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Adidas’ new Tour360 golf shoes have Dustin Johnson’s fingerprints all over them

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Dustin Johnson, currently the world’s No. 1-ranked golfer, wasn’t in Adidas Golf’s R&D room sketching Tour360 silhouettes or mixing up thermoplastic urethanes with scientists in the lab, but he did have a major influence on the company’s new Tour360 golf shoes.

The new Tour360s are being somewhat touted as Johnson’s “signature shoe” by Adidas representatives, and according to Masun Denison, Director of Footwear at Adidas Golf, Johnson’s simple instructions played a significant role in their development. When asked what he wanted to be different about the new Tour360s versus the Tour360 Boost shoes that they replace, Johnson put the reigns on Denison.

“Don’t change them,” Johnson told Denison, according to both parties.

That’s certainly not the type of freedom the director of footwear, who’s tasked with bringing a new and better golf shoe to the market, wants to hear.

For Johnson, however, that sentiment is understandable. The man they call DJ rose to the top spot in the OWGR and captured the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont — his monkey-off-the-back major championship victory — while wearing Adidas’ Tour360 Boost shoes. So, of course, he feels comfortable with those shoes, and maybe there’s a bit of sentimental value to them, although he didn’t admit to it when I asked.

Actions speak louder than words, though. While I was sitting in a conference room with Denison discussing a pair of white Tour360 Boost shoes, Johnson walked by and his face lit up as he said, “I love those shoes.” Often a man of few words, his expression said more than he ever could. Surely Johnson has worn that shoe hundreds upon hundreds of times — countless hours on the course and practice range — and he still looks at the Tour360 Boost shoe with a glimmer in his eye.

D. Johnson hitting drivers off a green whilewearing the new Tour360 shoes during a commercial shoot

D. Johnson hits drivers off a green while wearing the new Tour360 shoes during an adidas commercial shoot.

“I don’t care if it’s the best shoe in the world, if it doesn’t look good, I ain’t wearing it.”

Johnson’s fondness for the Tour360 Boost left Denison, who’s in charge of bringing a new Tour360 shoe to the market, in a difficult position. When the world No. 1 golfer loves a golf shoe, it’s wise not to change too much for the new model, or else you risk him not wearing them in competition; that’s bad for business. Denison also can’t just leave the shoe alone and market it as a new shoe; that’s a bad look, and it does little to move the company and its athletes forward.

Push the envelope, but don’t change anything were essentially Denison’s instructions. Rock, meet hard place.

So, what’d Denison do? Well, he actually changed quite a lot (as we highlighted in our tech piece on the new Tour360 shoes). But in the end, he won Johnson’s favor with the new Tour360 golf shoes. The first time Johnson laced them up in competition was at the 2017 Northern Trust where he unleashed “the drive heard round the world” in a playoff against Jordan Spieth, ultimately making birdie to win the event. Not a bad way to kick things off with the new shoe, huh?

“I really like the [new] shoes, I think they’re great,” Johnson said. “Performance wise, looks. The sole is still the same, [Denison] made ’em a little lighter and a little softer. They just improved on the shoe from last year. I didn’t want them to change anything. They just improved pretty much on the shoe from last year.”

What kind of input did Johnson have other than “don’t change them,” though? Since they’re being touted as his signature shoes, surely he had more to say. And after a bit of prying, it turns out he did.

“We always have a couple meetings a year, an adi shoot,” Johnson explained. “Carve out some time where we sit down and talk about the product. Generally during shoots, I’ll wear the shoes. If I have feedback, I’ll give it to him.”

DustinJohnsonTour360

That story checks out. As Johnson walked off camera during an Adidas commercial shoot in Florida that I attended over the summer — after which he was firing 220-yard 6-irons that zoomed past a cameraman and at no target in particular — he walks up to Denison and says the laces on the new Tour360 shoes are too long. He said he likes to double knot the shoes, but he’d have to triple knot these to get the lace-length correct. Denison took a mental note of what the World No. 1 said, and they began discussing other parts of the shoe, all of which Johnson approved.

I later asked Denison how much he values the feedback of a Tour player, such as Dustin Johnson, and how often he really makes the changes they want.

“You know, they’re not shoe designers,” Denison says. “But they often have really good feedback that I’d never even think of. And ultimately, you want the player to be happy with the shoe and to wear the shoe. So I’d say, ‘sometimes.'”

According to Denison, Justin Rose’s sensitivity to shoe height is uncanny. Denison says if the shoe is a millimeter too high or too low, Rose calls it out. If you’ve seen Rose play golf, this doesn’t surprise you. He’s a tactician and a student of the game; certainly leading the wave of Trackman-obsessed golfers who dial in spin rates and launch angles.

Johnson, on the other hand, who says he hits a 4-iron 220 yards left-handed, seems to just… well, play golf. With that being the case, what’s his approach to providing feedback on a shoe? What’s he looking for?

“For me, if I don’t feel like I look good and I don’t feel like my shoes look good, then I might as well not even go to the golf course,” Johnson says. “I’m not gonna be comfortable, so I’m not gonna enjoy myself for the day.

“Looks are the first thing I look at. I don’t care if it’s the best shoe in the world. If it doesn’t look good, I ain’t wearing it. It’s simple for me. It could be the best performing shoe, make you hit it five yards farther or something. I’m still not gonna wear it if I don’t like the way it looks. It’s simple.”

When you’re the World No. 1, who’s also No. 2 in overall driving distance (hitting the ball 314 yards on average), I guess five yards doesn’t matter much anyway.

Since Johnson himself focuses mostly on looks with a shoe, and these are “his” shoes, let’s discuss the looks.

The new Tour360 shoes don’t look much like Tour360s of yesteryear. They look cleaner, classier, more premium with additional leather, and simply less sporty in general. Dare I say, they look more like adidas’ line of AdiPure golf shoes. Well, that’s by design.

“The new shoes combine a classic look with modern technology that have a more wide-ranging appeal,” says Denison. “[The new Tour360 shoes] close the gap between Tour360 and AdiPure; they’re less techy and more classy than ever.”

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You may also notice two of the signature designs of Tour360 shoes are gone from its new release: the “bowling shoe” dual seams on the toe, and the S-Curve in the heel. After working with Tour360 shoes for about 10 years, Dension himself struggled to think of a Tour360 shoe with a clean toe box (re: minus the “bowling shoe” look). This is the first Tour360 with no seams on the toe in Denison’s recent memory, and it’s a change that he feels will bring the shoes a more wide-ranging appeal.

“Let’s put it this way,” Denison says. “No one isn’t going to buy the shoe because it has a clean toe, but plenty of people wouldn’t buy the shoe if the toe wasn’t clean.”

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The same goes for the exclusion of the S-curve, according to Denison. He feels that going to a more standard heel shape will not put off any golfers, and the new heel design will do more to appeal to every golfer.

Despite aesthetic changes to the heel and toe, the new Tour360 shoe is largely unchanged from a performance standpoint. The new Tour360 wrap, made of TPU (thermoplastic urethane), has been raised slightly for more stability, but the shoes still leverage adidas’ popular Boost technology. The bridge, or “Torsion Tunnel,” that bridged the heel and toe portions of the Tour360 Boost soles for more stability are also present in the new Tour360 designs.

For Dustin Johnson, whose shoe philosophy starts with looks, the changes in the new Tour360 shoes make perfect sense; they perform about the same as the Tour360 Boost shoes, which he loved, and they look cleaner with all new colorways.

“The shoe’s good, I cant really feel any difference,” Johnson said. “Only thing that’s different is the toe is cleaner.”

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For Masun Denison, who was tasked with designing a whole new shoe without actually changing anything, the changes also make perfect sense. He widened the mass appeal, cleaned up the looks, and most importantly, he made a shoe DJ could start winning golf tournaments with immediately. And that’s exactly what happened.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new Tour360 shoes

Note: Adidas Golf’s new Tour360 shoes are available now in three introductory colorways (White/Black, Black/White and White/Blue) and they sell for $200. According to Adidas, additional colorways will be released in 2018.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Weesul

    Oct 3, 2017 at 1:48 am

    I love them. They make me feel and look like a golffing athlete. Kaboom!!!!

  2. lsf_21

    Oct 2, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    I just purchased a pair of last years tour 360 boost that have a leather heel. Hoping that it dosent blow out like my previous boost golf shoes. They tour 360 boost are the best golf shoes I have ever worn.

  3. rymail00

    Oct 2, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    I miss the older classy looking original Adipure, or the newer (but still few years old) Adidas Pure 360 LTD shoes. I’ve boughten a pair each of the last 2 seasons, and still “I think” the best looking and it’s extremely comfortable shoe they’ve made since.

  4. Gregory M Platupe

    Oct 2, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    I’m so happy to see this new design. My favorite pair is the original adipure shoe from about 5 years ago.i haven’t like the newer shoes cause of the double seams . I’ll be buying these

    • Weesul

      Oct 3, 2017 at 1:50 am

      We’re so happy that you’re so happy. After you buy and try them give us a review of this new design.

  5. Duh

    Oct 2, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    So why doesn’t he wear the Pure version from before?

  6. Steve

    Oct 2, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    I still prefer the traditional dress-style leather shoe with a flat sole and the spikes screwed in a tad rather than flush with the sole.
    I can even wear these shoes with a regular suit at a formal occasion …. after screwing out the spikes of course.

  7. Grizz

    Oct 2, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    These shoes are horrible. Wore them for 1 round and tore my feet up. Yes, they are the right size. For a shoe that claims right of the box comfort… they’ve got another thing coming.

    • Weesul

      Oct 3, 2017 at 1:52 am

      Sue them for abusing your feet with a rotten design. Get a good lawyer and you will win $$$$$$$$

  8. JEC

    Oct 2, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    I hope the inside of the heels don’t wear out on these like the last gen…..

    • Weesul

      Oct 3, 2017 at 1:57 am

      Perhaps your ‘heel’ is misshapen….. or maybe yer digging in too hard with your heels. You gotta float like a butterfly and swing like in a barrel.

  9. chinchbugs

    Oct 2, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    I don’t buy new shoes with someone else’s fingerprints on them…

    • Weesul

      Oct 3, 2017 at 1:59 am

      Wonder if toes have distinct ‘toeprints’…. like fingers do ….

  10. TBone

    Oct 2, 2017 at 10:50 am

    This has always been one of my favorite course shoes.

    I like to practice in spike-less and wear spikes on the course.

    • Weesul

      Oct 3, 2017 at 2:00 am

      Sam Snead played a practice round barefooted…. so the story goes …..

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What GolfWRXers are saying about Cleveland’s CBX2 wedges

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@clevelandgolfeu

In our forums, our members have been discussing Cleveland’s CBX2 wedges. WRXer ‘hammergolf’ wants to hear from single-digit players who are currently playing the wedges, and our members have been sharing their thoughts on the clubs with plenty of praise for the wedges in our forums.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • cfmgolf: “I am definitely a believer. Tried it on a whim at a PGA SuperStore in FL last fall and was stunned by the consistency of it. Changed from a RTX3 to the CBX2 in my 52* gap within a couple of weeks. Now that we are back in OH for the summer, I changed out 3 wedges (Ping Glide 3.0, and 2 of the RTX 4’s) for an entire bag of the CBX2’s. I am trying the full face in my 56* and found it to be very good also. Biggest benefit for me has been the consistency of the CBX line. Shots out of the rough that can be high on the club don’t really lose much – i.e. more forgiving. I go between a 6-8HCP, and short game is my strong point. Very happy with them so far.”
  • JCRay33: “6 handicap here and bought a couple CBX’s (54 and 58) from 2nd swing a couple months ago and absolutely love them! Way more forgiving than typical blade wedges (had vokeys before) and great feel as well. It’s easy for ego to get in the way and not want to get these, but once you realize, all that matters is performance the choice is a no-brainer and results speak for themselves really.”
  • mortimer: “CBX2 50. Excellent gap wedge for full, 3/4 shots and chipping. Forgiving, consistent and more than acceptable spin numbers. Also offset is fine to my eye. Having said all that I would not game a 58/60 degrees one if you like to manipulate the face for different shots around the green as I do. Intrigued though with the new full-face but have not seen one in person yet.”
  • Simp: “I have a set of 58, 54 & 50 raw CBX2’s allegedly tour issue, and I love them. The 58 has a grind that is lovely. I’m a 0 FYI.”
  • nicelife: “I have Srixon irons and Mizuno T20 wedges. I found the CBX2 50 was the perfect transition club between sets. LOVE the Srixon/Cleveland V-Sole. Visually the face has more grooves than I would normally like to look at, but its performance more than makes up for it. I really like the satin finish. So much so I’m thinking about refinishing my irons. Go for it you won’t be sorry.”

Entire Thread: “Cleveland’s CBX2 wedges”

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What GolfWRXers are saying about the best non-mainstream brands for golf apparel and accessories

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@linksstrathaven

In our forums, our members have been discussing non-mainstream brands offering the best apparel and accessories. WRXer ‘CousinDonuts’ kicked off the thread with a great selection, and our members have been mentioning their favorites in our forums – with a wide variety of different brand’s receiving a mention.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Mike T: “Apparel: J Lindeberg – Euro Style cut and fit. Shoes: Lamda – Handmade in Portugal.”
  • aem604: “Reigning Champ-Good active but also golf ready.”
  • Righty to Lefty: “Fenix Xcell based out of Thailand and have great gear with an Asian twist. I absolutely love all the vivid colors and options, especially from their previous collections. They also have a U.S. based collection that may suit others. Cross Sportswear based out of Sweden and have so really nice gear and a rarity which is waterproof trousers that look exactly like slacks. Antigua polos are nice quality and have some good designs. Druh has really good gear…pricey but still nice stuff. Retailer: Function 18 has quite a bit of your higher-end apparel all in one place. I start there and then go to each website individually to see what else they have available.”
  • kmay_: “Check out Pioneer Golf Co, Canadian headcover brand. Make some awesome covers and valuables pouches, starting to release some branded apparel. Prices are super fair, and if you’re in the US, they’ll be a steal.”
  • ScottWS33: “Bluegrass Fairway for headcovers, valuables pouches and scorecard holders.”
  • BobsBugsBeGone: “Best Exotic Belts: Jacob Hill Leather by Piedmont.”

Entire Thread: “Best non-mainstream brands”

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Coming out of the haze: What to expect from the OEMs in the second half of 2020

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As we slowly come out of the lockdown haze, it’s going to be interesting to see which OEMs are primed to come out swinging. From where I sit, there are a few companies that either kept the foot on the pedal or found new ways to interact with the masses. I have been tracking the major companies for different reasons, and I am optimistic on most fronts. Now, it needs to be said that everyone has been keeping the respective momentum going in their own ways—this has been a challenge for everyone, so this analysis is simply a commentary on what may come in the second half of the year.

Many good folks were either furloughed or laid off during this lockdown—that’s where we all lost. It needs to be acknowledged that we are talking about golf here, but the underlying reality of this is still devastating. I so look forward to getting into the trenches with these folks again either back where they were or at new companies.

TaylorMade became educators…and kicked off live golf again

Big giant club company or big giant marketing machine…it doesn’t matter what you label them as. TaylorMade Golf, in my opinion, turned the heartbreak of stalling one of the biggest first quarters in company history into an opportunity to start talking…and teaching. With the help of the tour team and TM athletes, TaylorMade focused hard on talking to us all during the lockdown. With multiple initiatives through social media, the Driving Relief event, and the tour staff engaging way more than usual. I believe TM created a runway to start moving quickly once stores and pro shops open up again.

Let’s face it, with the social media presence, the most robust tour staff maybe ever, and the driver everyone seems to have reserved for the top big stick of 2020, what’s not to be confident about? On the flip side, a company that big could have really taken it on the chin hard, but how they handled the lockdown—from my chair—was fun to watch and will ultimately ensure a quick restart. There is something to be said about having guys like Trottie, Adrian, and Hause in the fold informing and keeping things fun.

Rumor has it new irons are dropping in the fall/winter, which could spell two awesome bookends to a bittersweet 2020.

PXG leaned in

Why online sales for all OEMs spiked is no mystery. Boredom, desire, and a credit card are keys to any great online buying experience, but PXG made certain that if you were not a buyer previously, you may be now.

The price tag has always been a key topic with Bob Parsons’ Scottsdale-based company. It’s no secret that the clubs aren’t cheap, but during this lockdown, they did multiple strategic initiatives to not only crank up direct-to-consumer buying but also expand the PXG conversation into different areas, namely fashion.

Price cuts across the board started early and, rumor has it, enabled PXG to achieve sales numbers unlike any other period in the company’s short history. Yes, cutting prices helps unit sales, but in the case of PXG, it brought in the club customer that ordinarily shied away from PXG for financial reasons and ultimately made them buyers. That’s where PXG seems to shine, once they finally get you in, they are very effective at keeping you in the family. Mercedes-Benz AMG is like that: once you have had a taste of the Kool-Aid, it’s hard to go back to Hawaiian Punch.

In addition to the aggressive price-cutting, PXG fashion, spearheaded by President Renee Parsons, launched a new collection that is designed and manufactured by PXG. Fashion in times like these is always a risk from a financial standpoint, but this launch has been on the calendar since the BOY and the current lockdown did not disrupt that. It speaks to the confidence that Bob and Renee have in what they are doing. Now, is it a guarantee that PXG garments will fly off the shelves? No. but that’s not the point, it’s the fact that this current climate didn’t scare them into pivoting or holding off.

Point to this pick is PXG looks healthy coming out of this and it was possible to believe that perhaps this would have taken a toll on the custom fit brand. There is even a commercial produced during lockdown to attract even more club builders to the fold. Not normal behavior in times like these, but is anything that PXG does normal? No, and that’s what makes them fun to talk about.

The company also released its Essential Facemask with 50 percent of proceeds going to Team Rubicon.

Ping was quiet…but don’t be fooled

Yes, they did some rare social media engagements with Kenton Oates and the tour staff, which were fantastic. But the real magic here was the quiet way in which Ping slipped into 2020 and the mystery they have in hand and what’s to come next.

There hasn’t been really any new Ping product in a good while, and I anticipate a big winter for the Solheim crew. Sometimes, silence is golden and from what I can gather, what Ping has coming in irons and woods will be yet again a launch that gets people talking.

Ping from a business standpoint is a company that gets one percent better every year. Never any dramatic shifts in strategy or product. It’s always good, it’s always high-performance, and it’s always in the “best of” category across the board.

Watch out for them over the next six to nine months…a storm is brewing. A good one.

Cobra introduced the “Rickie iron”

Cobra Rev 33 Irons

Compared to 2019 and the runaway success that was the F9 driver, Cobra Golf seemed to cruise along in the first quarter of 2020. The SpeedZone metal wood line was an improvement tech-wise from the F9 but seemed to get lost in the driver launch shuffle with an earlier release—and frankly everyone in the industry took a back seat to TaylorMade’s SIM.

It’s not placing one stick over the other actually, I have been very vocal about my affections for both, it’s just some years, the story around a club can generate excitement, and if the club is exceptional, boom. Cobra was that cool kid in 2019.

What Cobra decided to do in the downtime is slowly tease and taunt with a “Rickie Fowler” iron. Players blades aren’t typically the driving element of any business model, but what Cobra did was introduce to a beautiful yet completely authentic forging that will not only get the gear heads going nuts but also entice the better players to start looking at Cobra as a serious better players iron company. No small feat.

Point is, Cobra has generated buzz. It helped that Rickie’s performance at Seminole was just short of a precision clinic. Beyond the Rev 33, its rumored Cobra has a new players CB coming and some MIM wedges.

It should be an exciting last half for the Cobra crew.

The Titleist train chugged on

I mean, what else is there to say about Titleist? They are as American as apple pie, have a stranglehold on multiple tour and retail categories, and one of the best front offices in golf. The company is a well-oiled machine.

So what do I expect from them in the last half? Well pretty much what I would expect on any other year, solid player-driven equipment. A metal wood launch is coming, the SM8 was a huge hit in stores and on tour, and the ball portion is the biggest 800-pound gorilla in golf.

It was also nice to see a little more social media interaction beyond the traditional. Aaron Dill has been very active on the social media front and a good portion of the tour staff, namely Poulter, JT, and Homa were proactive in engagement. Might seem trivial to some, but specifically, Titleist and Ping are not super active in the organic interaction game, so it was nice to see both companies dive into the fold.

Cleveland/Srixon should have a lot to look forward to

Let’s be honest here, 2019 was a quiet year overall for Srixon. Shane Lowry won The Open, but in the golf mainstream it was a leap year for them in regards to any launches. The anticipation from me personally of what is to come is quite strong. I adore the irons. I have yet to meet one I didn’t love, and fitters across the country will speak to that in sales. The Srixon iron line has become a popular yet-sort-of-cult-classic among fitters and gearheads and rightly so. They are phenomenal.

The recently teased picture of the new driver on the USGA site more or less teased us of what is to come for the overall line. New Cleveland wedges are coming shortly and the golf ball has always been a solid component to the Huntington Beach company.

As much as anyone in the market, I believe Srixon could finish the year with some serious momentum going into 2021. The irons and ball have always been firestarters. My only wish for them, selfishly, is a more aggressive tour strategy in regards to landing one of the perennial top 10. It seems like a dumb thought, but I have always felt Cleveland/Srixon was always a serious hitter that at times seems to get lost in the conversation. Having a big gun on staff or a couple of them will remedy that quickly.

Callaway has an eye on big things for the golf ball

Callaway, a company that seems to do it all well, was actually a bit quiet since the lockdown started. After a solid release of the Mavrik line and some momentum in the golf ball area, I’m sure this lockdown probably felt like a kick to the shin.

However, this company is shifting in a good way. The idea that they were a golf club company that happened to make golf balls is slowly turning into a company with multiple major components that stand alone. TaylorMade is on a similar shift, and honestly it’s very interesting to watch. Do I think that anyone will ever catch Titleist in the ball category? No, I don’t. All of these mentioned golf balls are ridiculously good, but 75 years of trust and loyalty are hard to compete with. But that’s not the point, Callaway is a monster company that takes the golf ball conversation very seriously, and I believe this will serve them very well coming out of this craziness and help the momentum going into 2021.

 

 

 

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