Disc golf footwear has its king, and that king sits upon a dynastic throne which has yet to be toppled by any would-be usurper.
Yes, the Adidas Terrex is the God-shoe, walking among mere mortals. They graced the feet of Patron Saint Pablo, (with only a brief hiatus due to a contract dispute), and became the de facto kicks of this; the first true golden age of disc golf.
But, like many an ancestral monarchy, the Terrex is on top of the heap just because. They are not particularly adept for the game of disc golf. Rather, they were built for the time you spend in between shots…hiking.
(We went over this in detail back when we talked about baseball mechanics and some Under Armour Trainers.)
In the quest to pull the proverbial sword out of the sole-stone, (and as an adult with disposable income who suffers from an obsession over sneakers), I have discovered a mighty challenger to King Adidas: The Asics Gel Lyte MT.
Only I didn’t get these fine, standard-issue, black-and-grey Gore-Tex pair at first. No, I went with marzipan.
I knew that I wouldn’t be able to keep them clean even if I tried, and maybe that would be one less thing to think about while I’m chasing those sweet, sweet amateur vendor vouchers.
And let me be the first to tell you: These sneakers do work.
First of all, the Asics Gel Lyte MT’s are as comfortable as socks. They move, bend, and crease in completely logical places and to perfectly acceptable degrees. No pinching. No rubbing. No nothin’.
They are a bit snug, however. If you often find yourself needing to go a half size larger in certain brands of athletic shoes, then I’d suggest you do the same with these puppies.
With this tight, sock-like fit comes a nice change of pace from bulky boots and hiking shoes, particularly in the form of supreme tactile response. You can really feel the terrain through the soles, which may sound a little hippy-dippy for a sneaker review, but it’s ostensibly true.
On tricky footing, (which is often found during a moment of dire trouble in this game we profess to love), these Asics offer a far more confident understanding of what’s happening under your stumps than most other “trail” shoes. On even the most gnarled and mauled putting greens you’ll be able to remain nimble and adaptive.
These fit like shoes where the Adidas Terrex fit like shoeboxes.
Instead of traipsing about on the bulbous heel of a Terrex or even a Keen shoe, the Asics work up from the ground to a flat base, studded with a potent and grippy tread pattern that is simply designed to work.
Nothin’ fancy. Nothin’ snooty.
The spacing of the tread is enough to allow the individual protrusions to grip and dig while traversing the varied terrain of Frolfghanistan, but still work in harmony while following through on either the heel or the toe.
It’s almost uncanny how smoothly these shoes break free during a follow through. Like the tires on a dragster driven by a tipsy, college-aged knucklehead, goosing it in second on a slick track.
And yes, as I babble on in metaphors about the heavy abuse that disc golf shoes take, I will tell you that these Asics pass that test as well. The marzipan pair lasted me well over a year, and still see some use on a dry, warm day, when the more recently purchased GoreTex version is a bit of overkill.
The only pockmark on the shoe’s record, even after a full year clocking in and clocking out, is a predictable flattening of the tread.
Price: Also a check. These bad boys can fetch a pretty penny when new, but there are just so many color ways and unique runs of the Gel Lyte series that you can scoop up a brand new pair of MT’s for under $65, if you know where to shop.
Style: They’re not for everybody.
They have a heavy early-80’s, New Balance-Tokyo vibe: A little bit of Ivy League chic meets Kung Fu fury. They look like the sort of shoes you see in overpriced, boutique outdoor adventure stores that pop up in corporately controlled ski towns where everything gets a 35% up-charge because fuck you.
They look like running shoes from the short-shorts era of American sports that probably sold better in Canada.
They are the sort of shoe that would be government issue for some national park job in a remote, eastern European micro-nation.
And, despite all of that, I still love the Asics Gel Lyte MT.