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The Skinny

I'm excited to share a little bit of an insider peek here at the next shoe from TRUE Linkswear: the TL-01.

Though I wear a lot of my TRUE shoes everywhere - to the movies, to dinner, to a bike trail, etc. - the TL-01 is specifically designed to go everywhere from the job to the tee box.

I'm really looking forward to giving these a try, specifically as a teaching shoe - the zero drop shoe (a nice return from the admittedly pretty-low-but-not-quite-zero Major, Original, and Knit) will be comfortable and stylish, and yet if I have a free block and want to play some golf or hit some shots, will be perfect. Or if I have to meet my wife at dinner.

Some photos of the shoes first…

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The Details

Sizing: 8, 8.5-11.5, 12, 13

Colorways: Classic Black, Vintage White (both July 1), Grey Area (late July)

Overview: The insanely light TL-01 is a shoe created to seamlessly transition from the office to the links and everywhere in between. The TL-01 is crafted from the finest full grain weatherproof Nappa leather and is durable enough for anything your life can throw at it. Don't be fooled, though, as the TL-01 weighs only 8.7 ounces, TRUE's lightest shoe yet. Packed in the TRUE canvas bag (the Majors come in these, too), this complete package makes the TL-01 a perfect shoe for just about any activity… especially golf!

Basically:

  • Lightweight - Weighing 8.7 ounces, you'll barely notice the TL-01 on your feet despite the full grain Nappa leather upper.
  • Zero Drop Cushioned Outsole - Featuring a natural zero-drop outsole for stability and natural balance, with just enough cushion to keep your feet feeling great all day long.
  • Versatile Tread - The TL-01 has ample grip to take on the links (the tread is the same depth as the Original and the Major), but works well on pavement, carpet, and everything in between, from the board room to the card room to the locker room.
  • Traditional Width Fit - A bit of a narrower shoe than the other TRUE offerings, the TL-01 will form to your foot over time and accommodate up to an E width.

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Those will be a pass for me. They just don’t suit my eye so to speak. The Major will be the next shoe after the Original. I like the concept  just not the look.  

 

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I’ll end up buying a pair. I emailed them, and for me I’ll probably get a size 10. I asked them what size I should get if the original ran true to size for me. 

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Very cool.  I'll probably buy a pair of the white ones.  I like white shoes with colored soles (beige in this case)...helps them stay looking new for a much longer time.

From the photos, it looks like I need to get some joggers!

1 hour ago, iacas said:

the zero drop shoe (a nice return from the admittedly pretty-low-but-not-quite-zero Major, Original, and Knit) will be comfortable and stylish

FWIW, the Original is actually zero-drop (part of the reason I bought them).

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I've used a pair of their Elements Pro shoes for a while now. I do quite like the thin sole and the zero drop design, but the one thing I just can't work with is the width of the shoe offerings from TRUE. 

To put it bluntly, my feet are seriously fat. I personally am not fat so I'm not squishing them or adding fat rolls to my toes, it's just a hereditary thing (my maternal relatives all have the same wide feet). My feet fit the length of a size 10.5 or 11 perfectly (just under 11" long), depending on brand, but they are 4.75" wide. Going off the "standard" sizing charts I can find, that falls somewhere between a 4E and a 6E width for a size 11 shoe.

From practical experience my choice in footwear is pretty limited. Not all brands make a size 4E shoe, and even fewer make a 6E. I can honestly say I've only ever seen a 6E in a store, and not just as an online option, once in my entire life. For my everyday tennis shoes I pretty much have to stick with Asics and New Balance just because other brands like Nike and Adidas don't actually make a true 4E shoe (their shoes labeled 4E fit closer to a 2E). For the western boots I wear for riding the options are a little better thanks to big square toes being in style, but there are still brands like Nocona and Cody James that just plain don't make them wide enough short of a size 13+. Credit to Twisted X though, their 2E is actually wide enough for my fat feet and they're super comfy to boot.

With that background, I really would like to wear, use, and enjoy my shoes from TRUE but unfortunately they're simply not wide enough. They weren't bad when I first received them, but despite losing 10 pounds since then my feet have only grown wider (thanks bunions!) and I've found I can no longer fit into them. When my feet did fit I found them quite comfortable after a short break-in period, and the zero drop was definitely a noticeable improvement after carrying my bag all day long. 

I realize I'm part of a pretty small minority here and by no means should TRUE change their product development strategy solely to suit people like me. It would be nice, but for companies that aren't already quite large it can be economically infeasible to make that make options for sizing and width. I just wish I had normal feet so I could take advantage of the cool stuff they're doing!

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2 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

I realize I'm part of a pretty small minority here and by no means should TRUE change their product development strategy solely to suit people like me. It would be nice, but for companies that aren't already quite large it can be economically infeasible to make that make options for sizing and width. I just wish I had normal feet so I could take advantage of the cool stuff they're doing!

The Elements Pro were among their narrowest shoes. The TL-01 are not wide - they make a point of saying that.

You should find and try on some of the Originals, though. I think you may be surprised. They're based on a wider toe box especially, like the original Tours (hence the name), and are a solid shoe.

Just a thought. I would like to focus on the TL-01 here, but it's likely not the shoe for you. But others may be.

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2 minutes ago, iacas said:

The Elements Pro were among their narrowest shoes. The TL-01 are not wide - they make a point of saying that.

You should find and try on some of the Originals, though. I think you may be surprised. They're based on a wider toe box especially, like the original Tours (hence the name), and are a solid shoe.

Just a thought. I would like to focus on the TL-01 here, but it's likely not the shoe for you. But others may be.

I do definitely appreciate their transparency when it comes to the width of their shoes. Finding that kind of information from other manufacturers can be like pulling teeth, since they rarely say anything and you basically have to just try them on your feet to find out for yourself. 

The TL-01 is an attractive looking shoe though. I'd love to find something similar that works for me to wear to my office job rather than the tennis shoes I currently am stuck with.

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I still use my first two pair of TRUEs that I bought many years ago. I think it was one of the first models.

How do I best measure my foot or figure out which size is right for me? If I lived in US, I could just order and return if they didn't fit, but that's not so easy when I live half across the world.

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3 hours ago, Zeph said:

How do I best measure my foot or figure out which size is right for me? If I lived in US, I could just order and return if they didn't fit, but that's not so easy when I live half across the world.

I recommend sending them an email.

BTW, after donating a few pair (and some blue Elements not shown, but ONE pair of non-TRUE shoes shown here [as yet unworn, an Ashworth pair; see if you can spot them]), here's my current TRUE collection:

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I still wear them all, including the top left ones. Also, one pair is not shown here - a black pair of Originals that I'd left inside because I last wore that pair of shoes. They replaced the Adidas slides on the top-right corner.

Black, white, grey, "other"/grey over-runs.

Those Sensei are still great, too. I have another pair of the grey/blue somewhere, too. I should find those. I think they're, oh, I know where they are. Downtown, where I last used them as my workout shoes.

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@Zeph email True they are very helpful. If you have a pair of the older models they will be the same depending on the model. I had the Senseis in 11.5. Once I told the person at True this they recommended sticking with them. 

I will say if you haven’t worn Trues for some time, the initial feel will seem big due to the toe box. 

I bought the True Originals for your reference. 

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12 hours ago, iacas said:

Those Sensei are still great, too. I have another pair of the grey/blue somewhere, too. I should find those. I think they're, oh, I know where they are. Downtown, where I last used them as my workout shoes.

I wish I still had a pair of those shoes. I loved them for workouts.

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I still have a brand new pair of the green Sensei’s. 11.5. I will never wear them. My wife wants me to throw them out. 

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Based on this, I ordered myself a pair of the white ones.  Should be here middle of next week, just in time for my golf trip!

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17 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Just got the notice my shoes will be delivered sometime next week. looking forward to trying them out!

Mine arrive on Weds.

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Initially my shipment said it was coming tomorrow, but looks like they got here early and will arrive today!

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I got my pair of TL-01's today. I found them to be too narrow for my feat. I am going to exchange them for half a size larger and hopefully they fit better. 

I am not sure if it's just the smaller size, or the textile used for the inside of the shoe, but I find the shoe grips the sock a lot. A normal cotton sock didn't slide into the shoe easily. 

Overall, I like the look a lot. 

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