The Adidas Tour 360 is entering its fifth year and fourth version and the Tour 360 Sport its third year and second version with the new “Tour 360 4.0” and “Tour 360 4.0 Sport” models. Though the styling has remained fairly similar due to the common technology of wrapping the Adidas-style triple bands around the undersole, the shoe has come a long way in five years and has claimed its spot among the leaders in the golf footwear arena.
I’m a long-time FootJoy guy – shoes with “FJ” on them have always fit me well – and I gave a pair of the 360 4.0’s and the Sport models a try. Let’s see how the shoes fared.
Design and Technology
The Tour 360 4.0 continues to build on several key features and benefits dating back to the 2005 introduction of the line. But the big thing in this generation is the advancement of Adidas Golf’s “THiNTech” – technology that puts the golfer lower to the ground for more stability. This is accomplished via a re-engineered spike system (called PINS for Performance INsert System) that’s 32% lower than existing spike systems, an optimized insert system, and a redesigned chassis that puts the golfer much closer to the ground. In fact, if you look at the Adidas Golf site, you’ll see plenty of amusing videos that showcase this height disparity in, uhhh, “creative” ways.
The THiNTech concept was first employed by Adidas Golf in the beginning of 2007 and continued to evolve through the 2009 season. It became apparent to the team that the limiting factor prohibiting them from achieving the optimum sole thickness was the industry-standard attachment mechanism. In order to get the golfer’s foot and center of gravity lower, they decided to re-engineer the whole system and collaborated with Pride Sports, the industry leader in golf cleat technology and makers of SoftSpikes. The end result was a new system called PINS (Performance INsert System), which is 32% lower than conventional cleat systems, and a new outlook on how golf shoes can now take performance to another level.Adidas Golf
If you’d rather watch a video than read a blockquote, enjoy this short clip from Adidas Golf:
Most of the rest of the changes are evolutionary, not revolutionary like the new spike system, but in sum total just as important as the new THiNTech. The chassis, made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), has been re-engineered in the 4.0 model to increase perimeter support. The THiNTech cleat is purported to be anti-clogging in addition to low-profile, both of which should help the golfer to experience improved balance, power transfer, and footwork in the golf swing.
Given the thinner platform, Adidas Golf opted for a new FitFOAM insert that molds itself to the contours of the golfer’s foot. It does so via a thinner insert than traditional inserts, and distributes your weight across the entire sole of your foot to minimize pressure points. The heel of the Tour 360 4.0 is equipped with an adiPRENE insert that provides long-lasting shock absorption for added comfort.
A welcome feature found even in the 1.0s, Adidas Golf has continued to put “adiTUFF” – an abrasion-resistant plastic-like material – on the toes of their shoes to minimize scuffing on the toes from playing. And finally, Adidas Golf says they’ve improved their ClimaProof (all of these awkwardly capitalized terms are Adidas trademarks) technology to deliver 100% waterproof protection guaranteed for two years.
The Sport model of the Tour 360 4.0 is slightly different than the leather-outsoled “non-Sport” model, and incorporates what made the previous versions popular into a more athletically-styled model. The Tour 360 4.0 Sport adds a mesh, fabric outsole that’s designed to breathe a bit more in the heat of summer and to offer a more sneaker-like look.
The Tour 360 4.0 Sport also marks the first time Adidas Golf has ever used their ion-mask nano-coating technology. This new coating, created by P2i Labs, delivers an additional layer of protection to the mesh upper, making it significantly more resistant to water and stains, while staying very breathable and comfortable. This combines with the 50/50 Protect – the plastic-looking ring around the toes on the black shoes in this review – to provide a waterproof yet breathable shoe.
Golfers and the trade alike, recognize the benefits of breathable, moisture-wicking, lightweight apparel on the golf course – especially in the warmer months of the year. At Adidas Golf, we apply this same type of thinking to golf footwear, understanding what golfers need and can benefit when Spring hits and the temperatures begin to climb. Keeping the foot cool, dry and comfortable is as important to golfers as great stability, and we knew that with innovative thinking and the application of some cutting edge technology, we could deliver the best of both worlds in our new TOUR360 4.0 Sport. We took the TOUR360 4.0 platform with THiNTech low-profile technology and 360WRAP, and fused it with a lightweight, breathable, mesh upper and ion-mask nano-technology to deliver the familiar performance and feel of TOUR360 with a new level of warm-weather comfort, protection and temperature control. TOUR360 4.0 Sport is the flagship of our Sport Collection, representing the latest in high-performance footwear for varying weather climates.Dave Ortley, Senior Director of Global Footwear
Making the Tour360 4.0 Sport even more durable is the 50/50 Protect, which gives water-resistant protection to the bottom half and a very breathable upper half. The temperature regulation is helped in the Sport with the addition of X-STATIC. This helps to regulate temperature and optimize comfort by using silver filament fibers woven into the lining.
Fit and Performance
I’ve never really fit into an Adidas Golf shoe, but as I learned from a few people, it’s because I’ve worn the wrong size. In a FootJoy, I take a slightly larger size (10.5) than in an Adidas Golf shoe. That was particularly true a few years ago when Adidas Golf shoes ran just a bit large for their size. A shoe that’s too large will not tie snugly and will move up and down the back of your heel, causing blisters.
I had my foot measured, and after talking with Adidas Golf, had a pair of white/black Tour 360 4.0’s and a black/silver pair of the Sport model sent to my house, both in size 10. The fit was immediately better than any previous 10.5 Adidas Golf shoe I’d ever tried, and in fact felt as good out of the box as a nicely worn-in pair of sneakers.
In fact, I’d go so far – as a few friends who have the shoes have done – as to say that the Adidas Tour 360 4.0 is the most comfortable golf shoe I’ve ever worn. I put them to the test immediately, as the first time I wore the shoes was to teach an all-day golf clinic, and they required absolutely no break-in period. They were comfortable from the get-go and my feet felt nearly as good at the end of the day as at the start.
The Tour 360 4.0 supports my foot well, and evenly across the length and width of my foot. My arches are a bit higher than most people and this often leads to minor discomfort with shoes that don’t support that part of my foot, but the FitFOAM in the Tour 360 4.0 molded to my foot quickly and felt supportive right away.
The shoe width feels good (my feet are slightly wider than average), and the toe box is not excessively narrow like you’ll find on many golf shoes.
Weight? Here’s a chart I cooked up, measured from shoes I own. All were clear of grass and dirt when weighed:
Brand Model Size Weight ----- ----- ---- ------ FootJoy ReelFit 10M 602g FootJoy GF:II 10.5M 592g FootJoy SYNRG 10M 534g Kikkor Circle 3 10 540g Kikkor Eppik 10.5 564g Adidas Tour 360 4.0 Sport 10 566g Adidas Tour 360 4.0 10 592g
Not the lightest shoe, and not the heaviest shoe. Comfortably in the middle of the pack.
As for performance on the golf course, well, the shoes perform at least as well as any other golf shoe out there. Call me a skeptic but I don’t know how much of a difference a few millimeters is going to make (FootJoy Contour Series are 24.03mm, Tour 360 4.0 is 20.49mm, a difference of 14%). Stability is a fairly subjective thing.
I can say this, however: I never felt that I was going to slip due to my shoes. Whether swinging a golf club or walking up a wet grassy sideslope, I felt as though I had good traction and good control. I believe you can feel that you’re lower to the ground, especially when walking on cement or other hard surfaces (like the floors of your pro shop), and as someone who likes to feel the golf course beneath my feet I think that’s important. In fact, I swear I felt subtle slopes on the greens more easily in the Tour 360 4.0’s than any other shoes. That in and of itself is a big plus.
One thing that was noticeably better in the Tour 360 4.0s – particularly the Sport model – was the temperature. Golfing in 85° weather, my feet would often feel noticeably cooler and less sweaty with the Tour 360s than with other shoes. This, to my wife’s delight, has kept any odors down despite the fact that the shoes are comfortable enough to wear for an hour or two on each side of your round of golf.
I haven’t mentioned waterproofing because the shoes are waterproof and behaved as such. They resisted scuffing really well – better than most shoes – due to the TPU toe guard. The shoes retain their color and don’t fade or discolor over the many months I’ve used them, and when taken care of will clearly last several golf seasons.
Style? You can judge for yourself as everyone has their own taste, but I appreciate the duality Adidas Golf has achieved – the shoes are both classic and modern in their appearance. I don’t feel like a complete goober when I stop in a gas station or convenience store (or restaurant, or grocery store, or shopping mall…) on my way home from the course, and the shoes are comfortable enough that I’ve done just that on many occasions, preferring to leave them on rather than change into my sneakers!
The Tour 360 4.0 runs $180 and the Sport model runs only $120 at retail stores in the U.S. I consider both prices a bargain, and the Sport in particular a great buy.
Though I don’t know how much “14% closer to the ground” (the difference between the Tour 360 4.0 and the chainsawed competing shoe) truly matters, the Tour 360 4.0’s performed as well as or better than any golf shoe I’ve ever worn. They provided a secure, comfortable, supportive platform whether I was instructing, playing golf, or practicing. They were comfortable enough to wear on errands I’d run after playing golf and did the best job of any shoes I’ve worn of supporting my arch and not pinching my toes into a narrow toe box. Their temperature regulation features work as advertised to keep my feet cool and sweat-free in the heat. They’re waterproof, as they should be, and they look great with a nice classic/modern blend of style.
If the Tour 360 4.0 and 4.0 Sport are not the best golf shoes on the market, I don’t know what is. I’ve seen and worn a fair number of golf shoes fall of the brands, and despite having years of service left in my other shoes, I’ve worn nothing but these two pair all year. The Adidas Tour 360 4.0 is simply a pleasure to wear – both on the golf course and off. 🙂