Welcome to Devil Ball's Proving Ground, where we put the latest golf equipment through its paces. Today we take a look at TRUE linkswear's new phx golf shoe.
Tester -- Jonathan Wall
Target Golf Audience -- All Players
The golf shoe game has certainly changed over the last couple of years. For the longest time it was all about traditional spikes, but recently, a number of golf companies tried to switch things up, releasing comfortable but stylish looking kicks that perform well on the course, and could be worn off it as well.
TRUE linkswear is definitely one of those companies making some serious noise in the shoe market. Worn by PGA Tour player Ryan Moore (who's also a co-founder of the company), TRUE has been pushing the limits with shoes that not only look good, but also make you feel as if you were playing barefoot when you put them on.
That's definitely a good thing, considering how important it is to not only be able to have solid footing, but be able to feel the ground below you (if you've never tried hitting balls barefoot before, it gives you a real sense of your weight transition during the swing; it also allows you to work on your balance), which is essential to a solid swing.
We had the opportunity to put TRUE's phx model through the ringer to see if the shoe was really worth the hype. What were our findings? Read on to find out.
I'll be the first to admit I was skeptical when the whole street golf shoe craze started. For a golfer who grew up playing in traditional golf spikes, the thought of playing in a street shoe seemed silly. Quite honestly, if I'm going to wear a pair of street shoes, it's going to be when I'm off the course.
Plus, I wasn't sure what to think about the nubs on the bottom of the TRUE's; I thought there was no way they could hold up if I was dew-sweeping, or if it started to rain. But the great thing about trying out new products is that every one of them has an opportunity to prove me wrong.
Not only did the TRUE's look good (I seriously considered wearing them when I left the course a couple of times), but the Blue Ergo-Traction 2.0 outsole held steady under wet conditions, something that really blew me away when I tried them out.
A street shoe that not only looks good but performs as well? I figured there had to be a catch. Only there wasn't. The White leather upper on the shoes is also water resistant, so you don't have to worry if it starts to drizzle. That's something your usual pair of tennis shoes can't do.
Transitioning & Playability
For a guy with a size 14 shoe and and flat feet, I've always grown attached to golf shoes with a definite arch support. That made me incredibly leery of the TRUE's that didn't have an arch to speak of ... at all.
That may be tough transition for some, but I will tell you after walking a handful of rounds in them (including 36 holes in a day), I came away impressed by how much you could feel the ground beneath your feet. It was interesting at first, but by the end of a couple of rounds, my feet weren't aching or missing the arch support.
Plus, the wide toe box is a nice addition if your toes happen to get cramped in the standard golf shoe (Editor's note: These shoes tend to run big, so if you wear a 13, make sure you get a 12). The feeling of being barefoot and having space for my feet was a nice sensation when you happen to walk as often as I do.
I even went back to my old golf shoes (a new pair I just picked up a couple months ago) and still found myself going back to the TRUE phx's. I tend to be a creature of habit, so for me to go from a traditional golf shoe and do a complete 180 and start wearing street shoes on the course was a big change.
Final Verdict — They say you can tell a lot about a company not by the top of the line products they sell, but by the ones that will most likely end up in the average person's hands. The phx is the cheapest TRUE model on the market right now (the Tour's run $150; Stealth's $200), but they don't perform like a cheap model.
The shoes are incredibly solid and perform just as well as the Tour's and Stealth's, which says a lot about the model when you consider the price difference between the three pairs.
Plus, they just look good. And I don't know about you, but I have no interest in buying something if it doesn't have that wow factor. From everything from the large toe box to the slick blue soles, TRUE's phx model is one all golfers should consider -- especially if you're looking for a shoe that gets the job done.
TRUE phx ranking -- 9 out of 10
Price -- $99.99