As a woman have you ever heard someone say to you â€œWhy do you need another pair of shoes?â€ If so you probably already know the answer, â€œBecause you can never have too many shoes. You need a shoe for different occasions and outfits.â€ This statement is especially true for a ladies golf closet. There are three staple items for that closet; a cute skort, a great polo, and shoes. I was so excited when a reader contacted me and asked about a woman’s golf shoe company called SandBaggers. I hadn’t heard of them before but I got right to researching them and I was so pleased with what I found. The Hackers Paradise contacted SandBaggers to learn more about their product and less than a week later we had four incredible shoes in our office.
I first want to start off by talking about how they got started and explaining the technical aspects of SandBaggers and then I will get into the look and feel. â€œSandbaggers have been steadily produced since 1987. The company was founded by Joan Villani, an avid golfer. Not long before Sandbaggers was born, Joan developed her craving for cooler and more comfortable golf footwear. Relying on Maine’s deep history for producing handmade boots, shoes and sandals, Joan put her ingenuity to test and created the first golf sandal design, the Kiltie. Nearly two decades have passed and to this day, Sandbaggers still operates by Joan’s commitment to producing high-quality, stylish and comfortable golf footwear.â€
There are several factors that make SandBaggers one of the most comfortable shoes you will ever put on your feet. They come in either a round or square shaped toe to fit even the widest foot. They usually recommend those who have a medium width foot to order a half size smaller for a more snug fit. The sandals only come in whole sizes so if you usually wear an 8.5 and you have a medium width foot they recommend you go with a size 8. Every SandBagger golf shoe and golf sandal will come with a built-in orthotic insert. This insert is made of high density foam, a SandBagger original StepSaver orthotic shape and cutaway heel cradle which allows for better stability and most importantly reduces athletic fatigue on your feet. If you walk your course you will be so thankful for these orthotic inserts.
Another great component to their golf shoes are the washable sock liners. These liners are made of a soft, microfiber performance material which can be removed and cleaned. Many ladies choose not to wear socks with their SandBaggers because these sock liners are so comfortable and of course the fact that they can be cleaned for sanitary purposes. The removable sock liners are only in the golfs, however, a lot of thought was put into the golf sandals as well. The leather in the sandals is supported by a soft and smooth material which allows for extreme comfort and little to no break-in time. They also created velcro straps with extra padding to protect the your skin from any metal or accents on the sandals.
Now that we have covered the technical side of SandBaggers lets talk about how they look and feel. The wonderful people at SandBaggers sent over four pairs of shoes for us to review:
1.The Madison in Onyx
2.From their 2009 collection the Riley in white hot
3.From their 2009 collection the Payson in honey
4.From their 2009 collection the Payson in proper.
We did not receive any sandals to try out which for me was fine because I am not really a sandals on the golf course kind of girl. I love sandals and wear them every chance I get, but on the golf course I prefer a closed toe shoe with lots of support. In my everyday street shoes I wear a 7 or a 7.5 and the shoes we received were also either a 7 or a 7.5. As mentioned above if you have a medium width foot SandBaggers recommends ordering a half size smaller and they were 100% correct. The 7.5, even with socks, were a bit too big, and the 7 with socks were perfect. Since the golf shoes have the removable sock liner if I chose to not wear socks I would have to go down to a 6.5 for a good snug fit.
When the shoes first arrived I have to say that I was in love with the boxes they came in. Before I even took the shoes out of the box I was already impressed with this company. My first overall impression of the look of these shoes was â€œhmmm, some of these are adorable and others look a little like orthopedic shoes.â€ I decided not to jump to any conclusions because I have learned over the years that both clothes and shoes look much different on your body then they do in a box or on a hanger. So I tried the Madison ones in black (onyx) on first. They were absolutely adorable. When I first put them on I was wearing jeans and I swear it looked like they were made for my outfit, and when I tried them on with golf clothes they were even cuter. They remind me of a patent leather penny loafer with a little bit of an edge. These golf shoes have a rounded toe and slip on quite easily. How they looked was nothing compared to how they felt. I have never in my life worn such a comfortable pair of shoes, not even my sneakers are as comfortable as these were.
The next box I opened had the Riley in white and silver (white hot). This is a combination of a sandal and a full show, you get the heel and toe enclosure like a regular shoe but the ‘T’ strap and velcro closure like a sandal. These reminded me a lot of the classic Mary Jane shoes. They are extremely fun and playful and very feminine. I found these to be just as comfortable as the first pair. One of our readers has metal plates in her feet and mentioned it was always very difficult for her to find shoes, so we decided to send her this particular pair hoping the adjustable velcro strap would work well for her feet. She had several positive remarks and a few negatives about the Riley’s. She said the lining is extremely comfortable and the shoe itself is just adorable. She liked that you could wear them with our without socks, and agreed that if you decide to go sockless you will definitely want to go down a half size. She also mentioned that if you chose to wear socks you might want to wear socks that come up to the ankle bone as the heel of the shoe is a tad wide and it was pulling her sock down.
Her main concern with the shoes were the spikes because they are not replaceable and she was worried they would not hold up well on a wet course or just hold up long term in general. I actually had those same concerns at first but after doing more research all my questions were answered and my worries were relieved. The square toe shoes and sandals have what SandBaggers call their Two-Density Grip Soles which are made of polyurethane. Basically what this means is that the outer sole density is created for comfort, flexibility, and is shock absorbent. The second density is on the wear surface and is made to withstand more abrasion and will give superior spike-free traction in fair weather. The round toe shoes are made with SandBaggers Flexible Grip Sole that has small, textured nubs on the bottom and built-in spike-like units that provide great traction in inclement weather. Both types of soles have a steel shank for solid construction. What all that technical stuff means is that these shoes are built to last.
The final two shoes I had the pleasure to try were from the same line called Payson. The first pair, Payson Honey, were gold and cream with a flirty design and ‘S’ for SandBaggers near the toe. The second pair, Payson Proper, were white with black piping, a white crocodile skin-like look, and the same design with the ‘S’. Based solely on a person preference I liked the white with black lining better, but that was more because it would match more of my outfits and I have never really been a huge fan of gold. I will say, however, that I was pleasantly surprised with the gold when I put them on. This was another case where something looks much better on the body then in the box. Both shoes were again extremely comfortable, so comfortable in fact, that I felt like I could go for a run in them. The 2009 collection has their new Contour fit which makes these shoes feel like they were custom made for your feet.
As mentioned above when I first saw the SandBaggers shoes I really wasn’t sure if there were for me. They looked like they were maybe geared for a slightly older age bracket than what I am in, but after further review, research, and testing I have concluded that I was wrong. These shoes are great, they are fabulously fashionable, and without a doubt the most comfortable footwear I have ever worn. I love that you have the option to go without socks. You can learn even more about SandBaggers and purchase a pair at their website here. In their online store the prices for the golf shoes and sandals are anywhere from $80-$140 USD which is a little high but for a quality item like these I think it’s worth it. You can also find some great discounted prices on the web so don’t let the price scare you, these shoes are well worth it.
Your Fashion Guru