Let's face it, in the golf industry we hear claims that merit a roll of the eyes. The first time I heard Sir Nick Faldo talk about a golf shoe that will give you more distance I had a such a moment. Yet, as with most clever marketers, the folks at SQAIRZ did a great job of offering me a glimmer of hope. As a provider of golf training aids I have to admit that we are in the business of providing hope to the everyday golfer. Heck, we all want to get better and if something comes along that at least can offer some hope in our journey we are often willing to shell out some cash to give it a try.
The Science Behind SQAIRZ Golf Shoes
So, when it came to considering the claim that a pair of golf shoes can increase distance, I found myself compelled to investigate. It all started when I began to learn about a thing called ground reaction force (GRF). Without getting too technical, this refers to what happens when a golfer pushes into the ground. The ground, in a way, "pushes back" with a transfer of energy allowing you to make your movement. I realized that the best golfers in the world know how to efficiently use the ground to create more power. Training aids such as the DownUnder Board and The Force Pedal are now very popular among PGA Tour players and amateurs alike as they teach us how to use the ground in our swing.
In speaking with Terry Hashimoto, Co-Founder of BodiTrak I began to realize that their is a mountain of data out there to support the theory that a better designed shoe could have an impact on the transfer of energy in a golfers swing. BodiTrak technology is able to measure the pressure the golfer creates and provide a "map" as to how they do it. With such feedback, a golfer can make necessary adjustments to use the ground more efficiently.
In their testing, BodiTrak tested the performance of over 200 golfers of all experience levels for months before and after wearing SQAIRZ golf shoes. Their testing found that SQAIRZ has the most surface area connection with the ground of any golf shoe on the market, and this increased surface area resulted in a greater ground-force connection and balance in all golfers tested. Below is a table with the key metrics that were measured and the results when compared to other golf shoes on the market.
My Own Test
With all of this new information I just had to order a pair of SQAIRZ for myself. The first thing you notice about the shoes is their rather unusual look. As the obvious play on words suggest, the toe of the shoe is square. This, according to Founder of SQAIRZ, Robert Winskowicz is by purposeful design: "There are two connections in golf; your hands to the club and your feet to the ground. Your connection to the ground (golf shoes) facilitates hip rotation, swing speed, balance/stability, and accuracy. SQAIRZ’s unique design broke the mold of traditional shoes to provide better balance/stability and ground reaction force, resulting in increased swing speed and more consistent accuracy."
Apart from the unique look, I could not help but notice an incredible attention to detail in both the design and construction of the shoe. Even the no-slip laces felt "premium." One thing I also appreciated was the stable yet roomy fit in the toe area. As someone with wide feet the fit felt snug but not cramped. When ordering I paid particular attention to their sizing chart which advised me to order a size 9 1/2 rather than my usual size 10. So, if you decide to purchase a pair make sure you consult their sizing chart.
So far, I have played two rounds in my SQAIRZ and have to say that they are not only comfortable but there is a noticeable difference in feel from my Adidas shoes. With the extra wide sole I felt more connected to the ground. Also, when practicing the shoes really helped me with feeling my weight more in the center of my feet as opposed to on the balls of the feet. This feeling of being centered as really helped me to swing in balance. When I have a balanced swing, I invariably hit the ball farther.
Can I honestly say that because of SQAIRZ that I am in fact hitting the ball farther now? No, not now. It is too early to tell. However, what I can say is that these are excellent shoes in quality, construction and feel. As far as distance gains are concerned, I cannot help but believe the data from independent testing. And as a golfer in his 50's, I will take what every possible distance gains I can get.
At the end of the day, for most of us, golf is a game of feel. If your feels are right, chances are you are going to play better, shoot lower scores and have more fun. That is what it is all about for me.
If you would like to try SQAIRZ shoes for yourself, you can get them here. Use promo code golfpal to save $10 and get a free gift from SQAIRZ.
About The Author
Chris Moffett is the founder of GolfPal Sports Inc., amateur golfer and golf enthusiast. He resides in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.