There is a lot of cool gear in the golf equipment world that doesn’t always fit neatly into Most Wanted Tests or Buyer’s Guides. You still want to know how it performs. In our We Tried It series, we put gear to the test and let you know if it works as advertised.
What We Tried
The Under Armour Spieth 5 SL
What is the Spieth 5 SL?
Until now, the Spieth shoe has exclusively been a spiked shoe. The 2021 version ditches the spikes and takes on the growing spikeless trend. For golf nerds like me, the shoe has a multitude of features that indicate Under Armour understands the difference shoes can make in a player’s game. These include a 3D-molded footbed for improved fit and less slip and a HOVR outsole foam which Under Armour claims to get you more connected with the ground without losing energy transfer in your swing.
The Spieth 5 SL also has a heel counter that locks in your foot with no room for heel movement. It has a TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) sole which is more flexible, lightweight and durable compared to typical rubber or nitrile soles. Throw in a waterproof membrane and you have the first spikeless Spieth golf shoe.
Why Are We Trying It?
It might be because Jordan Spieth has been playing well in recent months while wearing his new spikeless shoe. Coincidence?
Under Armour is an apparel powerhouse in the U.S. Recently, Under Armour has been gaining market share in the UK. They have also been performing consistently well in our Most Wanted Spikeless and Spiked Shoe Tests.
But is the Spieth 5 SL any different or better from any other golf spikeless shoe on the market?
Hi, I’m Harry and I am a professional golf shoe tester. (Yes, they exist.) I actually test a lot of things at MyGolfSpy and play professionally when I’m not checking and comparing specs on gloves, rangefinders, bags, ball retrievers, etc. You can call me the Director of Product Testing here at MGS. You can also just call me Harry. That’s fine, too.
Wearing The Spikeless Spieth 5 SL
My first impressions of the Spieth 5 SL? Like any other Spieth shoe, they look long and narrow. I don’t mind that look. The previous Spieth shoes do tend to run narrow. This is NOT the case with the Spieth 5 SL. I have relatively wide feet and the 5SLs are comfortable and have enough support to provide good stability.
The spikes/lugs are a little different compared to other spikeless shoes.
The Spieth 5 SL has softer lugs/spikes to help you stay grounded while allowing your sole to move without losing traction. If you can envision the suction cups on an octopus tentacle, you have somewhat of a visual of what the lugs do during a swing. (A stretch, but imagine the body of an octopus staying central and steady because it’s tentacles grip and move. It’s the best analogy I’ve got people) The lugs spread when pressure is applied creating better friction with the ground preventing you from slipping on your most violent of swings.
The tongue is attached to the body of the shoe for a more locked-in feeling. Under Armour has brought in the lateral outsole, providing just the right amount of support.
According to Under Armour, one of their main focuses with the Spieth 5 SL, like all other UA products for that matter, is putting performance first. So how did the Spieth 5 SL perform?
Tell Me What You Really Think?
Personally, these shoes are in the top third of spikeless shoes on the market. But did they blow them out of the water? Not quite.
Let’s get to what the shoe could improve on.
The collar and top line are raised slightly too high towards the front part of the ankle. It digs into your ankle at the start but loosens up after a few holes. Not a big issue.
The shoes do run half a size big. I’m a size 9 but the 8.5 is where I felt comfortable. Again, not a big issue. The overall fit was good and the inner sock tongue helped with that aspect. However, you can feel where the inner sock tongue finishes because of where it was cut off. It’s located where your toes start which can be annoying as you feel where the tongue finishes and where TPU upper starts.
The outer material used in the heel to mid section will get dirty over time and will be tough to clean.
So what did the Spieth 5 SL do well? Traction was fantastic. I know you might have seen Spieth wearing these shoes with removable spikes in previous PGA TOUR events but I can only imagine it’s more subconscious than anything. I didn’t slip once, even topping out at 123-mph clubhead speed.
The overall stability of the shoe, like any other Spieth shoe, was great. I felt compact and stable thanks to its heel counter which wraps around your entire heel.
The Spieth 5 SL has incorporated UA’s comfortable HOVR sole that has proven itself over years of our Most Wanted Test. Personally, I think the 5 SL’s comfort is up there with the best spikeless shoes on the market.
Throw in good styling and you have a top-performing shoe.
Under Armour has always put performance first and the Spieth 5 SL is no exception. It performs well in all aspects, ensuring you have a shoe that you can trust.
Why did I say, “it didn’t blow the competitors out of the water”? Simple. The Spieth 5 SL had enough small/minor issues that wouldn’t rank it No. 1 in the Best Spikeless Shoe Test. Sure, I’m being harsh but that’s what it takes to be the best of the best.
Don’t get me wrong. The Spieth 5 SL is a good shoe. I would buy this shoe in a heartbeat if my first choice was sold out. Its great traction, stability and overall comfort make it one to put on your “spoil myself” list if you’re buying a new spikeless shoe.
The shoe costs $200 with a two-year waterproof warranty. It comes in white only but that just so happens to be my favorite color for a golf shoe.