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Every year I am looking for the most comfortable golf shoes. I am a great advocate for golfers who are on the course when they can, and having the right shoe can make the difference.
One of my favorite companies in this category is TRUE Linkswear. Their first major release in 2019 is called the TRUE Major – their first shoe on tour level. I've had the chance to try them out in the last few months, and I think it's another winner of a brand that specializes in golf shoes for those who run the course.
A spectacular turnaround
Last year, TRUE Linkswear solved one of the biggest turnarounds I have seen in the industry. It is very difficult for small to medium-sized companies to make it on the golf market. I have spoken with dozens of brands at the moment and they all face the same challenges. Are you going strictly online? Are you going for the green grass / retail market? A mixture of both?
TRUE had built a large base of loyal fans since the company first introduced its shoes in 2009. But somehow they started to struggle with the type of shoes they wanted to make and how they sold to the market. Around 2016 the company was very quiet and many wondered if they would go bankrupt.
At the end of 2017, they announced a rebirth of the brand with two new designs – the TRUE Originals and Outsiders. Then they followed it with The Knits, a lightweight spring / summer shoe that attracted attention outside the golf category.
Pictured: Originals (top left), Knits (top right), Outsiders (bottom)
In my opinion, all three shoes went home for different reasons. I now own seven pairs in total – the Originals are my go-to-pair on the track and the outsiders and knits are my casual shoe of choice. Golf fans cheered quite loudly because they were sold out several times from each model. The quality (and comfort) of the shoes was at a completely different level than what they had done before. If you look at their site, they are very transparent about how they buy their materials, what is in the design, and even their business strategy.
My entire TRUE collection
I can tell you that their claims live up to the hype. I have logged in a few big kilometers on all my shoes and they are still in excellent condition. I can tell you anecdotally that quality (and water resistance) of the leather is not a joke. In the late summer, my city suffered the worst rainfall it had ever seen. In 30 minutes we received about 4-6 inches of rain that cars had driving around our downtown. I ran up and down the stairs from the side entrance to our newly finished basement with buckets that tried to relieve the overflow of water that our storm well could not handle. My TRUE outsiders were completely immersed in water all the time and should have been ruined. Unfortunately they are in as good condition as the day I bought them
Could you say that these shoes have been worn for more than a year and have survived a flood?
I have also hidden in the Originals in plenty of rain on the track. My feet remained completely dry and the outside of the shoe had no serious damage. Long story short, TRUE Linkswear now makes some of the most comfortable golf shoes in the industry and has not skimped on any of the materials.
The TRUE Major
When I visited the TRUE Linkswear booth at The PGA Show to meet their marketing director Brandon Wallach, I got good news and bad news. They would stop the TRUE Outsiders, who had become my personal favorite of the job (I snagged another pair of final stocks). I told them they were crazy because the shoe is so great. Brandon told me they would be replaced by what they thought their first "Tour Level" shoe was called The Major.
The TRUE Major is the crowning glory of much of the feedback they have received over the years from pro golfers such as Ryan Moore. In a sense, it is a shoe that is the biggest hit of all their previous releases – the top design features combined with the best materials they could buy.
I have walked many kilometers in the past few months and hit many golf balls. Needless to say I'm impressed again.
When I first dropped the Majors, I had two reactions. First, comfort was outside the charts – but to be honest, that wasn't really a surprise. What surprised me was the level of support and stability that the shoe offered. Usually golfers who want more support have to sacrifice a bit in a golf shoe. I think that other companies feel a bit stiffer in this category. That is not the case with the TRUE Majors – they have managed to build in enough flexibility and comfort while keeping your feet in place while you swing. It is definitely the most stable golf shoe they have ever released.
The sock passage layer is back, which was probably my favorite feature of last year's releases. If you put them on, you know what makes these shoes different from most of the competition. Comfort is the cornerstone of TRUE Linkswear, all of their shoes are designed to be worn by golfers on the course (something I always support). I don't think you will find another brand there that can beat them on consolation.
Brandon Wallach told me that every shoe they now design is passed through an obsessive test field and the final litmus test is whether company employees would like to wear the shoes themselves. If not, the design will be demolished.
You have two color options with The Majors; you see a darker version below. If you know them, hopefully more will come.
The exterior is designed with leather that they claim to be their most durable yet waterproof. If they can surpass last year's releases, these shoes will last the elements you encounter on the track and last a long time.
One thing I would like to note is that the Majors are a bit more comfortable than their earlier releases. I have noticed that the size of the golf shoes can vary considerably between companies. The TRUE Originals in size 10 fit me perfectly when I wear thicker socks (I also have wide feet). The Majors are certainly a bit shorter, and that's why they say on the website that if you're in between sizes, you have to order. The company offers a 30-day no-questions return window, so you can get a refund or exchange if you are not satisfied.
Golfers who want more stability for their feet while swinging will love these shoes. I also have to note that the Majors are a nailless shoe. The tread on the bottom is exactly the same as the outsiders who replace them. As with most companies that offer nailless shoes, you do not get the same traction on the course as with soft spines. However, I feel a lot of grip on my own swing. That is a somewhat subjective function that depends on the golfer.
As a bonus you also get a nice carrying case.
The Majors VS. The Originals
My go-to golf shoe is The Original, but now the Majors are a worthy choice for me on the golf course, while I strictly wore the Outsiders as a casual shoe. If you are torn between the two models, I try to give you my impressions about their difference.
The TRUE Originals offer their classic design, which is meant to make your feet feel more connected to the ground. The sole is thinner with a wider toe box with what they call a "zero drop". In essence you get more a bare foot feeling on the track with great comfort. Some golfers love the feeling (like me), others who are looking for more stability and a more conventional fit, may find it a bit strange.
I wear the Majors on one foot and the Originals on another, and I can immediately see the difference. If you want a more traditional fit that lifts your feet off the ground and gives more general support, go with the Majors. To be honest, I'm both going to wear the course this year
Left: Majors, Right: Originals. The originals have more width and space in the toe box.
The Originals cost $ 149 and the Majors cost $ 199, bringing TRUE in line with other premium golf shoe brands such as Ecco.
The Collection Grows
I have to hand it over to TRUE Linkswear, it was a bold move to replace a shoe that was already a winner, but I think they did it. The Major is a golf shoe that has everything: comfort, stability, durability, protection against the elements, and I think they also look pretty sharp. If you are looking for an alternative brand in golf shoes, and all those things are important to you, I don't think you will be disappointed if you try them out.
During the PGA show I saw some other releases that are planned for the rest of the year. I have been sworn to secrecy, but more are coming from them, making them a competitor in the golf world and beyond. The company is now heading in a much better direction and people are starting to notice them again. This is good news for golfers because I always had the feeling that there was not enough variety in the shoe category.
You can purchase the TRUE Major for $ 199 directly here on their website.