Good evening everyone. We recently had the chance to catch up with Rob Rigg from TRUE linkswear. The company name might not ring a bell now but you’ll hear a lot more about them in the near future. Next time you see Ryan Moore on TV, have a look at his feet. Those cool looking shoes are from TRUE Linkswear.
1. Some of our readers might know your shoes as “the shoes that Ryan Moore wears”. How did TRUE linkswear and Ryan Moore get together?
Everything about TRUE linkswear has been serendipitous. From the early partnership between Sean Eidson (our CEO and Co-Founder) and I to the discovery of our shoe designer to the meeting with Ryan Moore, it’s been really cool. When Sean and I were thinking of potential Tour players who would 1) understand our concept 2) find it interesting and 3) consider wearing it on Tour – there was only one pro we could think of – Ryan Moore. Ryan’s honesty and authenticity is so refreshing we knew that if Ryan wore our shoe it would be because he wanted to, not because we were paying him.
The story about how we got together is pretty funny in its “long” version but I’ll keep it short and sweet. The start of the relationship began with a PowerPoint deck that Sean and I created for Ryan and Jeremy Moore to review. Getting it to Ryan and Jeremy would not have happened without Todd Rohrer of MacKenzie Golf Bags and Ari Techner of Scratch Golf. Ari had invited Todd to Scottsdale to meet Ryan and Todd was kind enough to bring our deck down and hand it off to Jeremy. That deck was the start of a process that led Sean and I to visit with Ryan and Jeremy in Scottsdale in early 2010 and formally pitch them the idea of what is now the TRUE tour Golf Shoe.
2. Did Ryan have any input into the design of your shoes?
Absolutely. The concept of the TRUE tour had been clearly defined – ie) a golf shoe built on a barefoot platform that was comfortable, lightweight and close to the ground. But we were still tweaking the styling and, most importantly, the traction design on the sole. Ryan provided us with some excellent input on ideas for the sole design and also thoughts on the upper. The TRUE tour has been a collaboration between everyone on our team and we are very excited about the final product.
3. Your shoes are filled with technology. One of the most obvious being your “Ergo-Traction” tread. How does this tread stack up against traditional plastic spikes?
Obviously the TPU “Ergo-Traction” platform on the TRUE tour is different than anything else on the market. Most golf shoes rely on spikes for traction, as if the inspiration for the golf shoe was a dress shoe. Our inspiration for a golf shoe is the human foot. Having spoken with several designers and engineers we determined that the key to traction, in all environments, was surface contact with the ground.
To maximize surface contact we created a “Barefoot Platform” that was wider, especially in the toe box, than a standard golf shoe. The wider toe box allows each of your toes to function independently from one another instead of being squished together. This is tremendously helpful during the golf swing as natural stability is significantly increased because the golfer can literally feel the course.
We took Ryan’s input, those from designers, engineers and our own and created a traction pattern on the sole using bars and knobs that work naturally with the foot. There are horizontal bars to provide traction while walking up and downhill, vertical bars to provide traction during the swing, and knobs to assist in both situations. Also, very importantly, the flexible sole and spaces in between the knobs and bars keep the golfer connected with the ground on a sensory basis.
We are really looking forward to getting consumer feedback on the traction of the TRUE tour and its TPU “Ergo-Traction” sole versus shoes with Soft-Spikes. Early feedback from Ryan Moore and our product testers has been very positive versus soft spikes in all environments. However, that is something that the consumer needs to decide and we hope that they will give us a chance.
4. Aside from the different tread, what makes TRUE linkswear shoes different from other golf shoes on the market?
The biggest difference between the TRUE tour and other shoes on the market is comfort. The tour was designed to be the first truly hybrid golf shoe ever created – ie) a shoe that you can wear both on and off the course. Early feedback has contained phrases like “most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn” and “these feel like slippers with traction”. A lot of our product testers wear their TRUEs all the time – around town, at work, on the course, etc. They are that comfortable.
Another key difference is the overall design of the shoe and how that impacts the golfer’s experience. Everything about the TRUE tour has been boiled down to the essence of what we believe is necessary. The upper is soft, comfortable, waterproof and very light. The midsole has been removed entirely (that is where most golf shoes “anchor” the soft spike) and the outsole is only 2.5mm thick with 4mm traction bars and knobs. The comfortable footbed is another few millimeters. This puts the golfer as close to the ground as possible which allows them to feel the course like never before. Most product testers cannot believe the difference and it is very obvious from the first step – suddenly you can really get a feel for the grass under your feet, the subtle breaks in the green, the texture of the sand in the bunker. Our feet are very sensitive and for many years golf shoes have been robbing us of feedback that is certainly available with the right design.
5. Where can people pick up a pair?
At this point, the TRUE tour is only available online at www.truelinkswear.com, but we are partnering with green grass accounts and are in discussions to partner with a fantastic big box golf retailer. If people sign up for our newsletter at www.truelinkswear.com we will let them know as we add golf shops and retailers.