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TRUE Linkswear Tour Shoes Review

Nov. 8, 2010     By     Comments (24)

Ryan Moore wears 'em. Freddie arguably made shoes like this cool. Do they stand up to a test of golf?

TRUE Linkswear HeroWe first mentioned the TRUE Linkswear shoes in our Bag Drop article. The first and only "TRUE" shoe - the "Tour" model - was introduced back in September and has been shipping since earlier last week.

I've had the opportunity to try out a pair of the Tour shoes (I'll likely slip and call it the TRUE several times throughout this review, but for now the terms are almost synonymous) for the past several weeks, and though I don't want to give away the ending, I will say this: Ryan Moore ain't a dummy for wearin' them.

Design and Technology
The TRUE Tour shoes were designed with four key ideas in mind. First, and above all, the shoe was going to be comfortable. Because the shoe is intended to be the first hybrid golf shoe, in that it can be worn on or off the course, it needed to be comfortable.

TRUE Tour Face On

Weighing in at a minuscule 11-14 ounces (my size 10s weighed 380 grams, or close to 13 ounces, and weight will vary with size), they certainly satisfied the second self-imposed demand. While other shoes weigh in around 18 ounces or more, TRUE wants their shoes to be as minimalist and lightweight as possible. They actually strive to give their customers the closest thing to a barefoot golfing experience as possible.

The guys at TRUE wanted you to feel the course like never before while wearing their shoes. To accomplish that, this new shoe keeps the player's foot at a little less than 10mm from the ground. Those 10mm consists of a "Ergo-Traction" sole with a 4mm tread, a 2.5mm outsole, and a 3mm sock liner. The shoe was designed without a midsole, which normally adds to the weight, torsional resistance, and overall height.

TRUE Linkswear Tour Callout

The barefoot platform, which maximizes surface contact, combined with the previously mentioned "Ergo-Traction" outsole provides excellent grip walking as well as swinging, in any weather conditions, without any type of spikes. That "Ergo-Traction" outsole allows the foot to interact with the ground in a natural manner, using bars and knobs to provide traction as opposed to spikes.

The Tour shoe is made up of a full grain leather upper, with 360° protection from moisture provided by the upper and the Water Proof Membrane. The integrated tongue and sockliner assist in both stability and comfort. The Outlast sockliner and footbed also allows for airflow to help keep your feet cool by allowing ventilation and temperature regulation within the shoe.

Further promoting the comfort of TRUEs is memory foam positioned in the heel collar, which forms around the shape of your foot and becomes more personalized every time you wear them. Maybe you've seen the commercials of memory foam beds? Imagine that sort of comfort for your feet as you walk the course.

TRUE Tour Side View
The TRUE Tour shoes: just the right amount of style. You can wear them on the golf course, to the amusement park, or running errands.

Performance and Playability
I normally wear a size 10.5 or 10 in my golf shoes, so I got a pair of TRUE Tours measured at a size 10. The first thing you notice - besides the style, of course, which I'll get into later - is the weight. These things aren't just the lightest golf shoes I remember holding, they're among the lightest shoes I've ever held!

Compare the weight of a pair of TRUE Tours to some of my other golf shoes.

Brand       Model               Size        Weight
-----       -----               ----        ------
FootJoy     ReelFit             10M         602g
FootJoy     GF:II               10.5M       592g (-2%)
FootJoy     SYNRG               10M         534g (-11%)
Adidas      Tour 360 4.0 Sport  10          566g (-6%)
Adidas      Tour 360 4.0        10          592g (-2%)
TRUE        Tour (Black/White)  10          380g (-37%)

As you'd expect, the shoes continue to feel as light on your feet as they do in your hands. I did have a scare, though, the first time I slipped the shoes on: the shoe's mouth and heel are a bit smaller than I'm used to, and I was worried I'd ordered them half a size too small. My fears were calmed as I wore the shoes longer - the memory foam in the heel conformed to my heel and the shoes became easier and easier to get on and off. They still don't slide on as easily as some other golf shoes I've got, but that's simply because the heel of the shoe is not made of the same rigid, heavy materials found in other golf shoes.

TRUE Tour Above View

If you have wider feet, the TRUE Tour may be a godsend. If you can't tell from the images in this review, the toe box eschews the tapered, narrow style found in even the relatively comfy Adidas Tour 360 4.0's in favor of a rounder, wider, and more gentle shape. The TRUE Tour gives your toes room to wiggle a bit without being sloppy or squeezing the sides of your foot. If you've ever had a great pair of slippers, the TRUE Tours may give them a run for their money.

Now, I've worn some lightweight shoes in the past. Most look pretty good and are comfortable enough when you're sitting, but if you're on your feet a good portion of the day, they lack the padding to remain comfortable. I learned this lesson during my five-hour lab sessions in college, so I was somewhat apprehensive about trying the TRUE Tours out during a full-day of teaching golf.

What a waste of worrying that turned out to be. I've never worn a more comfortable pair of shoes. Over an 11-hour day, I didn't think about my feet or my shoes at all. I've got a pair of comfortable Skechers that I like to teach in, but the TRUE Tours blew them out of the water. My feet didn't just feel "okay" by the end of the day - they felt good. Slipper comfort that lasts all day? Yes please!

TRUE Tour Integrated Tongue
The tongue is held in place by a breathable elastic material that helps with the fit.

Now, primarily standing in one place is one thing, but walking the six or seven miles we do when playing golf is an altogether different beast. I'm happy to say that the TRUE Tours withstood the test over hills, dales, cartpaths, greens, bunkers, the occasional wooded area, and more. The slipper feeling lasted all 18 holes.

If you've heard the tip to improve your green reading by listening to what your feet have to say, you'll know where I'm going with this next bit. One of the unexpected bonuses of having a relatively thin, flexible sole is that the nuances of the surfaces on which we play golf - the putting green, the sand, the hardpan, the patchy rough, etc. - come through loud and clear. I'm not saying that you're going to read every putt perfectly or never misjudge your lie in a greenside bunker again, but it won't be because your shoes failed to convey sensations to you. TRUE Tours are the next best thing to playing barefooted.

TRUE Tour Sole
The tradeoff up close: lightweight comfort in exchange for a little bit of traction and control. 95% of the time, I'll gladly take that tradeoff.

Unfortunately, the tradeoff of thinner, more flexible soles that transmit more feel from the ground to your feet is that there are no spikes. While the TRUE Tours provide a stable platform in the majority of conditions, some situations present an increased likelihood of slipping - wet grass, hardpan, and even firm sand among them. It's not frequent, but if you are 30% likely to slip with spikes in any given situation, that percentage increases with the TRUE Tour.

If the "no spikes" tradeoff boils down to "thin, lightweight, and super comfortable" versus "a tad more slippery," it's a tradeoff I'll gladly accept 95% of the time I play golf. The other 5% of the time - when I'm likely to encounter super slippery conditions - I'll wear a pair of shoes with spikes. This may be a matter of perception. I might be just as likely to slip in wet conditions with or without spikes, but because I'm reviewing these shoes it's perhaps easier to "remember" the wet weather slips.

TRUE Tour Heel

Conclusion
I don't have the fashion sense of Ryan Moore, but as far as I'm concerned the guy is a thought leader in the world of comfortable golf shoes.

The TRUE Tours are, hands down, the most comfortable shoe I've ever worn on the golf course and are, frankly, the most comfortable shoe I've ever worn anywhere. They fit well, hold up well, and leave my feet feeling great at the end of a long day of teaching or golfing. While they may not be ideal in slippery conditions, they're a winner every other day of the year.

I believe in taking care of my feet, and at $159 the TRUE Tour is a winner three times over. It's a quality built, comfortable shoe with just the right amount of style - it works equally well on a private golf course or at your kid's school picnic. Comfort never goes out of style.

Discussion

  1. CJ says:

    Those kicks have to be the ugliest golf shoe on the market. The only thing missing from them is Velcro.

  2. Those kicks have to be the ugliest golf shoe on the market.The only thing missing from them is Velcro.

    While you're entitled to your opinion, I don't really see how these look radically different than any other saddle shoe made by FJ, Adidas, Nike, etc. Furthermore, if they're that comfortable, who cares what they look like? I usually like to look good, but comfort takes precedence.

    Check out the all black or all white ones and tell me how those look so much worse than 100s of others on the market now.

  3. Ron Varrial says:

    As a devoted fan of Crocs, I think I'd love these. Lightweight and comfortable. I'd lean toward the all white. I don't think they look even close to as "non-golf" as the street shoes Freddie wears.

  4. Ghalfaire says:

    As you age you begin to appreciate some things. Comfortable shoes are one of those things and these look to be that. I'll give them a try.

  5. Ernest Reed says:

    While you're entitled to your opinion, I don't really see how these look radically different than any other saddle shoe made by FJ, Adidas, Nike, etc. Furthermore, if they're that comfortable, who cares what they look like? I usually like to look good, but comfort takes precedence.
    Check out the all black or all white ones and tell me how those look so much worse than 100s of others on the market now.
    Justin L. Pucheu

    Comfort notwithstanding, I have to agree with CJ on this one. He was kind in his assessment, but these quite honestly are the first shoes that I have ever seen that look like clown shoes. There are plenty of shoes on the market that are plenty comfortable and they look solid and handsome. Sorry, but looks matter to me and these look like the type of shoes that a circus clown would be thrilled to have.

  6. DHOEHN says:

    Ordered an all white pair almost 2 months ago and tracking # says they should be here tomorrow!!!! Perfect timing, as I'm leaving for a golf trip to Ireland. All season I've been wearing the Ecco Street Premier and they've been the best golf shoes I've ever worn. When I saw these released I immediately pre-ordered a pair. This review backs up everything I was hoping for and I'm even more excited to wear them now. I'm curious to see how they'll compare to the Ecco Street Premiers.

  7. Henny Bogan says:

    Just got my True's today. From the instant I slipped these on, I know they were special. I run a lot, sometimes barefooted or with vibran five fingers. I also walk when I golf unless forced to ride. Took these to the range and fell in love. My feet actually felt better than they have in a long time. I am placing an order for a second pair this week. I was under the impression Couples wore Ecco's not True's. I might be wrong, but if I'm right, he needs to switch ASAP.

  8. Joe says:

    I played barefoot the other day and it was the best ball striking round I've ever had.

  9. CR says:

    Not feeling these....I know Ryan is rocking them but kind of on the fence in the whole "Only rock stuff I believe in" thing he has/had going on. More of "only if I get ownership share" Anyway...I guess that's my 2 cents...different strokes for different folks.

  10. Griffin says:

    I'm leaving for a golf trip to Ireland.

    You'ld better bring a pair of mudskippers instead.

    Anyway, these look comfy. I have serious doubts about the absence of proper spikes though...

  11. Mr. Desmond says:

    I own a pair of black/black - so if one is worried about styling, my combo is probably the one to get -- especially in the winter - dark pants, dark shoes -- they mix well. They are c-o-m-f-y! I wore them and no one noticed (or had the nerve to say anything). But I am one who goes for function over form to a degree, so the style is fine. It's the broader forefoot that gives the shoe its unique appearance -- but that also part of the design that helps your game and comfort.

  12. Ron Varrial says:

    Hey Erik,

    Checking back to see how you're still liking the True shoes you reviewed a few months ago. They look like just the shoes I need to help me with my resolution to walk more this year. My last couple pairs of Footjoys, a range of models from cheap to high-end, have all been blah - blisters, heavy, just don't look forward to putting them on. In fact, last summer I had a pair get wet during a round and then the heels squeeked and creaked so bad I was going bonkers walking around. I even sent them back to Footjoy at the suggestion of the pro and they said there was nothing they could do about it.
    My main question about the True is its durability. Now that you're several months in, can you (or anyone else here) comment on how they've held up? I'm typically a bargain shopper when it comes to shoes and wait for previous models and markdowns, so if I'm going to shell out $160 for something i've never tried on, I'm hoping they'll be durable. There's a note on the site warning that wearing them off the course will reduce the life (obviously).

    Thoughts?

  13. Ron, they're the only shoes I brought with me to Phoenix to both teach a golf school and play a little golf (or hit some balls).

  14. Mark5 says:

    I have never owned golf shoes. They don't make them wide enough for my short duck feet. My new "golf" shoes are Converse skate boarding shoes because they are wide. (What we used to call "sneakers".)

    Thanks for the tip. :)

  15. I stumbled across this link, where TRUEs are mentioned, and figured I'd share with anyone looking at this review:

    http://www.pgatour.com/2011/r/04/13/fashion-insider/index.html

  16. Jay-Bird says:

    Awesome. I ordered two pair. Cannot wait to wear these. I just wish they made a herringbone pattern.

  17. I've been wanting these for a long time and finally got them... Actually 2 pairs, a black/black and a white/white... Extremely comfortable and in my opinion good looking.

  18. The Tin Man says:

    These fit my very wide toed foot better then any shoe of any type I have worn. (Short big toe and hammered center toes.) Duck feet.

    Many so called wide shoes are nothing more then 10's labeled as 8's. Or just wide in the ball of the foot. These are wide in the toe and measure true to length.

    The body of the shoe grips the foot firmly yet comfortably, with lots of toe wiggle room like a pair of custom made shoes.

  19. rustyredcab says:

    Inconsistant sizing. Tried lots on in the store -- solid 11 fit. Bought a pair on line and the right shoe fits tighter than the left and tighter than anything in the store. Considering a second pair but will not try and save a few bucks. I'll buy in the store.

    They do feel good on the greens. You really can feel the contour better. The grip plenty but I have not tested them on wet hills. Dew cover hills and dry hills have been no problem. I've never noticed a slip. I'm afraid to put them to wet and rainy test.

  20. Golfizit says:

    I bought and loved the ones I bought a year ago. Only regret that I didn't buy a better pair than the $99 ones. Problem is some of the cleats on areas are worn out But, oh so comfortable!!

  21. I was telling my friend yesterday that I'd still wear them if they only came in hot pink because they are just that good for my feet. I will not likely ever wear another golf shoe because these are just that good. No tight hamstrings, low back or sore knees after practice anymore. Unbelievable shoes!

  1. [... We first mentioned the TRUE Linkswear shoes in our Bag Drop article. The first and only "TRUE" shoe - the "Tour" model - was introduced back in September and has ...]

  2. [... We first mentioned the TRUE Linkswear shoes in our Bag Drop article. The first and only "TRUE" shoe - the "Tour" model - was introduced back in September and has ...]

  3. [... We first mentioned the TRUE Linkswear shoes in our Bag Drop article. The first and only "TRUE" shoe - the "Tour" model - was introduced back in September and has ...]

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