There is a lot of cool gear in the golf equipment world that doesn’t always fit neatly into Most Wanted Tests or Buyer’s Guides. You still want to know how it performs. In our We Tried It series, we put gear to the test and let you know if it works as advertised.
What We Tried:
I sent a pair of my shoes to Custom Cleats. The company specializes in shoe conversions (turning everyday shoes or sneakers into cleats) and they just released their brand-new golf cleat.
Who Tried It:
Connor. Director of Soft Goods Testing and resident sneakerhead. I believe golf is better with a pair of cool shoes and comfortable joggers. After seeing a Phillies pitcher throw a no-hitter in a pair of Vans that he had turned into baseball cleats, I knew I had to find the company that made it possible.
A few weeks (and emails) later, I was able to send my personal pair of Jordan 1s to Custom Cleats to be converted into spiked golf shoes.
Who is Custom Cleats?
Custom Cleats has been converting everyday shoes into functioning cleats for nearly 20 years. You need only glance at their social media to find a host of professional athletes that have taken the Custom Cleats plunge.
For years, I’ve pondered the idea of turning my favorite pair of Dunks or Jordans into a golf shoe. And while some companies exist for a quick “DIY” option, Custom Cleats provides a more permanent solution.
Custom Cleats can turn your shoes into football cleats, baseball cleats, golf shoes and more. There are very few shoes (if any) they cannot work on. Yes, you can turn your favorite pair of Crocs into a golf shoe. Imagine that?
My Custom Cleats Experience
Just how does the process work? That was my first question for Bryan Smith, co-owner of Custom Cleats. Each shoe is converted by hand to ensure the structure of the shoe remains unchanged. What good is a conversion if your shoe comes back looking like anything but what you shipped to them?
The process takes about two weeks from the time that Custom Cleats receives your kicks. Custom Cleats relies on proprietary methods to properly fit your shoes with your chosen bottom/cleat style. They wouldn’t tell me much but Smith did leave me with this important tidbit.
“Each shoe goes through a meticulous multi-step process that includes a rigorous quality control component to ensure that the shoes can be worn at the highest of levels by professional athletes and amateurs alike.”
Immediately upon receiving my newly converted golf shoes, the care and attention given to my pair was apparent. They were returned to me in the exact condition that they left my care save the addition of some sleek, black golf spikes.
How Do They Hold Up on the Golf Course?
Before I talk about my on-course experience with my Custom Cleats golf shoes, I need to start with a disclaimer: The performance of your shoe is dependent upon the shoe you choose to convert. If you send Custom Cleats a pair of Crocs to turn into a golf shoe, your performance will be subject to that unfortunate shoe choice.
I strategically chose a pair of Jordan 1s (a basketball shoe) because I knew it would provide good lateral stability and decent comfort. My particular variant also has GORE-TEX, something that makes it even more functional as a (now) golf shoe.
Because performance depends on your shoe choice, I can only speak to the traction of the Custom Cleats golf sole. I had no issues in wet or dry conditions with the spiked traction. That’s a win in my book. If you choose to have your shoes converted, rest assured the traction will perform.
I will note that if you choose a shoe with a thinner sole, you may “feel” the spikes a little more than a shoe with a beefier sole. It’s also worth mentioning that the spikes are not replaceable. This can get you into trouble if you plan on really getting some miles out of your new custom golf shoes.
A Good Thing
Custom Cleats are inherently not for everyone. You know this as well as I do. More than likely, whichever shoe you send off to become a functioning golf shoe will not be your daily driver, so to speak. For me, my custom Jordan 1 golf shoes will be my scramble go-to, a pair for the occasional “special event.”
And that is how it’s intended to be. From my doorstep to theirs and back again, the entire process was awesome. Custom Cleats took great care of my shoes and their new golf cleat bottom holds up well on the course.
If you’ve got a pair of shoes you’re dying to get converted, head over to Custom Cleats to get started.