Going “Barefoot” with Spikes

TRUE Linkswear nails it again with the Game Changer Pro

On rare occasion, a manufacturer introduces a product that changes the industry and creates a whole new product category. When TRUE Linkswear launched in late 2009 debuting a spikeless golf shoe—an area established manufacturers had been reluctant to touch—it created what it liked to call “barefoot golf,” rejecting the traditional design of the golf shoe and putting the emphasis squarely on comfort.

Detractors said that by focusing solely (forgive me) on comfort, TRUE had overlooked features like traction, stability, and durability, resulting in a shoe that might feel good for a couple of rounds but whose shortcomings would soon become evident.

They were wrong. Golfers discovered that without a traditional raised heel the foot became level. This, combined with the thinnest soles (8-10 mm) in the game, gave them a much better connection with the ground and actually improved traction. And though the shoe was extremely light, it surprised people with its durability.

As a newcomer and without huge marketing dollars, TRUE had been regarded as something of a maverick gate-crasher, earning a band of loyal followers but not even sniffing the mainstream. That soon changed, however, and within two years everyone was offering spikeless shoes, allowing TRUE to scatter “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” throughout its web site.

TRUE recently expanded the line and began making shoes for women and kids. It also offered T-Shirts, hats, a golf glove and even a golf bag.

This year is set to be a big one for TRUE. Ryan Moore, who became a part-owner in the company in May 2010, was joined by Inbee Park as a brand ambassador last year, and the company recently announced it will introduce six new models in the next couple of months—Game Changer Pro, Game Changer Hybrid, Classix, Motion, Oxford (five new styles) and Fairways. All will feature new technologies and top-quality materials, but all will adhere strongly to TRUE’s comfort mandate. 

“Everything we do in the design and manufacturing of our shoes is run through a comfort filter, so to speak,” says Jason Moore, Ryan’s brother and the Vice-President of Product Development. “If it doesn’t make the shoe more comfortable, we don’t include it.”

The company is so confident its shoes are the most comfortable you’ll ever wear on the course it offers a 30-day return policy, even with the new Game Changer Pro, TRUE’s first spiked shoe which, you’d assume couldn’t possibly boast the same level of comfort as its stablemates.

“For years we've heard from golfers who wanted the comfort and stability of TRUEs but with spikes,” says Jeff Wood, VP of Marketing. “What we couldn't do was just slap spikes on the bottom of our existing shoes, so this has been a two-year process to find the best way of integrating a replaceable soft spike.”

TRUE developed an outsole that retains the comfort and barefoot platform—and accommodates a recessed spike design (Champ Slim-Lok). The combination of this outsole along with P-Motion Technology – a thin, biomechanically-engineered rubber mesh in the midsole that has a very distinct bounce-back feel so your footprint never wears down the cushion – results in what Wood describes as “the game’s most flexible and comfortable spiked shoe.”

The Game Changer Pro will be available in the first week of March with an MSRP of $190. It carries a two-year waterproof guarantee, and there are four color combinations – white/red, white/grey, grey/gold, and black/white.

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Colorado AvidGolfer is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.

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