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Review: Vesti Ascendi Apparel

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Pros: One of the most comfortable and wearable garments in its category. The Vesti Ascendi shirt and tie will help you to make a statement, both on and off the course.

Cons: While Vesti Ascendi is surprisingly comfortable, the dress shirt is not designed to accommodate a golfer on a hot summer day. Some golfers aren’t prepared to ditch their casual golfing attire in favor of a more sophisticated look, or pay the price tag associated with that style.

Bottom Line: If you possess an adventurous spirit, the Vesti Ascendi brand of shirts and ties will not disappoint you with it’s great fit and bold style. Give your favorite short-sleeve polo shirt a day off and golf like a gentleman.

Overview

A shirt and tie, as much at home in a boardroom on Madison Avenue as on a golf course in Madison, Wisconsin; that’s the premise behind Vesti Ascendi, an up-and-coming apparel label founded by Ryan Heiman a little over a year ago.

Heiman is not a fashion designer by trade. He isn’t skilled with a needle and thread. He makes a living as a Lutheran Pastor, and his love of golf (and its traditions) derive from his childhood days picking up the game from his father. The idea of Vesti Ascendi — latin for “dress up” — was a solution to a problem: how to seamlessly transition from the office to the course for a quick nine without having to carry around an extra set of clothes.

“I started really sketching and going after it January of 2013, after visiting the PGA Show,” Heiman said. “I walked and looked at every apparel booth that was there and realized that my idea wasn’t represented.”

To come up with the concept, Heiman critiqued his own wardrobe, studying both dress shirts and polos. He systematically picked apart both things he liked and didn’t like until he had a list of features he felt would enable his shirt to function for the golf swing while maintaining the sophistication and formality of his everyday workwear.

Working with a manufacturer in Peru, Heiman went through six prototypes before signing off on a finished product.

“Since I don’t sew myself, I had to work closely with an apparel designer and the factory to get the specs to where I wanted,” Heiman said. “The retention straps on my sleeves, for instance, they did those wrong on the first four shirts.”

The retention straps, as mentioned by Heiman, allow you to roll up the sleeves and hold them in place for a more casual look. It also allows the shirt to be worn on warmer days.

A Vesti Ascendi shirt is made from 95 percent Peruvian cotton and 5 percent spandex, allowing for plenty of stretch. The shirt’s forgiveness is further accentuated by a seamless extension pleat that replaces the traditional yoke between the shoulder blades.

As for the tie itself, no, it doesn’t flap in the breeze. A clever, patent-pending “tie rail” uses an elastic strap and button system to secure it in place. To the uninitiated, the Vesti Ascendi look must seem like an overly-complicated garment to slip into for a round of golf. Trust me, I felt the same way at first. But once you have it on and start waggling the club, you’ll quickly forget why you believed it was a contrivance in the first place.

Performance

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The Vesti Ascendi dress shirt is as comfortable as any polo I have ever worn. At no time did I feel it was impeding on my ability to swing a club or distracting me on the putting green. The length of the sleeves felt just right and there’s extra room in the chest, perhaps just a touch more than I would like. The contrasting pima-cotton collar is extra soft and is devoid of any tags might rub up against the skin.

The Peruvian cotton yarn used in the shirts is rugged enough to withstand being washed the hundreds of times golfers will expect, and is highly resistant to fading or shrinking. The shirt does wrinkle easily; it’s not a grab off the hanger and dash-to-the-course, polyester-blend polo you might be accustomed to wearing.

You may be thinking to yourself that Vesti Ascendi is a gimmick, that it’s designed to amuse golfers who like to throw on a pair of knickers and play a round or two with hickory-shafted clubs in an exhibition for the thrill of it. Rest assured, it’s not.

Two separate high schools, one in California and the other in Minnesota, have partnered with Heiman to outfit their varsity golf teams. If Vesti Ascendi is good enough for structured competition, surely it’s good enough for your five-dollar nassau games on Sunday with the boys.

Looks and Feel

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The Vesti Ascendi line offers three different shirt styles: white, grey and light blue with coordinating ties. The shirts are currently on sale for $100 (normally $150) and are available in limited quantities. Each shirt and tie that is purchased arrives with a custom-made Vesti Ascendi-branded wooden hanger and a handwritten note by Heiman; an unexpected and welcome nicety.

The shirts can be worn tucked, or untucked, and with or without the tie. I personally prefer the more the refined look and I recommend coordinating your Vesti Ascendi shirt with a pair of dark trousers from Dunning or Matte Grey. For a little more pop, go ahead and treat yourself to one of the unique Jacob Hill leather belts designed exclusively for Vesti Ascendi and sold directly through Heiman’s website.

On cooler days I pair my dress shirt with either a contrasting merino wool vest or cardigan. It’s a look that The Hawk would definitely approve, and is on a short list of inspiring styles that Heiman channeled into the Vesti Ascendi brand.

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The Takeaway

Heiman is a savvy guy. He didn’t launch Vesti Ascendi with the absurd hope of connecting with and swaying the flat-bill crowd to embrace a more sophisticated look.

“My success model is probably different than a lot of companies,” Heiman said. “I don’t mind being small and doing something unique.

“I see it as a niche brand, not something mainstream that will be available at every pro shop. I’d like to see it be available at some of the private clubs or resort destinations where customers are looking to take something home that isn’t necessarily another polo with a Nike logo sewn on it.”

Realistically, is Vesti Ascendi appropriate for a casual round at your local muni, or to be worn on a sweltering day in the middle of July? Perhaps not. But it’s a great way to differentiate yourself from the pack if you’re competing in your club championship or celebrating an outing on Father’s Day, or making a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Scotland. If you find yourself in any of those situations consider ditching the big logos, the engineered stripes and the bright colorways.

The phrase, “golf like a gentleman,” isn’t just a motto Heiman plumbed from the annals of golf history to sell shirts; it’s also a good piece of advice.

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Rusty Cage is a contributing writer for GolfWRX, one of the leading publications online for news, information and resources for the connected golfer. His articles have covered a broad spectrum of topics - equipment and apparel reviews, interviews with industry leaders, analysis of the pro game, and everything in between. Rusty's path into golf has been an unusual one. He took up the game in his late thirties, as suggested by his wife, who thought it might be a good way for her husband to grow closer to her father. The plan worked out a little too well. As his attraction to the game grew, so did his desire to take up writing again after what amounted to 15-year hiatus from sports journalism dating back to college. In spite of spending over a dozen years working in the technology sector as a backend programmer in New York City, Rusty saw an opportunity with GolfWRX and ran with it. A graduate from Boston University with a Bachelor's in journalism, Rusty's long term aspirations are to become one of the game's leading writers, rising to the standard set by modern-day legends like George Peper, Mark Frost and Dan Jenkins. GolfWRX Writer of the Month: August 2014 Fairway Executive Podcast Interview http://golfindustrytrainingassociation.com/17-rusty-cage-golf-writer (During this interview I discuss how golf industry professionals can leverage emerging technologies to connect with their audience.)

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. J

    May 25, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Meh… 150.00 price tag for a startup….

    Get some credibility first.

  2. vegasgolfandsneakers

    May 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Sounds like a bad spinoff to Alial Fital.

  3. 3 putts

    May 22, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Who wouldn’t want to wear a shirt and tie when it’s 80+ out. Talk about getting some sideways looks, haha. This seems like an epic fail to me.

  4. marcel

    May 21, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    the tie is nice touch – with the tennis ball at the end would make it nice practice equipment.

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Adidas TOUR360 XT Twin Boa Golf Shoe

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The Product

The new Adidas TOUR360 XT Twin Boa, available in North America now, selling for $250 at adidas.com (only available on Adidas’ website, this shoe will not be at retail).

The Pitch

From Adidas: “The adidas TOUR360 XT Twin Boa® is the epitome of performance golf footwear, designed to offer micro-adjustability in two separate zones. The first is the independent main dial with high strength Boa lace that when combined with the forged 360 wrap creates unparalleled power for your swing by locking the area between your midfoot and forefoot. The second provides micro-adjustability from the middle to bottom instep for a customized fit, feel, and support. The Boa Fit System activates both zones to deliver the ultimate in power, stability, and performance.”

Our take on Adidas TOUR360 XT Twin Boa

BOA technology, a ratcheting cable system that replaces laces for securing the shoe, has been around for a while now. It was a radical departure when it first hit the market and traditionalists viewed it with some skepticism, but those who tried shoes using the system became hooked on the ease of use, secure feel, and reliability of the system. I have had to replace shoelaces, but I have never had a cable fail in a pair of shoes with Boa technology.

With the TOUR360 XT Twin Boa, Adidas has introduced the next step on Boa technology (pun intended). The shoe has a sleek, technology-forward look that is associated with Adidas products. It even looks good in the size 13 that I sport. The color selection is limited, to say the least. You can choose from white with green trim or white without green trim. But the star of the show is the Boa technology, which is implemented in two dials located on the outside of each shoe, replacing the one dial on previous iterations.

Each dial controls the fit for a different part of the shoe, and the ratcheting dial gives the wearer the most precise fit available. The real advantage over laces is that the Boa system stays secure longer and is easier to tighten than re-tying shoelaces. It’s so easy to reach down and give a couple of clicks that it became routine for me to check on each tee box to make sure I had a good fit before teeing off. Equally pleasing is the quick release on each dial that gets you out of your shoes at the end of a round without the terror of facing a wet double-knot.

The shoe is waterproof leather, and it is light and comfortable enough to walk 18 on hilly tracks. I personally would have preferred a slightly wider toe box, but that is nit-picking.

Overall, the Adidas TOUR360 XT Twin Boa is a performance shoe that promises, fit, comfort and stability, and it delivers on all fronts. Not everyone has $250 to drop on a pair of golf shoes, but if you want the tech on your feet to match the tech in your bag, then the Adidas TOUR360 XT Twin Boa is perfect for you.

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Linksoul golf apparel

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Product: Linksoul golf apparel

Pitch: From Linksoul “Linksoul is more a philosophy than a brand. More of an experience than a clothing company. Linksoul is the collective life’s work of people who care about each other and enjoy collaborating. We believe in creating products we value, with the people we love, for the good of our families and our community. Our roots are in golf. We descend from a long line of golfers, craftsmen and artists. But now we fill our time with many interests, including surfing, skiing, hiking, yoga, travel, cooking, parenting, dog walking…We believe that these everyday practices teach us the most about ourselves.”

Our Take on Linksoul’s golf apparel

Linksoul, whose mantra is “Tempus Fugit” (Time Flies), primarily provides golf clothing made to be just as appropriate and comfortable to wear on the course as off of it. The company has a range of different types of polos, tee-shirts, shorts, and pants available, but it was a button-down shirt from the company which I was most intrigued to check out.

Right off the bat, the brand’s Anza Heathered Button-Down shirt impressed with its ultra-soft fabric. To complement that softness, the shirt is wonderfully light and boasts an excellent fit. The length of the shirt sleeves is ideal, so you won’t need to keep fidgeting before and after each shot, and the comfort and fit combined gives you that added flexibility in your swing. The collar fits naturally the moment you put the shirt on and marks the clear quality that went into its creation.

It seems many are on the fence about whether button-down shirts on the course are for them (I was one of those!), but my take now is that they are the ideal summer shirt on the course. In the heat, comfort has to be the number one priority, and the button-down structure gives you so much more air. With Linksoul’s Anza button-down you’ll experience maximum breathability.

Linksoul offers the shirt in six color codes (White, Black Heather, Tidepool Heather, Ink Heather, Dark Gray Heather, and Dawn Heather). For $80, considering the caliber of the shirt, the only gripe I could make is that there aren’t more exotic colors available!

The brand’s Boardwalker Shorts are another piece of apparel that I found to contain the perfect blend of comfort and quality, as well as looking great. The shorts contain a four-way stretch fabric which gives you a plethora of flexibility during your swing, while the weight of the shorts I also found to be on point. The shorts are lightweight but not so much as to take away from the durability and quality of the shorts.

 

There is plenty of mobility on offer with the Boardwalker Shorts, while I also enjoyed that the shorts are a classic style length and sit right at the knee.

You can choose from eight different color codes (Black, Chalk, Khaki, Dark Gray, True Black, Bronze, Navy, Army, and River), and the shorts retail at $76. With their no-fuss look, high quality, and a clear focus on comfort, Linksoul’s Boardwalker shorts offer everything you’d want in a pair of golf shorts.

For those that prefer to play solely in trousers, you’ll be glad to hear that the company provide the same product in a pant style—the BoardWalker Pant.

There’s a huge amount to like about the apparel Linksoul is offering up, and at prices which are extremely reasonable considering the quality provided. Their site Linksoul.com offers a multitude of polos, button-downs (in both short and long sleeve), shorts, pants, and tee-shirts. If high-quality adaptable golf apparel is your thing, then it’s a company well worth checking out.

 

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Air Jordan ADG golf shoes

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Product: Air Jordan ADG golf shoes (available at Dick’s and Golf Galaxy). 

Pitch: Via Jordan: “Jump up the leaderboard in the Nike Men’s Air Jordan ADG Golf Shoes. Famed for its incredible comfort and lightweight feel, the ADG features a Zoom Air unit for responsive cushioning and an integrated lacing system for a secure, supportive fit. The Integrated Traction pattern offers you enhanced grip on every terrain and the signature Jumpman logos give you extra style on the course.”

Our take on Air Jordan ADG golf shoes

Confined to the feet of Keegan Bradley for years, the iconic sneaker brand seems to have proof of concept in the golf space, as evidenced by the growing roster of tour players (Pat Perez, Harold Varner III), and numerous retail offerings.

We got to test one of said retail offerings: the just-released spikeless Air Jordan ADG. Now, the Jordan style may not be for every golfer (can’t imagine them catching on in Tuesday morning senior leagues across the nation), but if you like the look of Js on the court or street, you’ll love the look of these. Indeed, you’ll probably love the look of all Jordan offerings for the fairway, as the company has done an excellent job of bringing its aesthetic to golf, rather than the opposite (if that makes sense…tacking the Jumpman logo on a pair of saddle shoes was never going to work).

So, appearance wise, the elephant print leather upper and other signature brand elements look great (and the translucent sole is an awesome touch). However, when it comes to golf shoes, particularly of the spikeless variety, we’re always concerned about stability during the swing (both in terms of contact with the ground and within the shoe internally) and appropriate support/comfort for the five-plus mile trek that is a round of golf.

On both of the aforementioned fronts, these shoes are superb. You can feel the comfort and support the instant your heel hits the Jumpan Golf logo on the insole, and the shoes do everything you’d ask a spikeless shoe to do on course. Highly recommended; we look forward to seeing what his Airness’ cordwainers come up with next.

A look at the white colorway, via Jordan, below. 

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