When he stands in front of a mirror, the offbeat Ryan Moore can’t decide whether he is the reincarnation of Bobby Jones or a refugee from a bad-pants convention.
At the Masters, in a tribute to Jones and his 1930 Grand Slam, Moore looked positively stunning when he dressed like a gentleman golfer from an earlier era. At other times, though, he looks like a rejected skateboard fanatic from 2010.
That’s an 80-year time frame from which Moore chooses his wardrobe. We never know how he will dress himself for the golf course. It’s part of his charm.
Imagine my surprise when my phone rings and the voice on other end says calmly, “This is Ryan Moore.”
Okay, I’ll be honest. I was expecting his call. I had requested information about Moore’s golf shoes and was told golf’s No. 1 time traveler would contact me himself.
My first thought: “What’s up with the far-out shoes, man? Did you mug Spock on your last trip to outer space, or what?”
My actual words: “Ryan, please tell me about your new shoes. They look comfortable.”
Moore, winner of the 2009 Wyndham Championship on the PGA Tour, is wearing TRUE golf shoes (www.truelinkswear.com). Every round. Exclusively.
Here’s what I think: “I’d rather play barefoot than wear these shoes.”
Here’s what I say: “Great shoes, Ryan. They look like fun. They fit your personality.”
Moore must be reading my mind, because he quickly starts talking about barefoot golf.
“It’s a barefoot walking type of technology,” he says. “It’s proven to be better for your body and your feet. The shoes are much flatter to the ground. Right away, they put you like you would stand barefoot. You get the same feeling and sensation as barefoot. You are so much more aware of your balance and your footwork.”
Sounds like barefoot boy Sam Snead, who should be meaningful to a golf history student such as Moore. As a youth, Snead played barefoot. Even as a pro, he occasionally would remove his shoes on the course.
Moore’s TRUE shoes have no spikes. Instead they are made with large rubber protrusions on the sole. How has that affected our uncommon hero?
“It’s a much flatter, wider tread,” he says, insisting the traction it provides is as good or better than contemporary cleats or spikes. “There is much more tread on the ground.
“At the end of the round, I don’t even take them off. I’ll end up leaving them on and not even realize it. That’s the beauty of it – I put them on at the beginning of the day, wear them around, just show up at the golf course and go play.”
I ask Moore about rain and moisture.
“They’re waterproof,” he explains. “I haven’t had an issue yet. It doesn’t matter how wet the course is. I’ve played in a torrential downpour a couple of times.”
The shoe is lightweight (11 ounces, with a sole thickness of 2.5 mm) and is worn by at least one heavyweight. The retail price is $159.
What I want to say: “Ryan, you wouldn’t lay a sales job on me, would you? It sounds to me like you’ve got something to peddle.”
What I do say: “Ryan, you are a high-profile guy. People pay attention to you. Did you accept part ownership in the company?”
The short answer is yes, although it seems clear Moore truly has an affection for the True shoe.
“You know me,” says the 27-year-old golfer who already has rejected several lucrative endorsements because he didn’t want to be tied to a single brand. “I would never ever use anything or wear anything that wasn’t a great product.”
Who am I to argue with a retro golfer who often wears a necktie and button-down shirt when he plays the grand old game?