Tiger Woods returns to competition at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational following a three-month layoff with a refreshed attitude and a new pair of kicks.
Woods is wearing a prototype golf shoe inspired by Nike Free running shoes, which were designed to replicate running in bare feet but provide some protection and traction.
“The Free technology is something that I wear every day, and some of the things, some of the aspects, I love training in it, I love running in it, lifting in it, so why can't I play golf in it,” Woods said Tuesday during his news conference in Akron, Ohio.
“So eventually we got together and created this shoe, and walking out there on the golf course, it felt good to feel my foot activated, something that I hadn't felt in a long time. That felt very good, so the whole chain was activated, something that I'd always felt off the golf course but not on the golf course.”
The shoe is designed to let the front of Tiger's foot move more freely. This, Nike says, should allow him to transfer more power from his swing into the ball.
The upper is made from polyurethane coated with a stretch fabric that is used in some of Nike's basketball shoes. A portion of the shoe's heel comes from recycled Nike Air Max units that have been melted into thread and then woven into a textile material. The shoe's outsole is taken from Nike's Special Field Boot that was designed for first-responders at emergency sites.
There is no word from Nike on when, or if, Tiger's prototype shoe will be made available to the public.