According to the National Golf Foundation, U.S. golf courses recorded roughly 502 million rounds played last year, an almost 14 percent increase compared to 2019. Despite February’s snowstorms, that trend has continued into 2021, with rounds played up 7.8 percent in the first two months of the year.
Two footwear firms, it appears, are seizing on this trend.
Nearly 80 years after Cole Haan’s co-founder Eddie Haan patented the company’s first golf shoes, the company returned to the sport Thursday with three new performance silhouettes. The spikeless styles draw on the designs of a few of Cole Haan’s best-selling shoes, including the OriginalGrand Wingtip Oxford and the GrandPro sneaker.
“With more people golfing than ever, Cole Haan set out to democratize the game,” David Maddocks, brand president, Cole Haan, said in a statement. “Our customers have asked us for years to make performance golf shoes. However, we knew we couldn’t simply offer something on par with the marketplace. We believe we’ve set a new standard with an alchemy that combines superior performance, long-lasting comfort and confident style that goes straight to the clubhouse.”
The OriginalGrand Golf Shoe, available in men’s and women’s sizing, combines an oxford look with the performance features of a golf shoe. It includes a full-length “Grandfoam” footbed and midsole for added comfort, a weather-ready wingtip upper and a multi-directional lug design on the outsole for traction on and off the course.
The GrandPro AM Golf Sneaker prioritizes underfoot traction and stability with a multi-directional beveled rubber lug design. A Grandfoam midsole and a removeable Ortholite sockliner provide responsive cushioning. The shoe, available in men’s and women’s sizing, comes in a variety of print designs.
The Generation Zerogrand Golf Sneaker, meanwhile, combines the athletic and dress shoe aesthetics. It features a lightweight build with a supportive, breathable upper design, Grandfoam cushioning and a multi-pronged outsole design. The shoe is exclusive to men’s sizing.
“Golfers need comfortable, supportive and stylish footwear that performs on and off the course,” Scott Patt, Cole Haan’s chief creative officer, said in a statement. “We’re excited to introduce an assortment of styles that are exceptionally lightweight, cushioned and are engineered with proprietary multi-directional traction that takes golfers from the course to the clubhouse.”
Cole Haan’s Performance Golf collection is available on the brand’s website and at select Cole Haan, Golf Galaxy and Dick’s Sporting Goods stores.
Adidas introduces Stan Smith golf sneaker
The shoe, crafted with a recycled upper, follows a recent stream of eco-friendly Stan Smith releases that began in January with the debut of Stan Smith, Forever. Just last week, Adidas released the sustainable line’s latest chapter, an eight-shoe collection starring some of Disney’s most iconic characters.
“I’ve had a front-row seat to see how this shoe has evolved over the years, so to see it make its way to golfers while also using sustainable materials is really something special,” Stan Smith said in a statement. “It shows the versatility that this shoe offers to everyone and it will be fun to see it bring some additional style to the course.”
The Stan Smith Golf sneaker features a rubber, spikeless outsole inspired by the shoe’s original sole design. Small lugs provide the wearer traction when they need it, but the versatility to wear the shoe anywhere, Adidas said. The brand also added a die-cut PU sockliner and additional PU cushioning in the midsole for “golf-specific support.”
The shoe will also come with a removable white kiltie—”a fringed leather panel on a shoe that covers the instep and is designed to protect the laces,” as Adidas Golf’s Instagram explains—and a gold-colored ball marker with the Adidas Trefoil logo.