THP readers know that I am a firm believer that the golf shoe is one of the most overlooked aspects in the game of golf. Often times golfers will spend thousands of dollars on their equipment and look right past something that can make or break their game. Foot exhaustion, slipping and overall comfort are things that one must assess when choosing the right pair of shoes for their game. Earlier this year, a tour legend (and THP: The Magazine Cover Guy) arguably changed the perception of the golf shoe when he started wearing a “casual” shoe made by ECCO, called the Street Premiere and fans everywhere started looking for this style.
Fast forward to September and a new company by the name of TRUE introduced a shoe that would catch fire in terms of internet popularity and polarizing opinions. That shoe is the Tour By TRUE Linkswear. Donned by Ryan Moore and seen on television to go along with his unique take on style, the TRUE Tour shoes have received so much buzz that THP could not wait to get their hands on a pair to try out.
These shoes are unlike just about anything that you have seen or tried on before them. Designed with the ultimate comfort in mind the Tours are unique in both look and technology and will have people both raving and scratching their head at the same time. The first thing to note about this line of golf shoe is that it is not just a golf shoe, but a hybrid of sorts that can be worn both on and off the course. Something many have been looking forward to for some time. While most shoes weigh in well over a full pound, the TRUE tours come in at closer to three quarters of a pound and are designed to give an almost barefoot like experience. How can one feel “barefoot” while still having shoes on? TRUE’s new shoe is a “spikeless” system and has golfers at about 10mm from the ground at all times. The Tour’s were designed without a midsole, which would normally add height and weight.
Full grain leather makes up the upper portion of the golf shoe and water resistant protection makes up the lower half keeping you dry and safe from all moisture. One feature inside the shoe that is incredibly unique is the sockliner. The sockliner, by design, allows airflow to keep your feet cool during play while at the same time assist in comfort. Speaking of comfort, the TRUE Linkswear Tour shoes also feature memory foam around the heel that is designed to form around the shape of your foot as you wear them.
Fit & Comfort
For those that like to buy shoes online and do not always get to try them on, we can safely say that in our testing, the Tours run “true” to size. I normally wear an 11, based on measurement of those old metal things at stores, and the 11s fit quite well. They are extremely wide in the toe bed area so if you have wide feet, this may be something that is perfect for you. The heel area is slightly tighter than I am accustomed to, however after wearing them for a few range sessions, they loosen up a bit due to the memory foam “getting to know your feet”. One thing to note about the fit of these is that the heel is not made up of the harder and rigid material that many golf shoes are made out of, so slipping them on and off is not quite as easy, but still not a big deal by any means. As we mentioned the shoes run true to size, however, because of the unique features of the fit, we strongly urge golfers to try them on before you buy them.
Comfort for the most part is a personal thing and with no two feet being identical, each person will have different levels of expectations in the comfort department. Slipping these shoes on, you get a sense of immediate comfort. The shoe is lightweight and not tight, yet snug in all the right areas and the tongue and sockliner do a great job of keeping everything in place. The first test came in the form of multiple range sessions and there was never a single issue in terms of foot exhaustion or discomfort. The shoes held up well and in turn my feet held up well. The next test came in playing multiple rounds of golf. What I found was a different feeling in terms of playing a hilly course such as Bella Collina. The shoes held up well and there was no foot exhaustion, but I learned something about my feet that day…That I walk fairly hard on my heels. Because of this, I found a little discomfort in my heels. Something I have never experienced before in my golf shoes, but something that should be noted for those that walk heavy on their heels.
Spikeless or Not
When golfers hear the word spikeless, the first thing they think of is losing traction and slipping in the middle of their swing. Playing with the TRUE Linskwear Tour shoes confirmed that in most instances, this is just not the case. That being said, if you are headed out to play in the very early AM (grass still wet) or in rainy conditions, we recommend playing in spikes. In dry grass, we had absolutely no slippage from the bottoms of the shoes, however one morning on the range it had rained the night before and the grass was still a little damp. In this scenario, we did notice some slight grip issues between the shoes and the ground during the swing. Nothing to make these not playable by any means, but the lack of grip on the ground in the damp areas was definitely apparent. The trade off of course is the ability to be lower to the ground and wear the shoes off the course and for many, that is a trade they would gladly make.
Spikeless technology does bring in another debate though, and that is cost. When buying golf shoes one has to weigh the options of cost/performance/durability, and spikeless technology adds another item to consider. That is how long will they have golf function? Most golf shoes offer an easy fix. When the spikes wear down, you simply change them out with replacement spikes. When the TRUEs wear down, they become virtually obsolete as a golf shoe. With the cost being at the $159 mark, golfers would be wise to think about the cost analysis breakdown over the course of a few years and gather information on the durability of spikeless technology. Keep in mind that these “knobs and bars” will last longer than golf spikes, but for hardcore golfers, making it past the 12-18 month mark might be a stretch if you are also wearing them around town as is recommended.
Style & Look
This will be kept pretty brief because let’s face it, style is in the eye of the beholder. For me personally, I think they CAN look good depending on what they are worn with. However, I should make a prerequisite that says if you are planning to wear them with shorts, please try them on first. In my opinion (and perhaps only mine), the TRUE Tours look far better in pants and can have a subtle charm that other shoes cannot offer. I would definitely prefer the solid color options that are available (black or white), but again, that is a personal choice that can be done at your time of purchase and/or trying on. As with any shoes, we urge people to try before they buy because what looks good/bad in pictures may just not be the case when they are on your feet.
Similar to many things Ryan Moore, these are definitely a polarizing topic. Some love the look, some hate the look, but in the end, the golf shoe should be a blend of things that make it perfect for someone. As a golfer you will want to find harmony between look, comfort, performance, durability and budget that works best for you as an individual. The TRUE Linkswear Tour golf shoes may be that perfect combination, but just like any shoe, we strongly recommend trying it on before purchasing. For more information on this shoe, check out their website at www.truelinkswear.com.