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Nike Draws From Basketball, Running and Soccer Shoes for Latest Golf Footwear

The Nike Air Zoom Infinity Tour shoe is the result of a request golfer Brooks Koepka made back in 2017.

At the time, Koepka hoped Nike could deliver a golf shoe with all the comfort and style of a running shoe without taking anything away from his swing.

Nike came through with what it claims is its most innovative golf shoe to date. Koepka, known for playing golf in Nike running shoes, wanted a hybrid that could handle the stress of both training and competition use.

“Golfers look at their clubs and golf balls as pieces of equipment, but never really their footwear,” Matt Plumb, Nike golf product line manager, said in a statement. “Brooks was instrumental in the Air Zoom Infinity Tour iterative process, helping us get to the point where we can now help golfers look at their footwear as part of their equipment on the course.”

In the course of an average match, golfers can walk roughly four miles on the course from hole to hole, making comfort of paramount importance in golfing footwear. However, certain features of the Air Zoom Infinity Tour are designed to increase swing speed and power as well.

“The source of a golfer’s kinetic energy comes from the feet, and every time a golfer swings, they lose some of that energy,” Nike said. “This is where Nike Air Zoom Infinity Tour steps in, re-harvesting and redistributing some of that lost energy.”

Nike's latest entry in the golf shoe category is a hybrid of a running shoe, requested by top-ranked golfer, Brooks Koepka
Breaking down each element of the Nike Air Zoom Infinity Tour Nike

To determine how best to accomplish this, Nike designers looked at data derived from pressure maps. From there, they added traction elements where needed to maximize energy return taken from the wearer’s swinging motion.

The Air Zoom Infinity Tour also uses elements of NBA star Kevin Durant’s signature basketball shoe, the KD12, to increase both structure and comfort while its upper is composed of the same weather-resistant Flyknit used by Nike’s soccer cleats. Finally, foam taken directly from Nike’s React Infinity Run Flyknit running shoe provides the cushioning needed for long days on the course.

While those elements may sound good on paper, Nike also wanted to evaluate the new golf shoe’s effectiveness on the course before finalizing the design and conducted “golf-specific mechanical tests” to benchmark the cushioning and energy return of the Air Zoom Infinity Tour, working with external researchers to do so.

Koepka offered the ultimate validation. Compared to the Nike Tour Premiere golf shoes he wore in three previous major wins, his swing was measurably faster in the new shoes.

Nike will release the Air Zoom Infinity Tour on April 1.