Rob Rigg, president of TRUE Linkswear, and the rest of the TRUE team dusted off their high school biology education to help build a better golf shoe.
“Our thought process in making the shoes was if humans are supposed to have heels, they would have evolved with one,” Rigg said. “We don’t have heels for a reason.”
Naturally, the company created a barefoot shoe with what they call “zero drop,” keeping the heel and forefoot at the same level. TRUE released its first shoe, the TRUE tour, in 2011 and has grown since, most recently releasing the TRUE proto.
By not having a heel in the shoe, Rigg explained how it helps give golfers better posture and better form on their swings.
The proto has received a good deal of attention since Ryan Moore, a part owner of TRUE, won the 2012 JT Shriner’s Open in Las Vegas in a pair. The shoe design was based largely on input from Moore, and was released to the public earlier this year.
“Ryan wanted something he could really hit into, so the shoe’s still very barefoot but we decided to add a little more outer ridge to the side so when he’s transferring to the left side, he can really power through,” Rigg said.
The proto sells for $169.99 and has what TRUE calls a “sensei” outsole to provide more stability and traction.
Other TRUE shoes, such as the tour, have TRUE’s “ninja” outsole, which gives more flexibility and feel for the golfer.
The proto meets TRUE’s five requirements for being a barefoot shoe. It has the zero drop, a thin outsole, flexibility, a wide toebox and is light weight.
On the bottom of the proto, there is a three-millimeter thick rubber outsole and five-millimeter thick traction elements spread throughout as if they were spikes. This allows for an easier walk on pavement while also allowing grass to pass through the traction elements and allowing the golfer to feel the sand or green on the course.
“It’s pretty intense if you haven’t tried our shoes before,” Rigg said.
Another benefit to TRUE shoes is that buyers do not have to worry about getting the right shoe width. TRUE shoes keep the foot stable with memory foam in the back, a sock-fit liner in the middle and the wide toebox at the top. The toe box allows for the toes to spread out which also promotes stability.
The release of the proto gives TRUE six different men’s shoes on the market, ranging in price from $99.99 for the phx and sensei to $209.99 for the chukka. There are also two TRUE women’s shoes — the isis and jade, each for $99.99 — and in March, it will release its first shoe for children called the padawan ($59.99).