The Classic Debate: Style vs Substance

Footjoy's high end Icon is one sweet looking golf shoe!

If you are serious about golf and serious about buying a nice pair of golf shoes, your choice is probably going to come down to a simple question. Footjoy Icons or Adidas Tour 360s?

For comfort, the Adidas Tour 360 can't be beat.

Sure there are plenty of other brands out there, big and small, and I have Eccos and Nikes in my closet, but at the end of the day, for a high end, high performance waterproof shoe, these two dominate.

So which is better? I used a very small sample – myself – to find out.

First, to be completely candid, I have been wearing the Tour 360s almost exclusively for the past couple of years for the simple reason that Adidas gave me a bunch of them.  I am surely not paid or otherwise sponsored to wear them. I wouldn’t wear them if I didn’t like them, and I do. In fact, my chief compliment has been that every pair feels great right out of the box, and I usually walk, and I have walked 18 and even 36 in a brand new, never worn pair, with no complaints. They run $125-$250.

Adidas has a history of running and athletic shoes, and their golf shoes show that in feel and in style: they have the traditional three Adidas stripes, and even in classic black on white (or all white, all black, all brown) look a bit like sneakers.

Classic Adidas three stripe athletic shoe look

The top of the line Icons however, are made by Footjoy, a company with a proud tradition of making golf shoes. They look like golf shoes. Like damn nice golf shoes. A friend gave me a pair for my birthday – again free to me, but not exactly endorsable.

When I took them out of the box, my wife, a bit more serious about shoes in general than me, oohed and said “wow, you finally have nice looking golf shoes.” And I do.

With the Icon you get wow factor.

I decided to debut my gorgeous Icons on the PGA Tour, when I had the rare pleasure of playing in the pro-am at February’s Mayakoba Classic. They got instant compliments, at least from my playing partner, who was a stranger, but conveniently also had a brand new pair of Icons, a gift from his wife!

Bottom line is this. The Icons ($250) look good, but after one round, with cart, I had some blisters. The 360s feel good, but can’t match the Icons for class and snazziness.

So the decision comes down, as it so often does, to style over substance.

You pick.

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