Headlined by one of the most convincing spikeless outsoles you're likely to wear, the Under Armour HOVR Tour SL has mastered the knit golf shoe. Supportive, breathable and good looking, banish any preconceptions you may have about knit golf shoes as Under Armour seems to have solved them all.
One of the best spikeless outsoles on the market
Creates a 'locked-in' feeling
Still offers plenty of comfort
Slightly firm out of the box
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Under Armour HOVR Tour SL Review
Despite only manufacturing golf shoes since 2016, Under Armour has quickly started making some fo the best golf shoes on the market. Its latest flagship model comes in the shape of the HOVR Tour SL, a shoe with a full-knit upper and the backing of bio-mechanist Jean-Jaques Rivet. It's a bold golf shoe with even bolder claims, so I was excited to take it out on course and see what it was all about.
I've got to start with the highlight of this shoe which is the spikeless outsole. By using a mixture of TPU on the centre of the outsole and rubber nubs on the toe and heel, Under Armour has built a shoe on one of the best spikeless outsoles currently on the market. I had to regularly remind myself I wasn't wearing spikes, such is the grip on offer from this outsole and I truly think this has all year round wearability. While the 2022 FootJoy Pro SL, FootJoy Fuel and new Ecco Biom C4 offer very sound spikeless grip, for me Under Armour has taken it a step further.
To aid this general feeling of grip and stability, the HOVR Tour SL also features an external heel counter to help achieve a locked-in feeling when the shoe is on. While I was cautious that this might be a bit firm, it only adds to how well supported your foot feels, locking it in place in a comfortable manner. Indeed, the less your feet move around in a shoe when you swing a golf club, the less they'll ache after a round.
The knit upper is the next most significant part of this shoe, and it was another impressive feature. I'm not a huge fan of knit golf shoes - previous knit models have tended to offer less support versus a leather upper shoe and they can be more prone to staining. Under Armour was clearly aware of the pitfalls of some knit golf shoes and tackled them head on.
Firstly, the HOVR Tour SL uses Under Armour's proprietary Intelliknit technology that claims to overcome the performance shortfalls of a knit upper. Using 'stretch' yarns and 'lockdown' yarns combined, the shoe gives you support in the parts of the foot where you need it most, and flexibility elsewhere. There is a tendency in golf to forget that all of our golf swings - no matter where you are on the handicap spectrum - are highly athletic movements, and we need golf shoes to support those movements. This was certainly Under Armour's philosophy when crafting the HOVR Tour SL and it feels like it's been achieved.
Knit shoes tend to be a bit on the clammy side too, but the HOVR Tour SL excelled in keeping my feet at a comfortable temperature, being very breathable even on an unseasonably warm March weekend. The Intelliknit upper is also coated with a waterproof membrane that keeps water from penetrating the fabric and allowing it to wick off the surface. As the shoe doesn't have a conventional tongue, water can't get in the shoe unless you step in ankle high water. In the same vein, the shoe also wipes clean very easily, again quashing one of my initial concerns about a knit shoe. In summary, banish any preconceptions you have had about knit uppers, as it feels like Under Armour has cracked something special here with the Intelliknit system.
While the shoe is fit to burst with new technology, it was good to see Under Armour's HOVR cushioning compound has returned in the midsole. This gives a nice amount of soft cushioning under your foot and, while the shoe is a little firm under foot when you first try them on, it doesn't take long for the HOVR foam to loosen up and the knit upper to mould nicely into the shape of your foot.
It's very hard to pick faults with this shoe and in theory this should appeal to a very wide range of golfers. While the styling suited my eye, I can see how it could divide opinion. The knit upper will certainly divide opinion too but, as I've said throughout, the HOVR Tour SL has done a lot to take all the pitfalls of a knit golf shoe and make them right. If you stability is at the top of your list when it comes to buying a new golf shoe, you can't look much further than this. If stability isn't on your 'must-have' list when it comes to a golf shoe, I'd seriously considering moving it right to the top.
Dan is a Staff Writer and has been with the Golf Monthly team since early 2021. Dan graduated with a Masters in International Journalism from the University of Sussex and primarily looks after equipment reviews and buyer's guides on the website. Dan was a custom fit specialist at American Golf for two years and has brought his expertise in golf equipment to a huge range of buyer's guides and reviews on the website. A left handed golfer, his handicap index is currently 9.8 and he plays at Fulford Heath Golf Club in the West Midlands. His golfing highlight is shooting 76 at Essendon Golf Club on his first ever round with his Golf Monthly colleagues. Dan also runs his own cricket podcast and website in his spare time.
Dan is currently playing:
Driver: Ping G425 Max
Fairway: Ping G425 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade Rocketballz
Irons: Ping i59 (4-PW)
Wedges: Ping Glide Forged Pro
Putter: Wilson Staff Infinite Buckingham
Ball: TaylorMade TP5 Pix
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