Review: Nike Bandon Zoom Golf Shoes

Mudders that can handle anything Bandon throws at them.
I was so excited to have the opportunity to play Bandon Dunes golf courses in the middle of October.  This is often a rainy, unsettled time of year on the Oregon Coast.  The weather report was for heavy rains on Monday and cloudy skies on Tuesday.  This trip had been planned for months.  There was no way I was going to pass up my time on the course over a little rain.  A typical golf shoe can handle some rain and wet grass, but not a serious amount of rain or water.  Nike designed and recently introduced a golf shoe worthy of its name; Nike Zoom Bandon Golf Shoe.
They are clearly different than any other shoe on the market.  The first noticeable difference is the high-top style shoe.  Most often associated with Nike basketball shoes, these high tops really are most closely related to a hiking boot.  Not only are they high top, but also they are sealed by an outside wrap that zippers over the laces and seals everything in.  This outer shell, almost like a raincoat for your shoe, kept every drop of water away from my feet.  I literally walked through about 3” of running water and my feet stayed dry.  You will not find another golf shoe on the market that can claim such waterproof ability.  Now thankfully, the really heavy rain slid to the south of us and we just got a few sprinkles in the morning, so I might have been able to get by with other shoes.  But these were great in good weather too.  The raincoat also works while it is done rain, as it protects your feet from mud and sand.  The terrain at Bandon is rugged.  It is sandy, muddy, dirty and rustic after the rain.  Since all 4 courses are walking, you need to have some good shoes.  The sand and the mud stayed out and at the end of my round brushed right off the outside.  They were outstanding.  While not in Bandon, I took the MN super fall challenge.  It was cold, pouring rain, standing water and mud everywhere.  Again these shoes were up to the challenge, my feet were warm, dry, and clean at the end of my round.

Those are the differences from other golf shoes, but there still are many similarities.  The first is the Nike Power Platform that is found on the sole of these shoes.  The Stinger cleats grip and bend perfectly for walking and for swinging.  They feel just like any other of my Nike golf shoes.  Size is always the same.  The air pocket like always, offered great heel cushioning step after step.

The inside lining and cushioning felt like the other Nike shoes I own.  It is flexible, but tight enough to feel connected to the ground and secure in your stance.

I would suggest wearing these shoes for a round or two before your big trip out to Bandon.  They were very comfortable from day one, but the high-top style cut into my heel (higher than normal golf shoes) until it was broke in.  I’ve had this with other shoes before a little lower on my heel, but with so much walking at Bandon, make sure your Nike Bandon Zoom shoes are broke in.  It didn’t take much, but I’m glad I put on a few miles before the 20+ miles I put on at Bandon. 

The only other thing I would like to see from Nike Golf shoes would be to have a spot for the Nike+ system.  I would love to see a golf version of it.  Most golfers don’t need music or a timer, but having a pedometer and maybe a golf tacking system would be really cool. 

If you want to extend your season, if you play courses with weather like Bandon, or if you just want a shoe that seals and protects your feet from water, sand or mud, these are the best shoes on the market.  These mudders can handle anything, even Bandon.

For more information:
Picture of the new 2012 Bandon Lunar Golf Shoes