When it comes to golf shoes, all I care about is comfort. And is that too much to ask for?
At the modest age (I hope) of 28, I’ve tried my fair share of shoes on the golf course and have always felt like it could get better.
Luckily, over recent years it really has got as good as it gets in terms of what to wear on your feet as you make your way around 18 holes.
It’s not only about what feels good at the tee box, on the fairway and on the green for me. As a golfer that spends plenty of his time in the rough, scratching about in trees and hacking his way out of bunkers, I need a pair capable of doing it all.
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And the adidas TOUR360 XT SL certainly have a right good go at meeting all of the above requirements.
We were lucky to get a pair through the door before playing two outstanding venues over the last two weeks.
Fresh out of the box, it’s clear to see why adidas are going big with these shoes.
The iconic three stripes look as good on a golf shoe as they do on the famous Predator football boot.
They have that distinct straight-out-the-box smell and force you to put them on the minute you lay eyes on them.
Once on, it’s honestly like putting on a pair of trainers – so it’s a strong start in the comfort stakes.
According to adidas, “most players want a shoe that’s extremely comfortable, yet still provides the stability and traction needed for the golf swing,” and they’re not wrong.
While comfort going around the course is the most important for me, that can’t compromise what’s needed when swinging.
And I found that to be the best thing about the TOUR360 XT SL shoes.
Significantly, these are the first highly technical spikeless TOUR360 that adidas has ever made so I had my reservations about playing without traditional spikes.
In my 15 years playing golf, I’ve almost always played with spikes and found it difficult getting grip and control when not.
We’ve all played wearing trainers haven’t we? Whether it’s on the course or at the range – and it’s never the same.
But this isn’t the case with TOUR360 XT SL.
These shoes are comfy yet take nothing away from your performance.
And rounds at Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course and La Manga proved rigorous enough to show what the shoes are really about.
I’ll admit that there was some early blistering with the shoes so be aware that they need time to be broken in. That’s really the case with any activity footwear for me.
But once I got over the early pain, it was plain sailing and the shoes were suited well to some different terrain.
Gleneagles was wet and long, with the full 18 played on the feet. Going between holes, it was like wearing your favourite pair of trainers, while taking nothing away from my swing – that’s thanks to the X-Traxion lug system used, “strategically placed so players get the comfort of spikeless while still maintaining the grip they expect from a high-performance shoe”.
At La Manga, it was dry and hot – only helping the suitability of the shoes.
Thankfully, we were in buggies around all three courses we played so the blistering was just a memory by then.
In all other aspects, the TOUR360 XT SL hit the mark. The white and black colourway is simple and traditional for what I like. As an Adidas trainer fan, the BOOST technology screamed foot heaven. And at around £140, it’s impossible not to feel like you’re missing out on a deal.
There’s still time to put these through a long term test and find out how durable the shoes are. While all of the above suggests these are some serious shoes to play golf with, I believe shoes should be able to last you at least two seasons if you’re not in a position to change up your clobber on a more regular basis.
From experience with adidas, I have no doubt that the TOUR360 XT SL is a shoe you can grow old in comfort with.