It was a quiet day in the office when Hannah lobbed a small carton in my direction. “Wanna review these?” she queried idly. As I looked at plastic container housing some golf shoe spikes, I can’t say I was thrilled. But, as I said, it was a quiet day in the office so I agreed. What I had agreed was to review the Tour Flex Pro, the latest soft spike from Softspikes.
Little did I realise that I was embarking on a journey of discovery and enlightenment. Read on to join me on this journey.
Let’s start at the beginning. Softspikes were invented 30 years ago, in 1993, when a winter metal spike “ban” campaign was endorsed by several U.S. State Golf Associations. They have gone on to be one of the most popular golf inventions of the 20th century. No less than 82% of current tour players wear Softspikes. 75% of tour winners in 2023 have trusted Softspikes. The reason for this is that soft spikes allow for enhanced control of ground forces, forming a stable base, which helps to create more consistency and clubhead speed.
Softspikes offer a number of different styles of spike. With names like “Cyclone”, “Stealth” and “Silver Tornado” they sound more like stars from Gladiators, than bits of plastic on the bottom of a golf shoe. They all have particular characteristics. They also come in a range of colours, with some interesting names. I particularly liked the greenish tinged Pulsar cleat called “slime”.
Softspikes Tour Flex Pro review: NCG Summary
The Tour Flex Pro is badged as delivering the perfect combination of traction, comfort and performance. Recommended if you’re looking for marginal gains.
- Latest technology
- Excellent grip
- Easy to fit
- Only work in spiked golf shoes
First Impressions or ‘The Anatomy of a Softspike’.
A quick glance at the illustration below shows the Softspike Tour Flex Pro in all its glory. Isn’t it a thing of beauty? The centre post, or ‘Stinger’ is what makes this particular model unique. There are three green flexible legs which are primarily for grip. The black traction spikes offer stability and control.
On course testing
A fast twist 3.0 insert system allowed me to take the Pivix golf cleats off a pair of Callaway Apex Coronado S shoes and stick these beauties on all by hand in a couple of minutes. It was that easy. No spike tools were required.
Now when I first tested the Coronado S in the standard (Pivix) cleats, I had no issue with grip and stability. The Pivix cleat is green-friendly, low profile and has reinforced spring-flex legs , offering traction and stability.
The Tour Flex Pro is reported to offer distance gains and tighter dispersion in ‘independent testing’. These headline grabbing stats are somewhat mischievous. A squint at the very faint and very small print shows that the comparison is between shoes brandishing Tour Flex Pro softspikes and spikeless shoes.
I couldn’t confirm the distance and dispersion claims. But what I can say is that the Tour Flex Pro does feel incredibly grippy when swinging from uneven lies and out of fairway bunkers. And I cannot see any downsides to the Tour Flex Pro, other than the minor hassle of fitting them to your shoe.
I will certainly leave the Tour Flex Pro cleats on my Callaway Apex Coronado S shoes – one my favourite all-weather bits of footwear. It will be interesting to see whether the Tour Flex Pro cleats become standard issue soft spikes on footwear in the future. I can’t find any shoes where they are currently fitted as standard.
And it is important to realise that for most of us mere mortals, an accurately fitted and comfortable shoe is likely to be the first priority when choosing footwear. But if you’re after all those marginal gains then these cleats come recommended.
More Information: Soft Spikes
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