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Lightweight, comfortable, and offering great performance, the ECCO Cage Pro is a modern looking golf shoe with a sole like nothing you’ve seen before.
At the recent PGA Show I learned an interesting fact from David Helter of ECCO. Last year, 80% of woman wore hybrid (spikeless) golf shoes, while only 45% of men did. I’m sure egos and swing torque have a substantial impact on those statistics, but I also believe that male usage will continue to go up every year as shoe designs evolve. Take a quick glance back at previous PIG reviews on ECCO shoes and you’ll notice they all have a similar tread designs. For 2017, the designers at ECCO took a radical departure.
From the top side, the ECCO Cage Pro looks like a modern golf shoe. A heel structured with some plastics and smooth leather on the front foot. Flip the shoe over and you might think its part of some sci-fi movie. This “organic sole design” is called ECCO Spyder-Grip. Also available in toned down versions of white, brown, or black, I particularly like the combination of the bright yellow sole with of the concrete colored shoe that I tested. The windows of color in the toe and heel add to the great look. Even the shoe laces are color coordinated.
This was my first pair of ECCO golf shoes and I was blown away by how comfortable they were right out of the box. The fit around the Cage Pro midfoot was as form fitting as I’ve ever worn. I felt securely locked into the shoe without cranking down the laces. Curiosity got me counting eyelets on the shoes in my recent foursome and the Cage Pro had one extra set – six total. A quick glance at the PIG shoe review page revealed that five does appear to be the norm. The extra lacing makes the shoe a bit more cumbersome to get on and off, but the fit is worth it. I do wish the ECCO logo loop on the heel was a functional aid.
With the foot secure, the designers have allowed for some wiggle room in the toe box, which creates the sense of being grounded. Inside, the heel area is slightly too big for me, and a bit more cushioning around the opening would help. I was confused by the “extra width” printed on the insole, but turns out it’s intended to be a reminder that you can remove the top insole and use only the second one below if you require extra room.
Though lightweight, the Cage Pro offered stability in the backswing like I’d expect from a rigid soled shoe. The ‘cage’ in the name refers to the heel and midsole being fused as one, providing extra stability. During transition, there was excellent flexibility through the midfoot. Traction on the tee box and in the fairway was equal to any soft spiked shoe. I encountered some slippage in longer rough, but far less than waffle pattern spikeless designs.
Unlike cleats that clutch leaves or spikeless designs that clog with dirt, the Spyder-Grip stays clear of debris and fully grip enabled. ECCO positioned those nodes on the bottom to match the natural pivot points of your foot. The pattern they leave is totally unique, so make sure to rake after bunker shots.
When a design looks a little wild, I worry performance may suffer, but that wasn’t the case with the ECCO Cage Pro. The shoe is a great balance between comfort and performance. It’s getting harder and harder to have a single category that lumps all non-removable spike shoes into it. ECCO can call their shoes hybrids, but there’s a big difference in the Cage Pro and some of their more casual/street shoes. Maybe that’s the test – would you wear the shoe into the grocery store or a restaurant? For me the answer is no – the ECCO Cage Pro is a serious golf shoe.