Best Men's Links Footwear - Summer 2019 PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

Today's golf shoes are significantly superior to those of just a few years ago,

but deciding which of the latest links kicks is best for your feet and your game

can be both exciting and overwhelming. For some, a brand new pair of premium

golf footwear is as exciting a purchase as a new club. Whether you prefer a fully

cleated /spiked shoe or a spikeless model, there are ample choices to choose from.

In this edition of our Best Links Footwear Review, the top brands in the industry

Adidas, Ecco, Footjoy, New Balance, Nike, Puma and True Linkswear all contributed

their finest to this feature. Rather than break it down by category, we've listed

each by brand.

 

It should be stated that it's pretty tough to find a truly bad golf shoe these days,

especially with the top brands - the competition is just too tough for sub-par to

survive in today's marketplace. However, some do offer better foot support, more

comfort, better traction, superior protection in the elements and various fitting

attributes (favoring wide/narrow, bigger/smaller sizing). Then there is value,

ranging from just over $100 to $250 MSRP, price point is a considerable factor

in the purchase experience for many.

 

 

 

 

Adidas Tour 360 XT

If there was a seeding to this review, the Tour 360 line would easily be

at or near the top, it's just that good. So how does a company like Adi

go about improving their tour proven flagship model? Very carefully, each

iteration that they introduce has been a very subtle enhancement. It's

a brilliant strategy to keep the features that are most important and

refine the details. When you have a loyal following, and Tour360 does -

you just make tweaks. For example, the '18 model featured each of

the 3 stripe mid-foot supports independently, eliminating the previous

one piece support strap and also did away with the two seams that run

along the center of the toe box, producing a cleaner, simpler look. It's

minute, but it's the type of thing that tour players and serious golfers

prefer . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2019, the refinements on Tour 360 are less aesthetic and more

performance based, BOOST foam returns for the ultimate in responsive

energy return and comfort. Premium leather upper features seam-sealed

protection from just about any weather condition. The 360 wrap supports

your feet even during the most aggressive swings.

 

 

 


 

 

The biggest change for 2019 is the XT outsole, Torsion Tunnel X

provides flexibility and arch support. Strategically placed X-Traxion

lugs provide the ideal base while Thintech EXP cleats grip the ground

so you can fire at flags.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour 360 XT comes available in four different colorways. Cloud White/Silver

Metallic/Dark Silver Metallic (shown), Cloud White/Core Black/Scarlet,

Cloud White/Collegiate Navy and Core Black/Silver Metallic. $200

 

 

Testing: After numerous rounds and hours in the Tour 360XT, the latest

edition didn't disappoint, in fact somehow the 3 stripes continues to raise

the bar on performance and comfort in its top of the line Tour offering. It's

not a surprise that many of our best rounds over the years have been played

wearing Tour360. The XT sole is next level traction.

 

Aesthetics: 9

Comfort: 9

Foot Support: 10

Traction: 9

Durability: 9

Value: 8

Fit/sizing: standard (favors a slightly narrow foot, length true to size)

 

Best Suited For: The Adidas Tour360 XT is a serious players

shoe. If you're an aggressive high speed swinger of the club who

requires the ultimate in foot support, traction, comfort and doesn't

mind the hefty price tag - than this shoe should be on your list to try

on at your local retailer. Our experience is the Tour360 line tends to

run a touch on the narrow side, so keep that in mind if you require

a wider width. https://www.adidas.com/us/men-golf-shoes

 

 

 

 

 


 

ADIDAS TOUR 360 XT-SL

Adidas took the best attributes of their iconic Tour 360 and created a

premium spikeless shoe that is ideal for those who like to take in their

rounds walking the fairways.

 

 

 

 

 

For those who want a high performance walking shoe, but don't feel

they need the max traction of a cleated model, the Tour 360-SL provides

a lower to the turf profile. BOOST midsole offers responsive performance

and comfort for even the toughest walks around the links.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Aesthetics wise, the Tour 360 XT-SL is a slightly more casual style

than it's more famous brethren. Wrapped in a breathable water-

repellent Climastorm upper, it also features Adi's 360 Wrap that

locks-in to support your feet. Available in 3 colors: White/Black/Silver,

White/Navy/Gold, White/Black/Scarlet.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Puremotion outsole enhances flexibility and X-Traxion lugs provide

the heavy lifting when you need it most. $170

 

 

 

Testing: Tour360 XT-SL is mega comfortable, so much so we're

convinced that a BOOST like midsole component should be mandatory

in every athletic shoe, not just in golf. The XT sole pattern provides

superior traction in a spikeless offering. Absolutely no compromises in

performance here, a rarity in non-cleated golf shoe. We had no reservations

about putting these in play over a spiked shoe for any round in any type

of weather condition - the highest of praise for a spikeless entry.

 


Aesthetics: 8

Comfort: 9

Foot Support: 8

Traction: 8

Durability: 9

Value: 8

Fit/sizing: standard (favors a slightly narrow foot, length true to size)

 

 

Best Suited For: The linkster who wants a spikeless golf shoe that's

more than a casual sneaker with "golf treads" on the sole and doesn't mind

paying a bit more for it. For any Adidas footwear loyalist, these should be

considered a must have. https://www.adidas.com/us/men-golf-shoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ECCO - BIOM G3

Last year we reviewed ECCO's Biom Hybrid 3, the Danish company's top-shelf

spikeless offering, so this year ECCO sent over their fully cleated Biom G3 for

review. As always the first thing that always grabs our attention with ECCO golf

shoes is the Yak Leather, second to none in quality and feel in a Gore-Tex

weatherproof upper that keeps you dry regardless of conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

Biom G3 features a sleek Euro styling, our sample came in what's called

"True Navy", contrasted brilliantly with an off-white trim to produce a unique

sporty elegance that defines the ECCO brand. Note the double-layer neoprene

collar that surrounds the heel for max comfort. Bion G3 is available in 3 other

color choices - Shadow White/ Dark Petrol, Shadow White (solid) and Black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to ECCO, BIOM was designed to match the natural curves of

the foot, an anatomical last that brings your feet closer to the ground for

greater stability. Champ Slim-Lok (ZARMA-TOUR spikes) provide the

traction. Removable Ortholite insoles provide the option for extra width

when taken out - a superb option to get the proper fit.

 

 

Testing: The ECCO Biom G3 passed every exam we put them through

and then some. A wider toe box area than some of the other top brands

allows for those in need of a bit more room. The extra insole pad is a great

option not only for proper fitting purposes, but also for those who prefer

a tad more cushion (I'm often someone who adds an extra insole). No

surprises with these, right out the box they're ready to help you knock

down pins.


 

Aesthetics: 9

Comfort: 9

Foot Support: 9

Traction: 9

Durability: 9

Value: 6

Fit/sizing: standard w/additional insole (European sizing true to size)

 

 

Best Suited For: The golfer who demands tour quality performance

in a progressive look. BIOM G3 is a shoe for the golfer who's serious

and passionate about their gear, value isn't the theme here - Biom G3 is

a big ticket item at a big ticket price tag. MSRP $250.

https://us.ecco.com/golf/


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


PUMA IGNITE NXT SOLELACE

This year's PUMA entry in our review is the spikeless IGNITE NXT SOLELACE.

We've long been a fan of PUMA shoe creator Grant Knudson's work, he's one

of the most uber talented people in the business - never afraid to go outside

the box to innovate the next great links gear for your feet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stylish for sure, but what else would you expect from the brand that supplies

Rickie, Lexi and Bryson with their tour kicks. NXT Solelace features a brawny

yet lightweight TPU that attaches directly to the midsole. This design allows

the laces to wrap completely over the foot, providing complete support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ignite foam provides comfort and energy return on every step of your

round.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A non-stretch breathable flat-knit waterproof performance mesh upper

rules the toe box for extreme comfort and protection from the elements.

Available in Peacoat/Gold, Olive/Silver, Black/Gold (pictured), Gray/Gold.

 

 

 

 

PUMA calls their new sole innovation consisting of over 100 hexagon

lugs "Organically-Altered Traction".

 

 

Features:

  • SOLELACE Closure System
  • IGNITE Foam
  • Performance Mesh + TPU
  • PWRFRAME
  • Organically-Altered Traction
  • PWRCAGE
  • Molded Comfort Insole
  • PRO-FORM TPU
  • SOLESHIELD
  • 1 Year Waterproof
  • Fit: Fits slightly long, consider going down ½ size.
  • Size 7-14

 

 

 

 

 

Testing: For the WOW factor out of the box, it would be tough to beat

these, striking and bold - a true fashion statement. Like many PUMA golf

shoes we love that these could go straight from the 18th hole to the grill or

an evening out anywhere, not many on this list can boast that. Performance

wise they do everything quite well, but didn't lead in any one category.

Reasonably comfortable with decent traction in dry conditions, but just

average on wet turf. PWRFRAME and SOLELACE do a nice job of supporting

the foot nicely but can make for a chore when getting in and out of the shoe

on each wear. We've had a few issues with PUMA's heel pad construction in

the past, but these were spot-on with the best heel to toe fit of any PUMA

shoes we've tested.

 

 

Aesthetics/Style: 10

Comfort: 8

Foot Support: 8

Traction: 7

Durability: 8

Value: 9+

Fit/sizing: standard to size

 

 

Best Suited For: Golfers who prefer an edgy style with innovative

performance features. It's always tough to match the comprehensive

combination that PUMA provides not only to its loyal following, but also

to those looking to branch out to a more progressive brand that covers

all of the bases. IGNITE NXT SOLELACE is right at the top of the value

category with an MSRP of $120.

https://www.cobragolf.com/pumagolf/men/shoes/spikeless

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Balance - Striker

If there is an underdog in this review it would be the New Balance Striker,

but don't sleep on the latest from the company that made it's name from

creating super comfortable light-weight walking and running shoes. Striker

comes in at 12.4 oz, slim on weight but not on performance features.

Striker comes in 3 colorways Grey/Blue (shown), Black/Red, White/Grey.

 

 

 

 

According to the folks at New Balance, their skeletally (is that really a

word) engineered FantomFit waterproof microfiber upper provides

complete support and fit. REV-lite 10mm midsole provides lightweight

cushioning and premium responsiveness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Exoskeleton TPU outsole is designed to move with the natural motion

of your foot, Champ Slim-Lok Zarma cleat system provides the traction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Striker features a wider toe box, lower instep height and anatomical heel

width. 2 year waterproof warranty.

 

 

 

Testing: NB's Striker isn't the most flashy shoe in this review, but it is

easily the finest all-weather model in this review - thanks to its microfiber

waterproof upper. If that's not enough, Striker is packed with maximum

comfort. Playing in these just makes your feet happy. If you believe form

follows function, then the New Balance Striker is our clear overachiever.

 

 

Aesthetics/Style: 7+

Comfort: 10

Foot Support: 9

Traction: 9

Durability: 9

Value: 9

Fit/sizing: standard to size

 

 

Best Suited For: NB's Striker is the ideal golf shoe for those who

want a fully cleated high performance shoe - chock full of comfort and

weatherproof features at the price point of a spikeless model.

MSRP $120. https://www.newbalance.com/men/shoes/golf-1/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOOTJOY

Footjoy introduced FURY at this year's PGA Show in Orlando.

 

 



 

 

 

Footjoy's D3 outsole is a rigid platform ensuring swing stability and superior

traction. Fine Tuned Foam midsole and OrthoLite impressions FitBed combine

to provide FURY's cushioning.

 

 

 

 

Full grain leather and mesh upper combine to provide waterproof protection

and breathability. Available in four colorways Navy/White, White/Grey, Black

and Charcoal. A one-piece Inner Fit sleeve underneath the insole provided a

secure fit. The external FlexGrid MLC Cage system gives structure to the upper,

giving your feet maximum support throughout the swing.


 

 

 

Testing: Footjoy FURY was put through the paces by our resident footwear

aficionado Jack L Barrett, who's also known as "America's Guest". "I Walked

20,000 steps (10 miles) in these, they're extremely comfortable, other golf

shoes I wear don't equal this kind of comfort. Price point is spot on for this

type of quality and performance," Barrett said.

 

Aesthetics/Style: 8+

Comfort: 9

Foot Support: 9

Traction: 9

Durability: 9

Value: 8

Fit/sizing: standard to slightly larger in size

 

 

Best Suited For: The golfer who wants a versatile tour quality golf

shoe loaded with performance and comfort technology in an updated

contemporary style. Loyal FJ enthusiasts get it all at a price tag well

under $200. MSRP - $170. https://www.footjoy.com/golf-shoes/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOOTJOY PRO/SL BOA

FOOTJOY's PRO/SL is the most popular shoe of players on the PGA Tour,

so we set out to find what makes this model a favorite of the best players in

the world.

 

 

 

 

FJ's Boa Fit System has been known as the industry standard for providing a

performance fit that offers precision, stability and power. Pro/SL's fully rounded

toe box is a product of Footjoy's Laser Last, which provides the proper fit along

forefoot and instep. ChromoSkin leather by Pittards of England is a premier

100% waterproof leather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A close up of the rear positioned micro-adjustable Boa Fit System, a

superb custom fitting component to help you reach peak performance.

 

 

 

 

 

Two blends of FTF (Fine Tuned Foam) combined with a TPU molded sole

provides cushioning, stability and traction for maximum comfort and

performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FJ Pro/SL BOA comes in two colorways White/Blue and Black, while standard

lace version is available in six colorways.

 

 

 

Testing: Needing to pick a few pairs to take on our 16 day trip to Cali,

these made the shortlist. In fact, when we had the opportunity to walk the

fabulous California Golf Club and then hallowed grounds of Cypress Point

the day after the U.S Open, the Footjoy Pro/SL Boa's got the nod. As

expected, it was a day and walk to remember, the FJ Pro/SL w/BOA only

enhanced the experience.

 

 

Aesthetics/Style: 9

Comfort: 9

Foot Support: 9

Traction: 9

Durability: 9

Value: 8

Fit/sizing: standard in size

 

 

Best Suited For: Any golfer who desires a dialed in custom fit in a

tour proven spikeless shoe will need to give these a spin. MSRP - $190.

https://www.footjoy.com/golf-shoes/

 

 

 

 

 

 

NIKE Air Max 1G

A classic style with some updated features, Nike's Air Max 1G has become

a popular choice in the spikeless market this summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Max Air cushions the trek around the links, while no sew overlays

keep your feet dry in even the wettest weather conditions. Full-

length Phylon foam midsole provides the comfort and stability.

 

 

Testing: Air Max 1G gives swoosh loyalists an iconic style in the form

of a spikeless golf shoe that has the versatility to be worn on or off the

links. While nothing in the foot support and traction categories stood out,

Air Max 1G proved worthy in both comfort and durability.

 

 

Aesthetics/Style: 8

Comfort: 8

Foot Support: 8

Traction: 7

Durability: 8

Value: 8

Fit/sizing: standard in size

 

 

Best Suited For: Nike enthusiasts who prefer a casual spikeless

sneaker style links shoe at a moderate price point will dig these. MSRP

- $120. https://www.nike.com/w/mens-golf-shoes-23q9wznik1zy7ok

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NIKE Air Zoom Victory Tour

Rory's Tour kicks are stunners. Nike's flagship golf shoe - Air Zoom Victory

Tour is classic style wrapped in new technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Air Zoom Victory Tour isn't just big on sophistication, features include

premium leather and synthetic upper for durability, fitsole sockliner

adds plush cushioning. Zoom Air cushions, while React technology

provides the glide. Test sample in White/Platinum Tint colorway.


 

 

 

 

Not sure of where the inspiration came from, but the simple elegance


and refined details like this view of the heel remind of a Wimbledon style


tennis shoe. Available in four colorways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outsole features integrated traction combined with Champ spikes for

superior gripping power.

 

 

 

Testing: These were the last pair of shoes that came in for the review,

and were worth the wait. Pulling these beauties from the gold box was like

a childhood christmas moment. On the turf, Air Zoom Victory Tour didn't

disappoint. Clean lines, perfect fit, extreme comfort and Michelin like

traction make these among the best in class. Word is Rory had some input

in the design of these, maybe the Ulsterman has another calling when he's

done reaching par 5's in two . . .

 

 

Aesthetics/Style: 9+

Comfort: 9+

Foot Support: 9

Traction: 9+

Durability: 9

Value: 8+

Fit/sizing: standard in size

 

 

Best Suited For: The consumer who prefers a classy mature

style in a zero compromise tour shoe will want to have these when

he steps on to the first tee. MSRP - $180.

https://www.nike.com/t/air-zoom-victory-tour-mens-golf-shoe-pwTh12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRUE LINKSWEAR - MAJORS

 

TRUE's top of the line - MAJOR is inspired by their player advisory board.

Tour player Ryan Moore strolls the terra firma each week in TRUE Majors.

Such a unique company producing golf shoes like no other. Comfort and

the fine details are what TRUE Linkswear has built a cult following on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Premium Waterproof Full Grain Leather and Outdoor Grade Nubuck Suede
  • All New 80k Step Dynamic Waterproof and Breathable 2 Year Guarantee
  • Signature Instant Flex Zone for Dynamic Movement and Fit
  • EVA Midsole for Lightweight Cushioning, 12.55 mm
  • Sock Fit Liner for Crazy Comfort
  • Paracord Lacing System with Reflective Rope Lace
  • Transitional (Minimal) Drop - (4-6mm dependent on size)
  • Forever Cushion Premium Inserts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No break-in period required, in fact my first trek in these MAJORS

was while covering the PGA at Bethpage Black during practice rounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paracord lacing system with reflective rope lace and leather saddle

provide mid foot support and stability. Available in Black (pictured),

Gray, White and Brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

No shoe box here, TRUE created this cool carry bag rather than the

traditional wasteful shoe box - this versatile carry bag can be used

to carry your shoes or as a practice shag bag.

 


 

Testing: First the good news, TRUE Majors look sweet and are really

comfortable with a superb fit. All of the joys of wearing your favorite

pair of sneakers in a high quality spikeless offering. The Traction for a

spikeless shoe is exceptional and these can be worn anywhere post

round, gotta love the versatility. Now for the not so good, while walking

at Bethpage Black thru the early a.m dew (while covering the PGA), the

Nubuck suede upper soaked in the moisture like a sponge rather than

repelling it. As a result, wet feet all day in the media center. Finally that

evening upon taking them off, the red colored insole bled dye onto my

socks, no bueno. TRUE does offer a 2 year 80K step waterproof guarantee

and their customer service people are top notch.

 

I should mention that we've played some rounds in dry conditions with

the TRUE Majors and they met or exceeded expectations in every other

evaluation.

 

Aesthetics/Style: 10

Comfort: 9

Foot Support: 9

Traction: 8+

Durability: 9

Value: 7+

Fit/sizing: standard to size

 

 

Best Suited For: The golfer who likes an all-around spikeless shoe,

probably the most kickass style in this review. One that just might become

your favorite pair to do any activity in. I would easily wear these to an event

where you'd be on your feet all day like a festival or concert. Price point is

a bit high, but so is the quality. MSRP - $199

https://truelinkswear.com/true-major/

 

 

 

 

 

LINKS FOOTWEAR SUMMER 2019