Nike, still a relative new comer in the golf world, has made a name for themselves over the last decade or so by taking the time to research and develop their products properly. While not everything they have come out with has been the best looking, their products pack a lot of features and technology and the new shoes and putters from Nike are no exception.
This week we're looking at some new models in each of those lines: the new Tiger Woods TW '13 Nike Free-inspired shoes, and new putters in the Method line.
If you've been paying any attention at all to the golf world when it comes to shoes, then you'll know that recently there has been a trend towards shoes that let your feet function naturally. From smaller companies such as TRUE to big dogs like Ecco and Adidas it seems like nearly everybody now a shoe of this type. On June 8, Nike's entry into this arena will be available to consumers in the form of the the new FREE-inspired TW '13.
While the shoes haven't hit the shelves quite yet, anybody who follows the PGA Tour knows what shoes these are as Tiger started wearing the prototypes of them last summer. According to Nike, the development of these shoes actually started with Tiger himself. Woods said that he loved the fit and feel of the Nike FREEs that he uses for working out and wanted a golf shoe that was similar to those. After some collaboration between Woods and Nike, the Nike FREE-inspired TW '13 was born.
There are a couple key features to the new shoes. First, is the natural motion engineered outsole which is designed to mimic and conform to the natural motion of the foot. According to Tobie Hatfield, who leads the Innovation Kitchen at Nike, athletes train nearly every part of their body with the exception of maybe their feet and the natural motion technology in the shoes help to increase the strength and flexibility of the foot.
Tiger seems to agree:
Now my feet are stronger and I feel more athletic… These shoes provide freedom of movement and allow me to release more power through my swing.Tiger Woods
The second key feature to the FREE-inspired TW'13s is the Nike Dymamic Fit support system. Nylon straps infused with flywire extend from the footbed to the lacing system to provide enhanced stability and motion.
The shoes are available in either white or black and both feature red accents. As stated earlier, they will be available on June 8, 2012 and will retail for around $169.
Shoes aren't the only new things from Nike though, as the new Method Midnight will join the original Method and Method Core. As the name suggests, the Method Midnight comes in a dark chrome finish. However, it's not just the finish that is different with the new addition as it is available in three new head shapes (the 006, 007, and 008). As is the case with all of the Method putters, the new models have the polymetal face groove technology. The 006 and 007 are similar in shape with the major difference being that the 006 has a plumbers neck while the 007 is center-shafted. The 008 is more mallet like and has a double bend shaft.
According to David Franklin, the Master Model Maker at Nike, everything revolves around the multidimensional face which is the primary technology on the putters. Nike says that the polymetal groove technology gets the ball rolling almost immediately and eliminates the initial bounces and skids that you see with other steel-faced putters.
The new head shapes have seen some success on the tour as well. Lucas Glover won the 2009 US Open with the 006 as did Stuart Cink at the British Open a month later and Michelle Wie's first LPGA win came with the 007.
All three models of the new putter will be available on June 15, 2012 for right handers while only the 006 will be available for lefties. The price on the new putters is $269.