A strong foundation is essential to any home, relationship, and, yes, golf game. Which means your average duffer needs all the help he or she can get. These five shoes offer you the best in cutting-edge technology -- think advanced anatomical insoles, waterproof uppers, and durable thermo plastic outsoles -- while maximizing your style regardless of whether your handicap calls for classic white; sporty silver; or sleek, black, and studded.
Nike Golf Air Zoom Vapor
Inspired by Nike’s Mercurial Vapor soccer boots, the midsole on these kicks are hewn entirely from phylon foam, but thanks to a full sock liner with Watershield Plus–enforced uppers and Q-Lok spikes, the Vapors are perfect for walking 18 -- or 36 -- in a day. Perhaps that’s why LPGA star Suzann Pettersen wears them on tour. $176. www.nike.com
Adidas Golf Powerband 2.0
Normally you want to break in golf shoes for a few days before playing in them, but these have a Cadillac-like comfort that takes them from the box to the course with ease. They handle like a Cadi, too: The THiNTech soles with Powerband chassis kept us glued to the ground from backswing to finish, hole after hole. $140. www.adidas.com
Sleek and riveting (as in to the ground with a lot of style) was our first impression of the Synr-Gs. The G-force sole and memory-foam lining provide a nice balance of give and torsion control, while the waterproof lizard-print upper (with smoked metal lace rings) provides a nice balance of compliments and envy. $220. www.footjoy.com
Ecco Ultra Performance Hydromax
The heel support in these sporty spikes is unparalleled, thanks to a double-layer insole. And while we tested these bad boys in Phoenix, Arizona, the Hydromax leather performed well above par, even as we doused them with a garden hose. One last bit of advice: Go for the Buffed Silver style if you can rock it. $250. www.eccousa.com
The Vela’s moisture-wicking linings, crisscross Velcro closures, and spikeless soles add a hefty dose of Euro style (and studly tech) to any Yankee’s game. Of course, we’d expect nothing less from the renowned brand. $95. www.callawaygolf.com
IT ’S NO STRETCH: YOGA FOR GOLFERS
Ashtanga and tee times aren’t often used in the same sentence, unless you are speaking with DODIE MAZZUCA.
A former-LPGA-pro-turned-Ashtanga-yoga-instructor at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, Mazzuca says yoga added seven years to her career, and she believes that yoga poses can protect core muscles and increase flexibility in golfers.
The “stick” pose, for one, puts weight on the forward foot, which is where body weight needs to be following a golf swing; a “triangle” pose helps the body twist, which is also crucial in the sport. She includes these and other poses in her golf-specific classes.
“Everyone plays their best golf when they are relaxed and calm,” Mazzuca says. Before hitting the green, she recommends taking a moment to breathe deeply. Then, she suggests recalling a well-played hole in your mind or envisioning your approach. By taking this “sense of breath,” Mazzuca says you’ll then be ready to play. www.fourseasons.com/scottsdale -- Mary Lu Laffey