I’m probably not saying that New Balance isn’t one of the best brands that comes to mind when thinking about golf shoes. Many of us recognize their styles as high-end running shoes or classic lifestyle offerings. Considering they are a big player in the running space, it makes sense that we would see some of their cushioning technologies carry over to their Golf lineup. After all, golfers spend a lot of time on their feet, making it necessary to have a shoe that provides comfort and stability. For 2022, New Balance has brought its Fresh Foam X technology from the track to the ties with the new Fresh Foam X Defender and Defender SL shoes.

Fresh Foam X is New Balance’s premium collection that offers an ultra-cushioned, responsive and lightweight feel. These shoes are certainly not lacking in technology since they benefit from Cush+ and FantomFit. Cush+ is New Balance’s insole foam compound that will help keep the foot cool throughout the game. The FantomFit helps provide a lightweight, structured and secure fit for the upper part of the shoe.

For their golf department, New Balance offers three different lasts, which are the last that helps create the shape of each shoe. The Defender and Defender SL shoes are constructed from the PW-1 last, providing a more performance fit. The other two shapes are the MX-001 and the SL-2, representing a relaxed, lifestyle fit. New Balance focus on four general areas of fit when creating their shoes, and with the Defender models the fits are standard in the heel, shallower for toe box depth, an instep height-of – lower foot and a wider toe bed.

Trying the Fresh Foam X Defender shoes for the first time, the word that came to mind was comfort. I could quickly feel the softness of the insole, which I appreciated. These shoes also have a snug tongue, which hugs the top of my foot comfortably, making this design more secure. My only complaint about these shoes at first is that the upper part of the toe section is too stiff. In fact, it’s probably more noticeable than other shoes due to the shallow depth of the toe box. Over time, I imagine this area would soften, making it a non-issue. For the size, the fit is true to size. I have several New Balance running shoes, and they are the size I would usually wear, but are on par with shoes from other brands as well.

New Balance opted for an Exoskeleton TPU design for the outsole designed to respond to the natural movement of the foot. There are also seven removable soft spikes on the sole which provide plenty of traction. These spikes use Softspikes FastTwist 3.0 technology, making them easy to replace when the time comes.

The New Balance Fresh Foam X Defender shoes are available in two different colorways, white/grey and black/red. Meanwhile, there are three color options for the spikeless option, the Defender SL, White/Grey, Grey/Blue and Black. Both Fresh Foam X models come with a 2-year waterproof warranty.

As you can see, from the inside out, these new Fresh Foam X Defender shoes are built for both comfort and performance. What do you think of the latest shoes from New Balance? Will the Fresh Foam X Defender make you think twice about New Balance when it comes time to buy your next pair of golf shoes? Let us know your thoughts below or on the THP Community!

The details:

Available today

Price: Defender $129.95

Defender SL $119.95