I am a big fan of spikeless shoes because of their versatility and their comfort, especially on links courses with their firmer surfaces or going to the driving range.
With the exception of Ecco Hybrid soles, most makes have soles where it does not look like there has been much thought put into the design of the spikeless grips. That does not mean that they slip all over the place, as most of them do grip very well.
They will not be 100% as good as a spiked shoe, but they come close as even in soft conditions, they get into the ground well and don't clog up as much with grass to actually give better grip.
However I always felt they could be better and now as the sector continues to grow, brands are gaining experience in creating spikeless shoes for the serious golfer as well as the recreational golfer. Adidas has been at the forefront of this, as the last two US Open champions in Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer both wore spikeless shoes.
Kaymer wore the Adicross Gripmore and this new sole design is the start of what I think will be a new trend of different ways of creating high grip spikeless soles over the next few years.
As I found out when I interviewed Masun Denison of Adidas, the Gripmore sole has 43 small cleats created from a special PU rubber that they make under license. They look like mini versions of the spikes you find on spiked shoes, but they are fixed and part of the sole.
The Gripmore material is so durable that in 200 mile tests on concrete it outlasts the rubber on the rest of the shoe, which is as hard wearing as current shoes already are.
Now I have not been able to play 40 rounds on concrete in them yet, but I can say from several rounds on grass that when you first step on to cut grass and try to twist your feet left and right then you can really notice the increased traction from the Gripmore surface. The little feet on the pentagon shapes seem to get right into the surface you are walking on to give the best resistance from a spikeless sole I have experienced so far.
Even when I ventured into some of the longer grass after a few wayard tee shots, the Gripmores continued to hold their own and they picked up very little grass. Having reviewed the previous Adidas Adicross shoes, I would say that the grip is at least 50% better and getting pretty close to a spiked shoe.
The other good thing that has been re-introduced from the Adicross II is the more subtle branding of the 3 stripes that blend in with the 3 different shoe colours of white, grey and black. The Adicross III had more contrasting stripes and looked too much like sports shoes to be genuine spikless shoes for off course wear. If you prefer that kind of athletic look then the Adidas Pure 360 Gripmore shoes might be more to your taste.
The styling of the Adicross Gripmore is definitely more casual and everything about this shoe is wide. The fit is a little wider than traditional Adidas shoes and certainly wider than the Adicross II which felt narrow even by Adidas' standards.
Having had many Adidas shoes over the years, this does concern me as you learn to trust sizes from certain companies and if they are going to yo-yo the fit from one model to the next, then this makes ordering the right size tricky.
The wider forefoot I like, but the heel required a thicker sock than I usually have with Adidas shoes. Even the throat and the laces were wider and I did like the broader laces as they were more comfortable to use when tied tightly.
There are only 4 eyelets to accomodate the greater width of the laces, down from 5 on the Adicross III and 7 on the Adicross II and this does change the fit. If you have as much problems finding shoes to fit as I do then you may want to try before you buy.
Despite all this I can say that they are light and very comfortable indeed and on a lush course they do feel like you are wearing slippers. Some may say they resemble them in other ways, but the soft leather upper feels high quality and breaks in very easily.
It will be interesting to see how these fare over time, as in most spikless shoes it is the softness of the upper as it breaks in that reduces the stability of the shoe way before any spikes wear out.
Messrs Kaymer and Rose can probably call on fresh pairs on a regular basis, so if you are planning to wear them om and off the course, then consider getting a second pair to keep for important rounds so they are as supportive as possible.
Overall I would have to say I like the Adidas Adicross Gripmore shoes. The sole is a big step forward in spikeless design and Adidas should be congratulated for that. The fit and styling seem a departure from the usual Adidas golf shoe, so that will come down to personal preference. However the comfort and performance are as good as before and the Gripmore sole takes it to the next level.