Before I get into the review of the Crocs Drayden 2.0 golf shoe I should probably declare an interest. I love my Crocs clogs and have numerous varieties at home.
I think the key to their excellent comfort is the footbed inside the shoe with its unique pattern of nodules that almost massages your feet as you walk. Combine that with great ventilation and you have one of the best summer holiday shoes around.
As Crocs continue their success by moving from world beating clogs to more traditional shoe styles, it has been interesting to see how well they have done in stretching the brand for each category.
A couple of years ago they moved into golf with designs created in conjunction with Tiger's former coach Hank Haney. So it was with a combinaton of excitement and apprehension that I opened a box of Crocs Drayden 2.0 golf shoes.
Firstly, I think they have done a great job of blending the Crocs style with golf fashion. Whilst the white shoe with burgundy laces combo we received to test would not have been my first choice, the other 3 colours of black, navy and charcoal all look good.
Each pair comes with a choice of two lace colours to suit your mood and I like that option as it can transform the look of the shoe.
All Crocs golf shoes currently use the same spikeless outsole design that is extermely light with the whole shoe weighing at just 357 grams. This makes them a pleasure to wear and will conserve energy during a game of golf.
Round the edge of the sole are groups of 2 or 3 spikes that combine with the pyramid contoured middle to provide a good level of grip on the course. They are also just as comfortable to use off the course, so this is a definitely a street shoe that is equally at home on either surface.
The sole is quite resitant to twisting, but this and the lack of a flex channel going the length of the shoe may restrict the ability of the shoe to move with your feet as you transition from right to left during the downswing.
The Drayden 2.0 is a great hot weather shoe as the saddle of the upper is a lightweight mesh that combines with a couple of air holes on each side to provide excellent ventialtion. I could feel my feet being wafted by the air as I walked down the fairway, so these are not winter shoes and some of the other Crocs models, such as the Preston, are more enclosed.
Like most Crocs shoes the fit is quite generous, so if you like your shoes a bit wider than average, then you will like the Drayden.
So far so good on the outside, but it is on the inside where I have some concerns. You see the nodules that make Crocs so comfortable to wear are part of the rubber insole and are not ideal in a sports shoe. I was concerned before trying them that the friction to hold your foot during the swing might not be there as much as in a normal golf shoe. And so it proved.
Crocs have tried to get around this by putting a black material liner in the forefoot to combine with the nodules under the heel. The liner does the job reasonably well, but I found that the heel is still prone to movement as you swing the club. However if Crocs were to remove the nodules throughout the whole shoe then it does not feel like a pair of Crocs.
It nearly works, but it feels like something has been lost in translation as it is caught between being a pair of Crocs and a pair of golf shoes.
What the Drayden seems to be is a lightweight pair of very comfortable shoes that grips the course as well as regular golf shoe, but could do better in holding your foot as you swing. If you want to replace the insole with something else with more traction or an orthotic, you can't as it is fixed in.
However I do think they are on to something here if they could get the Crocs nodule surface to combine with a higher friction material throughout the shoe to hold your foot more.
Viewing them purely as golf shoes then I would probably have to mark them on the shoe scorecard as a bogey with a heavy heart.
If you view them as a casual shoe in a golfing style that you would wear generally everywhere and occasionally around the golf club and maybe for a casual round, especially in warm climates, then you could mark them down for a par.
I still want them though.