Ecco shoes have … shhh … a secret.
They are one step less indestructible.
Jesper Thuen, General Manager of Ecco Golf USA, recalled a PGA Tour player (who is said to be nameless) 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 tour player wore these shoes, every day for four years. “
I’m not a tour player, but I still have two pairs of worn but still comfortable spike-free Ecco golf shoes from the early 2010s. They are great for gardening or hitting balls off golf mats where spikes are a problem. I have a pair of black dress shoes and a pair of walking shoes, both Ecco, and they are almost 10 years old and good looking too.
Why am I wearing these antiques? Because they’re so comfortable. Sure, every shoe manufacturer makes this claim through their shoes, but the Ecco insole is made from a proprietary material and process that doesn’t break down memory foam.
This nameless tour player was right. The more you wear an Ecco, the more it adapts to your foot, the more comfortable it becomes. No new shoe can match this feeling.
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Ecco wearers are reluctant to go without their shoes, which are as comfortable as your old favorite sofa, and the durability of the shoes allows customers – like me – to get away with them. I have owned several other brands of golf shoes, and some of them I really liked. But none of them have been around like my Eccos are after five years of heavy use, and I expect my newest pair, Ecco’s new Golf Core hybrids, to be in their – um? – Steps.
“We know that we have good products,” said Thuen. “If we can get people to put one Ecco on one foot and a different brand on the other, we think they’ll choose Ecco most of the time and don’t look like much at the price.”
You won’t find Eccos on the bargain shelf. However, given their quality and potential useful life, Eccos don’t seem overpriced in today’s marketplace.
Yet perception is reality. The Denmark-based company, which sells golf shoes in 55 markets around the world, has just launched Golf Core ($ 150 suggested retail), a range of affordable models. However, they look and feel like luxury shoes worth over $ 250.
“These are athletic-looking sneakers that are very trendy,” says Thuen. “We have released a new version of our famous yak leather, the softest and most beautiful leather we have. Yak leather is thin, the soles are very breathable and light. “
The Golf Core shoes have the traditional unique pimples from Ecco, which are square with a pimple on each corner. “That means, each knob has eight angles,” said Thuen. “No matter how you shift your weight while swinging or walking, there is always a lot of grip.”
This sole pattern is the same as the Ecco Golf Street shoes that were launched in 2010 and gained fame when Fred Couples wore them to the Masters. These shoes were classically white with Masters green trimmings and caused a minor sensation when a Tour player put them to the test with … toe-less shoes at the Augusta National Golf Club.
“In 2009 golfers had 98 percent spikes, 2 percent spikeless hybrid shoes,” said Thuen. “Today it’s easy in favor of hybrids. We pretty much made the category up. We weren’t the first, but we were the first to really get it working and of course Freddie helped us with it. “
The Golf Core line is only available as a hybrid (without spikes) and is available in three versions: white and gray (each with a dark trim) and black (with an orange trim). The latter is my new go-to golf couple.
Ecco has two more new hybrid lineups, its top-of-the-line golf models.
The Ecco Biom H4 ($ 200) is anatomy based. The company scanned 2,500 feet to make sure the sole of the shoe was anatomically fit for the masses. The Biom H4 has a little more weight and stability than Golf Core and is a little stronger.
The Ecco S-Three ($ 200) has a different technology in its midsole. It feels strongest in the midfoot for stability during the golf swing; a little softer in the heel to cushion every step; and softer in the front for the toes, where the shoe has to bend. This unique flex differentiation makes it a complicated shoe to manufacture.
The Golf Core, Biom H4 and S-Three are only available without spikes. Ecco’s lone spiked golf shoe is the G3 model ($ 250). Thuen said a new shoe with spikes is expected to hit the market in 2022.
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“Hybrids are the way forward, we believe,” he said. “They’re more comfortable and you can wear them in more places. Of course you need enough traction and stability when turning, but comfort is always our top priority. “
Thuen was the first Tour player to be signed by Ecco in 1996. “I played in a Pro-Am with the founder of Ecco,” said Thuen. “He had high hopes for me. I was lucky enough to be the first. I haven’t worn a pair of non-Eccos since then. “
Thuen’s father was a professional golfer in several clubs in Denmark – and is still active at 70 – so Thuen grew up with the game. He had a modest professional playing career with a top fourth place at the 1994 Volvo Finnish Open.
He was also a frequent roommate of future Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn, a member of the Ecco team on the Danish junior national team. “We used to be a four-way partner,” said Thuen. “That was interesting sometimes. Thomas is a one-of-a-kind guy and was a great roommate. We have known each other since we were 10. “
The two recently appeared on a European TV show to discuss Björn’s captaincy, which resulted in an overwhelming win for Europe at the 2018 Ryder Cup in France.
Their friendship is like the Ecco shoes they both wear – comfortable and durable.
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