(Written By: GolfSpy T) It shouldn't surprise anyone that adidas would produce some of the most popular shoes in golf. When you consider the company's track record (which includes actual track records), none of us should be surprised that adidas would produce the most popular anything for just about any sport.
Sure, if I told you that adidas made the most popular helmet in fencing you might be slightly indifferent, and a little puzzled, but not surprised. Telling you adidas makes a popular golf shoe...well, that borders on stating the obvious.
Still, I will confess to being slightly surprised myself at this year's PGA Show when the adidas buzz wasn't focused on their top of the line adiPure, or even the street-styled adicross. Nope, what convention goers were most excited about was a boldly colored, sneaker-style golf shoe with a very distinct tread pattern.
Hopefully you're not so simple that you've been, up to this point, unable to figure out that I'm talking about the recently released adidas puremotion golf shoe. Before we get into the guts of what I actually think about the shoe, here's a little bit of what adidas would like you to know:
- Athletic Performance- Lightweight and Breathable Performance materials for increased flexibility and Extreme Comfort. Designed to deliver enhancements in climate control, performance and comfort, this collection is ultra-lightweight to help reduce fatigue and enhance energy round after round.
- Anatomical shape and versatile spikeless outsole provides a natural fit and feel for enhanced comfort, stability and performance
- Wider, web-shaped forefoot allows for more natural movement, grip and flex for improved balance
- CLIMAPROOF® mesh upper provides waterproof protection with athletic functionality
- 2-Year Waterproof Warranty and 90 Day Comfort Guarantee
Honest truth...I've never been a fan of sneaker-style anything...except sneakers. On the course I've gone traditional, street casual, and with all due respect for the original TRUE Linkswear Tour (which I love), vintage Bozo (that's a clown shoe reference). What I've never done, at least prior to receiving the adidas puremotion, is gone Wimbledon (sorta).
To adidas's credit the bold blue (adidas calls it satellite) samples I received gives the shoe a serious amount of pop that almost hides the fact that you're not wearing what one might call a traditional golf shoe. The same is largely true of the black on black (red accents) and white on white (satelite accents) of the other available color options.
Still...for better or worse, the puremotion is a golf sneaker.
On the flipside, I'm actually a huge fan of the blue (didn't think I would be), and even if good fashion sense says otherwise, I'll wear them with just about anything in my closet. Granted, I took a little heat from one of the aging members at my club who tried to tell me that "you can't wear blue shoes with a pink shirt". Maybe that's true, but you probably shouldn't wear an adult diaper with your knickers either. Glass houses..stones, etc. To each his own, I suppose.
Look, I'm not going to compare the puremotion with a traditional golf shoe, or a ultra-lightweight minimalist shoe, or even a street shoe. Like nearly everything else in this world, it's all relative, and relative to other sneaker style golf shoes, the puremotion has more style than most. Did I mention I love the blue?
My thinking is that for most of the MyGolfSpy staff, and for just about anyone who has slipped a pair on his feet, TRUE Linkswear (Tour and Stealth) remain the gold standard for golf shoe comfort. Both make you feel like you're golfing in a high performance slipper (that's a good thing).
To achieve a lighter weight design (at least I assume that's why) adidas left out some of the bells and whistles (plush liners, memory foam, etc.) that some manufacturers are using to help create an insanely comfortable golf shoe. Nevertheless, for a shoe that has a bit less padding then some others, the puremotion is nothing less than insanely comfortable.
What I've always said about shoes...and golf shoes in particular is that you shouldn't have to break them in. Golf is hard enough without having to play through blisters and other shoe-associated issues. If I can't walk 18 holes with a pair of shoes that are fresh out of the box, they're garbage, and I'm not interested.
I'm a walker. The only time I ever ride is when I play a course with a mandatory riding rule, or when I'm playing with my lazy friend Jon. Otherwise, I'm hoofing it. And when I walk, I'm not willing to wear thicker socks, or wear band-aids on my heels, or any of that nonsense. As I've said, a golf shoe must be flawlessly comfortable right out of the box. No exceptions.
In that respect, the puremotion was nothing short of perfect from the moment I stepped out on the golf course. No rubbing, no discomfort, and most importantly no missing skin. They're not plush (no bonus points), but they sure are comfortable.
Now is probably a good time to mention that I have a bit of a chubby forefoot. Classic adidas designs, like the popular Samba, have never fit me well. I've always been a little bummed about that, it honestly, my lack of success with the Samba probably has played a role in keeping other adidas shoes off my feet.
In contrast, the puremotion is wider, and has absolutely no issues accommodating my fat feet. If you've got a wider foot, you'll probably love the standard width puremotion as much as I do.
What that sneaker-like design I keep mentioning suggests the puremotion might be more of a casual, Sunday afternoon type of shoe, but on the course, they're all business - and then some.
The tread pattern is aggressive - a bit like a bear's paw - and grips the turf as well as any shoe I've ever worn. I've got at least a dozen rounds under the laces and despite playing in monsoon conditions, I haven't slipped once.
While evaluating the durability of the non-replaceable tread is going to take a bit more time, as of this writing there is zero signs of tread degradation. As with all of my golf shoes, I do what I can to limit contact with blacktop, cement, and other surfaces that could accelerate wear. Your actual mileage may vary.
If there is a knock from a performance perspective it would be with the waterproof mesh. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that mesh and waterproof don't exactly go well together. My window screens are mesh, which is the reason why I close the windows when it rains.
Here's the ripple...I don't really know what the average golfer's expectation is when they hear the word Waterproof. I suppose it should be absolute (as opposed to water resistant). If that's the case, then I've never actually owned a pair of shoes that was truly 100% waterproof. The problem is that, with every pair of shoes, there's a giant hole where your foot goes - and socks wick moisture. Save a skin-hugging rubber liner, it's never going to work.
So based on my personal experience playing in heavy (really insane, can't see your partner on the other side of the fairway, torrential downpour) rain, I'm inclined to suggest the adidas puremotion are not quite 100% waterproof, but as I said, they're no worse than any other "waterproof" shoe I've ever worn.
While my feet weren't soaked, they weren't exactly dry either (my toes stayed dry...that's something). Granted, the conditions were more extreme than I'd expect most people would ever encounter (a smarter golfer would have walked of the course), the mesh didn't perform exactly as advertised. Solid, but not perfect.
Under more normal wet conditions (morning dew, light rain, etc.), the puremotion do an outstanding job of keeping the moisture out.
Short of products that basically self-destruct within hours of use, I'm not a fan of assigning value scores to the equipment we test. The reality is that the golf community as whole contains a variety of perspectives. You've got the guys who think anything under $300 is a bargain, and you've got guys who think anything over $75 for a pair of shoes is a rip-off.
Me, I've come to the realization that something...anything really, is worth whatever some is willing to pay for it, so we're forced to look at value a bit differently. What I asked myself is how the adidas puremotion compare to other shoes in the $120 price range.
Now of course, I can't sit here and tell you that I've tried every golf shoe from $100-$120, but I've tried a few...and a few more with price tags over $150. Generally speaking, the puremotion offers performance and comfort that I'm more inclined to associate with the higher priced shoe.
Granted, there are some real stars at the $100 level, but few that are in the same class as the puremotion.
It's true, sneaker style golf shoes; even really nice looking ones like the adidas puremotion probably aren't for everyone. I'm not trying to force anything on anyone here. But...if you're open to trying something new and different, then I'd humbly suggest you start with adidas puremotion.
Over the last several months, my shoe collection (how un-manly does that sound?) has grown to include shoes from adidas (puremotion and crossflex), Ashworth (just arrived), PUMA, and TRUE Linkswear. And while it's true, I do have certain styles I consider my tournament shoes, more often than not of late I find myself pulling the puremotion off the stupid shoe rack my wife made be put up in the garage.
While I can't say with absolute certainty that the puremotion have become my favorite pair of golf shoes...I can't actually say they haven't (and that still surprises me), but it's absolutely in the discussion, which is also surprising considering it's among the most inexpensive shoes I own.
The adidas puremotion is available in Satellite/White/Metallic Silver, White/Metallic Silver/Satellite and Black/Black/Red for a suggested retail price of $120.00