When an unexpected, mysterious box shows up on my front porch, I get excited.
Not paranoid, call-the-bomb-squad-and-check-for-white-powder excited. (The fear-mongers are thankfully losing their grip on the nation.)
No, I get excited to see what sort of treasure the golf equipment fairies have spun from their endless store of gold filament and dreams.
The most recent of these mystery boxes turned out to be from the particularly magical fairies at Nike Golf. Upon opening it, I discovered some rather puzzling contents: a single yellow and black golf shoe and a small scale.
It turns out, Nike has the Vapors. Not the lady-like Southern euphemism for gassiness, but rather a new golf shoe called Nike Air Zoom Vapor. And apparently, the ethereal name denotes the ultra-light nature of the shoe.
According to the promotional materials in the box, the weight of the average men's size 9 Vapor is a measly 13.8 oz. The scale was included so that I could verify the claim. Sure enough, 13.8 oz. on the nose.
This got me to wondering how the Vapor compared to my other golf shoes, although comparison is tricky, as I wear a size 10. I pulled a few shoes from my crowded car trunk and put them on Nike's scale.
First up was Nike's own Air Zoom Elite II, which weighed in at 17.5 oz.
Next up was the Etonic R Series G-Sok, which registered a respectable 15.4 oz.
Finally, Ecco's Casual Cool GTX shoe tipped the scale at a hefty 19.9 oz.
So, what does all this mean for the golfer? Lighter shoes mean easier walking, of course. However, I'm not sure how much the extra material for the size 10s I weighed add on to overall weight. If one shoe size equals 1-2 oz., the Etonic shoe is comparable to the Vapor. And comparing the Ecco shoe is perhaps a bit unfair, as its strongest point is an extremely cushy insole and Gore-Tex lining to keep your feet warm on chilly days.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how new materials transform even golf footwear into high-performance gear. I for one look forward to these innovations in the game, as well as to mysterious boxes on my porch, even if they do contain some sort of funky vapor.