These guys have done some serious research and engineering trying to create the perfect walking golf shoe. Integrating some distinct ergonomic characteristics into these shoes they have succeeded in producing a comfortable walking shoe that competes in the street golf shoe category that has caught fire among walking aficionados since Ecco introduced the Freddie’s.
If you have self-esteem concerns when it comes to dressing for golf, these are not for you. They do look like something your podiatrist would prescribe for a bunion problem. But if you are a regular walker you owe it to yourself to at least find a store that has these and try them on in person to see if they are to your liking. At a suggested retail of $150 they are very reasonably priced and they come in a wide array of color combinations.
The features and benefits of their True Barefoot Platform include the following, all of which are real and accrue benefit to someone who walks all the time.
-Lightest golf shoe on tour.
-Wide toe box that allows your toes to function individually. There will be no crowded pigglies with these I can assure you.
-Flexible sole and cushioned footbed. There is no stiffness in the bottom of these shoes and, as a result, you get no foot strain or pain by the end of the 18 holes.
-“Ergo-Traction” tread maximizes surface contact and grip. Wide front sole and a grippy spikeless bottom works great in all conditions-even on wet turf.
-Built close to the ground at 10 mm off the grass. Lowest profile out there helps you get a real feel for the ground as you walk and swing the club.
-Waterproofed Leather (two-year warranty except on Phx model). Here they surpass the Freddies where the weep holes make playing in the rain problematic.
-Roll/Post Toe provides stability throughout the entire swing. In the Tour model the toe rolls upward-it does seem to enhance walking comfort and follow through stability.
-Temperature control lining.
-Full grain leather upper.
-Sock-Fit Liner to enhance fit . This elastic gusset is just under the laces and what it does do is comfortably keep your heel snuggly in place. I wore them with a hard orthotic and my heel never came out of the shoe and the orthotic worked just as it should. This feature not included in the Phx model.
All-in-all this is a well thought out product that does what they claim-providing a comfortable walk and good performance throughout the round. If I have any complaint it is a minor one, the funny elliptical shape of the toe gives you no line-up feedback at address. For those who use the front of their shoes to confirm their line-up to the ball and target this can be a problem.
For 2012 they have added a new entry level Phx model for $99 with most of the same ergonomic characteristics and a lower waterproof factor. It also has a wide array of youthful funky color combinations which should give it more street appeal among the younger set. You can see the full selection of available colors in all models at their website.
Their “modern classic” version, the Stealth, is about $50 more and it blends some modern fashion with traditional styling. This is a nice way of saying if looks matters to you here is an alternative. I have not been able to find this model in a store-had to buy them on line to try them out. They are certainly more palatable looking than the Tour version- they have a fashionable orthopedic look to them. Engineering is identical so they accrue the same comfort benefits of their cheaper sibling. The price difference is all for the look.
Bottom line is, if you have an aversion to carts like I do, find these in your local golf store and give them a look see. Make sure to hit a few balls in the hitting bay with them on to see if you like both the look and the feel of them.