DECATHLON INESIS WATERPROOF GRIP golf shoe – Official MGS Forum Review by EasyPutter
Golf is my favorite thing, favorite thought, favorite conversation and favorite pastime. I do not take golf seriously but I am serious about having fun with golf. I look for good equipment at a good price for value that’s made well and durable to last a long while when treated well.
I walk when I am playing with others who ride carts. I don’t have a driver in my bag because I cannot twist much and have a low clubhead speed with a furthest ball carry of just under 200 yards. My short game is my strength and my go-to pitch and chip club is my 7 iron. I regularly get to within feet of the cup for a real chance at my favorite scorecard entry, a one putt. And my putter with perfect heel/toe balance only needs one good stroke to drop it in the cup.
I was wearing sneakers when I started golfing 10 years ago. FJs with replaceable cleats were my first golf shoes, then Adidas without cleats. I just got my second pair of FJs with cleats when I was selected for this test. When I shop for shoes I look at price first, appearance second, and then fit. All 3 of those things are on the positive scale with these Decathlon Inesis shoes.
First a disclaimer: Many statements in this review sound over the top. So much so that I expect to get criticism from anyone not reading the whole review. Because I have had an overwhelmingly positive experience, I have been actively looking for any reason to not be so positive but, despite my best efforts, I have yet to find one. I had no previous knowledge of Decathlon or their shoes and started this test with no bias.
Now on with the review...
Out of the box, the Decathlon Inesis shoes had immediate appeal with traditional styling, white and dark brown uppers, a glowing translucent sole, and laces that looked like thick spaghetti with the word INESIS easily read in the aglets. We were cautioned to specify size for ordering a whole size larger than usual. I wear a US 9.5 mens and ordered a 10.5 with trepidation being a size I have never worn before. What arrived was the right size for fit though the toe box feels roomy and tying the laces did not reduce that spacious feel but through use I found it to be exceedingly comfortable. The tongue has no gaps and it has a strange tapered edge shaped to fit well around the ankle.
Stepping into the shoes for the first time (and every time since) is an amazing experience of feel and comfort. As soon as my foot was in properly it was as if the shoe was form fit to my specifications, which gave an unusual roomy feeling making me expect sliding and slipping that would cause blisters or some other mishap. The laces were neatly tied and tucked into a formed cardboard insert that preserved the shape of the shoe should anything crush the box. Unlacing to remove them and lacing for wear is absolutely necessary because they are form fitting on my feet. The laces themselves feel somewhat spongy and flexible that when tied feel secure. I am a diehard double knot user and I did not try to wear them without a double knot to see if they would come loose, but those double knots were always easy to tie and untie even when the laces were wet.
What I hoped to get from the experience was a comfortable shoe that gripped all playing surfaces well and rarely attracted my attention to them. For me that means comfortably standing for hours like yesterday when we played 18 in the rain with nobody behind us, it took 5 hours and between 7 to 8 miles changing into and out of them in the parking lot.
(Standing in an inch of water on a waterlogged tee box.)
The way I tested these Inesis shoes was by wearing them instead of any other shoe doing anything related to golf from the day I received them until yesterday for a full month of testing. I resorted to walking through water and mud instead of going around, pushing my clubs in my push cart even on a discount voucher with cart, and drawing attention to the shoes and inviting comments from others around me (and some of them were introduced to MyGolfSpy in the telling).
Looks (10 out of 10 points)
The shoes look good in all the offered colors and being somewhat a traditionalist I like the two tone white brown look of the Snowy White option on the Decathlon website https://www.decathlon.com/collections/all-golf-shoes/products/mens-golf-shoes-waterproof-grip? or “White/Black” on the packing slip. Compared to my playing partner's shoes, it fits right in with that color scheme. The sole colors are matched to the uppers and different for each shoe color. The nature of the sole material is translucent so the colored sections of the grip part appear to glow. Everything is flexible in a pliable firm way, it does not appear cheaply made in any way.
(I am standing on the right in the lime green shirt wearing my Decathlon Inesis shoes.)
The larger white upper compared to their shoes to me makes sense considering it is intended to be waterproof and a continuous unbroken upper lends itself to fewer seams and places where water might find a way inside. Only when attention was drawn to them, usually by me explaining the MGS test and asking for opinion, did people actually look at them because they compliment both traditional and modern golf apparel.
So as appealing as it is, Looks gets 10 points because even now I am trying to find fault with anything and failing.
Fit and Comfort (9 out of 10 points)
The shoe fits much better than I had expected putting a size 10.5 shoe on a size 9.5 foot, but true to what was said the sizes are small and ordering a size larger is best. That is confirmed in my wearing, however it is different in each of the 3 parts of the foot, toe, arch, and heel.
The shoe feels roomy in the toe and I was concerned at first that it had too much room for the ball, toes and forward part of the foot. I have decided it is just the way the shoe fits and I have not had any issues with that roomy feeling. The arch is snug and tying laces tighter is not helpful for reducing the previously mentioned roominess so I laced them as I do every other shoe and with that there is no more to say. The heel fits right the instant heel meets insole. The heel collar is so well designed for my foot I never developed a hot spot regardless of the day’s temperature, the sock I was wearing (footie or athletic), or the terrain traversed.
Sizing is available from 6.5 to 13.5 but the site seems to be out of some sizes depending on colors, that I think are shipped when produced. Currently they are available in a single width.
(Looks good with long trousers as with shorts. Never tried with a kilt.)
If I could make any change to this shoe it would be to reduce the roominess of the front part of the shoe which I hesitate to say because it actually works so well for me, it like me is somewhat untraditional so how can that be bad?!
So considering all that Fit and Comfort gets 9 points because 10 is perfect and I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop (yes an intended metaphor).
Basic Features (19 out of 20 points)
This shoe is intended to be all about waterproofing and traction.
With all the dry weather it was a challenge to test the waterproofing. I was like the little boy attracted to the puddles, usually at the sprinkler heads, but if it was water and I could walk through it I did and with dry socks in my golf bag I did not hesitate to splash and kick the water and keep stepping to find the deepest spot. My socks didn’t even wick the water into the shoes as best as I could determine.
(Muddy hole created by the sprinkler head in a fairway.)
My feet felt dry and cool regardless of the day’s weather or the puddles I walked through and this week it was finally wet enough for a good waterproof test. Walking through puddles included steps I was sure would give me a “hot foot” with water up to the top of the laces. Maybe there was an ingress due to sock wicking but I could not find wetness in the sock changing shoes that time 3 holes and 40 minutes later. My feet did feel cooler from the immersion in the water but it was the temperature of the shoe not the chill of a wet sock.
Each time the shoes got wet, they dried off quickly and walking spilled any pooled water there was on the tongue. Even the mud didn’t stay on very well and in a month of testing I only wiped the uppers clean twice.
The design of the sole facing is remarkable for its simplicity and how well it works. Walking I found it excels at grip on natural surfaces like grass, dirt, sand and even mulch. Regardless of slope and wetness these shoes grip like they are nailed in but they are very easy to walk in without any kind of resistance to lifting the foot for the next step. This also applies to grated and rough surfaces made of metal, artificial grass, carpets and grip tape.
(After the first wear with asphalt darkening the "Spikeless Spikes" as I call them.)
On smooth surfaces like wood, rubber, metal, and wet concrete and asphalt traction is not so good to be less traction than regular sneakers that have greater surface contact area. That said keeping in mind the traction is like walking on a thin layer of freshly fallen snow, even crossing linoleum and tiles is easily done, again mindful not to be too aggressive with walking and changing directions.
(Footprint in sand. I lifted one foot and noticed the pattern, notable for how undisturbed the surrounding sand was when the shoe was lifted. Made raking seem like it left more of a mess than the footsteps did.)
One course played has a steep rise up to the tee I use. The paved cart path has the same incline as the grass and as, I pushed my cart up the cart path I could feel traction become less certain so I moved laterally a few feet onto the grass and that was like a switch was flipped to SUPER TRACTION. After that round I had a next golf activity a couple hours drive away and I chose to not change shoes for the drive. It was a pleasant surprise at how easy driving was with these shoes. It also meant I did not have to change shoes in order to drive and then change back upon arrival.
(Left and Right shoe soles after 6 rounds of golfing, see if you can spot a sign of wear, a hint is the same part is worn off on both shoes. Checking yesterday after 14 rounds of golf and such, nothing more was noted.)
The “spikeless spikes” as I have called them are molded into the sole and are not interchangeable. I have not noticed any significant wear on them after 14 golfing adventures that included a mixture of 9 and 18 hole rounds where I purposely walked different surfaces to see when I would notice wear on these extended traction enhancers. There was also a few golf clinics that included a few holes of play and I walked while others rode carts.
As Waterproofing and Traction are the main selling features of this shoe I give the Basic Features a score of 19 out of 20 because of the difficulty with the brake pedal parking brake mechanism when wearing this shoe compared to how I don't remember having that problem with cleated shoes before.
On-Course / LM Performance (25 out of 30 points)
Being the kind of golfer I am, it would be nice to see an erosion of my handicap by every new thing tried but being a realist, I know it is the contact of clubface to ball that does that. I am not convinced that shoes are going to have a great effect with my low clubhead speed. But I do feel planted for each shot and that allows me to focus on getting that contact so yes I think these shoes do help me work on my game.
(Second to last day of testing provided no end of wet conditions to walk through standing water with continuous heavy rain for 45 minutes that actually made it necessary to stop in the lee of a tree, no lightning.)
At no time did I feel a slip during my swing no matter the side slope, surface material, or wetness of what I was standing on. My scores remained fairly constant but I have seen a greater number of pars than before that would be significant if it wasn’t for the meltdown holes when I become consistent on the negative side of the equation. In my assessment there was no aspect of my game (tee, approach, sand, short, or putting) that was negatively affected by these shoes.
(The dimpling by the arch on the upper makes the first wearing seem like not much of a break in is required.)
Riding a golf cart that was required for two different tournaments I discovered while driving, the shoes caused some difficulty with engaging the parking brake, that upper portion of the golf cart brake pedal that ratchets and locks the brakes on. Pressing that part was more of a problem when stopping and sitting than when stopping and getting out.
One curious thing I noticed was when it was quiet on a well maintained green, I could hear the shoes around the toe section making a kind of popping sound I think is due to the extra material forming that space that is giving the roomy feeling. It is not always there that I have noticed, or maybe it is and just below the volume of my tinnitus (like many Veterans it’s how I constantly hear Freedom ring), so I'm still working that out.
Considering all these things, the On-Course score of 25 out of 30 points is 2 off for the shoe sound on well manicured greens and 3 off for the parking brake issue that required attention to make sure they were engaged properly.
Miscellaneous (10 out of 10 points)
My playing partners were great with this test, looking for opportunities for me to take the short route through waterlogged ground, commenting to other golfers what was going on, and helping with photos. The fact the shoes just kept performing so well made it a really great test and had me looking forward to each next game and as many as possible to try to find the weakness yet to be uncovered. It took a month to get the shoes once they were ordered so not so good for making me wait but good for increasing my sense of urgency to test as soon as I got them.
(My Inesis shoe is upper right compared to playing partner's traditional style golf shoes, and my putter.)
I gave this section Miscellaneous full points because I have yet to find that weakness and they certainly did give my regular partners another line of Scout Dad jokes and added to the fun that enhances every one of our rounds.
Play it or Trade it? (20 out of 20 points)
Play it every day for as long as they last. If you want my shoes you have to go buy your own. The list price (same website as before) in my experienced estimation is a very well spent $79.99. I also find the long wearing sole very encouraging because with the way I step that kind of wear is amazingly small.
Since you are going to see me wearing these for some time to come as I intend to update the string with any developments, this section Play it or Trade it gets 20 of 20 points.
Long story short, I love the shoes and like every new relationship I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop (yes figuratively speaking). They fit great, wear great, have great traction for golfing on every natural surface but not so much for dancing on the clubhouse floors. They are truly waterproof but breathe well as evidenced by dry comfortable socks even on wet days sloshing through low spots too deep for grass tips to show. I have always wondered if the shoes I look at and consider are worth the price on them and now for once I know the answer for the Decathlon Inesis shoes. Yes, it is worth the price, and as a result of this review I would hope the price is maintained as a great value that can fit a frugal golfer’s budget knowing they will be less expensive in the long run as my intuition says these are going to last for a good long time. The Final Score reflects my experience with the Decathlon Inesis Waterproof Grip shoes and I sincerely hope your experience should you choose these as your next shoe is just as positive.
Final Score: (93 out of 100 points)
Ongoing Experiences after the official end of the test...
The shoes were worn through the rest of the season from first wear in June through last wear in November, 92 9-hole equivalent rounds of which 74 were walked with push cart for approximately 225 miles. The other 18 (divided by 2 for 9 total 18-hole rounds) were riding on a golf cart so maybe less wear but also different wear with pedals, twisting, walking to and from cart also on paved surfaces not just grass.
They cleaned up pretty well and apart from minor abrasion inside the heel of the right shoe and minor similar abrasion inside he left side of the left heel, the tread is looking really good for season two as are the uppers that are still 100% waterproof even in the wash sink.
Verified Hack, 23 handicap Golfing for exercise and peace of mind.
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