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TRUE linkswear phx - Review

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TRUE linkswear phx Shoes Reviewed

Barefoot golfing shoe - does that even make sense? Possible Footgasim?













When learning about TRUE you may hear/read the phrase "barefoot" when mentioning their shoes. This seems like a confused message to someone who actually knows people who do walk/run barefoot. I've never wanted to golf barefoot - I've done it once when I soaked my shoes, and it wasn't a terrible experience, but I've never purposefully golfed barefoot again since. (I have long hairy toes... so I'm not exactly excited to show them off)


Wanting to learn a bit more about this "barefoot" term, I headed to TRUE's website to see what they have to say. One of the first things I noticed was their "about" page - all of their employees are required to play 18 holes a week in order to give first-hand reviews of their product. Makes a guy wanna apply for a job - who doesn't want to be required to play 18 a week!?


Last year TRUE linkswear made a big splash in the golf shoe market with their original release. This year they have four new/updated models - stealth, tour, phx and the women's isis.


TRUE decided this year to send out a pair of their phx shoes for each of our reviewers to experience their barefoot platform and let our spies get even more insight into the new designs. We each selected a color and will be sharing our own thoughts and experiences.sa


My phx shoes came in White/Navy and have been on my feet for rounds just over a month now.






Barefoot Platform

Full Grain Leather Upper

3D Mesh Liner

Memory Foam Heel

Ergo-fit Insole

ErgoTraction 2.0 Outsole

Dual Density Anti-Slip Rubber Sole

Water Resistant




Everything I've ever heard about TRUE linkswear shoes is that they are incredibly comfortable. So much so that I kinda played these guys up in my head enough to believe it might be possible to have a footgasim.




Slipping the phx onto my feet I expected to be immediately quivering and smirking with each step I took. While I was smiling with my first few steps, I can't say there was anything magical or even slightly orgasmic happening with my feet.


These shoes are comfy, but I can't say it felt like walking on air. Right off the bat, I really wasn't so sure about these shoes, they actually almost felt uncomfortable. It wasn't until I stepped onto the grass that I began to see what everyone was talking about.


Barefoot is nearly an accurate description of the feeling wearing these shoes. Not exactly, but almost. Walking on cement/asphalt this "barefoot" feeling isn't exactly ideal, but as soon as you're on the grass, it starts to make sense.


Score: 27/30




Style matters - especially if your'e one of the guys on the course trying to get the cart girl's number (you know the number she's giving you is a fake number right?)




My first thought was the phx looked liked clown shoes on my feet - but then I started to add things up - I wear a size 13 but I'm only 5'9"... I HAVE clown feet!!!


The white with blue sole, AWESOME. The other color options definitely allow you to adjust for your personal style, whether loud or more traditional.


Walking around the PGA Show for nearly a week with these guys on my feet, I did receive quite a few comments about the looks, all positive.


The toe box IS pretty wide, and from a style standpoint I feel like these would have a perfect score if the toe box didn't stand out as much.


Score: 18/20




I ordered my phx in my normal shoe size, 13. I probably should have asked to have a size 12.5 sent out as soon as I put these on, but I was heading out of town soon and just needed to get them into action, so my performance experience may have been affected by the sizing.




Performance and comfort hold the same importance in my shoes (though I guess if I found a shoe that directly lowered my score I might wear it no matter any of the other scoring parameters)


In early morning dew and a few other slightly wet conditions my feet never were wet. Walking a course my feet were always comfortable, but... probably mostly due to the shoes being a little big for my feet, when it came time to tee up the ball and transfer the weight in my feet, I found the large toe box to be too large, and my foot moves around inside the shoe. After a few swings, I was able to adjust for this, but it's something I do take note of when playing in these shoes - and at the same time, I really believe if I had a size smaller, this would go away.


Funny enough, the one place I thought the performance stood out to me was the same place that GolfSpy T did in last year's review - the sand. Wearing these shoes in the sand I was finally able to learn how to better get my weight on my toes in the sand and it's helped my sand game quite a bit.


As far as grip is concerned, the phx sole design worked great. I didn't have a situation where traction was poor - but I also never felt as confident about my traction as I do with spikes.




Ultimately, I don't see these shoes as a "performance" oriented shoe - I see them more geared toward comfort with "good enough" performance. I know this is not how they are marketed, but it's my experience.


For the performance category, I'll be very curious to see what the others guys thought with their shoes and a better fit.


Score: 23/30




At $99 these are priced similarly to a "typical" street shoe purchase for myself. Considering that the "spikes" are not replaceable, you will eventually wear these shoes out vs. being able to replace the spikes - but then you can wear them as street shoes.


I think TRUE made a great move with their pricing on these shoes, putting a value driven price that just makes sense - why wouldn't you buy a pair of these to have in your bag.


Score: 10/10


Peanut Gallery:



I mentioned already that these shoes do result in comments from others - and thankfully my experience has been all positive comments for these shoes. I mentioned to one group that I thought they looked like clown shoes on my feet, and they pretty much unanimously told me I was crazy.


Most of my peanut gallery comments came without me asking for input, these shoes were catching eyes on the course both because they look so much like a tennis shoe, and because of their simple splashes of color barely noticeable at a quick glance.


Score: 10/10


Total Score: 88/100




Though this shoe didn't live up to the expectations I had in both the comfort and performance departments, it is still a shoe I'm glad to own and these will make it into my weekly rotation.




The slight "lack" of performance may be partially due to the sizing problem I had, but I still don't believe these are a "performance" golf shoe. These are pretty comfortable shoes. Not the most comfortable I've ever worn, but I do look forward to rounds with these shoes - I feel like I can relax more when wearing these shoes.


Having worn these shoes all week at the PGA Show I think was the ultimate test - not the same as walking on grass, but from a comfort level, much more strenuous of a test. I can't say there is another golf shoe on the market that I would want to wear all day long walking miles of concrete trade show floors. Each night getting back to our hotel at the end of the night, my feet weren't screaming at me.


I give a thumbs up.




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Here are my thoughts on the TRUE Linkswear PHX. I'll keep it pretty short since Tim already gave you the full run down.




Style – 20 Points


While the PHX is definitely leaps and bounds better than last year's TRUEs, style is still the one weak point of the TRUE line. The reason is that style is following substance, and it's hard to make a stylish shoe with a huge comfortable toe box.



Score: 15/20




Comfort – 25 points


Admittedly I was slow to jump on the TRUE bandwagon, though this was largely because there was no place that I could try them on. Now that I have my own TRUEs, I'm driving the bandwagon. The first time that you put on a pair of TRUEs, the feeling is a bit unnerving. Your heel is so low that you think your toes are raised, but this is not the case, you've just been used to wearing "high heels" your entire life. As a barefoot runner, I am 100% onboard with the concept of natural motion, so I love these shoes.





The real acid test for me was wearing my TRUEs for 4 straight days at the PGA Show. I was on my feet for at least 8 hours a day, and probably walked the equivalent of 18 holes every day. When I got back to the room, my feet were no worse for the wear. I can't think of a better testimonial than that.



Score: 25/25






Performance – 20 points


Sadly, I did not get to do any golfing while in Florida, but I have hit lots of shots in my TRUEs indoors. I can say that the TRUEs offer plenty of traction on a mat, except on those unforgivable swings that not even metal spikes would save :blink:. I'll have to come back to this portion of the review when I get the TRUEs outdoors in wet and sandy conditions, but I expect that they will offer all the traction I need.



Score: 20/20



Value – 20 points


At $99, I think the PHX line is priced perfectly. It's an outstanding shoe that will let people get on board with the natural motion concept without emptying their pockets.



Score: 20/20




The Peanut Gallery – 15 points


The Peanut Gallery liked the PHX, but since they couldn't walk around in them (can't fill my size 14's), they couldn't really understand what the big deal is. Some of them had tried TRUEs in the past, so they understood better the comfort that comes from being connected to the ground.



Score: 13/15






Final Thoughts


Like I said earlier, I went from not being on the TRUE bandwagon to driving it. I've actually started wearing these to work because they're so comfortable and they give me the traction to step in and take a few swings. For those that haven't tried TRUEs yet, you're running out of excuses: the big boxes are starting to carry the PHX line and at $99,what do you have to lose?



Score: 93/100




VISIT WEBSITE: http://www.truelinkswear.com


FOLLOW ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/#!/TRUElinkswear


FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/truelinkswear



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Although Tim and Matt have hit the TRUE high points already, I would like to add a few thoughts of my own to the review of the TRUE linkswear PHX.





Style - I love the look of these shoes. Some may not, but I think that TRUE makes cool looking shoes. The pattern in the brown material on this pair looks amazing.

Comfort - Super comfortable. I was concerned about walking the course in these initially as there doesn't seem to be much padding on the sole. Never once did I wish for more padding once I had them on play.

Price - As Matt said, at about $100, this is stylish and well-performing shoe is a deal.







Traction in winter - I was able to play in these both before and after the rain here in NorCal. Before the rain, the shoe never slipped or slid. After the rain, I did have the right foot come loose during a swing in the wet rough. That was the only time, but it did make me cautious during other swings. The shoes did also get packed in a bit with mud over the course of the round. Easy enough to brush out, but I didn't expect them to pick up stuff like the longer spiked traditional shoe.





Overall, I really like these shoes. The negative heel does feel a bit different and take some getting used to. Nice to see them in person on tour this week as well.


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I must admit, I was a bit worried about these-mostly because the ones I got were all white and not exactly thin around the toe area. However, I have been very pleased with them on the course. I just wish I got the brown or mixed color version.

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TRUE Linkswear phx Golf Shoe - GolfSpy T's Take



As usual I relied on the other guys to stick to the basics (brown, Dave? Really?) while I opted for the slightly brighter combo of Grey/Charcola/Electric Blue. Unrelated to anything, I think they're the perfect shoe to pair with my Vivid Blue PUMA Tech Pants. Of course color is only part of the equation (though I do love that TRUE has introduced some new options this season). As the guy on staff who has been solidly on board with TRUE Linkswear from day one, I was extremely curious to find out, not only how the phx performs, but how it compares to the TRUE Tours that I love so very much.






One round with the TRUE Tours was all it took for me to stop caring about how they look. I've said countless times, the Tours aren't simply the most comfortable golf shoe I've ever owned, they're the most comfortable shoe I've ever owned. Period. I was hoping the phx would be their equal.


As it turns out, while the phx is an exceptionally comfortable golf shoe, it's not quite on that same golf slipper level of the Tours. My first round out (walking) with the phx I came home to find a small blister on the top of my big toe. Nothing substantial...nothing debilitating, and certainly I've fared worse my first time out with a new pair of shoes. Still, given how absolutely incredible the True Tours were out of the gate, from a comfort perspective, the phx was a small let down.


It should be pointed out that $99 phx is $50 cheaper than the tour. The materials feel different (the Tour is softer), and so it's reasonable to expect there will be some compromise. I'm confident the phx will break-in quickly. So much so that I'm heading out to play in a few minutes with absolutely no reservations about putting the phx back on my feet.






As the other guys have mentioned. The original True Tour had a bit of clown shoe quality to it (big, wide toebox). I quickly grew to love the looks, though for some guys (particularly the older gentlemen I play with), the looks were enough for them to remove them from consideration.


The phx looks much more like an everyday casual shoe. With the minimal sole and whatnot it still doesn't look the part of a top-tier golf shoe, but that's a good thing. The old saddlebacks have never been my style. While you'll never hear me say a bad word about the Tours, on aesthetics alone, the phx is an admitted improvement.





The original True Tours flat out performed, and the new 2.0 sole design thus far seems to improve on it, if only slightly. With last years' model I found that I would occasionally slip, but when I did, it almost always was the result of a swing flaw (big over the top move). In that respect, TRUE Linkswear shoes actually provided feedback on my swing - hopefully that will continue.


The biggest concern people would seem to have about TRUE Linkswear (and other shoes without conventional golf spikes) is that they may not offer enough traction to keep you firmly rooted on the ground during the swing. Frankly, I found those concerns to be unwarranted, and nothing in the phx changes that.


Assuming a minimal break-in period, there's no reason to expect the TRUEs won't perform as well, if not better, than anything else in your closet.





Final Thoughts

I like the phx just fine. And while that's not exactly the most glowing praise, I can't imagine you'll find a better golf shoe for under $100. If money is your biggest concern, this is definitely where you want to spend it. If you've got an extra $50 (and this is said with the caveat that I haven't tested this years' model), the TRUE Tours are absolutely the way to go. I may pick up a pair in black and another in white before the season is over.


I believe a few of the other guys are working on a review of the TRUE Stealth as well. I've never worn that particular model (retail $199), but that may also be worth a look as well. Bottom line, I can't imagine wearing anything other than TRUE Linkswear out on the course.









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Totally agree T. The Phx are nice, but True Tours may have wrecked me for all other golf shoes.

Review and photos next week.

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Have played many rounds in the Tours and they are IT for comfortable shoes- golf or otherwise. May have to try the Phx also. BTW, Dave and T didn't mention shoe size, but I didn't realize one of the requirements to be part of the GolfSpy staff was to have skis for feet. OK, that was probably unnecessary but I couldn't help myself.


Back to the review... For those of you/us who walk, True shoes are a must try. And let's face it, every golfer walks some portion of the course!

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Read the review and decided to give them a whirl. For anyone else with WIDE feet who may have as much trouble finding golf shoes that fit without being too long, these are great. They don't come in "wide", but they are plenty wide for my snowshoes. In fact I found that a half-size down from my usual fit perfectly!


Giving them a proper break-in tomorrow, I'll report back.


Thanks for the reviews! I may never have sought these out if I hadn't seen it here.

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I now own 4 pair of these wonderful shoes. 2011 Tours, 2012 Phx, and 2 2012 Tours.. (White and Black). Here is my mini review. I will agree with nearly everything written so far.. The only complaint that I have, and it is a minor one, is that the Phx's are not nearly as comfortable out of the box as the Tours, and the 2012 shoes are not as comfortable out of the box as the 2011's. The 2011's were slippers. The 2012's are great, they just require a small break-in period. I will probably end up owning 3-5 more pair before the year is up.


Awesome shoes.. Just awesome.

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I now own 4 pair of these wonderful shoes. 2011 Tours, 2012 Phx, and 2 2012 Tours.. (White and Black). Here is my mini review. I will agree with nearly everything written so far.. The only complaint that I have, and it is a minor one, is that the Phx's are not nearly as comfortable out of the box as the Tours, and the 2012 shoes are not as comfortable out of the box as the 2011's. The 2011's were slippers. The 2012's are great, they just require a small break-in period. I will probably end up owning 3-5 more pair before the year is up.


Awesome shoes.. Just awesome.


Have you tried the Stealth's? To me, those are the "out of the box, slipper comfortable" version. Everything is so soft it's ridiculous. Tim should be posting a full review soon.

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Just bought a pair of last year's Tours. Very comfy -- have a gout-like symptoms in my right foot - older Nike's mask it well, not as much with the True's. OUt of the box they do look a little like clown shoes. On the feet, however, well, I rarely look at my own feet while playing...

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I haven't owned the True Phx, but I own 2 True Tours and 1 True Stealth. I was excited about the Phx model until I saw it and tried it on at Golfsmith. These are not nearly the shoe that the other models are. The sole and and the uppers are downright flimsy and I hate to say it but they feel and look cheap, almost plasticy. I'm a big fan of True and worry that this shoe, as the cheaper, "entry-level" model has the potential to turn people off of the brand before they really get to see what Trues are all about. The lower price might entice more people to try them, but if they don't like them they're going to be unlikely to fork over $50-$100 more to get the better model. And seriously, at $99, the Phx is no bargain compared to other brands. Its cheap for True, but not sitting next to Adidas and Nikes.


As to all the comments about the look of Trues: True's toebox is SUPPOSED to be big. It looks big because it IS big! Its not big on accident, it is big on purpose, its a design FEATURE, not a detraction! I just think its funny that people say "I'd like them better if they didn't look so big. . " well, no you wouldn't, because then they wouldn't feel so good on your feet! I'd say the look of the bigger toe box was noticeable for all of 10 minutes before I completely forgot about it. Now my problem is that I don't know what I'm going to do with all my old shoes.

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Have you tried the Stealth's? To me, those are the "out of the box, slipper comfortable" version. Everything is so soft it's ridiculous. Tim should be posting a full review soon.

We don't carry the Stealth at the shop, so I haven't had a chance to try them on, and $200 is a bit steep for a shoe that might get worn 4 times a year... But we shall see.

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Do any of the shoes have a "normal" platform? I have found that the shoes are absolutely fantastic in every way, except for the fact that I am unbelievably uncomfortable making golf swings while wearing them. I feel as though I am way back on my heels which is a horrible position to be in while hitting balls. I love my trues and have had them for over a year and they still look great, but that's because I've only worn them once to hit balls in and never to play a round of golf in. I'll wear them around the shop all the time!

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