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?
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.
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.
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.