In this Under Armour Spieth 5 SL shoe review, Joel Tadman wears them on the course for multiple rounds to discover what golfers can expect
Under Armour Spieth 5 SL Shoe Review
The golf shoe is an integral part of a golfer’s outfit not only because of how it looks but also the performance on offer and a shoe designed to truly maximise performance through technology is the new Spieth 5 SL from Under Armour.
It is the fifth iteration of Under Armour’s signature shoe designed with insights from Jordan Spieth himself as well as leading biomechanist JJ Rivet to unlock new levels of performance and comfort.
The big story in terms of the design is the inclusion of a 4th dimension of traction called internal traction. This manifests itself in the form of a new and unique 3D moulded footbed that features an additional wrap over the inside and top of the foot. This wrap eliminates ‘gapping’ between your foot and the shoe from the inside to create a fit that is tailored to your specific foot shape.
We have to say it felt a little strange at first but over time you soon forget about it and the inside of the shoe certainly feels fuller without pinching in any areas that can cause discomfort.
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With any sports performance shoe, a better connection between the foot and the shoe means a better connection with the ground, something that is crucial in the golf swing.
The unique design of the footbed doesn’t stop there – it even has a slightly softer material under the big toe to help it decouple from the rest of the toes and get into the ground more easily – an attribute identified by Under Armour’s research as playing a big part in creating power during the swing.
It sounds far fetched, and it’s hard to put a number on any distance increases, but our testing in the past has certainly shown that more stable golf shoes generate more swing speed, and you’ll struggle to find a more stable spikeless shoe than the Spieth 5 SL – which is part of the reason we chose it for our Editor’s Choice Awards 2021.
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The grip impressed too. In fact, levels of traction seemed to be close to that of some cleated shoes. The Spieth 5 SL has firmer TPU nubs for ground penetration and softer rubber nubs (the black ones in the image below) in key areas to create friction, something we noticed testing when the ground was slightly damp.
You’ll notice the flex zones too, designed to not only bolster walking comfort but also get the big toe flexing and into the ground for better stability.
Looks wise, there’s a fair amount going on with the upper. Those wanting a clean, classic look will be left wanting but on the plus side, it’s immediately soft and supple out of the box.
Comfort comes from the full length HOVR midsole. It’s soft, but not excessively so, and responsive so you get that spring in your step that keeps you going all the way to the 18th green.
There are a host of other special touches – like the knit tongue that forms to the shape of the top of the foot and the external heel counter that locks you in.
Spieth is a fan of textile material on a shoe and while Under Armour has tried to hide this around the back of the shoe, it still collects dirt easily and is more difficult to keep clean over time. This also goes for the knit section on top under the laces.
This is a shame because the performance and waterproof protection encourages you to play in them all year round, but the fact they might not look pristine for too long and they only come in the white colourway may put off some golfers looking for their go-to pair.
But this minor inconvenience aside, we can’t really fault how this shoe feels and performs.
Under Armour golf shoes improve every year and the Spieth 5 SL might just be the brand’s most advanced shoe to date, maximising performance through a better fit but also by letting testing data with elite players and biomechanical insights shape the design. There doesn’t appear to be any trade off by going spikeless and the unique insole certainly enhances the connection you have with the shoe and the ground to boost power potential.