The Dubai World Championship Golf Shoe Statement


Hip, street-inspired footwear like PUMA's Cell Fusion Golf Shoes and Ecco's Golf Streets have been infiltrating the sea of traditional saddle shoes for a while now,  however when the affable Oliver Wilson appeared in his glove shoes at the Dubai World Championship, there was considerable curiosity...  and some consternation from the media.

Golf 24 Seven called them "horrible" while The Press Association suggested that they were "probably the strangest golf shoes ever seen".  

What the former Ryder Cup player had on his feet were Vibram FiveFingers and they do in fact resemble gloves... for the feet... as each toe has its own individual pocket.  The resulting look is slightly reptilian... with a cartoonish quality. More whimsical than horrible in my opinion.   

Addressing questions about his curious kicks, Wilson explained that he'd been wearing the FiveFingers for about three weeks, inspired by his coach.  "I practice barefoot sometimes and swing it better... he revealed.  FiveFingers are said to allow the "sensation and freedom of going barefoot."

The engaging Englishman tweeted on Friday evening that he "had to resort back to the monkey shoes" ... and on Saturday he carded an impressive 68.

Personally, I'm quite intrigued with the barefooting concept.  Not necessarily for golf,  but definitely for kayaking and sailing, maybe the gym too.

In any case Oliver Wilson's Vibram FiveFingers will almost certainly be the strongest style statement to come out of the 2010 Dubai World Championship.

Photo: Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images Europe


  1. We used to wear socks with toes but I can't imagine golf shoes with toes.

  2. Strange....

  3. Vibrams were supposedly developed because some studies said running barefoot was healthier than running in regular shoes.

    I have trouble believing that -- not enough cushioning for running on pavement -- but I can see why some golfers might like them. Sam Snead was renowned for playing barefoot; he probably would have become the company spokesman! ;-)

  4. Actually Mike, it seems the Vibram soles offer epic protection. My cousin is a runner and he recently started wearing the KSOs which I believe might be the ones Oliver Wilson wears. He now swears by them and says they've made real difference. I'm not sure I could pull of the reptilian/monkey look where I play golf though. ;)

  5. Felt real bad for your friend Poults... another example of the arcane nature of the rules of golf.

  6. I remember Oliver Wilson from Augusta State, such a huge talent and as you note, very open and affable. Thanks for the website and Twitter links.

  7. That is amazing... The shoes! I LOVE practicing my swing while barefoot

  8. Patricia, you should check out TRUE linkswear. They have a "barefoot" golf shoe That doesn't look like a monkey's foot. Ryan Moore is wearing them on the PGA Tour.

  9. Mike,
    The cushioning in traditional running shoes is actually the cause of many running injuries. Here's a video that discusses the topic:

    Personally, I don't think the five fingers will take off as golf shoes because they're not waterproof, but the True Linkswear shoes might catch on.

  10. Very Strange shoes, as companies eye for share in the Market, everyday new designs, new concepts are being introduced to the market by the footwear companies.

  11. Strange shoes, but lots of benefits for our body. I love this shoes so much. In fact, I customized my own by just adding some colors and a lit of designs to make it like a signature shoes. You can visit the link to see the images here.

  12. .

    DO NOT - REPEAT - DO NOT EVER play barefoot here in florida

    RED ANTS are the worst bite you can get and these ants are all over the grass down here

    as tempting as it may be for visiting northerners, don't

    ft lauderdale so FLA


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