In January, we teased a new golf shoe from Srixon/ASICS, called the Gel-Course ACE. In February, a pair arrived at our offices, and we planned the steps we would take to determine the value of this addition to the golf footwear catalogue. We would use the time-tested, secretive BuffaloGolfer method of real-life and golf-life combined, in order to arrive at our conclusion. If you’re pressed for time, we’ll let you off the hook and let you know that we love them. If you want to know why, read on.

The ones you just passed by were waiting in my box, and the minute I slipped them on, I felt a deep and solid base beneath my soles. So many shoes these days arrive with lightness as their catch phrase, and they sacrifice the sturdiness that walking golf demands. Test number one passed with certainty.

The next challenge was the morning-walk-with-dog segment. Joey is a three-year old golden retriever, and he and I go out for our morning constitutional at 6:45 each day, no excuses. February in western New York was as chilly as one might expect, and there was still ice on the sidewalks around our court. It’s a nice and practical loop, giving him ample opportunity to take care of business, and affording me many opportunities to slip and fall. Thanks to the remarkable soles shown below, I never did. Joey tugged this way, pulled that way, and stopped short so many times, but never once did I go arse over tea kettle, as my Appalachian father-in-law would doubtless say (not the worst thing he’s ever said to me.)

The next test is genuinely known as Pound the pavement. The building in which I teach high school in Covid America has perfect floors … for roller hockey. The stone glistens, but it is murder on the back and the leg joints. With all the walking necessitated by this new state of Pandemia, a solid and supportive pair of kicks is no longer a luxury, but an absolute necessity. Many are the colleagues who bemoaned their newfound aches and pains; I kept quiet. Many were the students who noticed the boss fit I sported; I smiled. #Bonus

The true test was my first round of golf of 2021, which took place in mid March, at the hilly 9-hole track known as Attica’s 10th Hole and Golf Course. Situated not far from the infamous, upstate New York prison, this hidden gem takes no prisoners when it comes to the hike. You drop down a big slope to the first fairway and green, then the gauntlet begins. Up you go to green number two, down and up on the par-three third. Next come the down and around fourth, and the uphill-downhill-uphill fifth. The sixth offers no chicanery: it’s straight up Everest. Seven is really the only flat hole on the course. Eight has a basement tee that you should only play once during a two-nine loop, unless you truly hate yourself. On that day, we didn’t hate ourselves. Nine brings you back to the 10th Hole, but not before shredding your calves and quads one last time.

Final Verdict: Buy Buy Buy

The Asics Gel-Course Ace is worth the $130 to $150 price tag, depending on the model you purchase. My plan is to wear these all season long. Should they break down in some manner, I’ll be back in a minute to amend this top-shelf review. Walkers will rejoice with these steps on their feets, and riders will celebrate in similar fashion. The Asics Gel-Course Ace, as proven by our rigorous and exhausting tests, will move from course to horse or street or work with ease and grace.