You’ve heard about them, maybe even seen them. Everyday products are being hyped in your Twitter and Instagram feeds. They’re sometimes endorsed by pros, celebrities and influencers alike. But do they live up to the hype? We take a closer look.
Jordan Golf Shoes: What’s Feeding the Beast?
Between Tony Finau, Nelly Korda, Justin Rose and Keegan Bradley, Jordan golf shoes are becoming more mainstream on the pro tours. There’s no denying their popularity among the amateur ranks as well. I can hardly walk onto a golf course or scroll my social feeds without the iconic Jumpman logo staring into my “sole.”
Nothing fits the definition of “hype” quite like an Air Jordan golf shoe. Think of hype like an engine. In this scenario, Jordan golf shoes are the fuel. Influencers, celebrities and professionals are pumping the accelerator.
With no brake lights in sight, it’s fair to ask: Will the Jordan golf shoe hype ever stop? If I were a betting man, I’d have a hard time picking against MJ and his squad. The Jordan brand has the formula down and, thus, the hype machine keeps on turning.
So, do Jordan golf shoes live up to the immense hype?
I’m Connor, the Soft Goods Testing Manager at MyGolfSpy. I spend my time testing golf equipment, including golf shoes, to ensure that your hard-earned money goes to something that will help, not hurt, your game.
Outside of my responsibilities here at MyGolfSpy, I’m an avid sneakerhead at heart. I started to golf later in life than most but immediately gravitated towards golf shoes in the same way I have casual shoes.
Behind the Hype
The hype behind Jordan golf shoes is somewhat simple but hard to articulate. Stick with me on this one. It’s obvious the Jordan brand has been a household name since the Air Jordan 1 debuted in 1985. But that was on the basketball court, not the golf course.
It’s only recently that Jordan golf shoes have started to make waves. Perhaps it’s symbolic of the continual growth of golf and the crossover appeal that Air Jordans hold. This idea resonates with golfers like me who made a transition from basketball to golf.
“When I think about Jordan golf shoes, it makes me think of a few things,” says Slade. “The first thing is how they broaden the appeal of the game of golf. A lot of the new golfers that are getting into the game don’t need performance golf shoes. They need something that they can wear casually to the course and off the course and the Jordan shoes fit that bill perfectly.
“It’s true to the Jordan DNA. We all know Michael Jordan loves golf so to see the transition of his shoes from basketball to the golf course really shows how NIKE is telling the complete story of one of the greatest basketball players of all time.”
Another big driver behind the hype is availability. Jordan golf shoes are being produced in larger quantities, making them more available to the causal golfer. At the time of this writing, you can hop on NIKE’s website and pick from five Jordan styles in countless colorways. In a day and age where it’s nearly impossible to get what the pros get, it’s a refreshing change that you can buy the exact Jordan golf shoes you see on the feet of golf’s biggest names.
Perhaps the biggest reason, though, is the paradigm shift within the game of golf as it relates to traditional dress standards.
“It shows the growth of the game of golf and how Jordans are now acceptable on the course and it’s not looked at with a side-eye,” Slade continued. “Obviously, that depends on which course but it’s becoming easier for people to be themselves on the course.”
Jordan Golf Shoe Model Comparison
To understand the history is to understand the hype. Not all Jordan golf shoes garner the same hype and attention as others. Here are a few you should know about.
Air Jordan 1 G
Available in both a high-top and low-top silhouette, the Air Jordan 1 Low golf shoe is the one with the most hype. Modeled after the Jordan brand’s first-ever sneaker, the Air Jordan 1, the golf version features the same design aesthetics that make its casual counterpart one of the most popular and recognizable sneakers of all time.
Of the Jordan golf shoes, the Jordan 1 Golf is the most frequently spotted on pro tours, too.
Air Jordan 6 G
One of the more recent additions to Jordan Brand’s 2023 lineup of golf shoes is the Air Jordan 6 Low Golf. This classic shoe made its basketball debut as a high-top sneaker in 1991, the same year MJ won his first NBA championship. Now, the golf variant has burst onto the scene in iconic colorways that made the basketball shoe so famous.
Air Jordan 12 Low G
Brought to the forefront of the golf scene by a slick collaboration with Eastside Golf, the Air Jordan 12 Low Golf is another hyped golf shoe that I’d be remise not to mention. Most will remember the original Air Jordan 12 as the shoe MJ wore during the 1996-1997 season where his Chicago Bulls eventually bested my hometown Utah Jazz for another NBA title.
Beyond the Hype
Let’s take a moment to look beyond the hype. Are Jordan golf shoes going to make you a better golfer? While many basketball fans grew up hoping that Air Jordan shoes would help them to “Be like Mike,” in reality Jordan golf shoes aren’t designed with performance in mind.
The Jordan golf shoes look amazing but they aren’t touching the best spikeless and best spiked golf shoes in a performance test.
In my experience, I’ve found them to be decently comfortable and provide adequate traction for a casual round. Again, though, it’s important to look beyond the hype here. Jordan Brand didn’t put in the R&D time nor the money to make their golf shoes high performers. Instead, they’re relying on the wow factor to bring in buyers … and it’s working.
What if your main concern is performance? My advice is to steer clear. But, as a friend who’s looking out for your style, you will surely earn brownie points with the new generation of golfers.
Are You Buying the Hype?
In this case, it’s important to separate performance from intended purpose. Jordan Brand doesn’t intend for these shoes to outperform the best golf shoes in the industry. Instead, they’re designed to make golf cool, something that it absolutely succeeds in doing.
In that regard, Jordan golf shoes absolutely live up to the hype.
There’s only one question left: Are you buying?