Why golfers won’t give up their Ecco shoes

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Ecco shoes have … hush … a secret.

They are one step away from the indestructible.

Jesper Thuen, managing director of Ecco Golf USA, recalled a PGA Tour player (who will go unnamed) who wore the same pair of Eccos for four consecutive years.

“I kept asking him, ‘Do you need a new pair of shoes? Said Thuen. “He said, ‘No they’re fine, they just get better the more you wear them. You can imagine how many hours a touring player wore these shoes. Every day for four years.

I am not a touring player, but I still have two pairs of worn but still comfortable Ecco spikeless golf shoes from the early 2010s. They are perfect for gardening or for hitting balls on golf mats, where the tips are problematic. I own a pair of black dress shoes and a pair of trail running shoes, both Ecco, and they are almost 10 years old and they look good too.

Why am I wearing these antiques? Because they are so comfortable. Of course, every shoe maker makes this claim about their shoes, but the Ecco sockliner features a proprietary material and a process that does not break down memory foam.

This unnamed touring player was right. The more you wear an Ecco, the more it conforms to the shape of your foot, the more comfortable it is. No new shoe can match this feeling.

So Ecco wearers are loath to ditch their shoes, which are as comfy as your favorite old sofa, and the durability of the shoes helps customers – like me – get away with it. I have owned an assortment of other brands of golf shoes and really liked them. But none of them were still around after five years of heavy use like my Eccos and I expect my latest pair, Ecco’s new Golf Core hybrids, to follow in their – uh, my? – footprint.

“We know we have good products,” Thuen said. “If we can get people to put an Ecco on one foot and another brand on the other foot, we think they’re going to choose Ecco most of the time and not look that much in price.

You can’t find Eccos on the bargain shelf. However, based on their quality and potential longevity, Eccos don’t seem overpriced in today’s market.

Yet perception is reality. So the company, based in Denmark and selling golf shoes in 55 markets around the world, has just launched Golf Core ($ 150 suggested retail), a line of budget-priced models. However, they look and feel like luxury shoes over $ 250.

“These are athletic-looking sneakers, totally in tune with the trends,” Thuen said. “We have released a new version of our famous yak leather, the softest and nicest leather we have. The yak leather is fine, the soles are very breathable and light.

The Golf Core shoes have Ecco’s traditional unique bumps, which are square with a button on each corner. “This is how there are eight angles on each node,” Thuen said. “So no matter how you transfer your weight when swinging a club or walking, there’s always a good grip on the ground. “

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This unique pattern is the same as that of the Ecco Golf Street shoes launched in 2010, which gained notoriety when Fred Couples wore them to the Masters. These shoes were a classic white with Masters green trims and caused a stir as a tour player donned them at Augusta National Golf Club in… spikeless shoes.

“In 2009, golfers had 98% spiked shoes and 2% hybrid spikeless shoes,” Thuen said. “Today, it’s a bit in favor of hybrids. We pretty much made up the category. We weren’t the first, but we were the first to really make it work and of course Freddie helped us with that.

The Golf Core range is only available in hybrid (without studs) and comes in three options: white and gray (each with dark trim) and black (with orange trim). The latter is my new favorite golf pair.

Ecco offers two other new hybrid ranges, its premium golf models.

The Ecco Biom H4 ($ 200) is based on anatomy. The company scanned 2,500 feet to make sure the sole of the shoe is a good fit for the masses. The Biom H4 has a bit more weight and stability than the Golf Core, and is a bit firmer.

The Ecco S-Three ($ 200) features different technology in its midsole. It feels firmer in the midfoot, for stability with the golf swing; slightly softer in the heel to cushion each descent; and softer in the front for the toes where the shoe needs to flex. This unique differentiation of flex makes it a complicated shoe to make.

The Golf Core, Biom H4 and S-Three are only available without studs. Ecco’s only spiked golf shoe is its G3 model ($ 250). Thuen said a new spiked shoe is expected to launch in 2022.

“Hybrids are the way to go, we think,” he said. “They’re more comfortable and you can wear them to more places. Of course, you need enough traction and stability during the swing, but comfort will always be the priority for us.

Thuen was the first touring player signed by Ecco in 1996. “I played in a pro-am with the founder of Ecco,” Thuen said. “He had high hopes for me. I was lucky to be the first. I haven’t worn a pair of non-Eccos since.

Thuen’s father was a golf professional at several clubs in Denmark – and is still active at age 70 – so Thuen grew up with the game. He had a modest professional playing career with a better fourth place at the Open in Finland Volvo from 1994.

He was also a frequent roommate of future Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn, a member of the Ecco team, in the Denmark junior national team. “We were quartet partners back then,” Thuen said. “It was sometimes interesting. Thomas is a unique guy and was a great roommate. We have known each other since the age of 10.

The two recently appeared on a European TV show to talk about Bjorn’s captain position that brought Europe to a resounding victory in the 2018 Ryder Cup in France.

Their friendship is like the Ecco shoes they both wear: comfortable and durable.


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