mens version doesn’t do to much for me visually either. I too like the look of the ladies version better. The mens is just to plain for me.

  • Thanks for the honest review Josh. Great pictures too 🙂

    I think it’s important to note that embedded tread actually allows for better performance. It enables the golfer to get closer to the ground, increase feel, comfort, and stability. Of course, the trade off is that they will eventually wear out. But, when you wear them out you can wear them out?

    Plus we do have a similar shoe to the women’s style in men’s, so if replaceable spikes is important, they shall have it!

    Thanks again JB

  • James,
    Thank you for the comments, however I am not sure I agree with the closer to the ground idea in comparisons. I am holding quite a few “closer to the ground” shoes that are in my office and have played all of them and while these are very close, I dont find them much closer than a few others and certainly not closer to the spikeless variety.

    Companies such as FJ and adidas have gone this way through LoPro and ThinTech and both work quite well also. I do believe that a changeable spike that is embedded such as yours could be a challenge, but also could be done and make this shoe a home run for many.

  • There’s a trade off with any system. With replaceable the lower you go the more cleat pressure you feel. Adidas lowered the thread by a couple mm’s, but you can’t fully eliminate the receptacle system unless you take out the spikes. I want to say that they got to 21mm from the ground in the forefoot, and if you measure the Dress Sneakers you’ll see that they are 25% lower.

    With spikeless

  • Sorry, that publish button is close to the text field…accidental submit.

    Anyway, with spikeless you can go as low as you want but the lower you go the more stability you sacrifice. So what’s the happy medium? I guess it depends on the golfer and what they’re looking for.

  • I was really in love with the looks of these shoes. Hawk was kind enough to send some shoes my way with simliar styling and I’m going to see how they fair in the 100 degree heat we have today. Sure its a dry heat but it still is hard on the old feet. I noticed the retro (mens) have a a retro breathe which I’m definitely going to look at. Just be hard to match the colors of the breathe up lol. I’d still do it though somehow! I am more drawn to the stylings of this shoe as they match my everydays lol. Lots of styles to choose from thats for sure.

  • That was a very good and honest review. I would have to agree with others here about not having replaceable spikes.

  • Nice review. I think these shoes have a nice look to them. They look like a really comfortable shoe, one that I would love to go out and walk 9 or 18 holes in.

  • I switched to Kikkor at the start of last season. Great shoe, most comfortable I have ever worn (the toes on them are a bit wider than the norm, so its a great fitting shoe).

    I walk 9 holes a day during the week, and 27 a day on the weekends, and haven’t had sore feet since I started wearing them. (I wear the Circle 3 model, will probably be switching to the Eppiks this season).

    I admit the permanent cleats do turn me off from the new season’s lineup. Pick a pair with the removable cleats and give them a try instead. Great exchange/refund policy, I had my questions responded to by James Lepp himself last year when was ordering my first pair.

    Comfortable shoes, great traction, and they don’t look like a traditional shoe. Thats what hooked me.

  • I’m not a big fan of the skate/retro shoe style. That being said, I still they they are a refreshing idea. Definitely a good alternative for those that find the more traditional styled golf shoes less than desirable. I do agree with many of the others though – stick to the models with replaceable spikes.

  • If you have not tried the shoe for yourself then don’t haste to the non replaceable spikes being an issue. I have a couple of pairs of these shoes in the Tenny style. What you find is you put them on at the cart or tee box if your walking. You don’t walk a 100 yds from the parking lot down the side walk and around the cart barn on concrete that is what wears them out. Have had a pair for a year and the spikes are still in great shape and I play twice a week. I will trade the comfort and stability all day long for taking a little care in avoiding hard surfaces while wearing these shoes. I also play Adidas and these shoes are lasting just as long. I live in Central Florida and who would know more about heat and humidity then we do hear. READ MY LIPS not a problem if you wear socks that don’t double as a winter gloves. Get real guys some common sense please. Great shoe, Great Price and awesome customer service. What More Could You Want.

  • I got the Midnight Black dress shoe and wore them to a tournament for the very first time. I had so many comments and compliments it was incredible. At the end of the round, I felt GREAT and thought, “These may be the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn.” I have worn many brands and styles of golf shoe innthe past. especially those claiming to offer premium comfort. However, I thought I would truly reserve judgement until after at least 3 rounds walking. At the end of these rounds, I still believe that not only are they very stylish but, also the most comfortable shoes I have honestly ever worn.. I play 6-8 rounds per month but I ammnot concerned abou the spikes as my golf buddies and I tend to change shoes about every other year and don’t punish our shoes by wearing them out and about..

  • I have to take issue with the non-replaceable spikes – as previous poster mentioned, be smart about it and put the shoes on at the tee box or in the locker room. Don’t walk on the cart path and you’ll be fine. How often do you replace the spikes on your shoes before they get too worn, smelly, or just flat-out replaced by a newer pair anyway? If the look isn’t for you, that’s one thing, but the value in this product is in the fact that with the built in spikes you get better traction than spikeless and they’re lower to the ground than shoes with replaceable spikes and the receptacles. Think about the design of the product and whether it really matters if it’s replaceable. It’s a feature that looks good on paper but doesn’t matter when you get other benefits that outweight it and you can make the shoes last with good maintenance practices. James, you rocked on Big Break, Mark just had an easy ride and isn’t nearly as good as you bro.

  • sorry, for clarity I meant I take issue with those who are complaining about non-replaceable spikes.

  • Beware of their return policy. I ordered two pairs of shoes wore one for one round. NOT COMFORTABLE. They would not accept the return. Just go to your local store that accepts returns.

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