If you're a loyal Golf Vacation Insider reader, you're probably aware that ECCO makes some of our favorite golf shoes, especially for those of us who prefer to walk the golf course whenever possible.
Last year, we reviewed their Speed Hybrid shoes, which Fred Couples helped popularize when he turned back the clock with a brilliant showing in the 2010 Masters.
This year, we checked out the new waterproof, yet improbably breathable ECCO Cool GTX shoes, and came away really impressed.
We also scooped up a pair of the somewhat more golfy-looking ECCO Cage Pro BOA shoes, in order to see if the slightly more golf-formal look meant a reduction in comfort.
The short answer: a resounding no. The ECCO Cage Pro BOAs are another excellent pair of shoes from the Danish footwear giant. If you're in the market for some new brogues, here's why you should seriously consider these:
More ECCO Tech, Same ECCO Feel
The Cage Pro BOAs are a bit less sneaker-looking than the extremely comfortable Casual Hybrids and Speed Hybrids, but they are every bit as comfortable as their counterparts. This is thanks in part to ECCO's commitment to shaping their shoes slightly differently than other golf shoe companies. ECCOs have a slightly snugger-than-usual heel section but a slightly wider-than-usual toe section, granting a little extra wiggle room for your toes while still keeping the heel in place, thereby preventing your foot from shifting during the swing. Removable insoles also lend a subtle measure of adjustability to the shoe without a significant sacrifice in comfort for those seeking some extra room.
The Cage Pro BOAs have a HYDROMAX-treated, water-resistant textile outer surface that will keep dampness away. Don't go trudging through puddles in these (save that for the fully waterproof Cool GTX line), but rest assured that your feet are going to be dry in the vast majority of conditions in which you'll be playing golf.
The BOA system inherent to these shoes also makes a huge difference in comfort, so much so that it deserves its own section; see below.
New Sole, Better Traction
ECCO was a pioneer in popularizing golf shoes that lacked the traditional, replaceable spikes that practically all golfers have work since they first set foot on the course. Still, there are many golfers who are not convinced that nontraditional spikes offer the same amount of traction and performance as older-style golf shoes.
ECCO's engineers have heard those concerns, which is why if you're a skeptic, the new SPYDR-GRIP sole just might be the thing that converts you. In addition to creating a cool visual effect, the ridges connecting the the treads help provide extra traction and stability, even on slippery-damp or dusty-dry lies. The material that comprises the sole also is resistant to clogging, meaning that you won't need to worry so much about digging gunk out from between your treads. Finally, the "webbing" and placement of the treads is anything but random - ECCO studied the pressure points within the sole of the foot and laid out the SPYDR-GRIP sole accordingly, aiming to provide maximum support.
The BOA system of shoe lacing is something you may be familiar with from other shoe companies, in and outside of golf. Rather than traditional laces, which tend to tighten your shoe's fit by pressuring the top of your foot, BOA's system aims to adjust the fit of a shoe from multiple angles, accommodating a wider variety of foot shapes and making for a truer-fitting shoe the dial and strong, lightweight laces are proprietary to BOA, and the company licenses the system to makers of hiking boots, running shoes and, yes, golf shoes. pressing the dial in and turning it clockwise allows the wearer to customize the fit of each shoe. To take the shoes off, one simply pulls the dial up, releasing the tension built up in the laces. I have a wider foot and a decently high arch, so BOA laces are an absolute godsend in my golf shoes. It's hard to put on any other pairs I own - that's how much I enjoy the BOA aspect of these ECCO shoes.
That said, the ECCO Cage Pros are available without this system for those who prefer traditional laces.
The Bottom Line
The ECCO Cage Pro BOAs represent more of what we've come to expect over the better part of a decade from the company: an excellent all-around golf shoe. It's as comfortable as anything you're likely to find, it will perform as well as a traditional-spike shoe and it looks cool to boot.
They do sit in the medium-high end of the golf shoe price range ($230), but for a golf shoe that you're going to love wearing, and which is going to last a long time (and comes with a very strong three-year warranty), it's money well spent.
For more information and to order a pair of your own click here.