Adidas Golf Footwear Reader Experience Day
The role of your footwear when trying desperately to compile a decent score is unquestionably an underplayed one. Your feet, after all, are your only point of connection with the ground – a power source golfers must utilise correctly if they are to generate both speed and control in equal measure.
Adidas is a brand synonymous with innovation in the golf-shoe market and its 2019 collection looks to be no exception, featuring models covering every preference in style, performance and price point.
But we wanted to find out for sure, so we invited five Golf Monthly readers along to West Hill Golf Club to not only learn about what adidas stands for as a brand, but to also put its latest golf footwear offerings quite literally through their paces.
On hand from adidas golf was Masun Denison, the company’s global golf footwear director, to enlighten the readers as to the technology across the five models being tested, as well as ensure they were all fitted in the correct sizes.
“We use consumer insights to make our products better,” Denison explained before the golf got underway. “We feel like we lead the way in terms of innovation and technology. We’re a sports company but are rooted in golf. We’re always looking to improve, and every year we launch new designs to help the golfer play better. I like to think we have a shoe for everyone.”
Under the spotlight of our readers were the Tour360 XT and Tour360 XT SL, two shoes that have received high acclaim worldwide thus far – both in the media and, in the case of the cleated model, for being the choice of World No.1 Dustin Johnson. The spikeless version is the choice of Tyrell Hatton, while Europe’s all-time leading Ryder Cup point scorer Sergio Garcia wears the Adipower 4orged, a shoe that also comes in a sporty spikeless version.
The final choice our panel would be assessing was the adicross bounce, a versatile option designed to fit in just as naturally off the course while also providing golf-specific performance on the fairways.
Our five readers were joining technical editor Joel Tadman to tackle this picturesque heathland layout ranked 73 in Golf Monthly’s Top 100 UK & Ireland rankings.
The quintet of Simon Hill, Dave Walters, Howard Bowden, Adrian McLeary and Joss Powick seemed to rise to the occasion, hitting some excellent shots while not being distracted by the regular intervals at which a change in shoes was required.
“I’ve never worn a lot of adidas stuff, but both the Tour360 XT models were the comfiest golf shoes I’ve ever played in – it was almost like walking on marshmallows”
Simon is, of course, referring to the Boost underfoot cushioning, an innovation adidas launched in 2013 that many believe has yet to be beaten in terms of the comfort and energy return it provides.
“I was really surprised as to the level of technology that goes into golf shoes,” Howard told us after his round. “Then to experience the performance that all the design features delivered, it really made me think about the type of shoe I should wear. I’ve always worn a performance shoe but I really like the look and feel of the adicross bounce.”
Perhaps surprisingly, the adicross bounce grabbed a lot of attention from our readers, who enjoyed the comfort it offered along with its eye-catching style. Yet, when it came down to it, it was the Tour360 XT models that rose to the top in terms of overall appeal.
“If I were to play a lot of competitive golf, I’d definitely choose the Tour360 XT,” Adrian explained. “It offered the best grip and stability but was still really comfortable when walking between shots.”
The adipower 4orged also impressed, combining a low profile and a wider fit that all our readers appreciated. Many also picked it as the best-looking shoe of the five on test.
What was clear at the end is that adidas takes its golf very seriously and is driven to producing shoes that will perform for every golfer.