NIKE has been an innovator in footwear since its inception. That certainly includes the game of golf. Their newest design, the Lunar Control Vapor golf shoes, features an eye-catching new outsole that NIKE calls Articulated Integrated Traction. We’ve never seen anything like this fin-shaped tread these golf shoes employ. So we talked to the NIKE Golf footwear design team to get the inside story on this new design. You can read our exclusive Q & A with them right here.
The Articulated Integrated Traction on the Lunar Control Vapor is impressive looking. How did the team at NIKE Golf develop this new spikeless design? There were a couple of goals our Design team had while designing Articulated Integrated Traction (AIT). The first was to make the most comfortable golf shoe possible. Comfort – especially underfoot – is always first on the list when we talk to golfers about what they want in a shoe. One way to make a golf shoe more comfortable is to remove spikes. Spikes make a shoe less flexible, remove cushioning, and can add pressure to the bottom of the foot. AIT is made from the same material found in a traditional spike plate, so it’s durable and provides great traction, but it’s also flexible and supportive. It’s truly the best of both worlds.
How does this new “tread” improve upon the usual spikeless outsole? What kind of performance benefits will golfers see from this new traction? First, AIT is more durable, provides better traction, and is lighter than a traditional rubber spikeless outsole. It’s made of a material called thermoplastic urethane and it proves an exceptionally stable platform. Additionally, the outsole is decoupled into three sections to allow the foot to move naturally through the swing and assist in smooth, efficient weight transfer.
We’ve seen the Flywire Technology from NIKE Golf before, but this shoe seems unique by featuring the wires visibly on the side of the. Can you tell us more about this design? We love Flywire and what it can do to keep the golfer locked down while saving weight. In the past, we’ve typically shrouded the Flywire to keep the design a bit more subtle, but on the Vapor we wanted it to be a key design feature of the shoe. Not only does it offer great lockdown and lateral support, but we think it looks pretty cool, too.
These shoes also feature the well-known Lunarlon cushioning. What performance does this provide to these shoes on the golf course? The midsole in the Lunar Control Vapor features NIKE’s signature Lunarlon foam. It’s 30% lighter than traditional EVA foam and allows the force of impact to be more evenly distributed. This helps reduce pressure points and offers the golfer a smooth, cushioned ride.
What kind of response has NIKE Golf been getting about this design? Is this a shoe that we’ll be seeing on the PGA Tour? The response from Tour athletes and everyday golfers has been phenomenal. The Lunar Control Vapor brings a fresh NIKE design and marries it to unrivaled cushioning and traction. It’s truly the ultimate golf shoe for the modern golf athlete.