The week prior to my trip to Ballyneal, I received a nice present in the mailbox from the folks at TRUE Linkswear: a pair of the new black TRUE Stealths.
After walking in them for 5 rounds at Ballyneal, and several more since getting home, I’ve come to the conclusion that TRUE did what I thought was impossible: improve on the already amazing TRUE Tours.
The design for the TRUE Stealths came about due to the direct input of Ryan Moore. They’ve basically taken the extremely well received TRUE Tours and made a few tweaks (if you’re not already familiar with them, check out my review of the TRUE Tours).
The first think you’ll probably notice is that the Stealth’s sport a cap-toe design instead of a saddle like the Tours. Personally, I think it’s a nicer look that gives you more off-course flexibility.
Second, they used a higher quality leather upper. You can tell when handling or wearing the shoe that the leather feels more “substantial”. It definitely feels more in line with the price tag. I’ll also just throw out there that when I first pulled my $250 Adidas Adipures out of the box, all I could smell was glue. When I pulled the Stealths out of the box, they smelled like leather.
The third significant change is that they tweaked the last (the form/shape that they use to create the shoe). On the Tours, the toe-box actually curls up just a little bit near the end of the shoe. This has the effect of making them feel just a bit smaller than they actually are. The Stealths have a completely flat last, which effectively makes them fit about 1/4 size larger than the Tours.
Additionally, the shape of the last is just a tiny bit narrower in the toe box. They still don’t look like regular golf shoes, but they don’t stand out quite as much as the Tours. For me, the fit of the Stealths surpasses the Tours, which I didn’t think was possible. The only negative I’ve heard is that the Stealths don’t accommodate super wide feet (EEE’s) as well as the Tours.
Other than that, the Stealths are very similar to the TRUE Tours. They still embody the same “barefoot” approach to golf shoes. They feature the same outsole, the same waterproofing, and the same slipper-like comfort and flexibility.
In my opinion, these are the best golf shoes on the market. At $200, they’re not cheap, but with the improvements they’ve made over the TRUE Tours, I think they compare very favorably with high end Adidas or Nike shoes, which run in the same price range. They’re available in either Brown or Black, and for the time being, only on TRUE’s website.
And be sure to keep your eyes peeled for some really cool new stuff coming from TRUE Linkswear as we get into 2012. From talking with their President, Rob Rigg, about some of their plans, I think people are going to be very impressed with what they’ve got coming down the pipeline.