When Nike announced in August that it was getting out of the golf equipment business, it stressed that the move would allow it to concentrate on its footwear and apparel operations.
Those two concepts intersect this week in China at the WGC-HSBC Champions in the person of Rory McIlroy. The world No. 3 was spotted with TaylorMade woods in his bag, possible replacements for his Nike woods. At the same time, he is debuting Nike's latest golf shoe, the Lunar Control Vapor.
According to Nike, McIlroy put the shoe through extensive testing in the Bahamas in August. In a nine-hole on-course session, he hit shots from various uneven lies, as well as bunkers. The shoe appears to have passed his test.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve played golf in spiked footwear, and up until two years ago those spikes were metal,” he is quoted on Nike's website. “Through its drive to innovate and bring the sport to new places, Nike has created a new traction system that provides me with a stable base to push off the ground and deliver the distance I need off the tee.”
Nike says the sole was inspired by the tread on snowmobiles. The upper is lightweight microfiber with a two-year waterproof guarantee.
The shoe will be available in the United States in limited colors via the Nike+ App on Nov. 22. Additional colors will launch on nike.com on Nov. 25.