Besides the obvious marketing benefits of naming a golf shoe after one of the most successful golfers in recent times, I have always thought that doing so would bring with it some negatives too. Especially given the amount of input Under Armour say Jordan has in the making of the Spieth 3, and that funnily enough not many club golfers happen to swing like him.
So, could the third generation of a golf shoe designed specifically for Jordan Spieth help you follow in his major-winning footsteps?
What’s It All About?
Spieth, 3-time major winner by the age of 23, putting machine, and the glowing face of Under Armour Golf has once again used his knowledge of how golf shoes should interact with the ground during the golf swing. Creating what Under Armour claim to be its lightest and most technologically advanced shoe to date.
The original Spieth One model was first launched in January of 2017, and since then we have seen the shoe develop in a fairly predictable fashion with the follow up Spieth 2 in 2018 and the shoe Jordan is taking to the fairways in this year – the Spieth 3.
New for this year, Under Armour has worked with biomechanics expert JJ Rivet from the European Tour Performance Institute to conduct research on torqueing and rotation during the golf swing. The result is a new, patented rotational resistance traction system called RST 2.0. The main goal being to encourage ground contact for as long as possible during the golf swing, resulting in the golfer being able to use the ground as leverage - meaning added power whilst preventing any slipping.
As with each new Spieth model there is also a re-designed upper, showcasing some impressive, contemporary looking aesthetics whilst having met Jordan’s weight-losing demands through the use of Clarino microfiber.
In summary, what we have here is the true modern day golf shoe offering: super lightweight, contemporary looking, premium materials, full of technology, and tour-proven with performance and power at the heart of it all.
Under Armour Say…
Mike Forsey, Under Armour’s Director of Global Golf Footwear, explains the new traction systems featured in the Spieth 3:
Traction is what separates golf footwear from street shoes. Under Armour Golf continues to be the only golf footwear brand speaking to traction to support the golf swing. With the Spieth 3, we’ve added vertical traction elements which allow the golfer to naturally harness vertical force to bring more power to the ball at impact.
Bramall Park Golf Club, Manchester, England. February, but not February as we know it. There aren’t many weeks in this dreaded month when you find yourself playing golf in 22 degrees of heat, especially in Manchester. When reviewing the Spieth 3, unbelievably, this was the case.
The course however, was still a little soft and wet under foot. So as usual I put the Spieth 3 through 18 holes of golf, and as the weather was so good I even did some long overdue short game practice afterwards. Lovely stuff.
Under Armour Spieth 3 Golf Shoe Review
Out of the box, I was immediately impressed. These are some of the lightest golf shoes I have ever held. To give that some context, the last shoes I reviewed – the Adidas Tour 360XT weighed around 17oz (and I loved them). The Spieth 3's are the lightest Spieth shoes to date weighing a staggering 11.09oz. Over 18 holes, that is a big difference in weight.
Aesthetically, after having reservations about the previous Spieth shoe models, I loved how Spieth 3 looked. Sleek, contemporary, clean but also very thought out and typically Under Armour in its approach. These shoes looked great and will suit a lot of younger golfers eyes.
Recently, there seems to be a trend in the golf shoe market of big and bulky designs that can look wide and a little cumbersome, especially when standing over putts. The Under Armour Spieth 3 had taken a completely different approach, which I can only applaud. I like light, narrow looking shoes – the Spieth 3 are certainly that.
Taking a closer look at the build quality of the Spieth 3, again I was impressed (which I should have been considering this shoe is worth £170). I liked the combination of Clarino microfiber leather with the Smart Woven jacquard frontfoot, everything looked precise and well measured. You could even say, a bit like Jordan Spieth’s golf game.
On The Course
Wearing the Spieth 3's for the first time, again I was immediately made aware of how light these shoes were. This will be a huge tick for most golfers. Keen golfers who play a lot of golf, they are worth adding to the shortlist on this basis alone.
Out of the box, and over the first few holes the Spieth 3’s felt good. The dual duometer footbed offered a nice amount of support to the bottom of my foot and gave some well received cushioning.
As I mentioned earlier, these shoes look narrow and I can confirm that means they also feel narrow. For me, having a medium width of foot, this wasn’t a problem. My feet felt well and truly locked in tight from heel to toe, giving me the confidence to swing the club as hard as I wanted on any surface, with very little movement.
For the majority of golfers however, I question Under Armour's E Sizing system and can imagine this being an issue in the comfort department. If you’re somebody with a wide foot, I would recommend keeping the laces tied fairly loosely.
The biggest advantage of the Under Armour Spieth 3’s was their traction. The new vertical traction solution, regardless of whether it was designed for Jordan Spieth or not worked for me, and there is no reason it shouldn’t work for you.
The full-contact TPU bottom combined with the Silver Tornado Softspikes really gripped the turf, and whilst doing so looked great. I have never worn a golf shoe that manages to stay so low to the ground all the way across the sole, I can only liken them to a pair of modern football boots.
If you’re a golfer that struggles with stability and balance (which I sometimes am), these again are worth looking at to offer you a solid base on which to build your swing.
In the sand, the Spieth 3’s had no issues. Full shots, half shots, chipping, pitching, if these shoes do have any issues, traction isn’t one of them.
Unfortunately however, throughout my round I did begin to find some issues. If this test was conducted over nine holes, the Spieth 3’s would have passed with flying colours. It wasn't.
These issues mainly came in the comfort department. Firstly, because the tongue of the shoe is so thin, I found myself getting a slight aching in the bridge of my foot. This aching wasn't enough for me to be in pain, but enough to know my feet weren't 100% comfy.
On the front nine, these shoes felt light, comfy and fresh, by the back nine it was a different story. Because these shoes are so light and thin, I felt my feet lacked the right support in certain areas of the shoe, especially around my toes and on the balls of my feet.
As the round went on, although the shoes continued to perform in the traction and breathability departments, the comfort got worse. So much so, I breathed a sigh of relief changing back to my trainers in the locker room. This is never a good sign. The only thing I can advise if you're thinking of buying a pair of Spieth 3s is to go up half a size and maybe wear thicker socks to try and get that extra bit of support.
Finally, the way the TPU sole of the shoe was designed meant that the Spieth 3s collected a rather large amount of course debris up the sides of the shoes. This is something I have never seen before and can only be put down to the way the sole has been specifically designed for Spieth. As it turns out, Spieth doesn't play many muddy golf courses in February - everyday golfers do.
Would I Use It?
Over time, once my feet had 'broken-in' the shoes, yes. But to be honest in 2019, I don't think golfers buy golf shoes expecting to have to break them in. The modern day golfer wants high-performance and out of the box comfort. I couldn't help but think the Spieth 3's ticked so many boxes but fell foul in the main department. Comfort.
Under Armour Spieth 3 Verdict?
This was a frustrating shoe to review. Based on first impressions I wanted to love them, they ticked every box. On reflection I think when designing this shoe Under Armour became so obsessed with the technical story behind it, they forgot to get the simple things right.
This is a shoe that will divide opinion. Some people will love it, some people will people have a disinclination towards it. Making a good golf shoe in 2019 shouldn't be too hard, and Under Armour in the past have no doubt proved they know how to do so. I just feel on this particular occasion they have over-complicated things a little, leaving my feet feeling rather under the weather.
- Great looking, contemporary upper
- 2-Year Limited Waterproof Warranty
- Outstanding traction on all golfing terrains
- Full-contact bottom looks brilliant and does work
- The narrow aesthetics are refreshing in todays golf shoe market
- Extremely lightweight
- Thin materials offer a lack of support around the bridge of the foot
- Comfort isn't a strong point, more of an issue
- Narrow-fit will suit some golfers but not others
- Hard to keep the Smart Woven jacquard parts of the upper clean
- Overall design will divide opinion