Late in 2008, 25 year old James Lepp and some of his friends came up with the concept for a new type of golf shoe company called Kikkor Golf. The idea was to deliver a golf shoe for the younger crowd (or young at heart) that didn’t fit the mold of the typical adult golf shoe. Instead, Kikkor makes golf shoes in the skater mold with comfort and style in mind, without ignoring the important technical attributes such as grip, stability, waterproofing, and durability. The idea is a good one, because there was lots of buzz about the brand at the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show! So why does Kikkor make golf shoes that look more at home in a skate park or Pac Sun store? Well, according to the company Kikkor is here for four reasons. 1. It doesn’t matter what age you are, 10, 25, or 45, nobody truly wants to wear the same stuff as their dad. 2. The golf shoe industry consistently designs shoes that are targeted only for the older demographic, leaving younger players with very few options that match their personal style. 3. Do we really have to wear dress shoes on the golf course? 4. The need for really comfortable golf shoes.
Before founding Kikkor, James Lepp enjoyed a great deal of success as a golfer. Playing at the University of Washington in 2005, he became the first Canadian male to ever win the NCAA Division 1 Championship. He also won the British Columbia Amateur four years in a row starting in 2002, and won the Canadian Tour’s Greater Vancouver Classic twice. Once as an amateur in 2003 and again as a professional in 2007. In other words, James has walked a lot of golf courses and knows that a comfortable pair of golf shoes is very important.
Before we introduce you to Kikkor’s line of youth inspired golf shoes – If you are interested in getting your hands on a pair for yourself, our readers can get a 10% discount on your entire purchase at Kikkor.com! Just click on the previous link, the Kikkor banner on the right side of the page or use the promo code “intothegrain” at the Kikkor online store for the discount, and happy shopping!
Kikkor has several different models to choose from. While some models, like the Eppik 2.0 use replaceable Champ Q lok spikes, other models like the Tenny have permanent spikes that Kikkor calls their Diacon Embedded Spike System (DESS). The common theme across the entire line is comfort and style. You won’t find any typical saddle style golf shoes here, only more casual and fun styles. I got my hands on a pair of the men’s Tenny in white and I’ve been wearing them for several months. Not only am I impressed, but my fellow golfers are taking notice, because they are always asking me about my shoes and where to get them!
The biggest test for my new Kikkor shoes came a few weeks ago at a US Amateur Public Links qualifier. Most golf courses down here in Florida require one to use a golf cart, and the courses that allow walking see far fewer walkers during the brutally hot summer months. When I signed up for the qualifier in late May, I knew that the competitors were required to walk for 36 holes in the heat. With temperatures forecast in the low 90s, I was primarily concerned with having some comfortable shoes and staying hydrated.
The Kikkor Tennys performed flawlessly. I was comfortable all day, the traction was good even in the morning dew, and their looks garnered plenty of attention from the other players and caddies. After numerous rounds, practice sessions and several miles of walking on the odometer, I noticed one small problem. The thin fabric covering on the top of the insole was peeling from the heel area. This is just a cosmetic thing, and it didn’t affect the performance or fit of the shoe. The DESS permanent spikes are supposed to last the life of the shoe, and while the heel area is starting to show signs of wear I have no reason to believe this claim isn’t true.
My Kikkor Tenny shoes have become my main golf shoes, not only for their comfort and performance, but also because I am lazy and with these I don’t have to change shoes in the parking lot at the golf course. I simply wear them to and from the course without having to worry about walking into a bar after the round wearing golf shoes or sandals with a horrible golfer tan. You could always get a pair of Cleatskins to wear your golf shoes in public, but just wearing my Kikkors is my choice.
Most of the models offered come with a 1-year limited waterproof guarantee and an extra pair of laces in a different color. My White Tennys came with black and white laces. The ladies also get some sharp looking models. Most models sell for $80-100 and Kikkor.com has the occasional sale where the prices drop quite a bit.
Kikkor is run by a bunch of young entrepreneurs, and as such they know when to work hard and play hard. Check out the video below of founder James Lepp showing off his considerable skills at his trademark shot, called the saucer pass, and when you are ready to get your very own box of awesomeness, click the Kikkor banner on the right side of the page or use the promo code “intothegrain” at the Kikkor online store for a 10% discount on your order!
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