I have been a fan of the Boost material that Adidas has put into the sole of its golf shoes lately. The TPU material is constructed using a high pressure steam moulding process to create energy capsules that store and release energy as you walk on them.
Initially the Boost material on the Adipower Boost shoe was only in the heel before appearing down the full length of the premium Asym Energy Boost shoe.
The Asym was bizarrely only available in alternate half sizes, but now everyone can enjoy Boost across the full length of their feet as Adidas bring the material to one of their iconic shoes designs with the Adidas Tour360 Boost golf shoe.
The Boost material creates one of the most comfortable shoes in the market and having it throughout the shoe rather than the heel gives the forefoot the benefit of the energy return as well as the heel.
It provides the right amount of cushioning and support without getting all bouncy like a running shoe, which will help reduce stress on your feet and in turn your legs, back and mind.
You can see the Boost along the side of the shoe and also on the sole where the open central section acts like a wide channel to enable the foot to stay grounded as long as possible as you rotate it through the movement of the swing.
The previous Boost shoes featured moulded Gripmore spikes, but the Tour360 uses a 'CenTraXion' moulded sole with ThinTech spikes that grip just as well and are equally as comfortable.
I am in two minds about this as I liked the various shapes and positions of the Gripmore spikes, whereas the Tour360 features a more traditional spike layout that seems to pick up a little more grass. However for an out and out performance golf shoe, the replaceable spikes set up does fit the bill perfectly.
The other distinctive feature is the S-curve heel that rises a little higher than most other golf shoes, but is very comfortable and supportive at the same time.
As usual the fit from Adidas is a little narrower than average so you may need to go up a half size or so from your normal shoe. The whole shoe feels robust as you put them on and the mid section of the shoe does a good job of holding your foot and this is thanks to the 360Wrap Saddle based around the 3 stripes that lead up to the laces.
Through the 'Torsion Tunnel Technology' you can see through the gap between the upper and the sole and how the laces wrap around your foot, which is a nice design feature, but could be hard to keep clean.
This wrap around is standard for a Tour360 shoe, but now it is very clear how it works. Like previous Tour360s, it looks quite a 'tall' shoe and there is plenty of room over the forefoot for those who need it.
For the same size of shoe it has a slightly more pointed look that than the Adipower Boost and is also fractionally longer.
The only minor issue is the tongue which is a little on the thin side and means a decent thickness of sock could be required as otherwise the laces dig in a little. However this can be player dependent and down to how you lace the shoes so playing around with the set up could improve the situation.
Both the previous Boost shoes featured a rubber piece at the top of the tongue that wrapped around your foot and provided cushioning against the red tipped laces and it is disappointing that this is not continued in the Tour360.
There is a stitched line down the centre of the tongue to help it bend around your foot and the lace loop is off-centre to accommodate this, but doesn't affect the performance.
The removable red insole helps with the comfort and works with the ECT lining & waterproof outer to keep you feet dry from moisture inside and out.
There is a choice of six colours initially including the retro White/Black/Red version pictured here that harks back to the original design of the Tour360. The black stripe down the middle reminds me a little of Mod shoes from the 1980's that you would probably now see Bradley Wiggins on the course in, but it is growing on me.
The other five styles don't have a stripe and for the more conservatively minded are likely to have a wide appeal.
However the best bit is the price which is £70 less than the Asym and right in the sweet spot for a premium golf shoe, and where the Adipower Boost started with only half the amount of Boost. Adidas Golf has had a few off years recently, so they have gone for it commercially with the Tour360 and I think it works.
One of our Facebook comments on the announcement of the Tour360 Boost shoe said that it was good to see Adidas making proper golf shoes again and that sums it up pretty well. This could be one of the shoes to beat in 2016.