Hypegolf List: The Best Golf Shoes of 2023

Reliving the last 12 months in golf footwear.

Golf
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What a year it’s been for golf footwear. After 2022 brought back the adidas Samba G, a bevy of Air Jordan 12 Low Gs and an out of the blue Drole de Monsieur x Paraboot collab, the bar was set high. And yet, the world of sneakerhead golf is stronger than ever as 2023 comes to a close.

Nike delivered the highlight of the year when it pressed the Travis Scott button, and the first glimpses of the reverse swoosh on a golf shoe sent the internet into a frenzy. If you placed a bet at the beginning of the year that Brooks Koepka would star in a campaign alongside Travis himself, you’d probably still be counting up the winnings.

Elsewhere, FootJoy kept classic golf shoes at the front of mind with its widely acclaimed Premiere Series. A newcomer to its slate of fashion-focused collaborations was Metalwood Studio, who helped the Massachusetts brand create hype around the new Wilcox model. Although it didn’t create the whirlwind as Travis Scott x Jordan, you’d be hard pressed to find a pair anywhere online at this point.

As the year wore on, a surprising development also came to the fore: the contemporary classic golf sneaker. Adidas debuted a new category of footwear with the Modern Classic line and the MC80, a wearable leather sneaker with integrated BOOST, while Malbon rolled out its own take with the Course.

After 365 days and many footwear drops later, these are our favorite golf shoes of the year.

Metalwood Studio x FootJoy Premiere Series “Above Snakes”

If you’ve followed our coverage over the last few years, you’ll know that FootJoy has been knocking it out of the park with their collaborations. This year it added a new partner to the fold in Metalwood Studio, the golf-inspired streetwear brand based in LA.

Out of all of FJ’s recent collaborators – Harris Tweed, Jon Buscemi and Todd Snyder included – Metalwood gives FootJoy the most credibility among the alternative golf crowd. Case in point, the Above Snakes, which features a faux snakeskin saddle and terry cloth lining, sold out in less than an hour. A few days later it was worn by Will Zalatoris, Adam Scott and other FJ athletes at the PGA TOUR’s Genesis Invitational.

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low Golf

For many people, the arrival of a Travis Scott collab golf shoe felt like a milestone moment in the sport’s lifestyle movement, and it’s not hard to see why. Sure, there have been other standout moments along the way, but never before had a cultural icon like Cactus Jack put their name on a golf product.

If you follow a lot of golf creators, your feed would have been flooded with unboxings and product shots in the days leading up to the release. Unbeknownst to some, the tread on these shoes are actually raised slightly compared to the inline AJ1 Low Gs, making them a bit more functional for golf.

ASICS GEL-LYTE III “Shamrock Green”

Before 2023 the words GEL-LYTE III and golf would have rarely been mentioned in the same breath. And although it’s technically not a golf shoe, this rendition was heavily influenced by fairways and greens, and particularly those lined by azaleas in Augusta, Georgia. The pair was introduced alongside an ASICS and Malbon co-branded cardigan, polo and joggers in late March, and got high marks for integrating golf-inspired design cues into a streetwear staple. A combination of smooth nubuck and shaggy suede is intended to evoke the organic textures found on the golf course.

Jon Buscemi x FootJoy Premiere Series

Buscemi x FootJoy is another one of those collaborations that has given FootJoy an opportunity to reach a different consumer. In Buscemi, you have a fashion designer who’s famous for putting a fresh spin on familiar footwear silhouettes, but you also have a genuine lover of golf. That right there is the sweet spot for FootJoy.

It’s been two years running now that FootJoy has teamed up with Buscemi at the PLAYERS Championship, considered to be golf’s “fifth major.” Both times the LA-based designer has opted for off-white leather with gold accents, a reference to the tournament’s trophy. This year he added a speckled pattern on the midsole, which is meant to evoke the shells of the resident turtles at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Air Jordan 1 Golf “Wave”

Out of all the shoes on the list, the Air Jordan 1 Golf “Wave” took us most by surprise. Michelle Wie West, the child prodigy turned professional golfer and major championship winner, announced in 2022 that 2023 would be her last year on tour. Most likely assumed she would play the whole season, but as it turned out, Wie decided that her last hurrah would take place at the US Women’s Open in her home state of California.

So, with Wie as Nike’s most visible female golfer, the brand decided to create a special shoe for the champion to wear in her final tournament, along with a limited release to the public. The concept of “Wave” was to highlight the impact she had on her sport as well as her Hawaiian heritage. It does have to be said though that more than a few people took issue with the shock manner of the release.

Malbon x New Balance Golf Heritage

FootJoy may have the upper hand when it comes to classic golf shoes, and Nike reigns supreme with the sneakerhead golf crowd, but there’s still a lot of untapped potential among the comfy dad shoe gang. That’s why New Balance’s steady expansion into golf has been a welcome sight. And with Malbon they’ve found the right partner to reach the audience for whom New Balance and ASICS are fixtures in their everyday wardrobe.

The heritage was a new silhouette that the two brands unveiled as a collaboration in August. Unlike the popular 997G, the heritage isn’t based on a pre-existing New Balance shoe, but drew comparisons to the Numeric 1010 Tiago Lemos and even the 990v3 nonetheless. There are four different colorways too, allowing for a lot of versatility when it comes to styling.

adidas Golf MC80

When it comes to golf footwear, you can make a strong case that adidas is the most focused on innovation right now among the major brands. While Nike has found success in repurposing its roster of throwback basketball shoes and runners for golf, adidas has drawn a line between its golf and football, basketball and running categories. However, this past year has seen the Three Stripes brand embracing its heritage, albeit with a focus on golf.

Debuted in June initially as part of a collaboration with Macklemore’s Bogey Boys label, the Modern Classic series is built around taking old adidas golf silhouettes and rethinking them for the modern golf consumer. With the MC80 you get a deceptively forward thinking shoe where comfort and functionality are prioritized despite the classic design cues. The highlight is the BOOST cushioning in the heel which makes the MC80 ideal for walking.

Air Jordan 1 Low Golf “Noble Green”

As an inline pair, Noble Green is a unique entry to our list. The reason we chose it is because out of all the different colorways of the Air Jordan 1 Low Golf, this one just might be the best. Its colorblocking consists primarily of white and black, making it a very wearable pair, while the hits of noble green on the toe box, heel and outsole give it just enough to stand out. Everything right down to the contrasting yellow Jumpman logo on the tongue feels perfectly executed.

Malbon Course

Up until September, Malbon had released footwear through collaborations with FootJoy, New Balance, Lusso Cloud and Sperry, but producing a shoe in-house was a bridge that had yet to be crossed. That all changed with the Course, which was also Malbon’s first spikeless shoe. The silhouette is a casual and sneaker-like take on a classic wingtip, complete with a removable kiltie. A luxurious feel is rendered through a full grain leather upper and lining, and you’ll pay for it, $300 USD to be exact.

As of writing, there are three colorways available on the website – a mostly white pair, a half and half black and white pair and a brown with off-white pair.

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