Welcomed by many feet in the running shoe industry, New Balance has been storied as a functional, effective, and comfortable solution for feet everywhere. Continuing their efforts in the golf industry, New Balance offers a large number of shoe options (all presently on sale at the time of this spotlight) in a wide variety of colors and profiles. This particular spotlight focuses on the New Balance Striker Golf Shoe.
Despite being quite structured overall, the New Balance striker boasts a surprisingly lightweight approach to the leather shoe offering, weighing at a measly 12.4 ounces. This profile promotes a limited flex toe box (will bend at the force of a step but more difficult in hand), supported by a sole that has a number of perimeter creases. This may open the door to some subtle creasing in the upper toe box area as you move into the foot bed, but nothing significant or worrisome for those concerned about the visual longevity of a ‘new’ presentation in their shoe.
Secondary material is applied around the toes and sides of the foot to deal with any potential water that may breach the height of the sole, sealed unremarkably by a single stitch, with breathing ports punched into the upper portion of the toe box near the laces (which would require a significant puddle to reach).
Underneath the tongue and surrounding the heel bed is a softer material that is designed with a grid-like pattern to add some visual benefits and likely the ability for air to travel freely between the material from both the heel and upper toe section. Speaking more about the heel profile, the padding is sufficient as you get to the top of the heel box, with no sharp or unpleasant materials breaching that area where the heel is likely to move
The larger New Balance “N” we have come to know is quite prevalent on the side of the shoe, albeit in a more subtle color selection depending on the colorway you choose, which helps to blend into the design. This is applied above some limited material connections between the base of the shoe and the lacing system to once again likely support any unnecessary stretching or bending of the overall boot material. It is then connected to the heel by New Balance’s Exoskeleton TPU outsole, supporting some nice heel to mid-boot rigidity while still allowing for some simple flex while walking.
Maybe the most unique element of the Striker shoe by New Balance as it is worn and experienced for the first few times is the decision to incorporate what they are calling “CUSH+” in the insert. It is a material that is very cushioned, more like a memory foam to let the foot settle aggressively once laced, and supporting a softer step versus a simple insert that connects directly to the sole of the shoe.
A crisscross patterned shoe base promotes some compression during the step, especially along the outer and more visible portion of the Striker shoe. Once again, this will support the connection with the ground while maintaining a visual quality without annoying creasing that would happen with a material of this kind of compression.
All of these components are supported by the popular Champ Slim-Lok Zarma Tour cleats, seven in total for each shoe, to promote extreme stability during the golf swing. As far as a spiked shoe goes, these will undoubtedly eliminate the potential for unwanted slippage during the swing or standard golf exercise in wetter conditions. The sole system includes a limited unmovable material with extra nub-like traction support, creased straight down the middle and in the typical step-bend areas to not only eliminate unwanted weighting, but free the golfer to step their way, not walk only how a shoe would allow.
The sizing options of the Striker shoe are numerous. They boast options from size 8 to size 16, and even offer sizing in standard, wide, and extra wide widths to support all shoe shapes. Impressively, they welcome this variety for all three colorways (grey with blue, black with red, and the photographed white with grey). As far as sizing goes, the 10.5 standard shoe size was provided, which fits about as snug as a 10.5 could fit to still be considered fairly deemed that size. A welcome change for me as I have ranged from 10.5 to 11 for a long time, and might just find that the 10.5 wide would be the perfect combination of width AND length unlike some other options available.
Looking at the New Balance Golf Shoe selection at the present moment (sale considered), there are ten shoe options ranging from $69.99 to $149.99, giving the freedom to not only select the preferred price, but also the preferred style depending on what a golfer is looking for. That said, boasting a two year waterproof guarantee with comfort seeming to be one of the ultimate goals of the Striker release, I would tend to believe that this shoe would be functional in all situations for all foot types. For more information on the New Balance Striker golf shoe, visit www.NewBalance.com.