October 25, 2016
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Rory McIlroy put the new Nike Lunar Control Vapor shoes to the test before putting them into play this week at the WGC-HSBC Champions. (Jonathan Wall/PGATOUR)
Rory McIlroy will make his first start of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR season with a new pair of Nike Lunar Control Vapor shoes on his feet at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions event.
During his brief offseason, McIlroy took time to break in the Lunar Control Vapor during a rigorous test session that included time on the driving range and nine holes where the four-time major winner deliberately hit extra shots from a variety of different angles — side-hill, down-hill lies, bunkers and more — to ensure the shoe had the proper traction and stability.
Stability improvements were made with the help of a new traction system that was inspired by the tread on snowmobiles and first debuted in the Nike Flyknit Elite golf shoe. Instead of having a one-piece sole, the medial heel and lateral forefoot were decoupled "to help propel the athlete through the swing."
The channels in the sole allow for improved balance while keeping the entire shoe lower to the ground. The TPC tread features tooth-like tracks that allow for more points of contact with the ground for maximum traction as weight transfers from heel to toe.
According to Nike, the tread design is both green friendly and effective from the bunker.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve played golf in spiked footwear, and up until two years ago those spikes were metal,” McIlroy said.
“Through its drive to innovate and bring the sport to new places, Nike has created a new traction system that provides me with a stable base to push off the ground and deliver the distance I need off the tee.”
The traction system is combined with a full-length Lunarlon midsole and Flywire that offer additional foot stability and cushioned comfort. A lightweight microfiber upper provides the shoe with a 2-year waterproof guarantee.
Nike's Lunar Control Vapor will be available in the United States in limited colorways via the Nike+ App on November 22. Additional colorways will launch on Nike.com on November 25.