Monday, May 14, 2018

New Golf Equipment Reviews: Callaway La Grange Shoes and Bolle Sunglasses FIRST LOOK Preview

Callaway Golf is clearly doing more than just making great equipment these days.  Their new La Grange golf shoes are their finest spiked shoes to date, and I'll tell you why below in my initial impressions. 


Golf is always going to be a hard game, but new sunglasses from Bolle ensure your shades will be the least of your problems.  I've been testing the Anaconda, Bolt, and King models and there's a slew of technology in each of these styles that make them some of the best your money can buy. 

We all know why golf shoes are important, but one reason not mentioned very often is buyer remorse.  You can't really turn around and re-sell used golf shoes on eBay the same way you can with used golf clubs.  Sometimes when you buy a new pair of shoes and find out later you don't like them, you're pretty much stuck with them. 


I've already mentioned I think the La Grange are Callaway's best spiked shoes to date, and I have to let you know this is not because they're the newest.  I still prefer a few 3-year old ECCOs to some of the newer models.  And I take a ribbing for this one - but I like the older Adidas Tour 360 ii better than anything they've released since.   So it's not always about newer is better. 

I've said this about every golf shoe I've ever reviewed, and will say it about every golf shoe I ever review in the future: I don't care how much technology they have, how great the traction is, or how amazingly stable they are - if they are not comfortable, they're worthless. 


Fortunately most golf shoes on the market have a minumum level of comfort that takes the risk out of just buying them at the store, and you're usually going to get a decent pair of shoes you can wear without much irritation. 

What makes the La Grange stand out in terms of comfort however, is how much more comfortable they are than most shoes on the market.  For a spiked golf shoe, they're incredibly lightweight and flexible.  The midsole, heel, and support underneath your feet are stable and soft with plenty of cushioning.  They don't feel like slippers, but they're still extremely responsive and the overall feel is definitely premium. 


You're also getting a very structured shoe for a secure fit, and an entire outsole that delivers ground grabbing traction.  Traction pods and tornado spikes are positioned to keep you locked in with every move you make throughout the swing, and waterproof protection means no more wet socks after the round.  For full grain upper leather shoes they're also pretty breathable. 


I'm not going to tell you Bolle sunglasses sunglasses are going to lower your handicap, but there are very real performance benefits to wearing them that make them some of the best on the market today.  I'll get into more specific differences between the Anaconda, Bolt, and King models in my full review. 


All three styles are great at resisting glare, and the lens sizes are large enough to give you complete coverage from all angles.  Sunlight's not going to sneak in from the side or underneath and subconsciously cause you to change your head position around at address. 


They're also exceptionally comfortable.  Temple tips, nose pads, and adjustable nose pieces mean these are going to stay in place even if you go after the ball like Happy Gilmore.  It's tough enough to time up a consistent golf swing, let alone trying to do that with the distraction of your sunglasses shifting even a tiny bit somewhere during your swing. 

The Anaconda and King feature polarizes lenses that are some of the best I've ever worn.  The criticism of polarizes lenses for golf is they reduce glare at the expense of depth perception, particularly while reading the green.  I've always just taken off my glasses on the greens if that happened in the past - simple, right?  But if you're a player who needs maximum protection for your entire round, the Anaconda and King produce admirable contrast and clarity for sunglasses with polarizes lenses.  I had no issues wearing both on tough greens in very sunny conditions last month on Hilton Head Island. 


While I was very impressed with the Anaconda and King, the Bolt sunglasses just took it to another level.  The Bolt's aren't going to protect you from AV rays as well as the Anaconda and King, but if that's not a concern for you then the Bolt are going to give you the absolutely exemplary clarity no matter the conditions. 


The Bolt use a lens technology called Verres Modulator Photochromiques.  I know - I have no idea.  But what that boils down to is they legitimately adjust to lighting conditions.  No matter how bright it gets you see clearly.  When the sun goes down the lens tint fades to do the same.  And all the while contrast and color absolutely pop out for optimal clarity.  I love all three styles, but the Bolt in particular makes me feel like I'm an expert green reader.  Bolt also offers interchangeable lenses to meet even your most demanding course environment needs. 


As always, if you have any questions, shoot me an email or direct message on twitter or instagram.