About a month ago, I posed an interesting question: Will it golf? After an overwhelming response to our first article, I’ve decided to continue my search for more non-golf products that might fit the bill.
Are there products designed for other sports that can hold their own on the course? I’ve made it my mission to find out.
Baseball Turf Shoes Versus Spikeless Golf Shoes
The first heavyweight fight ended with a big W for spikeless golf shoes. But our new challenger is ready to get in a few jabs of its own.
Baseball turf shoes (or turf trainers) seemingly share some DNA with spikeless golf shoes. They are designed for turf, after all. That said, is there any reason you should opt for a baseball turf shoe rather than a spikeless golf shoe?
Let’s find out.
The test was conducted using criteria we use to rank the best golf shoes. No brand bias, no nonsense. We pitted NIKE Alpha Huarache Elite 4 turf baseball shoes in a head-to-head battle against the much-lauded Payntr X005.
For those who aren’t familiar with how we test, this is what to look for when choosing a spikeless golf shoe.
- Comfort. Above all else, a spikeless golf shoe should be comfortable. If you can’t walk 18 or 36 holes right out of the box, then the shoe isn’t comfortable enough.
- Stability. Golf is a game of inches and you can’t afford to give up distance or accuracy because your shoe is unstable. A stable spikeless golf shoe should keep you from rolling over or sliding over the footbed.
- Traction. Both spikeless golf shoes and baseball turf shoes should provide enhanced traction but is one better than the other? Good luck making a solid swing if your shoes won’t grip and allow you to use the ground.
- Elements. You can’t control the weather but you can control your choice of golf footwear. A good spikeless golf shoe should be waterproof or at the very least provide some water resistance.
- Payntr X 005 F. One of the best spikeless golf shoes
- NIKE Alpha Huarache Elite 4 Turf Baseball Shoes. A worthy challenger ready to bring the title belt home to the baseball diamond.
Round 1: Comfort
A good spikeless golf shoe must be comfortable. We think it’s one of (if not the most) important qualities that you should look for. That said, the Payntr X 005 F is as comfortable as they come.
I like to take a holistic approach to comfort. How comfortable is the entire shoe? The midsole, upper and tongue should all be considered. The X 005 has a plush midsole and soft microfiber upper that hugs your foot. On the flipside, the NIKE Alpha Huarache Elite 4 has a more rigid upper that doesn’t feel quite as nice. The midsole on the Elite 4 was on the firm side, too. It wasn’t quite what I’d be looking for in a comfortable spikeless golf shoe.
I’d liken the difference between the two to the interior of a car. While a cloth interior might get the job done, nothing is as comfortable as the premium leather option. The Payntr X 005 F just feels more premium and, by extension, comfortable.
Round 1 goes to the Payntr X 005 F spikeless golf shoe.
Round 2: Stability
Now we’re playing to the Alpha Huarache Elite 4’s strengths. Entering Round 2, I had a pretty good feeling about who would win. The basis for my initial hunch? The explosive, lateral movements required of baseball players necessitate a stable shoe.
The NIKE Alpha Huarache Elite 4 has a sturdy heel cup to keep your foot locked in place. The result? Balance and stability no matter how vigorous the swing. While the Payntr X005 F is no slouch when it comes to stability, it was no match for the Alpha Huarache Elite 4.
Golf doesn’t require you to field a ground ball or make a lengthy pick-off throw to third but the added stability of the Alpha Huarache Elite 4 lends itself well to the big hitters who like to swing for the fences (or in this case, fairways).
Round 3: Traction
We’re all tied up heading into Round 3. That’s a “Will it Golf?” first! Traction was perhaps the biggest motivating factor in my decision to test a baseball turf shoe. After testing in both wet and dry conditions, the Payntr X 005 F took Round 3 by a slim margin.
The deciding factor was the flex of the traction lugs. The lugs on the Alpha Huarache Elite 4 are just a little too pliable. In some conditions, the lugs would give way and bend rather than grab and hold in place. The Payntr X 005 F and its more rigid, robust traction held firm no matter what.
Round 4: Elements
This is where the proverbial fight ends. The Payntr X00 5 is waterproof. The NIKE Alpha Huarache Elite 4 is not.
Honestly, it’s hard to fault a baseball trainer for not being waterproof but golf is a game played in the elements and a good golf shoe must at least be water-resistant.
The open-cell mesh upper on the Alpha Huarache Elite 4 did little to stop water from seeping through. I will note that the fuse overlays on the toe and the side did provide some water resistance. But, as with any primarily mesh shoe, you’re going to get wet.
Close But No Cigar
Admittedly, this head-to-head (toe-to-toe?) battle was closer than I anticipated. The NIKE Alpha Huarache Elite 4 held its own in more than one round which is a noble effort in my book.
That said, the Payntr X005 F walked away largely unscathed. It’s more comfortable, offers more reliable traction and handles the elements with ease. The Alpha Huarache Elite 4, on the other hand, is extremely stable but not quite up to par when it comes to the qualities that matter most.
Can you golf in a baseball turf shoe? Sure. But should you? I’m not ready to conclude that it will hurt your game. However, I do feel comfortable crowning the Payntr X 005 F as the superior shoe for golf.