For a number of reasons, Callaway haven't always been among the most desirable footwear brands in golf, but is that about to change in 2023?
Earlier in the year, Dan reviewed the flagship model in Callaway's 2023 footwear line-up which is based upon a more premium, classic design, however in this review I will be taking a closer look at The 82 Golf Shoes, testing them on the course.
Who Are They Aimed At?
The golfer looking for a pair of sporty, lightweight, spikeless shoes that won't break the bank.
This shoe design is all about celebrating Callaway's golfing heritage, said to embrace the vibe of 1982 (the year Callaway was founded) with retro sport styling. Therefore it could be said that on the surface, this shoe is a little style over substance (not always a bad thing) so I wouldn't expect to see Jon Rahm wearing them on tour any time soon...
Traction comes in the form of a new multi-directional rubber sole that has been carefully designed with uphill-downhill traction elements and flex channels.
Comfort and stability is delivered through an Opti-Soft® foam midsole with high shock absorption properties which incorporates a new external heel support structure.
Callaway The 82 Golf Shoe Review
I like the look of The 82 golf shoe, I'd go as far to say it's one of the best looking Callaway footwear designs in years (although in all honesty, what's come before it didn't set the bar too high). When I first saw the new Callaway footwear line-up for 2023, it was certainly one of the styles that stood out a little from the crowd, in a good way.
Nubuck leather and microfiber combine in an upper which is styled around a classic 80s sneaker design and therefore succeeds in it's mission to give that retro feel, aesthetically they reminded me a little of the FootJoy Golf Casual.
Although there's not too much to not like in the looks department, I reviewed them in the White/Black/Green colourway, which may be a little bold for some golfers as the 'green' is definitely more of a lime.
Straight out of the box, I was impressed by the comfort of The 82 Golf Shoe - the insole offered a good amount of cushioning when both swing and walking. Also the Opti-Vent mesh lining on the inside of the shoe is soft to touch and offered decent breathability and heat management - my feet felt pretty fresh after testing.
I wouldn't say they are the comfiest golf shoes I've ever worn, especially when compared to the likes of the Adidas MC80 with boost or the G/Fore G.112, which offer serious levels of comfort, but being so lightweight, there is little to complain about here.
I was also quite impressed by the tongue of the shoe which felt nicely padded on the top of my feet, the sport oxford lacing made for an accommodating and relaxed fit, which was true to size.
Unfortunately I found this to be the area in which the 82s let themselves down a little, it was mainly due to the poor traction they offered. On the first three or four full swings during testing I found that my back foot slipped a little which resulted in a loss of confidence when I had the driver in hand. In fairness, I carried out the test on a fairly damp autumnal day (perfect weather for a couple of slippages) so soft spikes would have been my preferred choice.
Although walking in the shoes was a pleasure, during the golf swing in different scenarios I just didn't feel the support I like to feel standing over the ball.
On the other hand, I found the opti-soft foam midsole to provide good energy return over the course of 18 holes, there was no aching or discomfort to report.
Callaway The 82 Golf Shoe Verdict
Based on the retro design alone, these are a step in the right direction aesthetically for Callaway in the footwear department.
They no doubt offered out of the box comfort and were really lightweight which would make them ideal for nine holes in summer. However, although they looked good and were pleasant to play in, I can't get past that fact that £100 is a lot of money to spend on a shoe that doesn't offer too much in the way of performance or overall build quality.
For around £50 more you could invest in shoe like the Pro|SL and be looked after much better on the links.
Would I Wear Them?
Probably not, due to the lack of traction and performance.
If I did however, it would have to be in a slightly less bold colourway (I like the look of the navy) but on a golf holiday, or as a pair for a quick nine holes after work, The 82s would do the job quiet nicely for that kind of thing.
Callaway The 82 Golf Shoe Pros & Cons
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Adidas MC80 Golf Shoes Review
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