Footnotes: Nike Air Max 1 G
Updated: Nov 12, 2020
//The Nikes on my feet keep the loop complete//
Introducing "Footnotes," The Bag Bandit’s new shoe review series—rejoice! One of the best things about streetwear culture seeping into golf is the shoes. Sneakerheads are just plain different. They spend hundreds of dollars on pairs of shoes they may never wear, or are constantly searching for a quick buck by flipping sneakers, sometimes making double or triple the retail value.
Sneakerhead culture has arrived in golf's world, and Nike has led the charge. In 2016, Nike announced it would shift their golf campaign to cease the manufacturing of equipment and instead solely focus on clothes, shoes and accessories. Since then, Nike has pumped out tons of new golf shoes, converting all-time favorite sneakers into course-ready beauties.
First, a primer. Footnotes is broken down into 3 sections: Style, Comfort, and Performance. Each category will be judged by the same scale that most caddie programs rank their loopers on: starting with C, B, A, AA, and culminating in the esteemed “Pro Jock.” Only if a shoe greatly excels in a category will they receive the Pro Jock status.
I’ve been rocking the 2019 version of the Air Max 1 G in the platinum/white/grey colorway and this review will be based on my experiences with the shoe.
Style: C, B, A, AA, Pro Jock
The Nike Air Max sneaker line is one of the most iconic lines out there. From the original Nike Air Tailwind sneaker that debuted in 1978, to the newest Air Max 720s, there’s a style for everyone. The Air Max 1 is a special one. The brainchild of legendary designer Tinker Hatfield, Air Max 1 was the first sneaker that provided a peek at air pocket technology in the sole of the shoe, and is largely responsible for the popularity of the Air Max line of sneakers. The Air Max 1 G(olf) is made very much in the same vein as the regular sneaker, with a few subtle differences.
The golf edition has less stitching than the original sneaker and is made of a synthetic leather that holds up better in wet conditions. They have a smaller swoosh on both sides of the shoe that's fully visible, and doesn't disappear into the heel, like the original sneaker. The mid-layer of the shoe is textured like golf ball dimples, and the lines of the shoe are a bit wavier than blocky. The sole of the shoe is less cushiony than the original sneaker and has a traction pattern designed for golf. Nike has many different colorway offerings, some cooler than others. My personal favorite is the "No Denim Allowed" version. The Canadian tuxedo has never been worn better, and I love the comment Nike makes about traditional country club standards with this style.
With the classic Air Max 1 silhouette and a variety of colorways these shoes are a great on and off course look, fully deserving of a AA rating any sneaker enthusiast would be happy with.
Comfort: C, B, A, AA, Pro Jock
The biggest knock on these shoes are how rigid they are out of the box. It took several months for me to fully break these sneakers in, but once it happened they became much more comfortable. The 2020 version of the Air Max 1 G is made of a knitted material on the upper half of the shoe and may be more ready to wear right out of the box, but time will tell. These shoes are more narrow than is usual for Nike, so heads up on that, but they’re not pinching the foot in any way.
Even with the air pocket cushion in the heel of the shoe, the sole is made of a very tough material that's less forgiving that I would like it to be. That’s not a terrible sacrifice for how durable the shoe has turned out to be. Overall, the Air Max 1 Gs are not the most comfortable golf shoes I have had, but hold up solidly over time and continue to feel better the more I've worn them, giving them a comfort rating of an ‘A’ looper.
Performance: C, B, A, AA, Pro Jock
Nike’s answer for spike-less golf shoes is an integrated traction pattern that looks like it has been stripped off an all-weather car tire. Spike-less shoes likely will never be able to provide the same stability that spiked shoes will, but these do a pretty good job. The sole is made from a very tough, durable, material similar to what you would find on a soccer or football shoe. I’ve put hundreds of miles on the Air Max 1 Gs I own, and they show very little signs of wear. In wet or dewy conditions the shoes do get slippery, but because the overlays of the shoe are fused together, rather than sewn, they keep your feet 100% dry. What you do have to watch out for is walking on smooth surfaces with these shoes—if any moisture is on the ground or the bottom of these shoes they can be like ice skates on cart paths or hardwood floors. The Nike Air Max 1 G gets an ‘A’ looper status in performance because of the durability and weather resistance.
Ni-Ni-Nikes On My Feet
Make the cypher complete. Overall I’m a fan of the Nike Air Max 1 G. They are an all-time classic look that everybody should have in the closet. With loads of different colorways, you’ll be able to find a style that fits your look. Incredibly waterproof and long lasting the shoes are a great value. New, they’ll run up to $130, perhaps a little more for one-off runs Nike does for major tournaments or collaborations, but you’ll also be able to find pairs on sale for less than $100. A touch classier than the original Air Max 1, the 1G is a great shoe to wear on and off the course making it your go-to sneaker to rock on casual (or mandatory golf) Fridays. I wouldn’t recommend wearing these shoes clubbing unless you want to be zamboni-ing cocktails off the dance floor, but that’s up to you!