Every year I'm on the lookout for the most comfortable golf shoes. I'm a big advocate for golfers walking the course when they can, and having the right shoe can make all the difference.
One of my favorite companies in this category is TRUE Linkswear. Their first big release of 2019 is called the TRUE Major - their first tour-level shoe. I've had a chance to try them out for the last couple of months, and I think it's another winner from a brand that specializes in golf shoes for those who walk the course.
A Spectacular Turnaround
Last year TRUE Linkswear pulled off one of the greatest turnarounds I've seen in the industry. It's very difficult for small to medium-sized businesses to make it in the golf market. I've spoken with dozens of brands at this point and they each face similar challenges. Do you go strictly online? Go for the green grass/retail market? A mixture of both?
TRUE had built up a large base of loyal fans since the company first introduced their shoes in 2009. But somewhere along the way, they started to struggle with the kinds of shoes they wanted to make and how they sold to the market. Around 2016 the company had gone very quiet, and many wondered if they were going out of business.
In late 2017 they announced a rebirth of the brand with two new designs - the TRUE Originals and Outsiders. Then they followed it up with The Knits, a lightweight spring/summer shoe which brought them attention outside of just the golf category.
All three shoes were home runs in my opinion for different reasons. I now own seven pairs total - the Originals are my go-to pair on the course and the Outsiders and Knits are my casual shoe of choice. Golf fans cheered pretty loud because they sold out of each model several times. The quality (and comfort) of the shoes were on a whole other level of what they had done before. If you look on their site, they are very transparent about how they source their materials, what goes into the design, and even their business strategy.
I can tell you that their claims live up to the hype. I've logged some serious miles on all my shoes and they still are in excellent condition. Anecdotally, I can tell you that quality (and waterproofing) of the leather is no joke. In the late summer, my town got the worst rainfall it had ever seen. In 30 minutes we received roughly 4-6 inches of rain that had cars floating around our downtown area. I was rushing up and down the staircase of the side entrance to our newly-finished basement with buckets trying to relieve the overflow of water that our storm drain couldn't handle. My TRUE Outsiders were completely submerged in water that whole time and should have been ruined. Alas, they are in as good condition as the day I bought them.
I've also clogged around in plenty of rainfall on the course in my Originals. My feet remained completely dry, and the exterior of the shoe suffered no serious damage. Long story short, TRUE Linkswear is now making 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 with their marketing director Brandon Wallach, I got some good news and some bad news. They were going to discontinue the TRUE Outsiders, which had become my personal favorite off the course (I snagged another pair of the final stock). I told them they were nuts because the shoe is so awesome. Brandon told me they were going to be replaced with what they felt was their first "Tour Level" shoe called The Major.
The TRUE Major is a culmination of a lot of the feedback they had received over the years from pro golfers like Ryan Moore. In a way, it's a shoe that is the greatest hits of all their prior releases - the top design features combined with the best materials they could source.
I've had a chance to walk many miles in them the last couple of months and hit plenty of golf balls. Needless to say, I'm impressed again.
When I first slipped the Majors on, I had two reactions. First, the comfort was off the charts - but to be honest, that wasn't much of a surprise. What did surprise me was the level of support and stability the shoe offered. Usually, golfers who want more support in a golf shoe have to sacrifice a little bit of comfort. I find other companies feel to be a bit stiffer in this category. That's not the case with the TRUE Majors - they've managed to build in plenty of flexibility and comfort while keeping your feet in place while you swing. It's definitely the most stable golf shoe they have ever released.
The sock fit layer is back, which was probably my favorite feature from last year's releases. When you slip them on, you'll know what makes these shoes different than most of the competition. Comfort is the cornerstone of TRUE Linkswear, all of their shoes are designed to be worn by golfers who walk the course (something I am always in favor of). I don't think you'll find another brand out there that can beat them on comfort.
Brandon Wallach told me that every shoe they design now is put through an obsessive testing ground, and the final litmus test is whether or not employees of the company would want to wear the shoes themselves. If not, the design gets scrapped.
You've got two color options with The Majors; you can see a darker version below. Knowing them, there will hopefully be more on the way.
The exterior is designed with leather that they claim is their most durable and waterproof yet. If they can outdo last year's releases then these shoes will hold up to the elements you face on the course and last you a long time.
One thing I would note is that the Majors are a bit snugger than their prior releases. I've found that golf shoe sizing can vary quite a bit between companies. The TRUE Originals in a size 10 are a perfect fit for me when I wear thicker socks (I also have wide feet). The Majors are definitely a bit shorter, which is why they say on the website that if you are in between sizes you should order up. The company offers a 30-day no questions return window so you can get a refund or exchange if you're not happy.
Golfers who want more stability for their feet while they swing are going to love these shoes. I also should note that the Majors are a spikeless shoe. The tread on the bottom is exactly the same as the Outsiders which they are replacing. As with most companies who offer spikeless shoes you are not going to get the same traction on the course that you would with soft spikes. However, I feel its plenty of traction for my own swing. That's a somewhat subjective feature that depends on the golfer.
As a bonus, you'll also get a nice carrying bag.
The Majors VS. The Originals
My go-to golf shoe has been The Original, but now the Majors are a worthy choice for me on the golf course whereas I strictly wore the Outsiders as a casual shoe. If you're torn between the two models I'll try to give you my impressions on 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." Essentially, you get more of a barefoot feel on the course with plenty of comfort. Some golfers love the feeling (like me), others who are looking for more stability and a more conventional fit might find it a little awkward.
Wearing the Majors on one foot and the Originals on another, I can immediately tell the difference. If you want a more traditional fit that raises your feet a bit off the ground and more overall support, then go with the Majors. To be honest, I'm going to wear both on the course this year.
The Collection Grows
I have to hand it to TRUE Linkswear, it was a bold move replacing a shoe that was already a winner, but I think they pulled it off. The Major is a golf shoe that has it all - 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 footwear, and all of those things are important to you, then I don't think you will be disappointed if you try them out.
At the PGA Show, I saw some other releases that are slated for the rest of the year. I am sworn to secrecy, but there is, even more, coming down the line from them that is going to make them a contender in the golf world and outside of it. The company is headed in a much better direction now, and people are starting to take notice of them again. This is good news for golfers because I always felt there wasn't enough variety in the shoe category.
You can purchase the TRUE Major for $199 directly on their website here.