Spikeless golf shoes have been one of golf's biggest success stories over the last decade or so. No matter where you are in the world or what time of the year you are there, you'll see golfers teeing it up wearing spikeless shoes.
The reason for this is because golf shoe technology is so good these days that golfers can experience the relaxed, lightweight comfort that these shoes offer, without losing out on traction or support in comparison to a spiked option.
Puma have been one of the major players in keeping this trend going in recent years, as they have a wide range of models available which blur the lines between casual, fashion-conscious trainers and functional golf shoes.
The latest of these is the new Proadapt Alphacat, which Puma says is the 'King of Comfort' and is designed to provide the 'Alpha' of all spikeless shoes.
What's It All About?
As we've come to expect from Puma, their new Alphacat shoe is packed with a range of different materials and technologies which are designed to provide the golden trio when it comes to footwear - comfort, style and performance.
Adapt Foam, which rivals the likes of Adidas' Boost technology, is made from a combination of EVA cushioning and an impact resistant polymer.
This creates a platform above the sole of the shoe which provides impact resistance and energy return whilst still retaining ground feel.
The Proadapt Multi Material Outsole is divided into two distinct sections, with an abrasion-resistant TPU perimeter that provides stability and traction on soft surfaces, whilst the central Crystal Rubber unit is engineered to ensure plenty of grip and a soft underfoot feel on hard surfaces.
Put these two together, then, and you get a shoe which should give you the confidence to swing as hard as you like regardless of the lie or course conditions.
The shoe's upper is an EXO shell made up of an engendered mesh complete with TPU film, giving the shoe added structure and support whilst ensuring that it is waterproof, with a one-year guarantee.
The Alphacat is available in three different colourways - White/Orange, Black/Grey, Grey/Blue - in sizes 7-12 and is priced at £120.
To put the new Alphacat shoe to the test and see whether they really are the 'King of Comfort', I headed down to Denton GC in Manchester for a full day's testing.
With blue skies and sunshine when I arrived, some wetter areas on the golf course and then a delay due to torrential rain and lightning halfway through my round (that's Manchester weather for you...) you could say that it was a perfect day to really put a pair of shoes through their paces in a number of different conditions.
Puma Alphacat Golf Shoe Review
This is just yet another good looking shoe from Puma - it provides modern styling without being over the top or in your face. The white and grey colourway was subtle, easily paired with trousers or shorts of most colours, and should have appeal to a wide range of golfers.
On the sole, the contrast of the grey and orange lugs is a nice eye-catching feature which you get glimpses of whilst walking or in the follow through, as well as providing a handy visual indication of where Puma's traction technology is helping you out.
The patterned effect on the EXO Shell mesh upper was reminiscent of the Under Armour Spieth shoes in previous years, and the addition of the pattern was a good decision as I think the shoes might have looked and felt a little cheap if they were just all white.
On the shoe's heel, the addition of the fabric strap is a nice feature which can be seen of a number of Puma shoes over the last few years.
The laces are attached to the TPU section of the shoe to ensure that the shoe's outer body is brought towards your foot when you tighten them.
I couldn't help but think that this is probably not the most sustainable solution as it must surely be more prone to ripping than with a standard lacing setup which is built into the main body of the shoe.
The new Alphacat reminded me a lot of the Pwradapt Caged shoe that I tested last year, albeit as a spikeless model which was a little more lightweight and this made walking 18 holes very straightforward.
Having said that, the new upper was firmer than in the Pwradapt Caged and this then provided a nice balance between a shoe that is ideal for use during the summer when the weather is better, but still gives you the support that you need.
The overall feeling of sturdiness was still there though, and I really enjoyed the locked-in feel that Puma shoes provide along with the out-of-the-box comfort that golfers tend to demand these days. Gone are the times where you'd have to break in your shoes over the course of a few weeks - you want them to be ready for action as soon as you put them on.
The Proadapt outsole not only looks cool but also does an important job of providing traction on both soft and hard surfaces due to the two distinct patterns.
To be honest, once I was out on the course I couldn't really feel anything different with this traction compared to a usual pair of spikeless shoes, but I completed my round of golf without any slips or feelings of instability despite playing from a variety of different lies.
I tested the shoes in my usual UK Size 9 and found that they were pretty true to size, with a decent amount of room in both the heel section and the front box around the toes.
Having no distinct tongue section meant that you almost have to use these shoes like a slip-on first, and then tighten them with the laces afterwards.
This is very comfortable once you're wearing them as there's no pinching around the top of the foot, but it does take a little bit of getting used to.
If you have a particularly wide or narrow foot then you may find that this doesn't give you the easy locked-in feel that you want though, so I'd recommend trying them on first if you've not already got a pair of shoes like this.
It might also mean you spend a bit of time hopping on one foot in the golf club car park trying to get these on too, as you can't widen the tongue section to put your foot in like you normally would.
The shoes passed the waterproof test in damp conditions where there was rain around, although I probably wouldn't choose to go out in them if it was raining as the mesh section around the top of the foot could be a little liable to getting wet.
Puma say that the Alphacat is the King Of Comfort, so is that true? Well I don't know if I could say that they are without doubt the most comfortable shoe I've ever worn, but considering that these are what I'd call a mid-way shoe - in between a full spiked shoe and a real lightweight spikeless model like the FJ Flex - I think you'll do well to find a model which beats the combination of comfort and stability that they offer.
Puma Alphacat Golf Shoe Verdict
I always feel that the sign of a really good pair of golf shoes is that you tend to forget you're wearing them after a while, because they comfortably support your foot and give you all the grip you need whilst swinging, and I'd say that's exactly what the Alphacat was like.
Nothing particularly stood out as being brilliant but neither was there anything which posed any distraction out on the golf course, and I think you'd take that from your golf shoes.
You have enough to think about when you're playing, so having a reliable pair of golf shoes that just get the job done are exactly what is necessary.
Would I Use Them?
They are ideal for all-day use in the summer, for example on a golf holiday you could just stick them on in the morning and wear them all the way through the day without any issues.
I put mine on twenty minutes before the round during my testing and even kept them on whilst we waited out a weather delay in the clubhouse, and the Alphacat were just as comfortable on the course as they were while I ate my club sandwich and chips!
£120 for a spikeless shoe - is this expensive? Compared to Ecco Biom H4 at £170, FootJoy Pro|SL at £149.99 and £130 for adidas CodeChaos, I'd say the Alphacat is pretty decent value for money.
Full foot support was very comfortable
Great locked-in feel despite being a spikeless shoe
Typically modern Puma styling looks great
Plenty of traction
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Puma Ignite Pwradapt Caged Shoes Review
Adidas ZG21 Golf Shoe Review