Adidas Golf are making some pretty big claims with their latest spiked shoe offering for 2021.
Two years in the making, the footwear giant is claiming that the ZG21 is up to 20 per cent lighter than the brand's previous spiked shoes and is also 'launching a new category of golf footwear'.
Having tested a number of golf shoes from different categories over the last few years, I was intrigued to find out how Adidas had gone about creating a new one and whether that had any benefits for us golfers...
What's It All About?
True to form Adidas have looked to the advice of their tour players, the likes of Xander Schauffele, Sergio Garcia, Collin Morikawa and the world no.1 Dustin Johnson to help create the ZG21. Apparently they have been telling the brand they wanted a high-performance spiked shoe that was lightweight and extremely comfortable (surprise, surprise).
ZG21 features adidas' renowned Boost cushioning system, but then it is up to 20 per cent lighter than previous comparable spiked models in their range and significantly lighter than many of their competitor's shoes.
These shoes boast a fairly clean and sleek design, but as we've come to expect from Adidas, under the hood they are jam-packed with technology. Here are some of the highlighted areas to keep an eye out for:
This cushioning is 40 percent lighter than any EVA foam in the golf market whilst also providing shock absorption and quick recovery for the foot, to offer stability throughout the golf swing. It has also been used by Adidas in other sport categories like basketball and tennis.
This is then coupled with boost cushioning (which we have loved at Golfalot in recent years - especially in the Adidas Tour360 Primeknit Shoes) and it gives players lightweight comfort and stability with every swing and step.
This is a lightweight and waterproof (one-year warranty) four-layer upper that combines innovative textiles and polyurethane films said to give 'serious protection for your feet in any conditions'.
Ultra-light Stability Fin
The ZG21 features a completely new lightweight and durable TPU insert, created in the lateral sidewall to hopefully offer increased lateral stability and a locked-in feel throughout the swing.
The new outsole on the shoe has been inspired by heat-map studies and runs from heel to toe. In Adidas' research, they target these areas and place the maximum amount of traction where it’s needed most. The eye-catching outsole also features six strategically placed cleats and a new crescent moon-shaped lug to optimise grip and performance.
I tested these golf shoes in the usual Golfalot way - 18 holes of golf, straight out of the box. Instead this time the 18 holes of golf were a little more special than your average round at the local municipal.
I was lucky enough to be invited to JCB Golf & Country Club to play recently, and I took the new ZG21s along with me for the ride. If you weren't already of what JCB is like, it's pretty huge. It's hilly, long, and the ground was pretty firm after a few uncharacteristically warm weeks in the UK. Perfect to test out a pair of new kicks.
Adidas ZG21 Golf Shoe Review
I tested the shoes in the White/Grey/Lime Green colourway and to be honest didn't find them all too attractive to begin with, though I have to say they grew on me a little as testing went on. There's honestly nothing too fancy here to put golfers off.
I've never been too much of a fan of wide-looking fits and bold colours on the golf course, like most golfers, I like my golf shoes to tie in nicely with my outfit - therefore the flashes of lime don't really do much for me.
An aspect of the design I did like however was the fact that Adidas have designed these shoes with both genders in mind. There isn't a men's ZG21 then a women's ZG21 in the predictable colourways. Everything about them is quite gender neutral - with a nod to modern styling over men's or women's styling. This kind of attitude I'm a big fan of.
Overall the ZG21s styling is very, well, Adidas. It's fairly contemporary, sleek and all in all not too offensive, in fact the ZG21 couldn't really look more like an Adidas golf shoe if it tried and you have to say that when it comes to shoe styling, they've got a pretty decent reputation. If it ain't broke, why fix it?
In recent years Adidas have produced some of the comfiest golf shoes in the market, and the ZG21 follows that trend. If comfort is your number one priority when buying golf shoes, the ZG21 will see you just right. There are number of elements in the shoe that went into achieving this.
Firstly the tongue on the ZG21 shoes is great, it's supple and soft to touch, lightweight but also high quality enough for laces to not hurt the bridges of your feet when tied tightly. There is also a insite sockliner which helps to just hug the bridge of the foot when walking and swinging for that extra little bit of padding and security.
Then the combination of lightstrike cushioning and the boost midsole means that you really do have a great platform to swing the golf club from.
It's very hard to criticise Adidas golf shoes from a comfort perspective. I've said it before in previous shoe reviews like the Adidas Tour 360 XT and the Adidas Crossknit 3.0 but boost technology really was a revelation for Adidas footwear, and not just in golf. The level of comfort and energy return it offers directly underneath the foot is pretty unparalleled from what I've seen in other golf shoes.
This is where these shoes really excel. First off - the traction was excellent. I really did feel 'locked-in' to not only the shoe but to also the turf during my golf swing. If you find yourself slipping whilst playing golf in these shoes you either need to look at your golf swing, or the weather conditions you are playing in. The six-cleat thintech TPU outsole really was impressive.
Although the waterproof sprintskin synthetic upper wasn't entirely to my taste aesthetically, performance-wise it was great. The material is lightweight yet quite strong and durable. The sprintskin synthetic upper will also mean that the shoes are extremely easy to wipe down and keep clean after a round. Always a bonus for the avid golfer who is playing regularly.
Having worn a number of adidas shoes in the past the waterproof guarantee really is a guarantee. The ZG21s are well sealed and well made meaning your feet will be kept dry on even the wettest of days. On the flipside, breathability wasn't an issue either.
Adidas ZG21 Golf Shoe Verdict
The ZG21s are a great pair of golf shoes. They're not my favourite and I don't think they'll go down in the golf shoe history books but in terms of a high-performing, modern-looking, waterproof, spiked golf shoe - you really can't go far wrong with them. They will fit the bill for a large amount of golfers and judging by the build quality, if looked after properly they will last you a few years too.
It's also worth noting that Adidas are being fairly progressive too with the production of the ZG21, they are made with recycled content as part of their ambition to help end plastic waste. 20% of the pieces used to make the upper are made with minimum 50% recycled content which I have to take my hat off to. 20% isn't a huge amount but it's a start and an attitude I'd like to see more and golf footwear brands adopt.
And finally, have Adidas launched a new category in golf footwear? Sorry but, no. This is just another great spiked golf shoe like Adidas have been making for years.
Would I Use It?
Because of the styling, probably not. But that's just personal preference. I can see a lot of golfers getting a large amount of pleasure out of wearing the ZG21s.
- Good comfort thanks to boost technology
- Strong grip for 18 holes
- Lovely feeling tongue adds further comfort
- Strong heel area keeps feet locked in
- Forgettable design and looks
- Colourways don't really suit many outfits
- Feel of upper is a little 'rubbery'
- Expensive to say it's not leather
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