True Linkswear Stealth
Teacher’s Comments: moccasins for the golf course
At the 1942 Masters, Sam Snead felt as though he had lost his timing and rhythm. So he took off his shoes and played nine holes barefoot. He’d learned to play the game that way and thought contact with the turf helped.
Snead said playing barefoot would cure other faults, too: “Overswinging is very difficult to stop. And I found one way you can stop that: take your shoes off and hit a few barefooted. That’s one good way to cut your backswing down so then you swing within yourself at about 85%.”
Playing barefoot these days probably is not a good idea. You don’t want golf course chemicals on your skin, and if your local track is like mine, you’ve also got to worry about goose droppings, stray sticks and the occasional sharp bit from a bottle or can top.
You can, however, get the feeling of playing barefoot with a pair of True Linkswear shoes.
True Linkswear doesn’t make a typical golf shoe. Looking and feeling more like a slipper or moccasin than an Oxford or sneaker, the True is by far the most comfortable walking golf shoe I have yet worn. They’re an awful lot like walking barefoot, but with traction and stability. The true is so light I can hardly feel them on my feet.
The key, I think, are the True Linkswear Stealth’s soft and flexible soles. They’re low to the ground, responsive and really make me feel as though I’ve got contact with the turf. At the same time, however, they offer traction with the built-in TPU “Ergo Traction” treads that include horizontal and lateral stability bars.
In several rounds wearing the shoes, I’ve had no problem with slipping. I’ve also been very much impressed the lateral stability that the shoes offer. I thought the less rigid structure would not perform as well as a more traditional design, but clearly I was wrong.
The close-to-the-ground feel of the True Stealth is for me much better than athletic style shoes, which often have made me feel as though I was standing on a block of wood. All of that extra padding and sole underfoot makes some sense when you’re pounding pavement, but any well-watered course already is plenty soft.
True achieves this grounded feeling by getting rid of the midsole.
That’s not to say that the True lacks padding. They’re amazingly soft inside—like a pair of slippers. There’s memory foam in the heel, a nice-feeling insole and thicker padding in the ankle area. There’s also some padding on the tongue.
The uppers are what you might call unstructured. It’s not shapeless—the stitching, heel, quarter, vamp and toeline give it form—but when you pull the laces tight, the True conforms to your foot, not the other way around. A more traditional shoe is a hole into which you squeeze your dogs. If the shape of the hole matches your feet, all is well. If not, it’s hello blisters.
A sign of the flexible fit is that the Trues come in only one width, but the company says they fit all from C to EEE.
The True Stealth felt great right out of the box—like an old pair of jeans. There was no break-in period here.
It’s clear to me that True Linkswear has done a lot of thinking about the nature of golf footwear. Traditional shoes started with men’s dress or work shoes and added hobnails; more modern designs evolved from running shoes. True Linkswear seems to have taken a third road and created its own paradigm.