Fred Couples turned Ecco's Street shoe into an overnight must-have last year. Really, who wouldn't want to look as smooth and suave as Couples, who nonchalantly (and socklessly!) strolls the fairways and, oh by the way, rips drives of more than 300 yards.
This spring I tried to get a pair but couldn't -- the women's styles were on back order until late in the golf season. In August, I took advantage of a media discount from Ecco and ordered two pairs of the cleatless models. The first day I put one on, I drove over to my favorite municipal course, which was as usual rather wet and shaggy on a Sunday morning. And on the first tee I noticed I had no traction. And on the second tee I changed shoes. They were cute and comfy but I decided I had no business wearing them at &*#@! *&^% Golf Course.
I've since worn those shoes on well-manicured, dry, flat golf courses without a problem and, it must be noted, with many a compliment -- particularly in the case of the Mary Jane style, which looks so darned cute with a skort and makes its way from car to course to bar in that smooth and suave and sockless Couples-esque style.
So today when Softspikes released its study declaring that shoes with new replaceable cleats provide 70 percent more traction than new cleatless shoes, I had no trouble believing that was true under some conditions. Unfortunately, the study did not differentiate between men and women/ladies, who are generally lighter and have slower swings than men and therefore might find the traction difference negligible.
It also did not address the effects of heightened confidence that women might experience when they feel they look good. But, really, what sports-related study has looked at how our feelings about how we look might impact our success? And, think of the implications, should it be determined that baseball players wearing slimming pinstripes have higher confidence levels (not just higher bank accounts) and therefore perform better.
In GottaGoGolf's November Gift Guide, several shoe models are featured -- including Ecco's Mary Jane style. We searched the studies and couldn't find conclusive evidence that better traction will lower golf scores for women and ladies to a greater extent than, say, a moisturizing lip gloss, a designer glove or a cute shoe might.