When the Jordan Brand started expanding into the golf world, I was their target demographic. I’m a basketball player at heart and always will be. I bought the Jordan ADG golf shoe and loved them so much, I bought a second pair. But when it came to the Retro releases like the Air Jordan 12 Low Golf, I was hesitant to take that leap.
The Retros scared me for 2 reasons – the price tag, and the performance. As someone with kids and a mortgage I didn’t want to spend $220 on shoes I only played golf in, especially if they didn’t do what I needed them to do. I love MJ but I also like winning my golf league, and if those shoes are going to hurt my chances, they won’t be on my feet.
This past weekend I was able to test a pair of the Air Jordan 12 Low Golf out and I was shocked by the results. I’ll be breaking down my thoughts into the top 4 things I look for in a golf shoe: style, traction, cushion, and support.
Air Jordan 12 Low Golf
Sizing: True to size
- Rundown: The Air Jordan 12 Low Golf is a basketball shoe at its core and has a different feel than traditional golf shoes. If you’re like us and grew up in basketball shoes, you’ll love them.
There is a reason that the Air Jordan 12 is considered by almost everyone to be one of the, if not THE, best-looking Jordan shoes of all time. Inspired by a 19th-century fashion boot and the Japanese Nisshhoki flag, the first flagship shoe released under the Jordan Brand moniker is instantly recognizable, and a timeless classic. The beauty of this shoe is its simplicity and the Air Jordan 12 Low Golf version of this classic sticks to the heart of what makes it great.
There is one golf-specific change to the heel tab that I absolutely love though. Where the basketball version says “Jordan – Quality Inspired by the Greatest Player Ever”, the golf version replaces that with “Golf – For the Love of 18”. It’s a small change but a great detail.
There are two connections in golf that mean more than anything else – our connection to the club and our connection to the ground. Power is generated from the ground up and if a shoe can’t be counted on to keep me grounded, then it’s useless to me.
I tested the Air Jordan 12 Low Golf in very soggy conditions after a couple of days of rain and I am happy to report that sliding was not an issue at all. The bottom of the shoe features a herringbone tread pattern as well as 7 removable soft spikes that provide a great amount of traction. I’m a big guy that generates a lot of force and I didn’t slip once during an 18-hole round.
The original Air Jordan 12 came equipped with a full-length Zoom Air unit and that’s what you’ll find in the Air Jordan 12 Low Golf as well. And while the airbag is under your whole foot, the place I felt most cushioned was in the heel, which is where a lot of golf shoes fall short. This is just another example of the Jordan Golf team executing something simple in a great way.
The other feature that the basketball and golf versions have in common is the carbon fiber shank plate. I’d be lying if I said that while I was playing I was thinking “man I’m glad that shank plate is there” but the Air Jordan 12 Low Golf is a stable shoe that will keep you locked in.
As someone who has had more than his fair share of sprained ankles, finding a shoe that will keep my foot and ankle joints secure is something that’s very important to me. Because of the premium I place on stability, I’m willing to make sacrifices on footwear that other people may not, which brings me to the two factors that people might not love about the Air Jordan 12 Low Golf.
The first thing that might rub people the wrong way is the cut of this shoe. These are officially called the Air Jordan 12 Low Golf, and while they might be considered a “low” on a basketball court, I wouldn’t say it’s the case on a golf course. If you’re someone who is used to a traditional golf shoe cut and the way they fit, then this shoe might not be for you.
Another element that helps with the support but could also be a negative to some people is the leather that is being used in the upper. I think it’s important to remember what this shoe actually is – a recreation of a 90s basketball shoe, and back then we weren’t as concerned with things being lightweight or breathable.
Where I live we haven’t cracked 80 for more than 3 hours yet this year so I have tested the Air Jordan 12 Low Golf in pretty chilly temperatures. I could see that leather and the lack of ventilation being a problem when the heat and humidity start to rise. I’m no stranger to sweating buckets into basketball shoes but even I will admit that when the thermometer cracks 90, I will probably be reaching for a different shoe option that day.
Air Jordan 12 Low Golf Summary
I will fully admit that the Air Jordan 12 Low Golf was made with someone like me in mind. That being said, there’s a reason why I never had a pair until a couple of weeks ago. I’m sure I’m like a lot of people out there who were worried that the price tag wouldn’t match the performance, and for some people, this shoe still might not.
The Air Jordan 12 Low Golf is a basketball shoe at its core and has a different feel than traditional golf shoes. But if you’re anything like me (and the rest of the WearTesters team) and grew up in basketball shoes, I can definitively say that you’ll love these.