By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
ORLANDO -- Danish shoemaker ECCO joined the minimalist golf shoe movement with the unveiling of its BIOM Zero model at the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show, touted as the lightest (less than 10 ounces), most flexible, low-profile golf shoe the company has ever produced.
"The basic idea is you get your natural move, your natural walk, your natural swing back with this shoe," said Dieter Kasprzak, ECCO Group's president. "It might not be for everybody in the beginning because they're used to a shoe with a higher heel or stiff shoe. But after working with it you'll see that playing in a shoe that's this low to the ground can have significant benefits — especially when it comes to improving your balance."
Built atop ECCO's Street outsole and featuring the company's dynamic traction system (E-dts), the BIOM Zero gives you the feeling like you're walking barefoot on the course, thanks in large part to the zero heel drop, a process that saw the company get rid of the heel so the entire sole sits completely flat on the ground.
"We named BIOM Zero after the zero heel drop, but also because it's as close as you can get to a golf shoe that feels like wearing nothing and playing barefoot." said Michael Waack, Head of Global Golf at ECCO.
While the shoe is extremely flexible and close to the ground, ECCO noted that the BIOM Zero is also very stable.
With a Direct Injected Midsole — a process, unique to ECCO in golf, that provides superior cushioning, stability and comfort via a one-piece shoe built without glue or stitching — golfers can rest easy knowing the shoe will perform and won't slide from under you during the swing.
The shoe also features Caldera Leather Uppers that are stain resistant and easy-to-clean, as well as Hydromax, a premium, tanned-in water-resistant treatment. A Second Skin Leather Lining inside the shoe wicks away moisture, keeping your feet dry during the round.
Kasprzak also stressed that even though the BIOM Zero is a golf shoe, it's casual enough to be worn off the course as a street shoe.
"I think it's one of the reasons why the BIOM Zero is such a great shoe," Kasprzak said. "These days there's nothing wrong with wearing your golf shoes off the course."
The limited-edition shoe comes in two colors (white and black) and will be available to purchase in February for $190.
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
Oakley will have another major winner on its roster for the 2013 season, after the company announced on Thursday that 2012 Masters winner Bubba Watson would be joining the team.
“Oakley gets it,” Watson said. “I’m proud to join their family because they love the game and they never stop pushing technology to make the game better. Whatever they can do — whatever can be done — Oakley will do it. I respect that.”
While Rory McIlroy hasn’t been officially unveiled as a Nike athlete — the announcement is supposed to come the week of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, McIlroy’s first event of the season — the move away from Oakley to the Swoosh is all but a done deal. With the two-time major winner no longer part of the equation, Oakley decided to position itself for the future with two former major winners in Watson and Zach Johnson, who signed on at the end of December.
“Oakley has the kind of attitude I connect with,” Watson said. “It’s about keeping it fun but staying locked-in on achieving the best, even when it means taking chances. Oakley doesn’t get bogged down with the kind of thinking everybody else is stuck on. They respect the game as much as I do, and they take good care of their family. That’s why I’m happy to join them.”
Watson, who was with Travis Mathew for the last three years, will likely become the face of Oakley’s performance golf apparel line. He’ll wear the company’s performance golf apparel for the upcoming season. The new apparel line includes Oakley’s O Hydrolix technology that manages moisture to minimize cling and maximize comfort. Oakley’s also added OctoStick grip tape to the hem to keep the polo in place during the round.
Oakley’s new performance golf apparel line is available on its website and ranges in price from $50-70.