My Favorite Golf Shoes Keep Breaking My Heart

In 2011, I became an enthusiastic unpaid shill for True Linkswear golf shoes, the most comfortable golf shoes I’ve ever worn. I now own more than a dozen pairs, and I wear them even when I’m not playing golf, and many of my friends have switched to them, too. Last October, though, my most recent pair, called True Motion, basically came apart during the Sunday Morning Group’s annual buddies trip to Atlantic City:

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After I wrote about those shoes, I heard from a reader who had had the same problem:

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I also heard from a vice president at True Linkswear, who acknowledged that the company had had “past issues” with quality, but said that it had made “a significant switch in factories” and that the next model, called True Elements, would not only correct those issues but would also be “our first breathable & waterproof shoe” and would represent “a remarkable design and construction method” that had been subjected to “rigorous testing standards.” I bought a pair in March, as soon as I could find them online, and wore them several times to make sure they truly were waterproof—as I wrote here:

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They passed that test beautifully, so I bought a second pair of Elements and put both pairs away, the newer one still in its box, to keep them pristine for an upcoming buddies trip to Ireland, in early May. And here they are at Ballybunion:

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They were the only shoes I took with me on that trip, and they performed beautifully—with one big exception: before the trip was over, both pairs had developed serious holes in their fabric covering at the points where the shoe bends during walking, on either side of the ball of the foot:

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I don’t think the holes penetrate the waterproof lining. But they’re big, and every time I wear the shoes they get bigger. That V-shaped dip in the outermost layer seems to act like a tiny pair of scissors:

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I wore the newer of my two pairs of Elements only twice on the trip—and I hadn’t worn them before, and I’ve worn them only once since. But one of those shoes already has small holes on both sides, after just a few rounds. Tim D. also took Elements on our Ireland trip, and his shoes have the same kind of holes in the same places:

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Now, we played two rounds a day, on foot, on up-and-down terrain—but shouldn’t any pair of golf shoes be tough enough to survive a week in Ireland?

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And not long after we got back from Ireland my shoes’ self-destruction opened up a new front, on the vamp, just below the laces:

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I sent two emails to the vice president who had told me about the company’s new manufacturing standards, but I haven’t heard back. Maybe I’ll hear from him now. But whether I do or not I’ve bought my last pair of Trues.

9 thoughts on “My Favorite Golf Shoes Keep Breaking My Heart

  1. I’ve also been a long-time fan and am now having problems. I bought a new pair in April, and the first round I wore them they were soaked through from dew. The pair I had bought at the beginning of last season came apart in a similar manner to yours. I wish they would improve the quality, but it’s back to FootJoys.

    • I have a growing suspicion that companies that make golf stuff get away with a lot because most people who play golf don’t play very often, and never play in bad weather, and don’t walk. One of the wheels on my brother’s Sun Mountain pushcart wore a hole in one of the pockets of his Sun Mountain golf bag, because the bag sits too low on the pushcart. WTF!

    • A week or two ago, Tim D. contacted True’s customer service, and they sent him a new pair–which at least defers the problem. This afternoon, I heard from another customer, who wrote:
      “Same thing happened to my new pair of shoes after one week in scotland. Trulinkswear promptly sent me a refund. Ps. I also have 7 pair, and really liked these except for the defects.”

  2. Tried a pair of True Motions on a trip to SC in March. TMs are supposed to be waterproof. My socks couldn’t have been any more wet if I submerged them in a bucket of water.

    • I contacted True customer service about my Elements, and they immediately refunded the price of the pair I’d bought through the True website. They said they would replace my other pair, which I bought from a different website, but suggested waiting till August because if I didn’t the replacement pair would have the same quality problems. My Motions were never waterproof, either–and that ended up being the least of their problems. No more Trues for me (although I still happily wear EARLY True models–which weren’t waterproof, either, but were real shoes.) I think the company must be on the skids, since the only shoes they’re selling right now are models they know to be defective.

  3. What shoes do you wear now? I loved the early TL models too but am looking for something new that will keep my feet comfortable for 36 holes. Footjoys don’t do the trick sadly.

    • I’ve got two pairs of Ashworth somethings, and I like them, although I don’t think they’re sold anymore, except as clearance items. When they’re worn out, I’m switching to Eccos. There’s a guy at my club who is sort of in the shoe-manufacturing business, and that’s what he recommended. I myself have never worn a pair of Eccos, but I have lots of friends who love theirs.

  4. I’m on my 3rd pair of Game Changer Pros. The last pair I bought in August 2016 and they only lasted 4 months before they were no longer waterproof. The problem is they are the best golf shoes I have ever owned. I’m about to buy another pair. Or perhaps complain on this pair because they are supposed to be waterproof for 2 years. I just love the shoes too much to get another brand. I just wish they would get their act together and fix this issue.

    • I know–how hard can it be? I think that what allows manufacturers to get away with this stuff is that most golfers play about three times a year and never in the rain.

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