New Balance 997 Golf Shoe Review
Our thoughts on this sporty style from the giant footwear brand
If New Balance starts to design more golf shoes, that can only be a good thing. The 997 is an impressive all-rounder that has a unique look and, of course, that recognisable logo on the side.
Unique and sporty looks
Offer decent comfort and stability
Can get quite warm
Laces a little long
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I’ve got a bunch of New Balance shoes in the cupboard, but up until recently my collection didn’t include a pair of the brand’s golf shoes. Like a lot of golfers, I hadn’t realised this major footwear brand had even ventured into the golf market.
So when I saw the New Balance Men’s 997 waterproof spiked golf shoes earlier in the year, I was keen to see how they stacked up against some of my favorite New Balance trainers.
Given the color – a white midsole and an upper that features a heavy splash of green – Augusta National seemed like an appropriate place to give these shoes a first outing. I walked the famous, and hilly, fairways at this year’s Masters sporting these new shoes and I was very impressed with the comfort levels that they provided.
Given New Balance’s reputation for manufacturing stylish athletic and performance footwear, it was only a matter of time before I got asked whether they were trainers. They’re a little heavier than my own 574 trainers, but they certainly pass as such. There are plenty of sporty-looking golf shoes on the market now, but this model still has a unique look in what has become a very popular and crowded category.
I wasn’t able to play Augusta, sadly, but these shoes have certainly been put through their paces in a range of weather conditions, most recently on a very wet day at Essendon Golf Club in the UK – and they’re hard to fault.
First and foremost, they offer decent grip. I’ve probably played in more stable golf shoes, but overall I feel like the FastTwist 3.0 removable Pulsar cleats gave me enough traction. I’ve played a few hilly tracks lately, too – none more up and down than the terrific Esker Hills in Ireland – and despite not being the softest-feeling, they proved really supple and supportive.
In warmer conditions, they did start to feel a little hot. If you’re going to wear them a lot in the summer, I’d probably just recommend wearing thin summer socks. I also recommend that you clean these shoes after each round. They have tiny holes in the upper which you don’t want become stubborn and stain the leather. The good news is that they're relatively easy to wipe clean.
Golfers may find this 'Masters themed' colorway pretty hard to get their hands on at the moment given its popularity, but I wouldn’t be surprised to start seeing more of the 997 golf shoes on the fairways in various colors, especially in the UK where American Golf is the official New Balance UK retail partner.
I have received nothing but positive remarks about them so far, and I look forward to seeing whether we may see more from New Balance on the golf shoes front this coming autumn/winter.
Michael has been with Golf Monthly since 2008. As a multimedia journalist, he has also worked for The Football Association, where he created content to support the men's European Championships, The FA Cup, London 2012, and FA Women's Super League. As content editor at Foremost Golf, Michael worked closely with golf's biggest equipment manufacturers, and has developed an in-depth knowledge of this side of the industry. He's now a regular contributor, covering instruction, equipment and feature content. Michael has interviewed many of the game's biggest stars, including six world number ones, and has attended and reported on many Major Championships and Ryder Cups. He's a member of Formby Golf Club.
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