Each month, we tap experts from the equipment industry to answer your most commonly asked questions. In this installment, Grant Knudson, global head of footwear and accessories at Puma Golf, discusses the function of foam inserts in golf shoes.
Q. Do foam inserts do anything to a shoe other than add comfort?
A high-quality foam should reconstitute after being compressed by the player’s foot, bouncing back or rebounding with every step. This takes a lot of the force exerted by the golfer and directs it back to the foot, sapping less energy and reducing fatigue. The result actually makes it easier to walk—it’s sort of like having springs in the bottom of your shoe.
But make no mistake: Foam also provides exceptional comfort, which is a very significant factor for us at Puma Golf. We believe comfort is absolutely critical to performance, because players typically perform much better when they can forget about their shoes and just play. We’ve also found that players who are more comfortable with their gear are typically more confident.
But be warned: Not all foams are made alike. Cobra’s Ignite Foam, for example, is made from polyurethane, which is more resilient and lasts longer than other materials, so it remains unaffected by changes in temperature. Some foam can become still in cold or overly soft in heat, making performance inconsistent.
— Grant Knudson, Global Head of Footwear and Accessories/Puma Golf