The focus in several new golf shoe designs is on the saddle - the central band that surrounds the midfoot, which is a key to both performance and style. For the New Year, Nike Inc. has introduced a system for women that allows them to customize their golf shoes, changing colors at will. Called Nike Air Embellish, it is a performance golf shoe with interchangeable saddle pieces. The water resistant, full-grain leather shoes, said to be inspired by Michelle Wie (a Nike-sponsored golfer), have the Nike power-platform sole technology and feature four saddle options (for each of two different base colors). They cost $130. Now coordinating one's wardrobe with ones footwear should be a piece of cake (or, actually, given the extra choices, even harder).
For the guys, Nike has applied its running-shoe technology to golf to come up with "lunar control," a design engineered with two key technologies: lunarlon foam and flywire. Conceived at Nike's renowned Innovation Kitchen, in the Mia Hamm building in Beaverton, Oregon, the lunarlon cushioning system is lightweight and highly responsive, according to the company. In addition, the shoe saddle achieves its flexible support using flywire, which utilizes strong but lightweight high-tensile fibers to give a supportive fit. The shoes are in the mid- to top-of-the-line ($190) category and are already being worn by pros like Paul Casey on tour.