Golf fashion: Could this be the Year of the Shoe?

Ryan Moore signs an autograph while at the TRUE Linkswear booth during the PGA Merchandise Show. (file photo)

Ryan Moore signs an autograph while at the TRUE Linkswear booth during the PGA Merchandise Show. (file photo)

Each year, a new fad takes over the golf course. Whether it is equipment, fashion or swing techniques – it seems that there is always something that everyone is talking about. Some may call it a fad; others may just call it the secret to a better game. But whatever it is, it will be the top-selling item of the year.

I’ve decided to try to pick this year’s fad – I think it will be the shoe. It started back at the PGA Merchandise show in Orlando, Fla., in January, where I saw a shoe booth showdown between two NCAA champions: James Lepp and Ryan Moore. They represent two casual and untraditional golf shoe companies that couldn’t, and still can’t, keep their shoes on the shelves. Lepp’s brand is Kikkor Golf (www.kikkor.com) and Moore’s is True Linkswear (www.truelinkswear.com).

I also saw Natalie Gulbis’ and Paula Creamer’s signature shoes from Adidas. They were a huge hit amongst both female golfers and fashionistas. It was a terrific marketing move and a fun way to incorporate our favorite lady golfers into our repertoire. It left us with a lot of pink and sparkles – a real conversation starter on the tee box.

Then there was the Freddy Couples fad of Ecco Golfstreet shoes (www.ecco.com). Eccos made a fashion splash as they screamed, “You can even wear these on the Senior tour and look cool – oh and win while you’re at it.” Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with Eccos. I loved the fashion aspect of them, but I didn’t feel as though I had the stability and traction that I needed to play my best. However, they won me over when I shot under par last month while wearing them. (It’s funny what a good round of golf will do to your mindset, I guess. Any apprehension you had about your fashion and equipment go flying out the window.)

But what really brought me to the realization that this could be the Year of the Shoe is a press release I received from TaylorMade Adidas Golf this week, heralding the unveiling of the TOUR360 ATV – a shoe so technologically advanced that it will surely leave you with no golfing woes. TaylorMade Adidas called it the "next-generation flagship shoe" that delivers all-terrain versatility and adapts to any surface, lie or angle.

The shoe won’t debut until The Barclays – the first tournament of the 2011 FedEx Cup Playoffs, to be played Aug. 25-28. Sergio Garcia will be sporting the new togs that he recently tested. He noted their stability, trendiness and bold colors.

This is exactly what I like, a shoe with the three most important components: comfort, stability and, of course, fashion.

You can’t buy the shoe until Aug. 15, when it will be offered in multiple colors at http://www.taylormadegolf.com with a price tag of $190. It will be fun to have the shoes before Sergio sports them at The Barclays.

Unfortunately, these shoes won’t come with a guarantee that they will allow you to shave five to 10 shots from your score, but I can assure you that this latest “secret” is worth a try. It definitely can’t hurt!

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