Since starting my blog way back to the old site I have had the pleasure of testing out numerous types of golf shoes. For the most part all tested very well yet there were still some that stood out more than others. As a matter of fact the first review that I wrote about back then was a pair of shoes that I had purchased. In fact, it’s sort of peculiar how I’ve gravitated towards footwear and it’s mostly due to my ongoing health issues. I know that Diabetes and it’s complications affect thousands of golfers worldwide and in a way I feel like I have to provide information to those who may be in the same boat as me. Foot care is absolutely vital to us.
A few years ago there was a brand of golf shoe that intrigued me. This particular brand of shoe was one where I had a lot of questions. Issues like durability, comfort, performance and a whole lot more. The brand that I am referring to is BIION Footwear. A golf shoe that I often referred to as “Crocs… dressed in drag”. As a matter of fact I was determined to review a pair of these shoes as soon as I could. I would write the company that year requesting an opportunity to test and review their shoes but at the time it wasn’t feasible for them. Persevering seems to be a theme these days with me and finally I would get an opportunity to test out BIION golf shoes and see exactly what they were all about.
My opportunity came this past January while at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida. As it turns out, I have a friend that has had a job with BIION for the last few years. This chap is a really good golfer (Mini-Tour player) and more importantly a terrific person. I approached Mac (Boucher) about the possibility of testing out a pair of BIION shoes in a “live-fire exercise” right there on the floor of the PGA Show. What better way to start testing a product than right out of the box and on the spot? So off went my beat up shoes (unceremoniously deposited into the garbage) and on went a pair of slick black and white BIION Wingtips. Before I continue with my thorough review let’s discuss what BIION Footwear is made from.
The first thing that I need to make clear is the “myth” that these shoes are not “Crocs in drag” as I referred to them earlier. When it comes to the construction of Crocs they are simply a one-piece construction that according to the company Crocs do not employ the use of EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate). BIION on the other hand not only employs EVA foam but they are also a 3-piece construction. The EVA foam that makes up the upper of the shoe is ultralight, extremely flexible and actually molds to your foot as the material warms up. This ensures a comfortable fit to get you through your day while not making your feet feel tired. The second part of its construction is what BIION calls its “Dual-Density MidSole”. Because of the form-fitting nature of the EVA foam the entire shoe bends and twists to all of your movements. The midsole features a design that I consider to be “zero drop” even though I have not seen this reference in the brand’s literature (maybe I missed it) I will use the term. When wearing these shoes you feel as though you are barefoot like the day you were born. Rounding out the construction is the ever important cleat design. Mother Nature has the best engineers known to man. Honey-Bees. As we all know bee’s form their hives by constructing honeycombs. Hexagonal in shape honeycombs are very structurally sound. By utilizing what BIION calls “Hextra-grip Technology” their cleats give golfers the best combination of strength, stability and grip. All of which are vital in any golf shoe design let alone a spikeless design. There is also one key feature that makes BIION appealing. The colour and print possibilities are endless. Their colours range from the traditional black and white golf shoe to a black with pink flamingo design with an electric blue sole. Seeing is believing.
So getting back to the testing phase. Testing started out on Thursday of the PGA Show. I admit that by the time I slipped out of my old shoes I was already hobbling with sore, tired and achy feet. It came to me that this might be a very unfair start for the testing but as it turns out everything worked out real well. Because of their lightweight design I was able to keep walking (relatively briskly) throughout the day. While my calves were sore (Peripheral Arterial Disease) my foot pain never worsened as the long day wore on. I concluded that after the first day these BIION’s definitely were comfortable. A concern of mine with these shoes was the fact that there might be “slippage” of the shoe in the footbed. When it comes to diabetics this is a mortal sin as it causes blisters. The EVA lived up to its billing and molded to my foot. The result was that I encountered no slipping inside of the shoe while walking. But what about the golf swing? Eventually I made my way to the “Equipment Testing Center” and put on some swings while wearing the BIION shoes. Again living up to their billing my traction on the Fiberbuilt range mats was never compromised. As the PGA Show wrapped up on Friday I thought that the BIION shoes exceeded my expectations.
So walking mile after mile and hitting off of range mats the shoes excelled. However, would that translate into the real world and real grass? I would take the opportunity after the show to get some practice time in and play some golf at some Lakeland area golf courses. Again, I thought that it would be the perfect time to do further testing. Once again the comfort never waned and to be precise it felt like I was wearing slippers because they were so light and easy to put on. Not once did I have an issue with the traction but the conditions were dry. BIION has used the phrase “One Shoe…Many Talents” so i thought let’s see how they stack up in everyday life. In short, all day comfort and never did I experience any slippage or blisters. As a matter of fact the “little fingers” on the insole of the shoe act like they are giving you a foot massage. But what I still hadn’t tested was how they were in water.
Of course BIION Footwear aren’t waterproof because they clearly have holes in the uppers. But what if you’re wearing a pair of BIION’s on the course one day and it suddenly begins to rain? For this reason I felt compelled to do a “water test”. I took the time to do some fly fishing in January as well and when I went to make my first cast I had realized that I left my flats boots back home. Fishing saltwater beaches without footwear is a huge no-no (Stingrays, Shells etc). Instead of electing to find a pair of water shoes I opted to go with a pair of Khaki BIION’s. In short they were terrific in the water and while there was a degree of foot slippage I never had any blister’s form. This isn’t to say that you can’t wear them in wet conditions but if you wanted my recommendation for an easy fix is simple. Neoprene socks. They make the BIION’s usable in all weather conditions… snow and ice notwithstanding.
While I wrap up this review much comes to mind. Yes they are great for many things whether it’s walking the links, the beach or to wear around the office all day. I will be wearing them while out on the boat this summer. BIION footwear are shoes that are washable, breathable, perform and provide all-day comfort. They are with no doubt a shoe of many talents and these shoes made me switch from naysayer to supporter. Factor in the dozens of styles/colors and now you have a shoe that offers golfers (and non-golfers alike) a truly “fun and refreshing change” from the everyday grind of black or brown shoes. The models range from their Classics, to the Brights and through their Patterns collection and all of them are unisex. Even for the little tykes BIION has a collection coming out in 2018 and they have also been licensed by Disney. For more information on their shoes please head over to biionfootwear.com. #NotCrocsInDrag
Until The Next Tee!