Tiger Woods tied for 37th last year at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and while all of his results make news, it was Tiger's Nike footwear that created the most buzz. Today the company announced that the Nike TW '13, a retail-version of the prototype shoe that Woods has been wearing, will be in stores starting June 8.
Over the past two years there has been an increase in the number of casual, minimalist-style golf shoes hitting the market, and the TW '13 is the latest offering. Inspired by Nike's Free line of running shoes, this golf shoe flexes in nearly every direction. Tobie Hatfield, the leader of Nike's footwear creation team and Innovation Kitchen, says, "The shoe is lower to the ground, more in touch with the ground, so that creates more natural stability. Therefore, the shoe doesn't need to provide as much inherent lateral stability." Translation: If you play golf in a shoe that mimics playing barefoot, then you don't need heavy, rigid, stability-enhancing elements in your shoes.
That may be true, but Nike has taken additional steps to make sure players don’t slip and slide during their swing. As with Tiger's prototype shoes, there are nylon straps inside the stretch uppers of the TW '13 that extend from the foot bed into the lacing system and help keep the shoes snug to the foot without being restrictive.
And while Tiger's original prototype had six replaceable Champ spikes on the bottom, the TW '13 features the same number of spikes plus scores of traction-increasing nubs that should help keep golfers firmly attached to the turf.
Tiger's shoes were designed to be water resistant, but the consumer version is waterproof.
The TW '13 shoes—which will be available in either black or white with red accents—should cost about $180 in stores.