A little less than four short years after his calamitous fall from grace, Tiger Woods has reclaimed his throne and the perks – $78 million in winnings and endorsements – that go with it. His most significant ally, of course, is Nike, which supplied him with a newly designed set of shoes for the 2013 Players Championship, where he notched a coincidental 78th tour win. Those TW’14s are now available to the public, and there is only one way to describe these lightweight, flexible course cleats: fit for royalty.
At Tiger’s request, the new shoes were based on Nike’s Free line, a deservedly popular collection of road runners built to make the long haul on pavement. The shoe’s upper is reinforced with Nike’s Flywire technology, a system of uber-strong nylon cables, and the outer sole was engineered to mirror the foot’s movement. The result is a golf shoe that wears like your favorite trainers but also has the grip you need for sure footing on awkward lies. As if that weren’t enough, the waterproof shoe’s mesh tongue and perforations allow it enhanced breathability.
There is an old, tired joke about golf being little more than a long walk ruined. In the past, golf shoes had been responsible for ruining a fair number of fairway strolls. But after a six and a half mile round on Bethpage’s blue course, our TW’14-clad feet felt ready for another 18. [$179; nike.com]