Not every avid golfer is a 50-something-year-old rich white dude. Come on, that’s ridiculous. There’s plenty of 40-something-year-old rich white dudes who love to play too. But seriously, golf has grown in the past two decades to become much more mainstream. Nike knows this as well as anyone, since it’s their guy (Tiger) who took the sport’s popularity from the rough to the greens. With that in mind comes the Nike Lunar Swingtip Lea ($109-$119), a street-casual golf shoe that’s meant to look just as good on the town as it does on the 10th tee.
Working with their affiliate, Hurley, Nike designers have created a shoe that’s clearly influenced by surfers and skaters, and it works–in certain styles. The first pair I received featured an all-black leather waterproof upper with a thick white sole. Simple, stylish, versatile. But they also ran quite small. When I exchanged the size 10.5 for an 11.5, Nike provided me with a different model. These were black, but with a very distracting wide white stripe that crosses across the entire shoe. Tried as I could, I just couldn’t find an outfit that I thought they looked good with. Maybe that’s because I don’t own a zoot suit.
While the appeal of the Lunar Swingtip’s upper color combinations varies, the bottoms are all pretty cool. There’s a funky, multicolored stud configuration that’s fun to look at, and Nike promises it offers traction on demand. I found the Lunarlon sockliner and rubber sole to be quite comfy–no need for a visit from Dr. Scholl here. If you’re looking for a versatile everyday shoe with a bit of a skater edge to it, that can also give you some grip on the greens, the Lunar Swingtip Lea is a great find. Just avoid that white stripe model. Or buy the zoot suit.