Review: TRUE Linkswear phx Shoes

The Newest Addition to the Family
In 2011 TRUE Linkswear took the golfing industry by storm, creating the first real barefoot platform golf shoe.  Early last year when I wore my TRUE Tour shoes everyone was asking what they were, by the end of the year strangers were commenting about how they liked my TRUEs.  They went from obscurity to popularity in one year.  Based on the Tours and Stealths I wore last year I know why, their comfort and function are amazing.  So what would TRUE do for 2012?  They completely revamped their shoe line with a new outsole platform and added a couple new models to the line.  The Tours and Stealths are virtually the same except for the outsole.  The new model “phx” is aimed at a different market than the other two models.   The phx comes in at a lower price point, with a couple of other features.
The new style of the phx is the biggest feature of these shoes that will attract buyers.  Some complained that the original TRUEs looked like clown shoes. The stitched uppers of the phx look much like a stylish/casual dress shoe.   The phx answered that complaint with excellent styling.

The water repellant nature of these shoes is another feature allowing these to come in at a lower price point.  But considering the design aspect of these shoes it comes as no surprise.  The Tours and Stealths were designed with the Pacific Northwest in mind, while the phx (or Phoenix) were aimed at a drier climate.  That is not to say your feet will get soaked in these shoes, they do repel water like dew, light rain and dampness, but puddles and heavy rain will not stay away from your socks with these on.

The other noticeable change is the tongue of this shoe.  These don’t have the neoprene sock liner like the Tours or Stealths.  This has some advantages of really being able to open these up and let them air out after a round after a steamy round, but it is noticeable that there is a tongue in these shoes compared to the previous sock liner.

The barefoot platform remains the same.  This is still and will always be the selling point of TRUEs.  They have zero heel lift, a wide forefoot and are super flexible.  I have found to really enjoy this.  I play almost exclusively in shoes with this platform and have seen the benefits to my game.

The new outsole looks like it would have even less traction than previous models.  Initial concerns with TRUEs 1.0 were it looked like they would slip, which they never did. These look like they are even more likely to slip, but they don’t slip either.  The 2.0 sole looks like it has only a few lugs to hold your feet to the ground but they work great, actually even better than the previous sole.  The biggest reason is that the 1.0 outsoles sometimes would collect some mud or grass over the course of a round and cause a little slippage.  The 2.0 soles don’t collect anything, they are clean from debris hole after hole, round after round.  So now you can be even more confident in close to the ground traction in every condition.

I gave these shoes the real test with on-course and off-course walking at the PGA show in Orlando.  I wore them for 2 days straight.  This is about as much walking as I will ever do over a 2 day period.  I wore them to the demo day which is a giant 360* driving range.  Not only did I walk around the circle a couple of times, I also had to back-track multiple times with the various meetings I had set up.  I was all over the range which has side hills, tight turf, deep grass, sidewalks and everything in between.  For the afternoon it was off to the course for 18 holes.  They performed just as billed.  Comfortable for all 18 holes, my feet weren’t complaining at all. It was dry and hard, and these shoes still offered great cushion and comfort. I also had many compliments about how nice the new TRUE phx shoes looked.  The night brought walking down International drive for dinner and drinks.  I put on some good mileage on day 1. 

The second day brought me to the Orange County Convention Center for the indoor part of the show.  This place is huge and it was back and forth from one end to the other all morning long.  I didn’t plan out my meetings very well; I was always at the wrong end for my next meeting so it was walking/almost running to the other end.  If only I had used a pedometer, I put on the miles that morning.  The afternoon brought golf again, this time the course was a little damp from some morning sprinkles.  I didn’t slip once or even felt like I was going to slip.  Traction was excellent, even the water repelling was good.  No wet feet from the damp grass.  The night brought more walking up and down International drive for dinner and drinks.  At the end of day 2 my feet still felt great.  These shoes never left my feet (besides sleeping) for 2 days.  I went from surface to surface; from golf to dinner without even thinking about taking off these shoes.

TRUE offers 3 different shoes aimed at 3 audiences, but the all offer the same amazing barefoot platform now with the 2.0 outsole.  The phx model is best for someone that doesn’t need waterproofing but wants the most stylish of the TRUE models.

For more information:

Quick Hits
+2.0 outsole offers excellent traction
+Stitched stylish uppers
+Comfortable barefoot platform

–Only water-repellent
–Noticeable tongue