The Adidas Tour360 shoe has been around for quite a few years now, but 2019 marks the first time that it has been available in a spikeless option. The Tour360 XT range was released earlier this year and featured improvements to the design and technology of adidas' most popular shoe, including a new X-Traxion traction system.
My colleague George tested out the spiked option of the Tour360 XT earlier this year and was impressed, but felt that the boost technology on top of the spikes gave the feeling of being a long way away from the ground. He was also worried that being unable to feel your feet on the ground during the golf swing could lead to a limitation of power, as using the lower half of your body can be a big asset.
So, on paper it seems like the spikeless option which still has the comfort of boost technology, without the potential lack of stability, could be the solution. It was my job to put them to the test.
What's It All About?
Since launching in 2005, the Tour360 has been adidas' top-selling golf shoe, with its contemporary looks and year-round performance suiting golfers in a variety of weather conditions on all different types of course. The key feature of the 360 over the years has been its boost technology, a TPU material filling the base of the shoe which is said to store and release energy as you walk, so that you feel refreshed and comfortable for the duration of your round.
This year's XT range gets its name thanks to an X-Traxion system on the outsole of the shoe, aimed at providing multi-directional grip throughout the golf swing. X-shaped lugs (similar to plastic studs) are placed strategically throughout the sole so that you get the expected grip from a top-level shoe without losing the usual comfort and ease of a spikeless model.
To get even more information on the XT range, check out our earlier news article here.
We wanted to make the highest performing spikeless shoe in the industry. We tested all shapes and configurations and found that the X-shape, along with a rubberized TPU outsole, provided unmatched grip, stability, flexibility and performance. The X-shape also increases ground contact and provides more comfort on all surfaces.
I headed down to Fulford Golf Club, York on a typical British spring day - by that, I mean that when the sun was out I threatened to remove my jumper and top up the tan, and the moment it went in I was reaching for an extra jacket. The only thing that was missing was a bit of rain, but I wasn't complaining about that.
Previous testing of the Tour360 XT had proven that they were more than up to the test when there was a bit of water around, so I was able to focus on my two main objectives. I wanted to see whether spikeless option's boost technology was comfortable enough, and whether the X-Traxion provided enough grip for a stable feel whilst out on the course.
Adidas Tour360 XT SL Review
As modern golf shoes go, these are as good as it gets. There's a perfect blend of modern, athletic looks with simple classical styling. They're uncluttered, the colour choice was good, and they look sleek.
Of course, no adidas shoe - be it golf or otherwise - is complete without the famous tri-stripe, and I was happy to see that this was the only real bit of detailing on the shoe. I got the impression that the styling of the shoe was simple and unoffensive to all for a reason, as adidas wanted to let the performance do most of the talking.
As I expected the build quality felt really good, with premium materials on the upper including a thick, comfortable tongue and proper laces.
They were quite weighty to hold and even to wear initially, but not in a bad way. Once I got moving this didn't end up being a problem. But if you were planning on leaving the shoes on after the round to go into the clubhouse, they will feel slightly heavier than a standard trainer.
When I first slipped the shoes on in the locker room, there was a slightly strange feeling on the inner arch of the foot as the insole appeared to be raised in this area. I was worried that this could take a while to get used to, but I think these shoes still fall into the 'out of the box comfort' category because once I had teed off and started walking I didn't notice it again.
I surmised that this section basically ensured that the whole foot was in contact with the insole of the shoe and certainly provided plenty of stability. My feet didn't move around inside the shoe at all during 4+ hours of use.
On The Course
The first thing I noticed with these shoes when I got out to play was the shape of them from above. First green, 30 foot for birdie, decent start. I stood over my putt and my attention couldn't help but to be drawn to the shoes. They just looked a little big and rounded.
This surprised me because I initially thought the looks were really good and sleek, even putting them on inside, but as soon as I got out on the course it was more noticeable. It may just be me being particularly fussy but I don't like seeing much of a rounded toe on my golf shoes, so it's something to bear in mind if you tend to feel the same way.
I carried on, and was quickly satisfied that the boost technology was working a treat. The fairways were surprisingly firm at Fulford, especially for April, but my feet felt cushioned and comfortable all day long. I had George's concerns regarding this sole limiting the feel of ground interaction during the swing in the back of my mind, but I was happy to report that there were no such issues for me.
Perhaps the lack of spikes helped because I felt the Tour360s had the perfect blend of being able to feel and use the ground, whilst still getting the cushioning of the boost technology.
Despite this, I was really satisfied with the job that the X-Traxion did, so much so that I didn't feel a great deal of difference in grip between the spiked version and this one. Considering this is the first time that adidas have adapted the Tour360 to a spikeless model, that is a pretty good result.
The great thing about spikeless shoes for me, as well as the lighter feel, is that they can be used on the course, in the clubhouse afterwards and at the driving range. This kind of multi-purpose makes them such a go-to option, especially in the summer. A quick wipe down following the round and they'll look just as smart as any of your friends' trainers as you celebrate or drown your sorrows in the bar.
Towards the end of my round, I did feel my feet beginning to get a little warm. This probably points towards the shoe's build quality and materials used which I'm sure would do a great job of keeping any moisture out, but I was glad the temperature that day was only relatively mild. I don't usually struggle with this kind of thing, but if you do, and you do play golf in warm temperatures, it's one to bear in mind.
Would I Use Them?
Absolutely. For comfort alone, I would put them alongside the FootJoy Pro/SL as the most satisfying golf shoe I have ever worn. In many ways they are quite similar to that shoe, with a clean, yet premium, look and feel, and versatility in different conditions.
In terms of looks, these are pretty much exactly what I'd be looking for in a shoe. I like modern styling so they suit me, but the fact that they are uncluttered and simple also gives them a traditional feel which I think would appeal to the majority of golfers.
These golf shoes would be perfect for around 80% of the golfing year, in my opinion. As somebody who likes to play no matter the weather, 12 months of the year, I would probably opt for a spiked shoe if it was very soft or wet underfoot. Conversely, if I was lucky enough to play in the two days of the year that Britain experiences really warm weather, a lighter fabric shoe such as adidas' Crossknit would be a more comfortable alternative.
Adidas Tour360 XT SL Verdict?
I have been a fan of the look and the style of the Tour360 shoe for quite some time so I went in to this review expecting to like the spikeless model, and I was not disappointed.
You get all the usual benefits of the Tour360 combined with the lighter, easier feel of a spikeless shoe which make them perfect for use once the golf courses start to dry out at this time to year.
They look great, feel comfortable and secure, and are reasonably priced. If you're looking for a new pair of shoes heading into the golfing season, with the Tour360 XT SL you can't really go wrong.
- Fantastic overall comfort
- Great, simple looks
- Traction was perfect - as stable as if I was wearing a spiked shoe
- Reasonably priced at £129 RRP
- Versatility is a real bonus
- A couple more colour options - possibly navy or grey - would be nice
- May not be the most breathable on warm days
- Slightly rounded look from above
- Higher insole on arch may take some getting used to