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Always Fresh Golf Shoes

always fresh golf shoes
always fresh golf shoes

Nike’s Air Zoom Victory Tour lineup is one of the most popular in the world of golf from both a professional and amateur standpoint. It’s an affordable, comfortable, durable, and trustworthy shoe in various conditions. But Nike’s NRG lineup for golf offers some of the most rare colorways and editions of the mass-market golf shoe, and its 2023 edition, which sent an ode to the Masters, is no different.

Nike sent me a pair of these, and as I’ve got about four pairs in the current rotation from various manufacturers, there are some things I loved and some things I’d love to see them improve upon for future models.

Nike writes on its product page for the shoe:

“You ever daydream about Georgia in the spring? We do. With its peach-fuzz tones complementing a burlap sack-like base, this version is perfect for a long stroll through a warm, inviting Southern breeze. It offers robust comfort, unreal energy return and all-new spikes, whether you’re swinging through or playing through en route to 36. Radiant brights and extra-juicy green goodness throughout remind you to keep it fresh, always.”

First Impressions and Looks – 9.5/10

In the past, I’ve opted to buy Nikes in a Wide, especially when it comes to the Air Zoom Victory Tour. Last year’s edition set me back $125 after they had been out for a few months, and I only wore them a handful of times because I didn’t buy them in a Wide. I don’t normally buy Wide shoes, but these Air Zoom Victory Tours, in particular, have quite a bit of cushion, and they take some time to get broken into and form to your foot. There are plenty of other Nikes I’ve had in the past for golf that don’t fit my feet so snugly, but these seem to be cut a tad more narrow than others.

If I could make a suggestion, hit your local golf store and try a pair on before you buy, just to be sure.

Now, as a superfan of the Masters and someone who, in my opinion, is a bigger fan of the tournament than most (I don’t delete my Masters app after that weekend in April wraps up), I truly loved the theme of these shoes. They look great, and in all honesty, I didn’t even want to wear them, that’s how great they look to me. I wore them with a Nike ankle sock, and they looked better with those than with no-shows. I didn’t have much luck finding how other players wore it; it seems to be a shoe many people do not want to wear.

They look so good, and even the follow-through on your swing will give onlookers something to gander at, as the bottom of the Left and Right shoes say, respectively, “Always Fresh.” That basically encapsulates what this shoe is.

They will set you back $200 a pair, but that’s not asking that much with the Special Edition colorway and the beautiful design of these shoes.

They were tight on my foot, but they were not uncomfortable. I decided to wear them for a few hours on Friday night as I planned to use them in a scramble on Saturday. My experience with these Nike golf shoes, in particular, is to set aside a little bit of time to get your feet acclimated before diving right into a round. Your feet will not regret it.

On the Course Performance – 9.1/10

It was a slick and rainy day on the course. I got out at 8 am on Saturday for a fundraiser scramble, and we had storms and showers all morning, and they persisted through the first few holes of the day before the skies cleared up and the sun poked out for the rest of the morning and afternoon.

When it comes to playing in the rain, you need something with some grip and traction. Spikes are a necessity, and I have to say, Nike offers some of the best out there. Despite playing in sopping wet conditions, I never once seemed to slip or lose my footing. I don’t usually have an issue with this with any shoe I wear, but there are times when I might be less confident than others in terms of conditions and what is on my feet. For what it is worth, these gave me the freedom and flexibility to swing with as much effort as I wanted. I didn’t have a concern in the world.

Comfort – 9.1/10

I truly do feel that these are comfortable shoes, but with their snug nature, as someone prone to blisters on the heel, I was nervous about these. A pleasant surprise, to say the least, I was able to avoid the blisters and come home to feet that were not in utter pain after a round of golf. I love new shoes but tend to wear something broken in already as I just don’t enjoy my feet aching for days and the irritation of having your blisters be rubbed constantly by anything that touches the heel.

These are light, comfortable, and a great shoe for walking or riding. They are narrow, but this could be due to the excess padding they’ve put throughout.

Durability – 8.6/10 (but could be higher)

I give the durability an 8.6 out of 10 because these shoes are not made with the most ideal materials. The upper is more of a suede material that I, in all honesty, was scared to get wet. I was surprised by the shoe and its ability to keep my feet and socks dry through the rain. As the ground dried, I could tell these were definitely going to be a shoe I would save for those days, I can’t say I’m overly confident in getting them to be Out-of-the-Box clean, but they did impress me in terms of their ability to stay dry and reasonably not-muddy. There are no real stains on them as they sit in the basement.

I think this score could be higher because I’ve only played 18 holes with the so far. I think I’d like to see how the materials hold up through the Summer or at least through a few rounds before I completely commit to saying they stay clean.

I prefer these to other Nikes I’ve had in the past, like the Roshe spikeless, for example. Those are more of a range shoe, in my opinion, and I feel they offer more breathability and versatility than these, but they are certainly not going to give you a stable and high-quality feel like the Air Zoom Victory Tour 3 NRG will. Roshes lasted me maybe 4 months with the amount I play. I know I’ll be wearing these well into next year.

Overall – 9.1/10

Overall, these are an excellent shoe to have for many reasons. My favorite part is the aesthetics, as they are just a great ode to a great tournament. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of wearing them, and they might be a shoe I throw on the feet a little more often than others. It’s not necessarily that I feel like they’re terribly better than other options, but the look and feel alone are worth noting.

I will say I am hoping for either less cushion or a slightly wider frame next year. They are comfortable, don’t get me wrong, but I do think they are also a tad narrow, and I would be more comfortable in a shoe with less cushioning and more focus on room and space. I can do without the massive amounts of cushioning.

Nike continues to be a mainstay in the world of golf footwear. While I don’t want to ruin these because of their Special Edition colors, I feel these will be worn a lot this Summer, and I hope to touch back on them in three or four months to see how they’ve held up through the rest of the year.