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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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Whats in the Bag

Rory McIlroy WITB (2020 ZOZO Championship)

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @8 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6X (45.5 inches, 59.25 lie, D4)

rory-mcilroy-witb-2020

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium (15 @13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80 TX (43.25 inches, 58 lie, D4)

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (19 @ 18.25 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7MB (3-PW)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 7.0 (6.5 in PW) 

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (54-10SB, 60-08LB)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 6.5

rory-mcilroy-witb-2020

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper (34.25, 2.5 loft, 70 lie)

Ball: 2019 TaylorMade TP5 (#22)

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord (58R 1+1, logo down)

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GolfWRX Spotted: 2021 Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers on USGA Conforming List

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When it comes to drivers, Mizuno isn’t usually the company that comes to the top of mind for many golfers, but starting with the ST-190, and then the ST-200 series in 2020, they have quickly changed the perception of their metal woods thanks to wins on tour and more players choosing to put them in play—most recently Brandt Snedeker as a non-contracted player.

This morning, with the update of the USGA and R&A conforming equipment lists, we are getting a sneak peek at what Mizuno will have in store for 2021 with the release of the ST-Z and ST-X drivers.

What we know

Based on the information provided in the USGA submission by Mizuno, the ST-X will only be available in right-handed (10.5 and 12-degree lofts), while the ST-Z will be available in both right (9.5  and 10.5 degrees) and left-handed (9.5 degrees only).

ST-Z

Based on the images from the USGA list and our experience with the Mizuno product line, it appears that the ST-Z is the next step in the evolution of the standard ST200 with no adjustable CG but with a customizable weight in the back of the head.

We haven’t seen any images of a moveable weight driver in this new ST series, so it could be that the G-woods are getting phased out in favor of more internally biased weighting, but since those types of drivers often take a bit more time to get just right, it could be a matter of time before a “G” type driver hits the list.

As for technology, it has Mizuno’s standard wave to create flexibility behind the face, an adjustable hosel, and based on the images, more carbon fiber used around the head compared to previous generations, especially on the sole. I would also expect to hear a new face material or design story to complete the package and to boost MOI and ball speed.

ST-X

Based on the image from the USGA list and our experience, it appears that the ST-X is the next step in the evolution of the ST200-X driver, which is the lighter weight, more upright, and draw-biased driver from Mizuno. Don’t think draw bias always means it’s for higher handicaps either, because Mizuno staff player Chris Kirk got along very nicely with his out on the Korn Ferry and PGA Tours in 2020, including a win.

The tell-tale sign is the more heel biased weight in the back of the driver and what looks to be some sort of textured area to create “visible technology” towards the heel of the clubhead.

Beyond being draw-biased, when it comes to technology, it shares a lot of similarities to the ST-Z with Mizuno’s standing wave to create flexibility behind the face, an adjustable hosel, and more carbon fiber used around the head compared to previous generations, especially on the sole, and in the case of the ST-X, on the sole.

We don’t have any information on the release of these new drivers, but considering Mizuno didn’t adjust product release schedules in 2020, I would imagine it will be doing the same in 2021, and we can expect to hear more about these ST drivers either late 2020 or early into 2021.

To see what other golfers are saying about the newly spotted Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers, check out the GolfWRX forums and join the discussion: GolfWRX – New Mizuno drivers spotted on USGA Conforming List

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Equipment

5 hybrid vs 5 iron – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the logic behind removing their 5 iron from their bag. WRXer ‘rwl’ asks whether any fellow members have experiences doing so, and WRXers have been sharing their thoughts and experiences in our forum.

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.

  • RobertL.: “I replaced my 5 iron with a 5 hybrid. I find it far easier to hit than my 5 iron. I also took my 6 iron out of the bag, so now my longest iron is a 7. I now carry a 3, 4, and 5 hybrid since they’re so much easier to hit than long irons. Makes a big difference for this senior golfer.”
  • JohnKHawk: “For last 2 seasons I’ve played with a Cobra F9 5 hybrid. It’s 24 degrees & gaps perfectly between Cobra OS 3-4 hybrid at 20.5 degrees & Apex19 6 iron which is 26.5 degrees. The 5 iron was just getting to be to undependable. Misses with the 5 hybrid were more playable than the 5 iron. Use what works best for your game.”
  • Abe21599: “Never a bad idea to have both a 5i and 5h options in the trunk, just gotta watch lofts.”
  • nitram: “I know it sounds so “old man” but if you want to make a change in your 5-iron slot and can’t seem to get along with a hybrid, give the 9-wood a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.”

Entire Thread: “5 hybrid vs 5 iron”

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