It’s one of the best sensations in golf, like draining a birdie putt or swatting a drive.
“I grew up playing in heavy, bulky shoes,” said Jason Moore, President of TRUE Linkswear. “It has always been such a relief to finish the round and take off your golf shoes.”
TRUE is a Tacoma-based company that is changing the game when it comes to golf shoes, building them with the walking golfer and, yes, the golfer from the Northwest in mind.
“A lot of people don’t realize this, but if you play golf you sometimes walk seven, eight, nine miles a day, up and down hills with a bag on your back,” Moore explained. “So we wanted to build a shoe that’s really designed around the human foot. More ergonomic, more natural, that provides support where it’s needed. Some cushion, tread, waterproofness. The things that will actually help you get through a four, six-for-one. ‘Now. “
Comfort is only part of the equation. For the TRUE team, the goal is to create shoes that are also elegant and, above all, performing. It makes sense given that Moore co-founded the company with his brother Ryan, who has been playing on the PGA Tour for more than 15 years.
“We started in 2009. At the time [Ryan] he couldn’t find a pair of golf shoes he liked. We were trying to find something that was comfortable, something like a shoe that we trained in or took a walk or hike in. We couldn’t find anything on the market, “Moore said.” Some people have approached us with this crazy idea of coming together to build a golf shoe company and we’re like ‘Sure, let’s try it’. “
The concept was an instant success, but Moore admits that TRUE took off too quickly and that working with major retailers proved particularly challenging.
“When you sit down with these huge shoppers and big mega sporting goods stores, they have very strong opinions on what they want,” Moore explained. “They want [the shoe) in a certain color or size, maybe even certain features at a certain price point, and you start making compromises.”
So three years ago, the brothers took back control of the company and came up with a new approach. They started selling direct to consumers online, with shoes designed just the way the duo, and their team, wanted them. The result, new designs like the TRUE Lux Pro and TRUE Lux Knit, which took about 18 months from concept to hitting the market.
“We call it selfish innovation. We have this process where we go, if we wouldn’t actually wear it, if that’s not a feature that would make the shoe better or more functional, if it doesn’t feel better at the end of the day, then why are we putting it in there?” said Moore.
That approach has been a hit with casual golfers and pros alike. While Moore and fellow Washington-native Joel Dahmen are the only players officially sponsored by TRUE, the company has plenty of other fans on the PGA Tour.
“Any given week there might be six or eight guys on the PGA Tour lacing up our shoes,” Moore said. “Really just having them stand behind our product and say I’m wearing it because I want to, not because I’m getting paid to, I don’t think you could have a higher praise.”
Ultimately though, whether you’re a tour player or a recreational hacker, the folks at TRUE know success on the golf course is measured by more than just your final score.
“We always say, golf is about camaraderie. It’s about getting out with your family, your friends and having a blast,” said Moore. “So, for us that’s all we could hope is you actually get out and enjoy the walk.”