I’ve spent some time now with two of True Linkswear’s 2012 models, the Tours and the Stealths. The short version is that they took an already great shoe line-up and made it even better. Click continue for the long version.
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of True Linkswear. They’ve by far the most comfortable golf shoes I’ve ever used. The only downside was that due to the “barefoot” design, they looked a little unique compared to most golf shoes. True basically spent the last year taking all of the feedback they received and using it to create an awesome line-up for 2012.
A couple of months ago, True Linkswear sent over a pair of the 2012 True Tours for me to check out. I was intrigued. The two biggest changes that jumped out at me were the styling changes and new outsole.
From a styling perspective, you occasionally heard people say that they felt like they were wearing clown shoes when trying on the 2011 Trues. I disagreed, but I think it will be very hard for anybody to make that statement about the 2012 models. True has slimmed down the overall width of the toe box. It’s not much narrower, but they’ve managed to shape it in a way that retains the barefoot comfort of the 2011 models while looking more like a traditional golf shoe.
They also switched to from a TPU outsole to a rubber outsole with a new tread pattern. The new tread pattern seems fine to me. I haven’t noticed a difference in performance compared to the 2011 models. The nice thing about the rubber however is that it no longer squeaks on concrete or hardwood floors. This was probably my biggest annoyance with the 2011 models and they’ve done a great job of fixing it for 2012.
True sent me the black pair of True Tours pictured above. The Tours come with 2 sets of laces. I think the grey laces look really slick and go well with the shoe. From a comfort perspective, I would put the 2012 Tours just about on par with the 2011 Stealths.
I will note that the sizing is slightly different for the new models. The 2011′s fit a little bit small for me (I had to go up 1/2 size). I don’t have to do that with the 2012′s. They fit right on the money. The nice thing is that the shoes are now carried in many golf shops around the country so you can probably go try them on in person to make sure you get the right fit.
I liked the Tours so much that I wanted a second pair. I decided to purchase a pair of white/mud Stealths. One True Linkswear employee told me that the Tours were great but that the Stealths were “like putting your feet in a tub of butter”.
I thought that was a pretty weird analogy, but after getting them, I think it’s correct. With the 2012 Stealths, they took everything about the 2011 models and kicked it up a notch. The leather is ridiculously nice. They’ve replaced the mesh liner with a super supple leather liner. It really is the softest and most comfortable golf shoe that I’ve ever worn. And with the updated 2012 styling, they really do look as nice, if not nicer than anything on the market.
The 2012 Tours retail for $150 and the Stealths go for $200. They’re both great shoes, but I would encourage anybody considering the Tours to at least think very hard about the Stealths. Yes, they’re $50 more, but in my opinion, they’re more than worth the difference.
True also listened to feedback that they needed to introduce a more budget friendly shoe and released the $100 PHX model. I haven’t tried the PHX model personally, but I have played around with them a bit in the store. They’re definitely not as flexible as the Tours or Stealths and they lose the 2-year waterproof guarantee that the other two models carry. But at $99, they will reach a segment of the golf population that isn’t going to spend $150-$200 on a pair of shoes regardless of how great they are.
All in all, I think that True has released a great lineup for 2012. My opinion hasn’t changed from 2011 that the True Tours and Stealths are the best golf shoes on the market today. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for 2013.