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Critical Golf: Unbiased Golf Equipment Reviews

Nike FI Impact 2

The Nike FI Impact 2s are relatively lightweight, flexible and comfortable. We enjoyed walking the course with them, and felt confident in the grip that they provided in a variety of terrain. The MSRP of $140 is at about the mean among the shoes we’ve tested, although they’ve now been marked down by the manufacturer to $95.

The thing that might give you the most pause about the FI Impact 2s is the bold styling and color palettes. There are lots of different patterns, textures and colors on the shoe, and the colors are not exactly subdued, so this may not be the shoe to wear the first time your girlfriend’s father invites you to play at his conservative country club. Then again, if you’re the kind of person who feels like you have to be free to express yourself, maybe they’re just perfect.

Retail price: $140 (reduced to $95)
Amazon.com: Check price now
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SCORE
92
GRADE
A-
Design
90
Construction
93
Comfort
93
Value
93

Nike’s second iteration of its “FREE-Inspired” (FI) golf shoes is the FI Impact 2, a sneaker-styled spikeless golf shoe. Nike’s FREE technology, first used in its line of FREE running shoes, is meant to be lightweight and conform to the natural motion of the foot, in some ways mimicking barefoot running. Nike first utilized FREE technology in the TW 13s, apparently at Tiger Woods’ request. The original FI Impact was then launched in early 2014.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and there are bound to be a wide range of opinions about the styling of the FI Impact 2. There are a number of different textures and colors represented on the shoe, which might strike you as either avant garde and bold or a horrible mismatched hodgepodge.

Nike FI Impact 2
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The colorways in which the FI Impact is offered are Blue/Summit White/Deep Royal Blue/Black (an electric blue with a white sole and black trim), Bright Crimson/White/Team Red/Black (an electric red with a white sole and black trim), Wolf Grey/Pure Platinum/Dark Grey/Black (grey with electric red and black trim), Volt/White/Black (neon yellow), Black/White/Anthracite/Cool Grey (essentially black, with some neon yellow trim), Stealth/Clear Jade/White/Black (grey with turquoise trim), and Dark Grey/Cool Grey/Pure Platinum/Black (dark grey with bright orange trim).

As you can tell, there’s an extremely bright element on each of the different color options, so these are not for those looking to stay low key. If, on the other hand, you’re eager to make a vocal fashion statement, these might be in your sweet spot.

Nike provides a 1-year waterproof guarantee. The uppers are made of a synthetic mesh . We had no issues with any leakage through several test rounds conducted in damp early morning conditions. We would note that some of those rounds wound up staining the uppers with some mud, which would not wipe off with soap and water (we didn’t try more powerful stain removers).

Nike FI Impact 2
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The Nike FI Impact 2s came in at 1.37 pounds (as tested), placing them among the lighter third of golf shoes that we’ve tested. Deep grooves in the outsole promote flexibility, and the FI Impact 2s were comfortable from the moment we pulled them out of the box. There is plenty of cushioning, and the shoes ultimately feel like part of your feet.

Traction primarily comes from six large “spikes”, as well as a pattern of smaller nubs, all integrated into the rubber outsole. Whether it was the distribution of weight across the shoe or these “spikes”, we found ourselves confident that the FI Impact 2s would grip the ground and provide stability.

The original MSRP of the FI Impact 2s was $140, but Nike has since marked it down to $95 on their web site. As you can tell, we definitely enjoyed wearing these shoes. The primary challenge is the styling – the FI Impact 2s are definitely a little “out there”, and the extent to which they fit the look that you want to create on the golf course will be a primary driver in deciding whether or not to open up your wallet.

Retail price: $140 (reduced to $95)
Amazon.com: Check price now
Golfsmith: Check price now