A major trend in golf shoes today is lighter, athletic shoe designs. Frequently such design choices come at the expense of stability and traction but increase comfort and aesthetics. Not every company is headed in this direction however, including the impressive start-up Sqairz. In a world of companies eager to say “me too” with product offerings, Sqairz is different. Different by design.
One look at Sqairz’s Arrow design and you will notice one major departure from common golf shoes, but before we address the big, square-shaped elephant in the room I would love to address the rest first. Yes, the toe is square and that design choice is quite different. Heck, it is even a little jarring the first time you wear them, but we have to move past that so we don’t lose sight of what Sqairz has done right here. Don’t worry, I’ll get back to the square toe before too long.
Great, with that aside we can look at the real story, at least in my eyes, which is the Torque Generation System (TGS) outsole. If you have been paying attention to any of the modern swing coaches and their teaching ethos, using the ground is critical and is not just for the tour players. Because using the ground can be the key to unlocking extra speed and distance, doesn’t it make sense that your shoes should maximize your ability to grip the ground?
The Sqairz TGS outsole is pretty darn impressive at gripping the ground. The soft spikes are strategically located at key locations, mainly the pressure points throughout the swing but the grip isn’t merely a function of the soft spikes. Much like modern spikeless designs, the outsole also features deep well-positioned, permeant treads that work in conjunction with the soft spikes. Together, the combination of the spikeless-like treads and soft spikes deliver impressive grip and traction to the ground. Certainly, the grip is better than the shoes I have been using for the last year (although I will protect the names of the innocent here).
The Sqairz shoe is also designed to be stable and have (for a lack of a better word) a substantial footprint. As a result of the wide design and sturdy materials, the Sqairz shoes are surprisingly supportive in the ankle throughout the swing and promote a well-balanced finish more than typical golf shoes. I cannot say they will fix your balance issues because they likely will not, but the wider forefoot area did promote a more balanced finish when I swung hard. If you take anything away from this review, remember these things.
Alright, I promised to get back to that toe so let’s get back into the square toe. According to Sqairz, the square toe design “allows the toes to spread and sit naturally in the shoes which enables the feet to experience full range of motion, unparalleled comfort, and feel for the ground.” What I can say for sure is that the extra toe room will certainly be a welcome addition for golfers with wider feet. But the square design can also prove useful as a legal training aid of sorts on the course. Or as Sqairz calls it, equipment for your feet.
On full swings, it is very easy to see if your feet are open, closed, or square by only looking down. Even if you flare your feet, like I do, you can square up originally and then flare. It takes adjustment and attention but it just might help you figure things out when the wheels come off the bus mid-round. On the greens, the Sqairz square toe can be useful to see when your setup is a little off or when your face is not perpendicular to your foot line. It is the little things that you can choose to use mid-round. Or not – your choice.
Finally, I have to hand it to Sqairz and their design team because they paid attention to the little details. This isn’t all that surprising given the impressive leadership team, which includes past PGA Presidents, highly accomplished footwear designers, and seasoned business executives. While the insole design is very comfortable, the real highlight of the little details has to be Sta-Put laces that are unlike anything I’ve seen before. The rubber-like bumps on the laces grab the eyelets to hold and lock the laces in place. As a result, even if your laces loosen during the round (or you are a savage that doesn’t tie your golf shoes… you know who you are), the Sta-Put laces will still be holding tight and remain in place. Pretty darn clever, Sqairz.
Of course, the looks of the Arrow design certainly will not be for everyone and, in my humble opinion, the upper design leaves plenty to be desired but the rest of the shoe demands attention. I implore you all to follow along in the forum as I continue to update everyone on my experience with the Sqairz shoes as golf courses open up following the quarantine. My time with the Sqairz was far less than I would commonly prefer before a review but they undoubtedly will remain in the rotation for the 2020 season based on what I have seen so far. You can find the forum discussion here, or you can learn more about the Sqairz brand at https://sqairz.com/