With the proliferation of athletic and street-style golf shoes hitting the market late this year, more attention is being paid to casual golf shoe designs. For years Nike Golf has had several athletic golf shoe designs in its lineup, and I have owned several of these including the Air Max Edge and last year’s Air Rate. This year Nike Golf added a new athletic shoe to their footwear line — the Nike Air Range.
Every spring I pick up a new pair of warm weather golf shoes for summer play here in Phoenix, as I prefer lighter, more breathable shoes for those hot summer rounds (in winter, I wear a standard pair of Nike leather golf shoes). Earlier this year Nike Golf sent me a pair of Air Ranges in the White/Blue colorway to test and review, and I also bought a pair in the Dark Gray colorway. I’ve put them through thorough testing in many rounds over the past six months, and below I share my findings with you.
Out of the box these shoes are very comfortable, and they have a definite athletic feel to them. They are very light, and the predominantly mesh upper is very breathable just like a running or training shoe. The sole has the same integrated spike pattern as the Air Rate, and the same Nike Air unit in the heel. I found the fit to be true (the Air Rate was a bit narrow for me), and the shoe was comfortable straight out of the box. The Air Range feels basically like a running or training shoe with a sole pattern that incorporates golf spikes.
With casual golf shoes gaining greater acceptance (and fewer sideways glances) on the course, the Air Range fits right in with this new trend in golf footwear. A smart visual design features a mesh upper with synthetic leather accents. The 2011 line features three colorways — White/Blue/Black, White/Black/Red and Gray/Dark Gray, and a fourth colorway is being added for 2012 (Black, White/Yellow). The design is that of an athletic shoe all the way.
One feature of the Air Range surprised me — its 2-year Limited Waterproof Warranty. At first glance it looks like the mesh would be porous, and I’m not sure how Nike achieved the waterproofing but I can attest to it because in my first round wearing these I stepped in a puddle and the water did not seep through. As mentioned above the mesh breathes well and my feet feel cool and dry while wearing these. Like the Air Rate, the sole features a molded spike pattern, with two spikes at the ball of the foot and two at the outer heel. The rest of the sole has molded ridges that provide plenty of traction. The heel features the Nike Air unit that is visible at the back of the heel, and the Nike Power Channel runs in a zig-zag from the toe to the heel.
The athletic design, mesh upper and Nike Air technology in the heel all make this a very comfortable golf shoe. They feel great right out of the box, and on the course the shoes are very light on my feet, to the point that I don’t feel like I’m wearing golf shoes. The breathable mesh kept my feet cool and dry in the blistering Phoenix heat. I wore my Air Ranges for every round this summer, alternating between the white and dark gray pairs, and I can attest to the coolness and comfort these shoes provide.
The Air Range fit true to size for me. I mention this because certain pairs of Nike Golf shoes have felt narrow to me — the Air Rate and my old SP-5’s are examples of this. It seems like in more recent designs the fit has been a little wider and more true to size (I noticed the true-to-size fit in the Lunar Control also). As always I recommend trying these on before buying to make sure the size is right for you.
From the name one would expect that shoe is designed for the practice tee and casual play, but this shoe is ideal for serious play on the course. The molded spike pattern on the sole provides more than enough traction on full shots. The shoe gives plenty of support at mid-foot, and it’s very stable on full swings. The lightness and comfort of this shoe is a bonus when walking the course.
Nike Golf has created another great athletic golf shoe design in the Air Range. It is a light, breathable, waterproof golf shoe that is very comfortable, stylish, performs well on the course and is perfect for warm weather. Now that more casual shoe designs are gaining notice in the golf footwear marketplace, perhaps the Air Range will get the attention it deserves. If you are in the market for a comfortable athletic golf shoe, I highly recommend trying the Air Range.
Editor’s note: The product reviewed above was supplied by the manufacturer to the reviewer/author free of charge for reviewing purposes only. The reviewer/author was not paid for this review, and the opinions expressed in the review are strictly those of the reviewer/author.