I’m a big believer, fan, user, lover, homer for Kentwool socks. I’m wearing a pair of Kentwool Tour golf socks right now. There is not a more comfortable golf sock on this planet and I’m fairly sure several other planets as well. Kentwool makes dress dress/casual socks now also. The dress sock version is called the 19th Hole Collection.
The 19th Hole collection is made with the same fantastic wool that Kentwool is famous for. These are a little thinner than the golf socks but still very soft and comfortable.
You may be thinking that wool socks are too hot, as I did. Not the case with Kentwools. I get very hot in long socks, but not these.
I’m not a fan of dressing up. In fact I’m the crazy guy you see walking around Salt Lake on January 2nd in shorts when there are three feet of snow on the ground and the temps are 35 degrees below freezing. I pretty much dress up for weddings and funerals, and I’m not a big fan of either. At least I have the comfort advantage of the 19th Hole Collection.
There are 13 variants in the styles and colors for the 19th Hole Collection. See the image below for a few of them.
19th Hole Collection styles/colors – click to zoom
(Spoken in the voice of the “most interesting man in the world”) I don’t always dress up. But when I do, I prefer Kentwool 19th Hole Collection socks.
In the winter time here I don’t get to review a lot of golf gear. Thanks though to a trip to Orlando and some lengthy practice sessions I’ve had the chance to test out the new FootJoy M:Project golf shoes.
FootJoy M:Project Golf Shoe
These are quite a departure for FootJoy. Let’s take a look.
Golf shoes have gone many directions in the last few years. The “street” thing is still big. Another very cool direction golf shoes have gone is in the super-light, minimal design area.
FootJoy M:Project Golf Shoes – Click to zoom
The M:Projects are much lighter than regular FJ’s. This is thanks to many new construction strategies and materials. For instance, the “P.I.N.S.” system gives the shoes a lower profile as the cleat receptacles are thinner. That’s great. One of my beefs with golf shoes is that they have soles which are too thick. Thicker soles make my back hurt for some reason.
“M:SPEC” leather on the upper is very thin but strong. Another way to make the shoe lighter and improve the feel.
With a great pair of modern wool golf socks on my feet, the first time I slipped into the M:Project was memorable to say the least. The comfort is fantastic right out of the box. Unlike many higher end golf shoes, the toe on the M:Project is wider and more round. Not pointed. This really helps in the comfort area. Nice to not have the toes squished together like the pointed golf shoes can do.
Walking around, even on pavement, the M:Projects with the Stealth Cleats provide a great cushion. The impact on the lower body and back is greatly reduced. I needed these when I played St. Andrews for days, walking around on ground as hard as the freeway. Trust me. I’ll be bringing these babies when I go there this July.
The leather is very soft. Extremely comfortable with great feel. They breath very well, spoken from someone who sweats most from the knees down.
Without a break-in period I put a brand new pair of M:Projects into play. From the first steps I took in the parking lot my first day with the M:Projects to the final step into the 19th hole, the comfort level was off the charts. I’ve been tempted to simply wear them around town.
Mesh FootJoy M:Project Golf Shoe – click for higher res version
As I said before, these are a departure for FootJoy. FJ has been a more “classic” design shoe company. The M:Projects still have a classy vibe, but are much less conservative in style.
I have the white pair with black and red trip (most of the photos here), but I’m dying to get my hands on the silver mesh ones (pictured right) I saw at the PGA Merchandise Show. Very cool looking.
To be a gamer shoe for me I have three requirements: performance, comfort and looks. I rate my requirements in that order.
I’ve got many golf shoes in the garage collecting dust which can only boast one of my three primary requirements. Some are great looking but have poor comfort. Some have great performance and stability but are not attractive. The M:Project line gives me all three. My stability (for my spastic swing) is unmatched.
On the course or in practice I’ve NEVER slipped or lost any sort of stability in my base. Never.
M:Projects come in sizes ranging from 7-15, depending on the width of the shoe. Widths are N, M, W and XW.
There are roughly 10 different colors available.
Leather or Mesh
The M:Project series is available in leather or mesh. Both are waterproof, with a 2-year waterproof guarantee.
Spiked or Spikeless
Along with the many colors and leather/mesh options, the shoes are available in spiked or spikeless.
Spikeless FJ M:Project – click to zoom
I tested out the leather-spiked version. Looking forward to checking out perhaps a mesh spikeless next.
I’m happy to see FootJoy take a chance on some very cool new shoe designs and materials. The $145 (retail) M:Project wrap up the three key requirements a golf shoe must have to be a gamer for me, performance, comfort and style. Well played FootJoy. Well played.
I miss Payne Stewart. What a player and what a person. Part of the uniqueness that was Payne Stewart was his apparel style. Knickers, sweaters, caps… the traditional look.
While at the PGA Merchandise Show last month I visited a booth of a new company which makes that sort of traditional style golf apparel. A very new company, Kings Cross makes classic golf knickers and apparel, right down to the shoes. Check out my video below and stay tuned as I’ll be doing a review of some Kings Cross apparel…when the snow melts.
One of my favorite golf companies is Kikkor Golf. Lets face the facts. Kikkor started the skate style golf shoe fad and the big companies have been copying Kikkor ever since. Over the years I’ve built up a good friendship with Kikkor founder James Lepp. You may recognize him from his runner-up finish on Big Break Greenbrier or perhaps his amazing college golf career at Washington where he won the NCAA Individual Championship.
This video below is 1 of 3 Kikkor clips from the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show. We talk about Kikkor’s footwear, but I also pick James’s brain a bit about the “process” of creating his products and what it takes to get them to retail. Interesting stuff.
Below is the 2nd (and now annual) video interview I’ve done with my Utah native pals at Switch Belt. Switch Belt is company based out of Provo, Utah which makes plastic golf belts. Check out my Switch Belt review.
In the video here we check in with Sam Clayton and see what’s on the agenda for 2013, and evaluate 2012. Things are looking good for this cool and young golf company.