Where perception is concerned, men’s golf apparel just can’t outrun the sins of its past. Plaid pants and hideous, ill-fitting shirts leave an indelible impression. Fact is, men can actually play golf without looking ridiculous these days, right down to their shoes. But when it comes to sporty, stylish clothing for the course, women are miles ahead. Go figure.
Uber-hip players like Natalie Gulbis wouldn’t be caught dead in drab, outdated footwear, and that sense of style filters down to amateurs via companies like adidas, Nike and FootJoy. Ladies golf shoe makers don’t do dowdy, stodgy or plain. At least, not if they want to move product. Bright colors, sleek shapes and daring designs are all the rage among female golfers. It’s not all about looks, though. Women’s golf shoes are engineered with newfangled performance and comfort features to match the fashion-forward sensibility.Here are a few of our personal favorites:
Adidas Signature Natalie and Signature Paula
Pinup girl Gulbis and Paula “Pink Panther” Creamer may have fallen short of expectations for their on-course results, but fashion-wise they’ve made quite an impression. Adidas has smartly capitalized on this star power by giving each golfer her own shoe line.
Gulbis’ Signature Natalie is low-profile number with detailed stitching and eye-catching colors. Her logo and rhinestone design accent the heel and tongue. Creamer’s Signature Paula shoes incorporate a ribbon graphic, and one model is striped in hot pink. Both Signature lines feature waterproof protection and a form-fitting footbed. Also for ladies from adidas: Traxionlite Sport AT, Driver Isabelle 3.0, CC Slingback 2.0, Tech Response 2.0
Nike Air Zoom Vapor II
This ultra-lightweight shoe is the sibling of the men’s version. Of course, you won’t find many guys trodding the fairways in pink or cool mint kicks. (Well, maybe Ian Poulter.) The Air Zoom Vapor II is notable for its one-piece microfiber upper, which is not only waterproof, light and breathable, but stretch resistant. The contoured, removable sockliner is a bonus. Also for ladies from Nike: Air Summer Lite III, Air Brassie II, Nike Ace, Apres 18 Slide (an after-golf flip-flop)
FootJoy Lo Pro Collection
This shoe made our list by virtue of its zebra print model alone. (Wouldn’t surprise us if Poulter slipped on a pair of these, either.) The Lo Pro is available in more conservative styles, like white with a cool cloud stroke and black snake print. Full-grain leather uppers and a waterproof warranty aren’t too shabby. Also for ladies from FootJoy: FJ Summer Series, Dry Joys, Green Joys (including golf sandals)