May 12, 2016
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Rory McIlroy was seen at THE PLAYERS Championship wearing the new Nike shoe. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Those familiar with some of Nike's most iconic shoes have likely heard of the name Air Max before. The iconic shoe created by Nike designer Tinker Hatfield has inspired numerous spin-off designs over the years, like the Air Max 90 — a shoe that's preferred by 4-time major winner Rory McIlroy when he's not on the course.
Hoping to bring McIlroy's love of Air Max 90 to the course, Nike designers went to work creating a performance golf shoe that featured a similar style to the classic trainer.
The end result was Nike's Air Zoom 90 IT golf shoe.
“I wear Air Max casually off the golf course all the time,” McIlroy said. “Making it into a golf shoe really brings something new to the golf course. Not only is it different and very cool but it also performs well, giving me the comfort, traction and stability that I need.”
In addition to the Air Max 90 looks, the Air Zoom 90 IT golf shoe has a custom Zoom Air sole in the forefoot that provides responsive cushioning, and a waterproof upper, comprised of a one-piece bootie, that keeps moisture from penetrating the shoe's interior.
To improve grip and stability, Nike's integrated traction was added to the versatile rubber outsole. Going with a rubber sole instead of traditional golf spikes makes it possible to wear the shoe both on and off the course.
“I dress pretty casually off the course, so it’s nice to have options," said McIlroy. "If I want to go straight from the course to somewhere else, I can do it and not feel like I standout and look like a golfer.”
McIlroy debuted the shoe on Wednesday at THE PLAYERS Championship in the white/black colorway.
Nike's Air Zoom 90 IT will be available in a black/white colorway on May 13 and white/black on June 1 at nike.com.