The golf shoe space is a crowded one. Every major athletic shoe brand has shifted to golf, and the mainstays of brands like FootJoy are still incredibly popular. When making the decision on what to buy, you have to consider style, comfort and of course whether or not it matches what you wear. Enter Jack Grace shoes. A solution to the problem of style in a convenience that works, and does so remarkably well.
It should be noted that changeable saddles in shoes is not an entirely new concept. Back in 2011, Nike released the Air Embellish for female golfers that offered this solution and a number of different patterns, but honestly, it was not very well done and obviously, did not take off.
One Shoe, a plethora of custom options, and a price that should hit the mark for a lot of golfers. What Jack Grace has set out to create is both unique and creative and at THP we like both of those things. Before diving into the actual shoe, the history of it should be explained. Bart Walker was a shoe guy. Not by trade, but by passion. Banking by profession, he cared about his appearance and style on the course, just as many THPers do. He wanted golf shoes that had style, without killing the wallet, so the journey began. Creating shoes at the kitchen table, the concept of the interchangeable saddle was perfected.
The company is named after his two children and in some ways you could call the Innovator 1.0, child number three. It is the first interchangeable men’s golf shoe, and when you open the stunning box it comes in, the immediate thought is high quality. Available in Black, White and Grey, the obvious direction is needing only a couple of pairs of shoes to go along with the outstanding amount of saddles to create an insane amount of combinations to match any golfer.
The spikeless design offered solid traction, although in the future, we would love to see the addition of a spiked pair as well. Waterproof leather uppers, the shoes look stylish. Classically elegant with some serious modernism going on (is modernism a word?). The interior lining is a perforated leather that feels fantastic and when you slide the shoe on, comfort is there in spades. As a golf shoe, it passes the biggest test, which is sizing (true to size) and comfort.
Looking at the shoe, the idea of changing the saddles and laces was a chore. That is until you peel off your first saddle and realize the laces are attached to it, not the shoe. Changing from one to the other took seconds (literally, about 7 seconds) and tightening of the laces actually tightens the shoe perfectly.
At the time of this writing, I believe Jack Grace offers 250 different saddle options including standard colorways all the way to the crazy, like the French Fry saddle. Each saddle set ranges in price from $20-$40 and if you have imagined it, odds are Jack Grace has them available. The rabbit hole you can go down looking through their options is both exhausting and amazing at the same time. I had about 20 in my shopping cart at one time.
The options do not end there, however. They also offer custom options, though we did not inquire further about minimum orders. I would like to think the perfect saddle is one showing off the iconic THP Golf logo, although I may be a little biased.
With the style out of the way, the question is how do they fare out on the course. The answer is better than expected. The spikeless sole offered decent traction and yet enough normalcy to wear from the course to the grill room for a bite to eat. The comfort and performance while playing was solid and stability was where you want it. The interesting note was playing on a particular morning where the grass was quite wet (dew sweepers FTW). I was concerned a little bit about leakage, but rest assured the feet stayed dry the entire round.
They have become a feature golf shoe in the rotation, which sounds off, but me is not easy to do. Like the founder of the company, I have a bit of a golf shoe fetish. Could this line of shoes change that? Could the closet that is right now filled with well over a hundred pairs shrink dramatically because of the saddle swapping Innovator 1.0? Probably not, but for those that do not have this sort of sickness, Jack Grace is a rather refreshing brand that offers a slew of options.
When new brands come to the market, they often try to reinvent the wheel or fall into line with a sea of everything else. Jack Grace has found a way to be different, without changing the foundation of what makes golf shoes great to begin with. If you are looking for style options or customization, check out their website at www.jackgraceusa.com and be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below or join in on the conversation on the THP Forum.
Available: On the Jack Grace website
Shoe Cost: $140 (comes with a saddle)
Saddle Cost: $20-$40
Options: Too Many To List