A Journey With ECCO Golf Shoes
Article by Golfshake Ambassador Andrew Picken
I recently attended a fascinating presentation organised on behalf of ECCO Golf ahead of the release of the new ECCO BIOM Cool Pro, which was especially meaningful as I have long been a fan of the shoes because of the impact they have made on my ability to continue to play the game of golf.
Some 15 years ago, I was nearly forced to give up playing because of an injury called Planar fasciitis. Basically, I had not rehabilitated properly after an Achilles tendon snapped and my body had compensated by altering my gait and walk. This meant that the wrong part of my foot was carrying my body weight and a calcified bone spur grew into my foot. This left me able only walk a few hundred yards without the excruciating pain. Faced with the horrendous prospect of having to give up golf, I researched alternatives and have been provided with orthotics (inserts into my shoes) that alter my gait back to its original design.
There are few shoe manufacturers that I trust straight out of the box. ECCO heads that list.
I know ECCO shoes are a premium brand and they sell at a price that is the top of the range for the golf shoe market. Given the quality, durability and sheer comfort of these products I have always been prepared to pay that little bit extra to keep on playing.
I first became aware of ECCO shoes watching the Masters in 2010 when one of my favourite golfers, Fred Couples, used the hybrid golf shoe in a major competition. I couldn’t help myself, accessed the golfing slush fund, and treated myself to a pair of brown ECCO shoes. The shoes are still in my store cupboard despite the fact that I have worn the studs flat! They are like a pair of favourite slippers and I use them when flying knowing that comfort is paramount.
Over the years I have purchased non-golf shoes from ECCO and these are equally comfortable and in daily use.
The best external validation of the shoes was received at the evening meal when I was chatting to one of the waiters who disclosed that ECCO was his favourite brand. Suspecting that he had been planted I enquired further to discover that he was a silver service waiter who had worked on cruise liners around the world for over 15 years. He conceded that the shoes were at the very top of his price range, but he considered them the best value. He explained he was on his feet all day and comfortable shoes were vital to being able to carry out his duties. I am happy to say he wasn’t a plant, just a very satisfied customer.
I have had sporty ECCO shoes and last year moved to the ECCO 3 Diom with Gore-Tex. These shoes are superb in all weathers and have become my ‘go to’ shoe if the weather or ground is damp.
ECCO Cool Biom
At the event I was given a new pair of ECCO Cool Biom and was asked to walk and play the Albatross Course at Le Golf National Paris. This is a long course measuring 6,649m from the Championship Tees and was used for the 2018 Ryder Cup to great success by Team Europe.
There are substantial walks from green to tee and with its undulations this course is a really good test for a new shoe. ECCO have sufficient confidence in their new product and its ability to be comfortable straight out of the box that all of the journalist present were asked to walk the course in temperatures touching 34°.
To say these shoes passed the comfort test is an understatement. I have used them four times this week including popping down to the shops. They are superb. Lightweight, supportive, stable during the golf swing, with a quality finish and style that is out of the top drawer.
Check out the grip styling with extra support to the outer aspect of the foot for stability in the swing. Using the ground properly to maximise power in the swing is a goal for many golfers. These shoes certainly helped me in Paris.
I have been working on this area using pressure foot plates so maybe a little more tuned in to these issues than most golfers but having that security of stance but still being able to swing as athletically as I can was a real benefit.
Now for some technical stuff as I am aware that some of the readership is really tuned in to this side of golf equipment and like to be able to make direct comparisons between different products and manufacturers. I am sorry to admit that I am a little less complex than that, simply assessing a shoe on its performance and comfort levels given my particular issues and needs. But here is more information on the technology behind the Cool Pro.
Because of my injury I am very careful about my shoes. From this point forward I don’t need to give it any more concern as I will be using these shoes during every round of golf. Winter or Summer. Rain or shine. They really are that good.
They enjoy a retail price point of around £210 but if my other ECCO shoes are anything to go by they will last for years. Despite the fact that I average three to four rounds per week. Dear reader, I can’t give you any better validation than that.
I love these shoes and will be using them for my golfing adventures for the foreseeable future.
Walking for Prostate Cancer UK
I had never heard of a “sneaker head” before this trip and certainly didn’t know about after sales markets and designer statement shoes. You may have seen the coverage regarding Brooks Koepka wearing a plastic tie on his shoes, but I did not appreciate that this simple addition increased second hand values to over $500 in a booming market for collectors.
Some of these collectors buy two pairs of identical shoes simply to but one set into storage as careful, on trend purchases can then increase in value. I have therefore decided to start my own designer trend until the end of the season.
As an Ambassador for Prostate Cancer UK, I aimed to walk 11,000 steps daily throughout September. These steps signify the 11,000 men who will die from the disease in the UK each year. Using my new ECCO shoes will enable me to walk in comfort every step of the way.
Many of you will know about the Man of Men badge worn by footballing celebrities.
I rarely wear a suit (Unfortunately, I don’t do many prize presentations!) and fitting the badge to the collar of my golf shirt simply ends up with it rattling around my mouth. Yes, my swing is such a violent act of motion. Described accurately as an octopus falling out of a tree by one of my esteemed Golfshake colleagues.
My new idea is to wear the badge on my footwear. If Koepka can get away with a plastic clip I can use my badge.
Will these now become the new collector’s item I desire?
Doubtful. However, it’s a very clear signal to anyone looking that I support the aims of the charity and wish to raise awareness to the golf community of the issues surrounding the disease.
If you are a man over 40 you should at the very least have a discussion with your GP. Please don’t become one of the 11,000 because you didn’t talk about it.
My shoes will pass on this message every time I walk onto the course or pop into my local shop. I will be wearing my new shoes and designer badge at Little Aston in Birmingham when I play in the Prostate Cancer UK Championship 2019 Regional Final.
This event is held around the UK at premium locations as a thank you for those supporters who have raised money for the charity. PCUK has its own golf department because many golfers are of the age that need to be aware of the danger.
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